A Few Favourites of 2017

Well, we’re just over two weeks into 2018 which means I’m not entirely too late for a little 2017 wrap up post- am I?

I thought I would get back to blog posts a bit more this year. No, not like a resolution… more like a slightly more fun to do list? Yeah!

So, my top five food and drink discoveries of 2017 is basically a list of places that I should have blogged about (and still might) over the past year. Here are the rules: I’m staying local and the list is about new places I went to in 2017, not necessarily that opened in 2017.

In no order, of course.

El Cartel
I’m really sad it took me so long to visit El Cartel, because it basically ended my search for properly good Mexican food in Scotland. Something I’ve been on the hunt for over the course of about ten years. Homemade tortillas are the key to good Mexican food and I appreciate the effort El Cartel makes. The corn tortillas are definitely DIY, but tasty and usually sturdy enough to hold the sizable filling portions.

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The menu is mainly tacos and a few assorted snacks, but you wouldn’t need anything else. Unless that something else was a margarita. In my opinion, you cannot visit El Cartel without one. Refreshing, fruit, and petite- these margaritas are always a sweet treat. The flavours change, so check the specials board- if you see one involving banana or pineapple pick those.

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The best taco they do is the Al Pastor (pork and pineapple), but I am a little biased because Al Pastor are pretty much my favourite tacos. Like the margaritas they tend to do taco specials, so watch out for some fun options there. I would also recommend the Duck Carnitas, because the pecan salsa is a great taste/texture addition.

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Order the guacamole too, duh.

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If you decide to head here for a munch, expect to wait. The place is super tiny, popular, and there are no reservations. Sometimes you might need to wait 2 hours… so plan accordingly!

More information at www.elcartelmexicana.co.uk

Ramen Dayo
From a trash alley pop-up to a basement setting at Le Cheetah Club… I’m so glad Ramen Dayo is finally it’s own place. A damn good one at that. I mean, just ask the New York Times.

The decor is dark with pops of neon to give you that street market feel. It’s cute of course and makes the dining experience that tad bit crozier.

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Glasgow spends the majority of the time being grey, slightly damp so Ramen Day is offering the perfect comfort food for the city. Bold broths that are super silky, as they don’t shy away from the fat content in their ramen bases. My favourite is the Tantamen, with depth of heat to the broth. You can always add chili oil for more spice (I do).

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Shout out to the Tonkotsu Miso for being a friend and keeping my guts warm on those cold winter days. It’s a really classic taste and the few slices of pork belly garnish just melt in your mouth. The broths here feel really decadent and luckily there’s no judgement around for slurping up the last drops, the bowl tipped to touch your nose. Just use a napkin, right?

For more information: www.ramendayo.com

Baba Budan
Based in the Arches in Edinburgh, this sleek little cafe is serving up brunch, coffee and some of the tastiest little doughnuts I’ve had.

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Named after a 16th century Sufi who is said to have introduced coffee to India, Baba Budan has taken that idea of introduction on. Their coffee supplier changes every six to eight weeks, allowing them to give more exposure or ‘knowledge’ of UK and European roasting companies. How fun!

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While the coffee is great, it is only accentuated by the real star of the show: Doughnuts. Not too big, not too small, these palm-sized bready beauties are delicious. Baba Budan offers a rotating range of flavours, but I think the best one I’ve tried has just been a simple raspberry jam doughnut.

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Minimum grease, aerated, filled to the max and covered in sugar. Yep. Just don’t be deceived by these seemingly perfect circular treats- you will get messy. Embrace it.

Also, Baba Budan now offers doughnut and coffee masterclasses to further expand your knowledge on two of the world’s finest things.

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For more information: www.bababudan.co.uk

Grunting Growler
If you like beer, then this should already be your favourite place in Glasgow to grab a cold one at. Whether you decide to get a growler to takeaway and enjoy in the comfort of you own home (sweatpants) or sit-in for a few, you won’t be disappointed.

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Grab a seat on one of the plastic keg chairs and get ready for a good time. The place is cosy and normally has around five beers on tap with a great selection of bottles for your consumption.

Super friendly and knowledgeable Jehad and staff will be there to find the perfect beer for you. I don’t think the customer service is better anywhere in the city and that’s what makes this little beer shop great. You definitely get a little community feel to Grunting Growler.

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Insane positive vibes, good tunes, dug friendly, and an ever-changing selection of craft beer. What more could you want? Snacks? Yeah, you can get those too. They also run beer tasting and bottle share events.

New beer Thursdays are the new Friday. Prost!

For more information: www.gruntinggrowler.com

Potluck
How could anyone living in Glasgow not include Potluck in some sort of best of compilation/list.

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I don’t think a day goes by in my Instagram feed where I’m not seeing another perfectly prepared stack of pancakes from them. But besides the gorgeous food-styling, Potluck has substance. Creative flavour combinations are well executed and well cooked.

Finally I was able to have a fluffy pancake in Glasgow- so light until I submerged the stack in maple syrup (I’m a bit Buddy the Elf). But that lemon curd. And pashmak (Iranian cotton candy) on pancakes is a little miracle. It’s not all about the sweetness though, as the savoury brunch items are just as good. How do they get these eggs so perfect?

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This tiny, adorable cafe is a much needed game changer in the Glasgow breakfast scene. I can’t wait to see what they do in 2018. Keep in mind though, since it’s tiny- get it early or be prepared to wait. It’s worth it though, obviously.

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For more information:www.facebook.com/potluck.gla/

And there’s 2017 in a really small nutshell.

xx

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