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Cambridge England International

Las Iguanas Restaurant | Lunch

I’ve learned that sometimes when things don’t as planned it can actually work out. While in Cambridge, on a girls day out trip we decided on an impromptu lunch at an Italian spot. Seeing as how we had not made reservations a wait of 30 – 45 minutes seemed reasonable for a party of 5. However, since we had skipped on breakfast both my girlfriends and I were famished. We walked around the corner and saw Las Iguanas. Our initial plan was to grab some drinks while we waited on our table at the other restaurant. After a quick look at the menu, it was decided we’d be staying put and having lunch at Las Iguanas Restaurant.

We arrived at between 12:30 and 1:00pm and we were extremely lucky. We looked up and before we knew it, the place was packed. My unspoken rule is that if it is packed, it’s usually a strong indication that the food is good. And it was good, so I went back a second time and brought my family.

Las Iguanas Restaurant

Las Iguanas Restaurant offers Brazilian, Cuban, and Latin food options. The menu is pretty large offering everything from tapas to start your meal off right to desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. One of the most amazing things I find about this Las Iguanas is that it digs deep and stays true to the cultural aspect. Right now they are celebrating Carnival. During the month of February you actually get the opportunity to win tickets to Rio de Janiero to go to Carnival, find out more here.

“Carnival dates back to 1723 in Rio de Janiero”

Tapas [Tah-puhs]

Tapas are Spanish appetizers and starters that can be served hot or cold. Usually if you get 2 or 3 you will have yourself a full meal. I’ll start by saying the cheesy Peru Fondue is ooey gooey delicious. Its topped with red chili pepper flakes to give a nice kick at the end. They are typically served with small potato chunks, but ask for curly fries… I promise you won’t regret it. These are great to share with others at your table…similiar to a chips and salsa kind of thing.

 
Next up are the Dadinhos, Albondigas, Smoked Salmon Tiradito, and Jackfruit Tacos. I must admit that sometimes I go a little overboard when ordering. However comma ordering tapas takes away some of the gluttunous guilt I feel because it is an easy way to taste lots of the menu in smaller portions. Many of my option choices were either vegetarian, vegan or gluten free friendly. I’m more flexitarian and I eat what I want but it’s good to know you have options.
The Dadinhos are crispy cheese cubes served with a chili jam. I Loved, loved, loved the crispiness of the cheese cubes and dipping it in the jam one by one. The Dadinhos remind me somewhat of halloumi cheese which is one of my absolute favs. They are a great option for someone who enjoys a vegetarian diet.
The Albondigas are Pantagonian-style lamb meatballs comprised of a mixture of apple, mint, parmesan and nutmeg. They then braise it in a rich tomato, mint and chili sauce and serve it with bread. The flavor hits you immediately and you know it’s not a regular meatball.  I liked it the first time I tried it; but when my kid ordered it and enjoyed it, I knew it was a winner.
Lamb Meatlballs at Las Iguanas
The Smoked Salmon Tiradito is a lot…the flavors, the textures it’s a lot. My recommendation before you order this it to ensure that you like smoked salmon. The slices of salmon are topped with sweet chili pepper pearls, pickled beetroot and onion and then dressed with a combo of fresh ginger and beetroot dressing and avocado aioli and amarillo chilli then topped with candied seeds.  Again, if you like smoked salmon you will really enjoy it.  If you don’t steer clear…that is unless you are feeling a little mettle.

Last but certainly not least are the Jackfruit Tacos. If you’ve never tried Jackfruit you’ve been missing out. I finally pulled the trigger and got a little mettle and ordered Jackfruit. I’ve been on the fence for years with trying it. It is often used as a meat substitute for plant based eaters. I’ve gone as far as picking one up at the market but never actually buying it or trying it for that matter. All of that is in my past because I am a fan! These jackfruit tacos are roasted in a smoky beetroot chipotle sauce and pulled apart almost like pork would be. Then they are topped with a avocado aioli sauce and served on your choice of grilled corn or flour tortillas.

Here are a few other tapas that we all shared. I could go on and on but some things you just have to try yourself.


By now I’m sure you are looking at me like I belong on my 600lb life but honestly, I didn’t take down ALL of these meals myself. I like to refer to it as research, I mean how else can I give you guys the best reviews??

Mains

The tapas are bunched together in one menu, but the mains are sorted out by region. You have the option to choose from the Mexican, Brazilian, Argentinian or Cuban menu. Just like the tapas menu, there are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free and diary free options. The mains menu boasts everything from curries to burgers so there is literally something for everyone. I ordered the Bahian Coconut Chicken with a side of fried plantains. The Bahian Coconut Chicken is strips of chicken breast pan fired in cumin, cayenne and coriander cooked in a creamy coconut sauce with ginger, garlic, coriander and tomatoes. It is served with spring onion, rice, shredded greens and toasted coconut. I am definitely a fan of Korean, Thai and Indian curry, so this Brazilian type curry was a first but not farfetched choice.Bahian Coconut Chicken at Las Iguanas
After eating all that food, you definitely want something to wet your whistle.  Las Iguanas offers a 2 for 1 drink menu that is basically as large as Latin America.  They’ve got Latin classics and classics with a Latin twist.  Here’s a peak at what I got from the 2 for 1 drink menu – Cactus Caipirinha,
Cactus Caipirinha at Las Iguanas
There are several other Las Iguanas Restaurant locations so if you find yourself in the London, Cardiff, Edinburgh or Nottingham area try to find one and enjoy some Latin cuisine. Here is a link to their locations.
 
 
 
Until next time, Forks Up!

Categories
Florida Lunch

Bulla Gastrobar

Bulla Gastrobar

930 S. Howard Ave. Tampa, FL 33606

Nestled right in the heart of Soho is Bulla Gastrobar.  It sits across from Daily Eats which is a popular food establishment in its own right.  Each restaraunt that lines Howard has its own unique flair and that is what makes choosing a place to each difficult at times.  Vying for my attention today was Bulla Gastrobar. Bulla as it says in the title is a Gastrobar meaning they specialize in tapas style dining.  Everything offered is pretty much a small plate with the exception of some lunch and dinner items.  Bulla serves up authentic tapas style spanish food..like from Spain spanish.
When I dropped in for a quick bite to eat,  I decided a seat at the bar would be just fine.  That is where I met Nic, my super cool bartender that took the time to go over everything with me and make a recommendation or two.  Since I was working, I couldn’t partake in a tasty adult beverage but he offered to make me a handmade lemonade.  I quickly accepted and thank goodness I did because it was both exquisite and delicious.  I was a few sips into my drink and then I saw it… fresh mint, basil and rosemary lining the bar.  I asked the bartender if he could add basil to my lemonade (of course he could) he obliged and even made one for himself too.  So there we were enjoying our basil lemonades, a first for him and satisfyingly refreshing for me.


Patatas Bravas

Para Empezar – For starters I chose the patatas braves at the recommendation of Nic.  These are crispy potato cubes covered in spicy brava sauce and topped with an aioli. When they first arrived they looked beautiful.  They were fresh nice and hot, fresh out the fryer and then covered in the spicy brava sauce and aioli.  It is a good thing I’m a fan of spicy because the kick took me by surprise.  It wasn’t fire breathing dragon spicy but it did have a decent amount of zip to it.  At $6.50 it was well worth the order.  Not only did it awaken my taste buds but it also filled me up pretty good.  The portion size is enough for two people to share.


Camarones Al Curry 

It’s always good to have something to balance out the spice so I ordered the camarones al curry also known as shrimp curry.  The curry has more of an Indian curry connotation as opposed to a Thai curry so it had more of sweet and savory flavor profile as opposed to spicy.  The camarones al curry had artichoke confit, steamed rice and cream and bread.  To make this dish gluten free you can just skip the bread.  The only thing that could have made this dish perfect was more cilantro. I am a cilantro lover and just the hint sent my craving into overdrive.   The shrimp was cooked to perfection and not rubbery or overdone.  The artichokes added a nice zest and wouldn’t be something I would have thought to add.  I just dipped each one in the cream sauce and add them individually.  Everything was portioned out perfect, by the time I finished I didn’t have too much rice or too little shrimp.

 
I wholly enjoyed my lunchtime visit at Bulla.  It wasn’t too crowded, the service was great and the food was marvelous.  I look forward to going back for either brunch or dinner AND trying dessert in the near future.