Hoot the Redeemer, Edinburgh

Hoot the Redeemer might be my best accidental find.
 
A super kitsch basement bar serving up Technicolor alcohol in various ways.
 
Let us enter through the dark stairwell, led by Hoot himself into this boozy funfair.
 

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Drinks Ahoy!

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Empire Biscuits

It’s Valentine’s Day… so let’s talk about love.

I love cookies, sometimes referred to as biscuits, more than any other dessert or treat.

Now, Scotland has some good shouts when it comes to biscuits and while the entire Tunnocks catalog is a great companion to any cup of tea… sometimes you just need something bigger and badder.

This is when the Empire Biscuit reigns supreme.

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Two thick (usually circular) shortbread biscuits sandwiched with raspberry jam, topped with a sugary glaze and a little bonus cherry on top. Yes! So much heft to a little unassuming, cute biscuit.

And, even though the biscuit doesn’t originate in Scotland, it’s often associated with the country. After all, they are the shortbread standard. So, this is me spreading the word on some local treats.

Also, I subconsciously rolled my dough out in the shape of Scotland.

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Biscuit Lovin’ Ahead

Maple Pecan Snowballs

Well, the verdict is in.

Punxsutawney Phil has seen his own shadow which means six more weeks of winter.

And I couldn’t be happier about that.

More chances to wear cozy jumpers, drink hot chocolate and to wait by the window for any sign of snow.

Back in Texas it’s pretty rare to get snow and if we did in North Texas it would maybe be about an inch? Everything would shut down and we’d have to hope there were enough snacks in the house until it all melted away… about 12 hours later.

So, yeah. I get childishly excited about snow.

And despite all the chatter about snowfall heading to Glasgow- it’s definitely something that has been lacking this winter season.

So, I decided to create my own!

Pecan Snowballs, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Teacakes- this type of cookie has loads of different names, but still basically one delicious taste.

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The Cookie Continues

Super Bario, Glasgow

Glasgow Gamers can finally bask in the bright lights and nostalgic sounds of old arcade cabinets… and all while enjoying a beer or two.

The long awaited Super Bario opened it’s ‘barcade’ doors on January 13th and seems to be the talk of the town already. The bar began as a Kickstarter project in late 2015 – hit their target and was projected to open almost a year ago in February 2016. Clearly some complications in the set up… but it’s now all systems go.

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Insert Coin

Snacking Highlights of 2016

Well… Hello.

It’s now 2017 and I was so caught up/slightly tipsy through the holiday festivities that it was hard to find a moment to sit and type about all the food and fun being had.

 

I don’t feel like I can properly move into the new year without officially closing off 2016.

 

And there’s no better way to do that then a recap in list form!

 

So, here we go… My favourite new food findings of 2016.

It’s better late than never.

Happy Turkey Day!

So, it’s official. The holiday season has finally arrived.

It is my very favourite time of year. Cold weather, lots of food, lots of booze all wrapped in a big bow with ribbon curls.

I can hardly contain my Christmas cheer, genuinely. Today is Thanksgiving and I feel like I can now speak of the season without getting eyerolls and groans from the less-excited.

This year I’m preparing a big and rather traditional meal for me and Mr.Snacks. I’ve been slaving away all day and the turkey is still cooking as we speak… so there’s still even more work and more dishes to be done.

This year’s menu:

Citrus and Herb Turkey + Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole (oh, those little fried onions!)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Roasted Parmesan Broccoli and Cauliflower
Homemade Dinner Rolls
Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Cream

I do it all for the leftover turkey sandwiches.

Now, Scottish winters are far too dark to get any decent photos of my dinner, but this way you can just assume it turned it good, just incase it doesn’t. I’ve already had a bit of drama this morning.

Part of that is around the pie. I like pie, I don’t love pie. And well, pie crust hates me. Even store-bought pie crust hates me. Look…

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I don’t know how I manage to mess it up, but I always do. And, it even has a soggy bottom.

But, you need pumpkin pie at a Thanksgiving feast regardless of how you feel about it- and luckily the pumpkin pie filling I whipped up is pretty damn delicious.

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I vow to brush up on my pie skills in the future. It’s definitely a work in progress and something I’d like to be good at… but tonight I’m all about the turkey.

2016 has generally been a bit of a shiter, but I hope there’s been a couple of bright spots for you!

 

xx

Chaakoo Bombay Café, Glasgow

Even though I was only away from Glasgow for three weeks this autumn I managed to miss a lot of new eateries opening and Glasgow’s first ever cheese toastie festival.

Gutted about the latter.

So, not only am I behind on sharing things about my trans fat adventures stateside, but I’m behind on what is happening in Glasgow.

The first new place I decided to check out was Chaakoo Bombay Café, which has now been open for about a month.

I pass by this location all the time and was immediately interested when I saw that work had begun on what used to be an Irish Pub. I know it’s not supposed to affect the actual taste of the food… but during the early stages of the restaurant I was very much in love with the green and gold styling and the chosen window font.

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If I’m being completely honest the main reason I wanted to try this place was based on that and the fact that it’s a new place in Glasgow. Sorry, I’m a bit of a sucker.

Indian food isn’t my favorite but I do enjoy it. Mostly during cold weather months because the food so rich with cream and spice that it’s very much cozy comfortable eating. So, right now is the perfect season to visit Chaakoo!

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The menu is set up ‘tapas’ style and is relatively straight forward, offering a good mix of curries, grilled meats and various sides (Naan, please). Strangely enough some Chinese inspired dishes too, with a bit of an Indian twist.

Although maybe it’s not so strange: The menu states that 1950s Irani cafés are the main influence and often had a ‘melting pot’ menu pulling from different Asian cuisines.

Our server recommended 2-3 dishes between us, plus a side. This is what we ordered for lunch:

Daal Makhani
Kerala Monkfish
Cauliflower
Smoked Chicken Tikka
Masahari
Lemon Rice
Peshwiri Naan

All our food arrived at pretty much the same time: a plus for me as I like spooning bits of everything on my plate then tucking in. (Apologies for the grainy photos)

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My favourites were definitely the Kerla Monkfish and the grilled cauliflower. Monkfish is my favourite fish because of it’s meaty taste and delicate texture. I think it goes really well with curry spices. Chaakoo didn’t disappoint, the little bowl was well balanced and the monkfish was cooked perfectly. I could cut it with my fork.

The grilled cauliflower was a nice surprise.The yogurt marinade added a great texture to the cauliflower that still left it feeling a bit creamy on the palate despite all the charcoal. But the charcoal bits are the best. It was served with some thinly cut vegetables and a lovely green mint sauce that was super cooling and refreshing. Our smoked chicken was also served with the same sauce. I nearly finished both servings of the stuff.

Both the smoked chicken and the chicken pakora (Masahari) were fine- not mind blowing, but good. To be fair, they are rather standard choices – so in the future I would likely skip these and get something a little different.

The Daal was also a good shout if you like a bit of ginger. Smoothly cooked lentils- very homely and delicious.

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And for the sides… I love carbs. So bread and rice- why not. The rice did have a little lemon zing and a bright yellow colour. The peshwiri naan might not be the biggest naan in town, it’s more on the elegant side.

Perfectly formed, round and quite thin- felt a bit more like a chapati. Not a lot of filling, but a good amount of sweetness and not overbearing. I felt it mixed well with what we ordered and to be honest, I’d be tempted to order one each next time.

It would be nice to see some spicer choices on the menu, but maybe that’s a work in progress.

They also have a breakfast menu from 9am (10:30am on Sundays) offering the classics with an Asian flair. I’m definitely intrigued by the breakfast naan rolls and suspect Mr. Snacks might have already popped in for a try without me.

The service was great- quite attentive from not just our server but other staff floating around and I absolutely love the interior. The colours, the old train signage, the staff uniforms – Everything about it is very stylish and quite beautiful.

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I’ll definitely be heading back for a little cocktail or two… there’s a full bar and a nice list of around 15 or so cocktail choices. Tiny elegant glasses spotted.

Until then.

xx

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Chaakoo Bombay Café 
79 St Vincent St
Glasgow
G2 5TF