Ekeko Eats Pop Up at Dukes, Glasgow

So, I love Dukes. 

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It’s probably one of my favorite bars not just in Finnieston, but in Glasgow. I almost hate to write about it for fear that at some point I’ll go in on a Saturday night and not get a seat.

Dukes has a very comfortable feel, which might be down to the padded seat cushions, but really it’s just the entire atmosphere. No matter what time or day I’ve wandered in there’s always a seat or standing room at the bar. I’ve never felt like my personal space was debatable. The bar itself is located on a cozy little corner of Old Dumbarton Road, hosting various pop ups and often live music. On offer they have a small selection of beers, wine and a decent menu for cocktails. Oh, and board games!

There’s an ultra lax vibe – normally dim lit, a couple of turntables out playing various eras of music, friendly staff and if you’re lucky there might be a dog or two lurking about.

This time I was lucky because Ekeko Eats was doing a kitchen takeover from July 15th -17th. 

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If you follow this blog, then you’ll know I first fell in love with a Ekeko Eats via a last minute decision to split a pork bao at the Restless Natives Festival

So, on a Saturday Mr. Snacks and I popped into Dukes as very keen beans and were close to first in ordering two bao. Tiger eats Pig and Tiger eats Veg.

Now, I do love my vegetables – especially when deep fried (it’s the Texan in me), but the pork was yet again spot on. Really soft and nicely seasoned, but not too soggy with sauce. Both bao really benefited from the crunch of fresh veg and I really enjoyed the bit of kimchi on the veggie bao. I’m not entirely sure what veg made up the fritter… I want to say courgette was present… it was delicious all the same.

IMG_2637Both steamed buns were nice and fluffy… but one bao is not enough for my gut. We went back for chicken wings. I would have ordered the miso corn as well, as miso is such a great flavor, but I have some serious qualms with eating corn on the cob in public. I’m a messy eater, it wouldn’t have been pretty.

Anyway… chicken wings. The slaw was simple and tasty- nice vinegar (rice vinegar?) taste which helped off set the the fried aspect of the chicken. While I did enjoy these very much I think the wings could have been covered in a bit more sauce as there was a little tease of some, but I would have preferred some bolder Asian flavors there.

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I can’t complain too much though, such a delicious little colorful lunch. Beer and Bao. It’s a good combination. 

And, I just love this.

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Ekeko Eats is currently running the kitchen at McCune Smith Cafe until July 31st. If you can, I’d suggest making a trip out east to see what’s on offer.

xx

Dukes Bar

41 Old Dumbarton Rd, Glasgow G3 8RD

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Good Food Glasgow

This is a little overdue, but food trucks in Glasgow definitely deserve to be highlighted. 

Good Food Glasgow first rolled into town this spring for six weeks across April and May as a trial run for a potentially permanent fixture. The food truck event was based within Glasgow city centre across two locations, Broomielaw and Merchant City. And recently was back in Broomielaw for a couple of weeks before ending at the start of July on short notice. I believe this was due to a lot of the normal vendors being pre-booked for other summer fun.

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Anyway, it was great to see a variety of food trucks on display within Glasgow and I for one would definitely be happy if Good Food Glasgow became permanent or took on various forms within town. Pop ups are already well and alive – but the city is behind on the food via wheels craze.

Just to let you know, I only visited the Merchant City location and sadly didn’t try all the trucks available, so I’ll only comment on what I had.

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I’ll admit, the first weekend I attended I was pretty disappointed in the selection on offer. I had seen lots of photos online from the previous weekend of tasty looking food and I had just come back from London – which has street food everywhere and in fact entire buildings set up for different food stalls with a full bar (Oh, Dinerama!). So showing up and seeing five stalls lined up – one being Equi’s which I can buy anywhere, left me standing around wondering if one of the other blocks had more to offer, but no that was it. 

In fact, I was so disappointed that I didn’t really want anything to eat, but Mr.Snacks is always up for a munch and decided on Babu Bombay Street Kitchen. We haven’t tried it in years after having a soggy ketchup sandwich dilemma. And I can safely say we won’t be trying anything from it again. The portion for the price wasn’t enough. It was a small box with a very watery lukewarm curry and what seemed like a shop bought bit of bread. Despite all the coriander the flavor was nonexistent. For the same price of £6 I saw other attendees with massive sloppy burgers. And in my head I’m thinking… I could have had an entire Paesano Pizza for that price.  Anyway, Babu Kitchen lacks flavor and unfortunately, it’s not for me. 

But now for the positive.

So, after sampling that and both of us being a bit mopey we decided you cannot go wrong with a coffee outside in the sun. Linton & Co Coffee left me feeling happy. A nice smooth flat white along with a peanut butter brownie that I reluctantly shared. That brownie was excellent. It was an almost perfect ratio of gooey to flakey.  

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The weekend I popped round I was already full from a previous lunch… but instantly fell in love with The Crema Caravan. Crème brûlée on demand and this little van… basically cute overload.

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I enjoy crème brûlée, but it is a rare treat. Burnt sugar is one of the best scents going, so I couldn’t really help being lured in. So, chocolate brownie for me (yes, I love brownies) and rhubarb custard for the mister. Both were excellent, because all the crème brûlée is identical except for the topping. It would have been nice to have a bit of fruit baked into the rhubarb crème brûlée etc, but I can understand for ease why there is only one base. Plenty of vanilla and very rich, but delicious. The portion might actually be slightly too much, that being said I ate it all.

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And a then a third and final time. 

Yay, a new burrito to try. The server, who I assume might be the owner of Mighty Mexican was so insanely friendly that we didn’t even mind that the burrito was only okay. 

But, Chompsky’s, oft. Easily the biggest and ugliest truck there, but the bao was banging. Super soft steamed bun and had plenty of crunchy pickled veg. The pork was really tender and sweet. I’m so in love with bao at the moment and this might be the best in town.

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I don’t know if it was the bao high but the atmosphere had some really good vibes third time around and I think it’s because there was live music. I’m not sure how related to the event the band was, but I think it definitely made the experience more enjoyable. What Good Food Glasgow is lacking is a sense of atmosphere to make it a real event.

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There should definitely be more chairs and tables readily available, music and without seeming like a boozehound- some outdoor drinking. There is a lot of possibility for the food truck future. I understand weather in Scotland is rather questionable, but there’s a lot of empty buildings kicking about the city. Almost a scary amount, so who’s to say Glasgow can’t handle it’s own version of Dinerama? 

 So, in the end I did blow a small fortune, but mostly had a positive experience and it was great to see something like this in town. Until next time.

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