The New Menu At The Eldon House

The Eldon House is a bit of a hidden gem. Straddling the invisible border that separates the “olde world” buildings standing in the shadow of the QEH school on Jacobs Wells Road and the modern part of the Clifton Triangle. Blink and you might miss it, this pub is steeped in history and used to be a theatre a few hundred years ago.

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Stepping inside, the front room is warm and cosy with the bar dominating the space. They have a great range of beers on tap, when I was in they had Bristol breweries Lost and Grounded, Moor and Bristol Beer Factory on which makes a girl feel at home. The “restaurant” area has plenty of solid wood tables and chairs arranged in an unusually shaped room, it very much still feels like a theatre here with some tables on a raised stage area and the round wall. If you want some privacy, you might be lucky enough to snag the wee snook area hidden behind the bar.

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I have been here before, I won a free meal and was totally blown away by the size of the meals and how tasty everything was so hearing they had ditched the pub grub and gone down the pizza route left me slightly dreading heading back. In a city where pizza is king, it better be good pizza.

The menu is decent, enough pizza toppings that everyone would be happy, simple but tasty sounding sides and the occasional pub special can still be ordered if you really can’t find anything to tickle your fancy. My dining companion Bex and I decided to start with an order of nacho’s to get the ball rolling. The weather was foul and we needed the cheese hit.

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The portion was huge, not really a side or a starter for one so be warned and was very generously loaded with tortilla chips and cheese. We both agreed the cheese could have done with more melting as a lot of it was merely warm and we both wanted more of the lovely toppings (sour cream, guacamole and BBQ sauce) but all in all, we were satisfied.

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We ordered our pizza’s, Bex going for a classic Margherita with pesto and me (the chubby chubber of the pair) went for a fried chicken number. The pizzas are all handmade using a simple dough, no sourdough or “authentic” Nepalese 300-year old recipes here. All the toppings are made in-house and you can really tell. The Margherita had plenty of sweet tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and punchy green pesto drizzled liberally on top. My fried chicken topped pizza had a sweet and creamy sweetcorn puree base and was loaded with plenty of spicy fried chicken breast, chilli, a fantastic homemade BBQ sauce flavoured with orange and lovely pink, pickled onions. Really tasty!

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The pizzas were made really well, no soggy middles, stingy toppings or bland flavours. The pub was criminally empty of diners so I suggest you all head over soon!

NB: This meal was offered free of charge but I was in no way expected to give a good review

Wiper and True Taproom is now open!

Once upon a time, a few years ago, Wiper and True opened their brewery and we had lots of fun. Chomp were still slinging patties from their wee van and I was excited to meet the heroes making the first craft beer I knew I liked (and recognised).

Fast forward a few years, some tap takeovers, Chomp opening a proper restaurant (Wiper make their house brew, and it’s wonderful) and a short but sweet residency at The Old Butchers and Wiper have finally got themselves a proper taproom of their very own.

It’s small but perfectly formed, with a row of benches, bar stools, shelves with beers and merch for those that like to wear what they drink. They have a little outside seating but with the weather drawing in you won’t be out there much.

They have five taps with the delicious keg beer a permanent fixture, a fresh and creamy IPA. The other beers get switched up as and when they run out, the tobacco porter was an absolute favourite when I headed there last week. If you don’t fancy what’s on the wall, there is plenty in the fridge with bottles of old favourites and exciting new collabs. You only need to ask.

They have really made the place their own, stuffed it with art and taken the black, white and gold motif as far as taste will allow them, it really is a gorgeous place to come and sit.

During my visit, I saw young families with children, local publicans, other brewers, couples and singles all having a nose, enjoying a drink and having a great time. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and obviously love the beer.

Being in the shadow of the huge tanks is enough to pique anyone’s interest and luckily they offer weekly, ticketed brewery tours to show and explain how their great tasting beer is made. 

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You can find Wiper and True in St Werberghs ( 2-8 York St, St Werburghs, Bristol BS2 9XT) and the taproom is open 1pm til 7pm on Saturdays and later on special occasions. 

Find their website here, Twitter and Facebook!

 

Voodoo-Q BBQ to open on Gloucester Road

A chilli farmer, a spice mogul and a seasoned publican, walk into an empty restaurant and say “this is perfect”.

Voodoo-Q is the combined brainchild of Alex, owner of Upton Cheyney Chilli Farm, James, Technical and Supply Chain Director at Bart’s Ingredientsand Jamie, a seasoned publican who currently runs The Upton Inn also in Upton Cheyney. After a chance meeting between Alex and James, in the pub run by Jamie, the combined expertise and love of all things smoked became too big a draw.

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Starting as a humble smokehouse on the decking in The Upton Inn’s back garden it was soon apparent that they knew their way around a pork butt and Voodoo-Q came to Cirencester. Taking over from Graze, they went the whole hog giving this very traditional town something very different. Open as Voodoo-Q At The Hare, as a nod to Bath Ales, they serve a menu that indulges in their love of meat and heat but also offers more traditional fare for those not quite ready to thumb in a hotdog in polite company.

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The itch wasn’t quite scratched though and the three owners, wanting something a little more Voodoo and a little less clean-cut, took over the long-empty Food Nation Resturant and have started the renovations for an opening aiming for the end of November.

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Photo Credit to Clifton Chilli Club, watch them eat this monstrosity here 

Promising expert BBQ from burgers to brisket and much-needed hotdogs, Voodoo-Q are committed to also feeding Bristol’s veggie and vegan population, often an afterthought in the meat-heavy world of BBQ.  The Voodoo theme will be taken throughout the restaurant with murals of the four pillars of Voodoo, aptly named cocktails and menu items.

Look out for updates on Facebook and Twitter and say hello to Voodoo-Q

Big Brisket Chilli

Not sure there is anything more comforting than a massive bowl of steaming chilli. Not Chilli Con Carne by the way, that slop is the stuff of nightmares. I am a big fan of beef mince but when it comes to chilli it’s got to be low and slow, thick and unctuous and full of chunky beef.

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Beef tossed with seasoning and about to get into a beer bath

Its a proper Saturday night in recipe that needs to be cooked low and slow and served with either boiled rice or my personal favourite, all over some tortilla chips. Add sour cream, guacamole and salsa for a really indulgent dinner on the sofa paired with a good selection of light beers (i am having mine with the Wiper and True Red Orange)

As usual, I feel the need to put in my disclaimer that this is not “authentic” but it always wins in the taste department as far as I’m concerned.

Get your hands on a decent spiced porter like the above from Moor beer, or if you prefer a smoked German beer works equally as well (easiest to get is German Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen).

Basically, you want to get as much flavour into your brisket as possible.

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Better than any Lush bath bomb

You will need

  • 1kg or so of Brisket (Co-op sell it!)
  • two medium onions
  • 2 tblsp Tomato paste
  • Can of Kidney beans
  • Can of tinned tomatoes
  • 330ml of a good beer
  • One fresh chilli
  • For the seasoning (you won’t need all of it but you can keep the rest for next time)
  • Tsp ground cumin
  • Tsp oregano
  • Tsp garlic powder
  • Tsp smoked paprika
  • Tsp cumin seeds
  • Tsp chilli flakes
  • Tsp cocoa powder
  • Tsp parsley
  • 2 Tsp brown sugar
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mix everything but the cinnamon stick together

Method

Chop the brisket into chunks, toss in a couple of tablespoons of the chilli mix and pop into a large bowl. Empty the beer onto it and leave to marinade for as long as possible (overnight is great.

Chop the onions and add them to the pan and sweat. Add in your chopped fresh chilli and cook through a little further, add the tomato paste and cook for a further few minutes.

Add your beef (but retain the beer mixture), stir well and add a few tablespoons of your spice mixture. You have to work by smell here but go easy, you can always add more but you can’t take it out! Let the beef colour a bit then add the beer. Let the liquid reduce by half.

Add cinnamon stick and tomatoes, bring to a rolling boil then put into an oven about 120c for at least 4 hours (i try and go for 6) or chuck it into a slow cooker.

Check it every few hours and give it a stir.

Take it out of the oven after cooking for a few hours and add your kidney beans, you need to add these in alter else they will just disintegrate. Once the beef can be pulled apart and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce you can remove and shred the beef.

Serve

Sunday Roast at The Bank Tavern

What’s more British than a roast on Sundays? Apart from beans on toast, Heinz cream of tomato soup and fish finger sandwiches that is. Many establishments offer a roast, most of them are average to awful but a few are truly worth leaving the house for. Is there a worse feeling then ordering a roast, handing over the cash and realising you could have done better at home?

Thankfully anyone with a Facebook account has access to the Bristol Sunday Roast Club to help guide you away from the flashy types that promise you the earth and deliver rubbish and into the arms of the pubs that care more about what goes onto you roast than even your nan does.

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Luckily The Bank Tavern know their way around a roasting tin and the value for money is outstanding. This team serve three courses of proper, home-cooked food, made to the highest standard in a cosy wee pub in the centre.

The BF and I headed over last Sunday for a good feed, with the Christmas horror now descending on us and him being a shop owner, it’s potentially the last time we could. We had to book a good week in advance because everything that’s good is hard to get, the pub seats 24 comfortably so do bear in mind that walk-ins don’t usually get that lucky.

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To start I ordered the pigeon and he ordered the crayfish. Sam the landlord likes to procure as much of the meaty menu elements as he can so you will often find more exciting items than your usual pig or cow. The pigeon and crayfish were presented beautifully with a warning of shot for pigeon for those not used to eating game.

The pigeon wasn’t gamey at all thank goodness as sometimes it gets a bit too livery for my taste and was served with a myriad of punchy pear, pickled and crunchy walnut and earthy, sweet beetroot. The crayfish consomme sported samphire, cod, pancetta and surprise caviar. The small amount of consomme I tried was sweet with plenty of crayfish flavour and was very generous with the cod and pancetta. Definitely something a bit different to start a meal off.

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We both had beef for main and it was served rare. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle and showed no sign of being put near a deep fat fryer. It’s like some place don’t know, that we know, when they do that. There were plenty of vegetables and a huge, crispy Yorkshire pudding crowned this royalty of roasts. The cauliflower cheese puree was an absolute gamechanger and I want this on everything I ever eat in the future.

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To finish I chose poorly.

The chocolate torte was rich, thick and indulgent. The buttery biscuit base was heavenly and the honeycomb on the side delightfully glued my teeth together. However, my BF’s steamed pear pudding with marshmallow and cream was knock out. How silly I was to think that anything could top a steamed pudding after a meal of pigeon and roast beef.

More fool me.

Price wise, you won’t believe it.

Starters – £4.45

Main – £9.95

Dessert – £4.45

Three courses – £15

I KNOW.

You can find the Bank Tavern website here, Facebook here, Twitter here and Instagram here.

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Beer Necessities is open on Wapping Wharf

Wapping Wharf has been taking a turn towards a more retail route with their second phase of opening, with a clothes shop, bakery and now a beer shop. With Corks @ Cargo and The Bristol Cider Shop covering two bases with wine and cider, Beer Necessities is covering my personal favourite, beer.

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The shop is tiny but they use the space well, lining one wall with fridges and shelves stacked high with specialist Belgian Gueuze, IPAs, Porters from afar as well as plenty of  Bristol brewery stalwarts. Think Moor, Wiper and True and Lost and Grounded.

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The back of the shop benefits from 3 taps with rotating kegs of beer that you can purchase in one of two sized Growlers to take home and enjoy on your own time. Leona and Henry have also plans for an on-license so they can invite brewers and patrons for tiny tasting sessions in their intimate little shop.

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With Cargo 2 en route home for a lot of people, you’d be mad not to pop in and grab something familiar and something new to either enjoy with a burger from Squeezed next door or at home.

Find Beer Necessities online, Twitter and Facebook

Or in real life at Cargo 2, Museum St, Bristol. BS1 6ZA.

Open Wed-Sat 12pm-8pm & Sun 12pm-4pm.

 

Free Gin And Tonic This Friday!

Ooooh now, this is a bit exciting!

Wriggle and 6 O’clock Gin have decided to join forces and hand out 300 free G&Ts to the thirsty Bristol public.

6 great venues will be handing out a refreshing 6 O’clock gin to 300 lucky winners who get their thumbs ready at 11am on Friday 27th. To claim simply update or download the app and wait for the countdown on Friday morning.

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The venues participating are below, just pick the bar you want to go to and follow the link!

The Pump House (Hotwells)

The Tobacco Factory (North Street) 

The Gallimaufry (Gloucester Road)

The Greenbank (Easton)

Old Market Assembly  (Old Market) 

Bambalan (Centre)

6 O’clock Gin has been crafting their juniper-based delights since 2010, and we think that they are simply exquisite! The award-winning, original London dry gin is a joy from start to finish – with its gorgeous Bristol blue coloured glass bottle, 6 O’clock is a gin that lives up to its ‘strikingly smooth’ strapline. The beautiful harmony of botanical flavours makes it perfect for after-work drinks.

Good luck!