With the high chance of over eating in December I should probably have taken November slightly lighter than I did. But hey, it’s a chilly autumn, so why shouldn’t I load up on comfort food and eat out a lot? I mean in actuality, there’s a whole host of reasons, but I’ll rarely say no if someone mentions an activity that involves food. The month included a trip to Oslo, where I sampled the likes of Døgnvill Burger, Night Hawk Diner and the incredible cinnamon buns from WB Samson plus a couple of pizzas from a local Walthamstow favourite; SoDo Pizza, who I’ll undoubtedly feature properly at some point. Annoyingly, my camera decided to delete a couple of hundred photos from November, so I’ve had to go with some iPhone shots. Below I’ve picked out a few of my favourite bits and pieces that I’ve eaten from the month though, and it wasn’t until I started writing this that I realised how brunch heavy it was…
Black Penny – Covent Garden
Before spending a morning at The Happy Foodie HQ, Penguin Random House, and having a number of noted food writers talk to us about their cookbooks and social feeds, I decided to fill up on breakfast. Covent Garden’s breakfast options are fairly poor, it’s full of chains or places that open from about 11. There’s always Dishoom, but as you’ll have seen in my last round up I go there far too much, plus as we’re going to their NYE bash we’ve sworn off going until then. We got to Black Penny just after it opened and sat in the currently empty dining room. Within about 20 minutes it was jam-packed. Their menu, while not on the cheap side for breakfast, offers a few twists on usual breakfast staples plus a range of different hashes and some porridge options. Both Maddie and I went for different hashes, hers the mushroom & crispy polenta with salsa verde, rocket & a poached egg (10.90) and I went for the duck confit with sweet potato, baby spinach, spring onion, chilli, coriander and a poached egg (12.90, pictured above). This is one of the best breakfasts I’ve had out for a while. The salty duck confit and sweet potato combine wonderfully on the plate and the crispy duck skin balanced on top pushed it from very good all the way to excellent. The rest of the morning at Happy Foodie HQ was more than pleasurable and gave me a chance to meet a number of people I’ve only chatted about food with on twitter in the past, like Becky’s Biscuit Bases, Auburn Antics, Food & Baker and The Gin Baker, as well as make a number of new acquaintances.
BOBO Social – Fitzrovia
BoBo social has been on my list, the spreadsheet I’ve mentioned before, for a very long time. It’s always been trumped by other places though, so when we were arranging a get together of food blog pals and someone suggested it I completely backed the decision, so I could finally tick it off. I’ve heard particularly good things about BoBo from a great many people, and as someone who likes a good burger I was pretty excited. They are known for their ‘experimental’ burgers, where they often try out different flavour combinations or kinds of meat. The venue itself is a great combination of pub/bar upstairs and cosy restaurant in the basement. I went for their special; a beef patty with roasted goats cheese and caramelised onions (13), shared a couple of sides with Maddie; sweet potato fries (3.50) and fried pickles (3.25) as well as a desert; dark & milk chocolate mousse with salted caramel. My burger was a little disappointing, as they’d informed me it would be medium to medium rare but came out a little over cooked. The burger was good, but I can safely say I’ve eaten significantly better from a number of places in London. The fried pickles, rather than a number of fried dill pickles, were actually a selection of different pickled veg in a wafer thin tempura batter. I’d try BOBO again but I wouldn’t rush back, however the venue is wonderful and it made for a great location to have a catch up with Persephone, Sophie, Flick and Hannah.
Buhler & Co – Walthamstow
Oops, it’s another brunch offering. I ate out at a few other places across the month, but none of them felt worthy of being included in the round up in comparison to Buhler, Walthamstow’s veggie coffee shop. New to Walthamstow this year we didn’t even realise they’d opened for a number of months but since we have we’ve been back on a number of occasions. The staff are always friendly and the counter heaving under the weight of freshly baked goods. My only negative for Buhler is having to ask for cucumber-free water (cucumber is the devil of the food world). I’ve had various things from the menu in the past (their baked eggs special changes regularly) but this time went for the quinoa cakes with avocado, poached egg, pumpkin, labneh, za’atar and leaves (8.50) with additional halloumi (3). The halloumi was probably most of a block, and in keeping with everything else I’ve had from Buhler was part of a giant portion of food. The quinoa cakes have a crispy outer shell and the pumpkin puree smeared across the plate combines to make the dish a joy to eat.
I warn you now, December’s round up is going to contain a whole heap of Christmas specials, mainly in the form of burgers, although I’ve got a trip to Grain Store & Modern Pantry when my parents visit to look forward to, and a now annual tradition of Bone Daddies before I leave for home for Christmas.