Categories
England Lunch

Lunch at Bill's Restaurant

Lunch at Bill’s Restaurant

Today was one of those days that you follow through on a recommendation from a friend.  Wednesdays are usually my burger, fry and milkshake days but today I decided to stop by Bill’s Restaurant and shake up my normal lunch routine. Bill’s restaurant is located in the Rushden Lakes shopping district and boasts an amazing view of a lake with swans. The inside of Bill’s is so inviting with its shabby chic decor.  I loved looking around at the walls while I ate.
Entrance to Bill's restaurant
Bill’s has a lunch and dinner menu to include a separate vegetarian menu. Currently they are celebrating Veganuary and have an entire menu with vegan options for the month of January. I ordered a vegetarian lunch but didn’t get to order off their Veganuary menu.  Don’t worry, I’ll go back soon to bring you guys the deets.
My friend ordered the daily special which was a grilled chicken with Rosemary and Brie cheese on top, served with a side of broccoli and.  She was kind enough to let me take a picture and have a bite. I love a good rosemary chicken and the Brie on top was just the icing on the cake.
Chicken lunch special at Bill's restaurant

Vegetarian lunch options

For my starter, I ordered a sweet potato and ginger soup. I must admit I was skeptical about how the ginger would taste. I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome it was. Not only was it appealing to the eyes it tantalized my tastebuds. It was garnished with micro greens and pink peppercorns.

For my main, I opted for the carrot, cashew nut and mushroom Wellington. It was placed on a bed of mashed butter beans and served with a side of long stem broccoli. There is something about flaky phyllo dough that makes me all happy inside. The broccoli was perfectly cooked and the mashed beans were very reminiscent of mashed potatoes. Once I poured my gravy on them there disappeared..I don’t know what happened.  They were on my plate one minute and the next minute they were gone. Let’s just say mashed beans will be a thing in my house very soon.  My Wellington was outstanding!! The carrots were tender, the mushrooms melded with the cashews and created magic. I highly recommend this dish if you are looking for a vegetarian option at Bill’s. Just don’t do like I did send burn your mouth trying to scarf it down lol.

Overall it was a great dining experience and I honestly don’t know what took me so long to try it.  I’m looking forward to going back already.
Forks Up!

Categories
Copenhagen Dinner International Lunch

Hija De Sanchez Tacos

I love tacos! I mean who doesn’t love tacos?  Everyone is always saying Taco Tuesday as if it is a rule.  Well I say to hell with that!  What about the other weekdays?  Taco Monday can totally be a thing. I don’t want to wait until Tuesday to celebrate my tacos.

Categories
Dinner Florida Lunch

Top 5 Pizza Spots in Tampa Bay

Pizza is often considered one of those convenient foods. Pick up the phone call your favorite carryout and bam you have dinner in less than an hour (with a clean kitchen). Honestly over the past few months of my blogging I’ve come to realize it is more than a convenience, it is a craft. Kids love pizza, if you even mention it they go crazy. As an adult I want that same enthusiasm regarding pizza but on a more sophisticated level than just cheese or pepperoni. I want to bite into a slice of pizza and instantly jump for joy in utter satisfaction. I’ve traveled throughout the Tampa Bay area and I’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 places that have the best pie.

1. Midici

2424 Tyrone Blvd North. Ste #524B St. Petersburg, FL 33710

Veni Vedi Veci Midici which was an LA based company has recently expa

nded to the St. Pete area. This is as authentic napolean pizza as it gets.

2. Eddie and Sams

203 E Twiggs St. Tampa, FL 33602

Offering NY style pizza by the slice or a full pie in the downtown Tampa area. It’s an excellent choice for lunch. Try the eggplant parmesan for a hearty treat.

3. Ava’s

718 S. Howard. Tampa, FL 33606

Inspired Italian, wood fire pizza located in the SoHo district of Tampa Bay. Ava’s is serving up more than pizza, but their pizza was good enough to make the top 5.

4. Mellow Mushroom

The psychedelic feel makes it an out of this world experience. It’s worth a trip to Brandon, but plan accordingly there is usually a wait (and for good reason).

5. Westshore Pizza

10309 Causeway Blvd. Brandon, FL 33619


The crust is so soft. The slices are large and the prices are good. Give the white ricotta spinach pizza a try! Its amazing!!

Categories
Dinner Lunch Oklahoma U.S.A

Oso Tacos OKC

 

DONT TACO BOUT IT BE ABOUT IT

 


When given the option between anything else and tacos… tacos usually win. I haven’t been home in two years and the food scene has changed quite a bit. It is definitely not the same food scene as when I grew up. My sister took me to Oso which is nestled in the artsy Paseo district. Creativity doesn’t just remain on canvas anymore. My mouth was bursting with flavor from the works of art placed in front of me.

 

Our lunch started off with complimentary chips and an order of street corn commonly known as elotas. It wasn’t the best elotas I’ve ever had that came from a food truck. None the less it was very good.

 

LUNCH TIME JUST GOT SERIOUS


Any time you see the words brisket burnt ends you know some serious eats are about to be had….My first taco choice was the afore mentioned brisket burnt ends taco accompanied with a pumpkin seeds and fresh radish and topped with a fried pickle. I grew up on bbq and I love a good brisket. This taco literally spoke to my soul. I loved that it wasn’t over the top with the bbq sauce so you could really taste the brisket. My description probably isn’t going to cut the mustard to here’s the pictures so you can drool for yourself.


 

Up next I decided to tap into my British experience and go for a fish taco. Most fish tacos are a Maui Maui fish but not this one. This fish taco should pretty much be the national dish of England. I must admit I wasn’t expecting too much from this taco but damn! This taco tasted like a taco where the fish was cooked in an English pub and flown directly to my plate. The fish was perfectly breaded, light and fluffy. They topped it with tartar sauce and pickled onions and gently placed it on top of a slaw. All joking aside I nearly bit my thumb off it was that good. And out of all 3 tacos it was my favorite.

Fish tacos


My last taco was a dedication to my vegetarian friends. I’ve made veggie tacos at home with flour tortillas but the use of corn tortillas makes it a little extra special. It was a toss up between the mushroom and the cauliflower but after much debate I chose the cauliflower. It was jam packed with veggies (olives, red bell pepper, chargrilled onions, cilantro,pumpkin seeds and garlic)and overflowing with flavor.Vegetarian taco made with Cauliflower

My mom ordered a burrito and it looked pretty epic. Probably should’ve snuck a bite but I didnt. I guess it leaves me something so look forward to. 

 Oso has definitely earned its rank among best tacos which you can read more about here. Oso was so impressive it is debuting in the number 2 spot. 

Categories
Dinner Lunch

NaruOne

My travels have taught me that most major cities have a Chinatown somewhere. Some are big and some are really small, regardless you are instantly immersed in the Asian food and culture right away. During my recent visit to Sydney, Australia I happened to stumble upon their Chinatown (which really pales in comparison to London’s) while we were out exploring and I felt instantly transported. What I didn’t expect to find to in Sydney was Koreatown because usually Chinatown covers everything Asian, yet here I was standing on the corner of Pitt St. heading into Koreatown. If you are anything like me, just the thought of Korean bulgogi puts my tastebuds in a frenzy and I’m instantly salivating. As with any “town” there are multiple food options to choose from and if you aren’t a local you depend heavily on reviews similar to this one for an unbiased opinion. We ultimately chose Naruone because it was rated extremely high for its Korean style fried chicken and it was open late.

Categories
Dinner International Lunch

Nick's Seafood Sydney Darling Harbour

Nestled right in the middle in the Sydney’s Darling Harbour is Nick’s Seafood Restaurant. With so many food options, it would be easy to walk right past this place and chalk it up to another seafood restaurant. I’m here to advise you that if you ever visit Darling Harbor, a meal at Nick’s Seafood Restaraunt is a must. Nick’s has both indoor and outdoor seating, however in the midst of the Australian summer indoor seating is the better of the two options. You are able to enjoy beautiful views, live entertainment, fireworks at night and a nice breeze from the harbor. We were leaving the Sydney aquarium and decided to stop and eat before going back to our hotel. We arrived just before the lunch service was about to end so it wasn’t crowded and the wait staff were very attentive. As usual my husband and I ordered appetizers and mains to give ourselves a broader and better taste of the menu to complete our reviews.
For our entrée, I ordered the Hervey Bay Queensland Scallops. One of the benefits of eating seafood on an Island or in a coastal area is that the seafood is often fresh. Australia is a huge continent/country and here seafood is a part of life. These scallops were seared to perfections and drizzled with a honey soy dressing. A serving of five will cost you $24.00 which may seem expensive but I’ve learned that with food sometimes you really do get what you pay for. If you’ve ever eaten scallops before you know it can go one of three ways. The scallops are either not cooked, too chewy or just right. These scallops literally melted when I bit into them. The honey soy drizzle was perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweet and salty.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans.

When in Australia, be as wild and adventurous as the outback”.

As I prepared for this trip, I told myself I was going to try some kangaroo. It’s the one thing that you will not be able to get authentically anywhere else. Up until coming to Nick’s seafood, I hadn’t been able to get my hands on some kangaroo and I was afraid as the trip was coming to an end I’d miss my opportunity. However, our impromptu lunch stop provided the chance for this foodie to treat her palette to something exotic. Funny thing is, right when it was time for me to order I almost backed out and went with a safer choice. To be honest I was a little afraid I wouldn’t like it, but boy oh boy am I glad I didn’t let fear keep me from this delicacy. With full mettle, I ordered the Kangaroo Fillet with Tomato Chutney and Chargrilled Herb Polenta and hoped for the best. The picture may or may not do this dish justice depending on if you think it looks delicious.

This kangaroo dish will knock you out. The kangaroo was cooked perfectly, not too tough and not too tender. My suggestion would be to order it cooked medium because well done would make it much too tough. I was able to cut through the fillet with ease with my steak knife. The meat itself had a slight gamey flavor but it wasn’t overbearing. I can honestly say it doesn’t taste like steak. The tomato chutney was amazing and paired well with the meat. It had the perfect amount of sweetness which elevated the kangaroo’s flavor. Lastly, the polenta was fantastic and the perfect compliment to the kangaroo. An complete oxymoron, the polenta was firm yet buttery. When I add the two together it was the perfect harmony. As you can tell from my face, I was in pure bliss. The kangaroo not only met but completely exceeded my expectations.
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FUN FACT: Only 14% of Australians report they eat Kangaroo.

It is a close battle between the squid and the octopus when it comes to who tastes better. It comes as no surprise that calamari will be on a seafood menu, at a minimum as an appetizer. I must admit calamari is always a fan favorite but I think octopus can give calamari a good run for its money. Rarely have I found that octopus is a staple on many restaurant’s menu and I’m not sure why. Whenever we get the chance to eat octopus we take full advantage because it is just that delicious. Lucky for us, Nick’s spared no expense with the portions and we were able to enjoy a hearty size. I mean look at the size of the octopus I’m trying to scarf down LOL!

It’s okay to drool over this mound of octopus… and if you listen closely enough you can practically hear the sizzle on those chargrill marks. Looks scrumptious right? The chargrilled octopus is served with cherry tomatoes atop a basil rocket salad and topped with a balsamic reduction sauce. The main portion is a whopping $38.00 so if you don’t want to spend that much on your meal you are in luck. Nick’s offers the octopus as either an entrée or a main so if you want to try it but wish to go easier on the pockets you have the option. For what it’s worth, this octopus is the second best octopus I’ve had in my life.
Overall, Nick’s Seafood Restaurant in Darling Harbour was a great experience. It was clean, the wait staff helped with recommendations and were very attentive and the view was great. Moreover, it was kid friendly. I’d go back and dine there in a heartbeat.

Categories
Copenhagen Dinner Florida Lunch Oklahoma

Top 5 Taco Spots

Everyone knows tacos give life a new meaning. The taco scene has been heating up lately. Street taco trucks are taking over the streets in many cities. The new Netflix series Taco City focuses on many styles of tacos especially the Al Pastor taco. I’m sure at this point it seems that tacos have been covered a million times but Mettlefork wants it’s lion share of delicious tacos too. My list is ever changing so be sure to check back from time to time. As I discover a new taco spot that is worthy of the top 5 I want to share that with you. I know there are many places out there that echo what Ludacris says “I’m coming for that number 1 spot”. Mettlefork is here for it..I live tacos. If you think someone is deserving of the list let me know in the comments below.
I present the current top 5 taco spots:
Number 1. Hija de Sanchez Tacos – Copenhagen, Denmark
You’ll need your passport to get to these tacos but they are so good they are worth the plan ride. To see the full review click here.
Number 2. Capital Tacos – Tampa, Fl

“Keep it Capital”

There are several Capital One Taco spots located throughout the greater Tampa Bay Region. Their taco options are vast and there is a special taco out there for everyone. Check out more here
Number 3. Oso – (Paseo) OKC, Oklahoma

These tacos are O so special

Located in the artsy district of Oklahoma City, tacos have become Oso’s masterpiece.  Their fish taco will blow you out the water. For a full review click here.
Number 4. Fuzzy’s Taco – Tampa, Fl
I realize they are a chain but that doesn’t mean they don’t serve up good tacos. Stop by and give them a chance.
Number 5. Tijuana Flats – Tampa,Fl
From the sick vibes and wall art down ton their crunchy tacos. Tijuana flats is definitely worth a try. They also have about 20 hot sauces to choose from if you are brave enough.
Taco lovers unite!

Drool….

Categories
England Lunch

Handmade Burger Co.

Handmade Burger Co.

Westgate Arcade Peterborough, UK PE1 1PY

The most exciting words a foodie could probably hear are “the best ever”. It’s written in the foodie code that the best food must be sought out. Imagine my delight when I heard about this burger spot called Handmade Burger Co. that a guy had claimed to be the best burger they had ever had. EVER! That is a huge claim. Burgers are like the All American food and I have had some damn good burgers. Finding good food in England has become somewhat of a scavenger hunt. We sat out on an adventure on a cold and rainy Saturday to visit the mall. Out of pure luck we stumbled upon the Handmade Burger Co. and you know we had to make a pitstop.
The Handmade Burger Co. Has over 40 selections of burgers to choose from. Examples of their choices are a peanut butter and bacon burger or the Milano burger which sports pesto and mozzarella. Some of the same options are included on their chicken burgers also. There is a small feature of vegetarian burgers but one of their biggest sellers are their dirty burgers. It was a hard to decide between a specialty burger or a dirty burger but today the specialty burger won out.
 
 

Starter

Have you ever heard of Halloumi cheese? I hadn’t either until I saw it on a foodnetwork show.  However since it is a mainstay in Britain I suspect I’ll be seeing a lot more of it.  Halloumi cheese is probably the only cheese that you can actually grill, fry or barbecue.  It has a high melting point which allows it to be cooked in ways other cheeses just can not stand up to.  My best reference point for texture is probably tofu but man oh man this cheese is amazing.  I decided to try the Halloumi fries with mango salsa as a starter.  The Halloumi fries were amazing, there was some juice at the bottom of the serving cup that was just heavenly.  The mango salsa on the other hand is more of an acquired taste.  I personally didn’t care for it.  It was a tad bitter and had a nice spicy kick to it.  In my opinion the two didn’t pair well together but the fries stand well on their own.

Hand Pressed

Each burger is made with Scottish beef which is hand pressed and then cooked fresh in house everyday.   After pouring over the menu several times we decided to skip out on all the exciting options and go for something more traditional.  I opted for the avocado and bacon burger and the mister chose the blue cheese and bacon burger.

My avocado Bacon was pretty good.  The avocado tasted fresh, the red onions were nice and the HBC burger relish they used was a nice surprise.  It tasted like a fancy type of ketchup with cherry tomatoes but with the consistency of a jam.  I pulled the bacon off as I didn’t particularly care for it.  It was much too soft for my liking, besides when I think of bacon on my burger it is nice crispy slices slices of bacon.  The burger was stacked pretty good.  In fact I tried to get a solid bite in and couldn’t lol.  We both ordered a side of chips but I had mine dusted with rosemary salt.  Those were some good fries…I mean chips.   My husband loved the caramelized onions on his burger and felt it balanced out pungency of the blue cheese perfectly.

America’s Burgers are still the best burgers I’ve ever had, BUT the Handmade Burger Co holds the number one spot in the UK at the moment.  You can’t beat the price or the options they offer.  Next time I visit I’m going to give either the veggie burgers of the chicken burgers a whirl.  Until you can make a trip to HBC here’s a burger for you!20180120_135340.jpg
 
-MettleFork
 

Categories
Dinner Florida Lunch

Capital Tacos Tampa Florida

Keep it Capital! Did you know according to Yelp, Capital Tacos is the number 2 taco spot in the U.S.? I surely didn’t, but that definitely explains why they are so damn delicious. Capital Taco boasts an extensive and flavor intensive menu. With names like Catawampus and Longrider who wouldn’t be intrigued by all the taco’s they offer. I usually order at least 4 different ones as I am trying to eat my way through their menu to find my absolute fav. It’s no easy task but somefoodies got to do it. The flavor combinations they create are astronomical. And you know the taco is good when the juice runs down your elbow.

The only thing that gives those tacos a run for their money is the fountain soda. It is pure heaven. I get the orange and it tastes like dreamsicle. It is a refreshing break from the PepsiCo and Coca-Cola choices almost every restaurant offers. Moreover, I love that they use state license plate “numbers” for ordering. It is an original way to keep track of dine-in and carry out orders instead of the old numerical or name system. As an added bonus it doubles as a conversation starter. On our first trip my husband got Oklahoma, my home state. I teased him about being an okie and how it was truly destiny that he got that particular one.
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Capital Taco’s currently has one location close to my vicinity and that is in Wesley Chapel and its about a 45 minute drive. Is it worth the 45 minutes? Absolutely! Since Capital Tacos tacos are soooooo good, it would be a shame to keep them tucked away in Wesley Chapel. The most exciting news I had heard in awhile is that Capital Tacos is expanding. Imagine my excitement when I found out they were opening a new location in Brandon, FL. That is literally 10 minutes from my front door.. Oh Taco Day! In addition to the one in Brandon, FL they are also opening a location in New Port Richey, FL. You literally have no excuse not to give them a try. I follow their Instagram and they recently announced they are offering frozen sangrias and frozen margaritas at the Brandon location…YAY!! It just keeps getting better and better right? Don’t wait for Taco Tuesday to get in on this awesomeness at Capital Tacos everyday is taco day.
Remember to Keep it Capital!

Categories
Florida Lunch

Fresh Kitchen is a breath of fresh air in Soho

Fresh Kitchen…fast food reimagined.
Veterans day is the one day a year that vets like myself can eat almost anywhere.  Today I chose Fresh Kitchen and here’s why.  First off, the FK concept is dope…you get to choose your base, vegetables and protein.  Second, everything is prepared for you in assembly line fashion so it’s super quick. Lastly it’s fresh and freaking delicious. Does one really need any other reasons besides the last?
On any given day you can create a personalized bowl. You have the option  to choose a four, six or eight bowl.  Each bowl varies in the number of proteins and veggies you can choose.
To start making your bowl you choose from either quinoa, rice, mashed sweet potatoes,  or sweet potato noodles etc. as your base ( I chose mashed sweet potatoes and quinoa YUM).  Next you can choose your vegetables and today the options were broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, and brussel sprouts.  I went for the greener route and chose the brussel sprouts, although it was hard to resist those mushrooms.  The protein choices were buffalo chicken, steak, tofu, tuna poke, almond crusted chicken strips and bbq chicken.  It was a toss up between the almond crusted chicken strips and the bbq chicken, ultimately I thought the bbq chicken would pair best with the sweet potatoes.  Last on the line are their sauces, there are too many to mention here (like 8) besides I forgot due to brain overload.  I will tell you that the holy kale won my heart over and my husband got the jalapeño cucumber.

 
Fresh Kitchen also offers freshly pressed juices for sale.  I love this option because it’s nice to have a beverage that isn’t soda or water.  Plus they have perfected blends whereas I’m still going with my kale and pear recipe.  They are already pre-packaged and ready for you to grab on your way through the line.  Fresh Kitchen is very easily one of my husbands favorite spots to eat in Tampa and I’m sure once you give them a try it will be yours too.  But don’t wait for a special holiday to visit, you’ll be just as happy on a regular Tuesday.