18 September 2011

North London - Angel - Sangria

I have a very scary addiction to Tapas restaurants.  It mostly has to do with me not being able to eat whole meals in a reasonable amount of time, so eating multiple tiny meals seems to make up for that.  If you're ever strolling around Angel on Upper Street, you'll notice that there are numerous eatery options all waiting for you to explore.  I was getting a bit overwhelmed with choosing a place to eat so I normally fall on my defaults at this point: Tapas, Italian or Chinese.

There were a few Italian places but they seemed more like Pizzerias (call me un-American, but I'm not that fussed over pizza) than pasta joints, and I'd already walked past the one Chinese place they have between Angel and Highbury & Islington stations.  I noticed a sign, jutted out onto the High Street that said something along the lines of Authentic and Spanish and Tapas so I was intrigued. It had a main seating area and a small outdoor terrace seating area down an alley on its side which looked really nice.  I like things that look a bit different, and aren't your same-old High Street establishment...boy, did I fall into a massive trap.

When I sat down at our table (I was with the bf), I almost instantly regretted our decision. The waiters fluffed about for a bit before one decided to host our meal experience, and clean off our table - our very wobbly table. I'm not sure about you, but 30 tapas plates on a wobbly table doesn't sound like a great idea. I suppose at this point we could've chosen to go inside, but we had already committed to being there, may as well commit to where we were seated at this point!

If you read my post on The Real Greek in Covent Garden, you'll know I wasn't impressed with their food. My vist to Sangria occurred the next day :( and I seemed to be having a strike-out weekend in London.  I can easily say that Sangria is my worst tapas experience, ever.  We ordered:
  • olives, which tasted like they had been fermented in garlic for 3 months too long
  • mussels which came out lukewarm and were cold about 5 minutes into the meal
  • a £10 cheeseboard that had stale, plastic-like cheese from being in open air for too long 
  • and a small plate of chorizo which is pretty hard to ruin so that may have been the one saving factor to this meal

We debated ordering Sangria but a jug would set us back at least £18.  I've seen other reviews for the restaurant and perhaps this was a matter of us picking the wrong things to eat - I hear they have a delicious paella. 

Overall, I wouldn't recommend Sangria for food at all, it's far too expensive for the disappointing quality. The do have a deal on paella during the week and that may prove to be worth the visit if you're hungry.  On the other hand it did seem like a lovely location for a few drinks and nice buzzing atmosphere for when the sun goes down. Also, this door was cute.

Sangria can be found at:

88 Upper Street
N1 0NP
Nearest Tube: Angel  

Sangria on Urbanspoon

03 September 2011

International Bacon Day - Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad

How did I, the Queen of Baconville, not know that today was International Bacon Day?  To be honest, every day is a Bacon Holiday for me.  I find ways to put bacon in every meal I can possibly eat.  I haven't perfected bacon as a dessert yet (although apple and maple syrup bacon is aMAZing!) but I do have several recipes to make bacon your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

I'm going to go with one of my healthier options, a Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad. Now I know the next few sentences are going to sound a bit crazy, particularly to the UK readers as mixing flavours seems to be out of the question for you lot - but I promise it's delicious.  So here's what you need:

  • Spinach although I got stuck with iceberg lettuce today - it's mildly refreshing)
  • Bacon and no messing about, none of this Danish/Canadian whatever bacon. This needs to be crispy so American Streaky is the only way to go
  • Red Onion, not white, red, otherwise you'll mess up the flavours
  • Blue Cheese 'cause that's what I said was going in the salad
  • Assorted veg if you want to make it a bit healthier, but they have to be mild in flavour so no peppers or tomatoes, I threw in some mushrooms today
  • Dried cranberries yes, something sweet with cheese and meat and everything. Just do it. Or strawberries even.
  • Egg - hard boiled, not scrambled. It's good for you.
  • Vinaigrette - the sweeter the better. Strawberry vinaigrette does well or red wine and add some sugar - no balsamic.  This salad is a heavy dose of sweet+salty, which is probably my favourite food combination ever.
Fry the bacon (2 slices per person) in a little bit of veg oil on high heat until it's crispity good. At the same time boil a pan full of water with the egg covered in water. When the bacon is done take it out and chop it up. In a large bowl, throw in those greenery and veg things to make it healthy.  Don't forget a little bit of red onion roughly chopped. The egg is probably done by now, you can take that out and run it under cold water until it's cool - it helps to break the shell as well. Cut that up and you've got this colourful little salad happening! Throw about a kid's handful (or 2 tbsp if we're counting and stuff - we don't do that in my kitchen) of the dried cranberries in. Chop 1 tbsp of Blue Cheese and throw that on top.  Next is the dressing. If you don't have pre-made vinaigrette then separately mix 2 parts vinegar to 1 part oil (preferably Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and whisk it as fast as you can so they mix and become a little thicker. If it's too tart, pinch some sugar in the mix. Drizzle over your salad, and put the food in your face. You can thank me later.

I'd put a photo of the salad I just made, but I ate it all while writing the post.

Swimming with this Mermaid