Mother Mash

Sometimes a girl (and a guy) want mash. Sometimes a girl (and a guy) want mash near Carnaby Street. Mother Mash, on Ganton Street, is the answer to this need.
mother mash veg sm

You don’t have to have the vegetarian option, but it’s my fave. Mmmm.

Mash with cheese? They’ve got it. Mash with gravy? Yup. Horseradish, mustard, onions, cabbage… Uh-huh.

Next time you are in town, let me show you the way.

Oh. My. Marksman.

You may or may not remember how much we love The Marksman. We’ve only mentioned it several times.

We have an excuse for bringing it back up – the menu has grown, a new chef is in residence, and we can. Because it’s our website.

This Sunday we were accompanied by two lovely ladies, Emily and Lauren. Lauren assured me that the Bloody Mary is the best she has ever had. And the presentation delivered on its promise.
blody mary

David recommended the roast to our meat eating friends. It mysteriously disappeared from their plates as the conversation wandered in circles. Let’s be honest, ladies don’t clean their plates. (Or do they?!)
roast

Drew and I enjoyed omelets from the brunch menu. I had no idea what David was talking about last time when he said that breakfast and beer were good company for one another, but I think I understand now. When breakfast is eaten in the afternoon, it does make sense – whether or not there was a bender the night before.

David also recommended the Chocolate Fondant. (It’s what some of you Americans might call a molten cake with a side of cream whipped so long it’s the consistency of butter.) Order it. Trust me. I could not get a photo before the spoons starting flying!

choc fondant

Both of the owners stopped by to say hello – and we heard the good news that their daughter will soon be a big sister! I am not sure I could love them more. And I barely know them… It’s just so nice to feel at home.

DrewandJengotoLondon. Simples.

Once Upon a Burrito

Two dudes in London like Mexican food a whole lot. We are going to call them Eric and Dan. As far as I am aware, that is what they also call themselves. There’s so much less confusion in the world already. Where was I?

Oh yes.

Eric+Dan+severe appreciation for Mexican food=Chilango. (To my all digital geek peeps, please visit this website.)

chilango

This is our local Angel, Islington branch. It’s right on Upper Street – around the corner from the Vue Cinema.

chilango 2

The food is great, but the brand is something amazing all to itself.

chilango 3

Now, I could argue that Mexican style food that is made by non-Mexicans outside of Mexico can hardly be called Mexican, but I have no idea what else it would be called. So I concede my point. Besides, the guacamole was much to my satisfaction.

The mission was pre-cinema food that wouldn’t take all night, wouldn’t cost more than the cinema tickets, and might pass for healthy. Mission accomplished. (P.S. You’re going to need to start using the term ‘cinema’. All the cool people say ‘cinema’.)

We’ll be back.

www.drewandjengotolondon.com

Sofra

Exmouth Market is a funky little pedestrianized street lined with 23 restaurants and little shops peppered in. Drew and I enjoyed a lazy Saturday lunch at Sofra this past weekend. I think it may have been my first taste of Turkish food; this restaurant is quite veg friendly, by the way.

Our hummus starter was served with a yummy bread.

hummus

We could have split this Vegetarian Moussaka!

mousakka

After such an explosion of calories in our stomachs, we wandered home the long way, via Sans Walk, even.

sans walk

Hilarious. Ah, the irony coincidence.

www.drewandjengotolondon.com

Inamo

Inamo is a surprisingly well kept secret, conveniently located on Wardour Street in Soho. Serving pan-asian fusion cuisine ordered via an interactive projection on each table, this funky restaurant has great service, lovely food at a good value, and a chill atmosphere. This novel dining concept makes a meal quite entertaining.  One of our B&B guests suggested Inamo and we are so glad they did. Thanks Pinky, for being in the know.

Browse the menu.

table screen

order drink

scroll pad

The projectors actually add to the ambiance…

projector

Watch the chefs in the kitchen if you fancy that kind of thing.

watch chef

Take photos. Laugh. Play games (yes, there are games so you can ignore your friends. Ah, technology!).

pinky and laura

He’s not on the menu, ladies. But he’s just what I ordered.

drew

And enjoy!

blackberry cocktail

It was our experience that the wait staff will most definitely make recommendations and tend to be quite knowledgeable.  They will help you choose complimentary food and beverage (and make minor adjustments to your drink if they aren’t sure it’s perfect).

red curry

I appreciate Inamo for the novelty, the artistry and quality of the food, the value, the service, as well as the great location.  It’s terribly convenient for site-seeing or dining in the theatre district.  Book a table, though.  We aren’t the only ones who know this secret!

The Marksman

The Marksman, a lovely pub in Shoreditch, is a gem of a find.  Our aim in wandering that way was to give Jane and Quinn a local east side Sunday experience, complete with the wonder that is Columbia Road Flower Market and a proper Sunday roast.  We squeezed through the flower market with grumbling bellies and an eye on the threatening sky.  (Thankfully, we did not need a reservation, though next time I may make one, now knowing how popular this spot is.)  You might not have guessed that a Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette song would be playing as we sat down or that Willy Nelson would serenade us through our pre-dinner convo…  David (as our fantastic server is known by day) quickly assured us that he did not know that we Nashville natives were coming  – the locals just request a little country music now and again.

David lined up a round for us and was kind enough to give us his recommendations. He also coined my new favorite phrase, “When in London, do as your friends from Tennessee do in London”.
marksman drinks

Jane and Quinn chose the traditional Sunday Roast option. After all, that was the point.

sunday roast

(Jane and Quinn enjoyed the roast.)

sunday roast leftover

Drew had a delicious pastry filled with oyster mushrooms and cream cheese.

marksman veg plate

(I can’t recall why I didn’t get a photo of my hummus salad, green beans, and fat chips!?)

So, the verdict on The Marksman? Book a table this Sunday. Take or meet friends. The food is tasty and a very good value. If you are lucky enough to meet David, engage him in conversation. He is a riot!

Marksman Pub
254, Hackney Rd
London, E2 7SJ
020 7739 7393

Fire and Stone

There is something so irresistible about pizza when it’s baked in a real stone oven. I don’t know why. Fire and Stone, in Covent Garden, is a great alternative to the mainstream pizza chains littering London. The atmosphere is urban loft, but we found the staff to be quite friendly. (The restaurant feels almost like a warehouse after being in some of the tight spaces London has to offer.)

You can probably create thousands of combinations mixing the toppings and sauces, but you might be amused by one of the geographically inspired items on the menu. I think the novelty of the oven and the pizza names may have been a little more special than the pizza actually was, but it was still quite good.

spinach pizza

margerhita pizza

It’s a nice place to eat a pizza and enjoy company just off the busy streets of Covent Garden.

31/32 Maiden Lane
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 7JS
phone: 0844 371 2550

Lowlander

As you leave Holborn on your way to Covent Garden, a little off the main way, there is a great place to meet and eat called Lowlander Grand Cafe.  It’s a casual place to enjoy lunch and friends with an open door feel.

lowlander beer

I recommend trying something completely new.  However, do not be fooled by the menu-the chili sauce that comes with the (really great) chips is not spicy.  It’s good — I just don’t want you to have your taste buds ready to be set on fire or anything like that.

Dress casually and bring some friends to share a starter or a beer stick!

36 Drury Lane
Covent Garden
London
Westminster
WC2B
phone: 020 7398 8622

The Porterhouse Pub

Unfortunately, Porterhouse Pub is no secret.  The good news is that you can still squeeze in.  It’s located very near the Piazza in Covent Garden and is quite a lovely place to wander with friends. The atmosphere is great, even if a bit on the loud side. They feature live music, including traditional Irish music one day a week. Boasting loads of specialty beers and lagers, a beer drinker is sure to find something new that they always wanted to try, but never knew existed.

porterhouse pub

The Covent Garden menu looks pretty nice as pubs go and there is a nice sized (as outdoor pub spaces go) covered outdoor space as well. Stop in for an old or soon to be favorite!  The interior is very worth the short bar queue, especially on a Sunday afternoon or Bank Holiday.

The Porterhouse Covent Garden 
21-22 Maiden Lane
Covent Garden 
London WC2 E7NA 
tel: (+44) 207 379 7917
fax: (+44) 207 379 7991

Hummus Bros.

There has been one good thing to come out of our short, nasty stint with Barclay’s bank; across the street from a branch I have visited several times there is a restaurant that caught my eye.  Hummus Bros. is a laid back little joint where you are seated family style for the pleasure of simple food made really well.  The hummus is one flavor suits all, but you choose your topping.  Your topping then becomes a mix-in, depending on your hummus eating style, of course!  Special toppings are featured regularly so that you never tire of trying new combinations.

mushrooms and guac

 guacamole

fork commandments

Although hummus really is the featured food, there are some interesting side dishes like smoky barbeque aubergines and complementary drinks that might satisfy a non-hummus eater, though one trip to Hummus Bros. might cure that disorder…

Drew tried the mushroom topping and mine was guacamole.  Thumbs up for both!

Green and Red

Festive, fun, lively…  Green and Red of Shoreditch serves freshly prepared Tex Mex and more brands of Tequila than I can bare to even look at.

green and red

Drew and I shared stories and a pitcher of margaritas with a new friend over dinner at what is one of her favorite restaurants. (She is seemed to be well known by the staff and has even pledged to join the Tequila Club when it starts again in June.) I had a wonderful trio of chayote, pumpkin, and chillies.

Bookings are recommended, but the atmosphere is great for a party or group. There is a restaurant on the ground floor and a club downstairs that hosts djs and other performance artists for late night hanging.

It was a little dark for photos, but I did my best. Who knew – Tex Mex in London?

Coq d’Argent

If you can’t find enough green space for your alfresco itch, look up.  Several London roof top bars boast beautiful views and great atmosphere to go with the drink.  One such rooftop bar and restaurant happens to be in my neighborhood.  Coq d’Argent is a lovely place for an after work drink or a ambient dinner.  The plates are a bit on the expensive side, but for business dinners or special occasions, that might be just the ticket.

Restaurant reviews are mixed, but the bar is great way to start or end a night with friends, even if you just get a Diet Coke.

Rooftop green

You might have to wait in the queue to use the lift unless you have reservations for a table, but the wait isn’t long. Once you are on the roof, enjoy the view and the well dressed crowd.

gherkin in the distance

sunset on the roof

The view at sunset is nice, but it can get a bit windy so bring a light jacket or wrap.

Tortilla, Islington

Ok, so my favorite menu item doesn’t come wrapped in a tortilla… That doesn’t mean the burritos aren’t fantastic. For the crazy ex-pats who like ice, it’s self-serve crushed ice.

5 Stars

Pre-Booking not required
Lunch menu available
Take-away available, limited inside and patio seating
Vegetarian and Vegan options
Excellent value, economically priced
Appropriate for casual dining
Alcoholic beverages available, including frozen margaritas

tortilla

Gives Baja Burrito a run for it’s money. …or at least gets close.

V & M Express, Soho

Sometimes I just want a burger and fries. Today, Drew introduced me to a cheap vegetarian meal deal at V & M Express, on Greek Street in Soho. You can get a Quarter Pounder, side item, and a vegan shake for £4.99.

3.5 stars
Pre-Booking not required, lunch only
Lunch menu available
Take-away available, limited patio seating
Vegetarian and Vegan options, no meat on the menu
Excellent value, economically priced
Limited menu/selection
Appropriate for casual dining

specials

food

(Unfortunately, Drew had to slip next door to get me some mustard and caffeine. V & M was short staffed and under supplied due to some unfortunate , and seemingly random, circumstances…)  Go easy on the Colman’s – it is known to burn holes through the roof of your mouth to the back of your head.
extras

Thai Square, Covent Garden

If you find yourself near the Seven Dials end of Covent Garden with a wicked craving for a curry, we recommend Thai Square.
Five stars!
  • Pre-Booking not required, but might be a good idea at weekends
  • Pre-Theatre Menu available
  • Lunch menu available
  • Take-away available
  • Vegetarian and Vegan options
  • Excellent value, moderately priced
  • Excellent menu/selection
  • Large Selection of alcoholic beverages
  • Very nice dining room
  • Attentive and friendly staff
  • Great for groups and dates
  • Appropriate for casual dining, though the atmosphere suggests casual to nice dress