We went out for breakfast this morning at our local deli, because, you know, we’re middle-class foodies, and what better place for a middle-class foodie to wake up to the weekend than a place where they’re surrounded by artisan crackers and molasses-cured, home smoked bacon?
Anyway, we went to this place and had their best bacon sandwich, which was truly one of the best food experiences that I’ve had in Bristol and the kind of thing that people travel from afar to eat. Crispy smoked bacon, aioli, red onion marmalade, rocket, gherkins and sourdough bread (and yes, that’s as on-trend as you can get).
So right away, I started thinking about what my seven food wonders of Bristol would be – those dishes that people would travel from miles around and want to find. I managed five clear winners, but I can always add to the list and I’m interested in your suggestions too.
1. Best Bacon Sandwich – No 12 Easton
2. Prairie Girl – Burger Theory. Housed in the inauspicious surroundings of Gloucester Road’s The Golden Lion is Burger Theory, whose burgers will make you see the face of God. That might be an exaggeration, but the last two groups of people that we took there actually gasped when they bit into their burgers, and the Prairie Girl has to be the best chicken burger I’ve ever encountered. The Golden Lion offers a beef version too (when I last checked, anyway), which is every bit as good. They play some good music, too.
3. Egg and Bacon Stack – Tinto Lounge. Maybe a little bit of a cheat in that it’s not limited to Bristol, and another breakfast food to boot, but the Loungers chain has got this unhealthy treat down to an art form, and who can resist eggy bread, bacon and golden syrup when it’s done well?
4. Akash Special – Akash Restaurant. Another singularly unimpressive location, hidden away on Filton Avenue and featuring a server who offers a 20% discount for collection and then will charge you a seemingly random amount for your food (and often give our some free poppadoms too). This is sweet but not too sweet, spicy but not too spicy, perfectly cooked and impossible not to wolf down. The Nepalese Moni dish isn’t half bad either.
5. Jerk Chicken – Caribbean Wrap. There’s a wealth of places competing for your business in St Nicholas’ Market, but arguably this is the winner (the others are below in the Honourable Mentions section). Caribbean food needs to be done right, and although I can’t tell you whether this is authentic, you can’t argue with the flavour of just about everything on that menu.
And then I ran out of ideas, which is clearly a sign that I need to eat out some more. Suggestions, anyone?
Honourable mentions – each of these are excellent, but not worthy enough to be called a winner in their own right.
Beef Brisket – Grill Stock. Another dish you have to do right, but Grill Stock are slowly but surely turning barbeque into an art form.
Steak Night – Royal Oak. Extraordinarily good steak for the price, but would you travel afar for it? Maybe not.
Falafels – Eat a Pitta. Another St Nick’s Market joint. Extraordinary, and your mother would even approve (it’s got vegetables in).
Pastel di Nata – Coffee #1. I’m a sucker for these.