So Good They Put Their Names On It - Davids Restaurant, Carlisle

My friends and I have reached a turning point in our lives.  We all seem to be flitting to the corners of the UK for our blossoming new careers.  Having recently moved to Newcastle (why aye) I realise that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of eating places within 15 minutes of where I sit.  However, my friend Nikki was working in Cumbria, and we decided that we would meet in the middle for a meal and a catch up.  The middle was Carlisle - a modest hour and a bit from Newcastle.

Being the foodie that I am, it was up to me to find somewhere to eat.  I chose Davids, which boasted a tasty menu at really good prices.  The restaurant is owned by two Davids, which leads to the simple naming of the restaurant.

We were seated in the front of the restaurant, which had a lovely big fireplace and it felt like sitting in a living room.

After perusing the menu, we had made our choices.  They run a mid-week menu which is two courses for £18.95, or three for £22.95; we had both decided on what we wanted, within minutes.  The waitress popped over with our drinks, and also some freshly baked bread.  There were two different types: cheese & herb, or mixed seed.  Both of us wanted the mixed seed:

It was so soft, fluffy and generally amazing.  Slather some nice warmed butter over it, and it made the perfect companion for our starter of choice: roasted plum tomato, chilli and red pepper soup, garnished with tortilla strips, basil oil and creme fraiche...

This soup was perfect.  A lovely thick consistency, without being gloopy.  The tortilla strips, once stirred in, melted slightly and therefore added a bit of texture, should that be what you fancy.  The chilli meant that there was a slight kick after every spoonful, without it being overpowering or causing the eyes to water.  The creme fraiche took away some of this heat, and added an extra creaminess to the already fabulous soup.

For Nikki's main course, she went for the honey glazed breast of Goosnargh duck, served on a bed of parsnip puree, with mustard grain new potatoes, and a black cherry & cassis reduction...

All of the main courses were served with seasonal vegetables too.  The duck was served nice and pink, and cooked to perfection.  The vegetables were served al dente, so had a nice crunch, even though they were piping hot.  Nikki thoroughly enjoyed her duck, and assured me that I had picked the right place to eat.

For my main, I decided to be somewhat patriotic by ordering the pan fried Scottish salmon fillet, resting on a bed of wilted spinach, with seasonal vegetables and langoustine tails.  This was all drizzled with a shellfish bisque:

The langoustine tail was coated in a beautifully sweet batter.  The fish inside was light and also sweet, which was a wonderful start to a beautiful dish.  The salmon fillet was thick and flaked apart easily, seasoned with black pepper.  The wilted spinach was beautiful and brought out the taste of the pan fried salmon.  The bisque was packed with flavour, and complimented the salmon perfectly.

We were both full, but couldn't resist the temptation of dessert.  You're about to see why...

Say hello to the warm chocolate orange fondant, served with homemade toffee cinder ice cream.  The sponge was incredibly moist on the inside, but crisp on the outside.  The pudding was bursting with luxurious, rich chocolate orange sauce.  Mixed with the lightness of the toffee ice cream, and the hint of chocolate & orange sauces decorating the plate, this was absolutely phenomenal.  They do let you know that this takes 15 minutes to prepare, and it is worth the wait!

We were both achingly full, and wanted to curl up in front of the fireplace to snooze.  We asked for the bill promptly after we finished; there was a long journey ahead of us both to our respective homes.  One thing I will say is that it took forever for us to get our bill, and I also never got a water I ordered before my dessert arrived.  The restaurant did fill up towards the end of our meal, however I did feel like we waited a considerable amount of time to get the bill, and also to pay it.

Nevertheless, this was an amazing dining experience and the staff were brilliant, up until the bill was required.  Our total for a couple of three course meals and two drinks was just over £52 - about £26 a head.

If you're heading down South (or perhaps even up North from England) I would recommend a visit to Davids.  They clearly know their stuff about food, and the prices are wonderful for all budgets.

 As they would say in Newcastle, it was a 'canny' dinner and I'll happily visit there again.

Contact Details:

Davids Restaurant
62 Warwick Road

Tel: 01228 523578


Wheelchair access: No

Exactly What It Says on the Tin - Cocktail & Burger, Glasgow

When the sun makes an appearance in Scotland, you have to drop everything and embrace it.  As we live in a perpetual Winter Solstice, it's only natural that everyone gets their 'taps aff' and show off their sunburn like medals of honour.  It also makes me want to drink a lot more.

Our friends from England were in Edinburgh for the weekend, and decided to pop through to Glasgow to catch up with us.  It had been agreed that we would go to Cocktail and Burger (which I'll refer to as C&B), a restaurant based on Sauchiehall street.  Considering that I was in a somewhat fragile state (to the extremity of still being drunk) I longed for 'hair of the dog'.  The name of this post says it all - if you want cocktails and burgers, that's exactly what you get.  It is amazing.

C&B is based on the basement level of Glasgow, so it has a doorway and awning branded to let you know where they are.  It is on the other side of the road from Garage, and just up a wee bit.  Look for the above!  The interior is quite student-y.  The walls are lined with pictures of random people, and there is also wallpaper that looks like a really full bookcase round about. 

We were seated at a booth which was across from the bar.  Our waitress was really nice and gave us plenty of time to choose our food and drinks.  The name suggests that they only sell burgers, however they do offer hotdogs too.  After babbling rubbish to each other in a catch up, it was time to order.

I went for a Cheeky Cheddar Cheese burger...

The beef burger was grilled perfectly, leaving it juicy and tender.  The cheddar cheese was generously melted all over the beef, and laid on a bed of lettuce and a fresh tomato.  As you can see the gherkin and red onions come on the side so you can choose to add it if you wish.  The brioche bun was warmed, and so soft and fluffy it was like an edible cloud of bread goodness.  Each table comes with set with mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, mustard, hot sauce and barbecue sauce, so you can choose to add as much or as little to your burger.  I chose mayonnaise and ketchup to go for a classic, and I wasn't disappointed.  

My friend Jen went for the Cheeky Gorgonzola Cheese burger…

I loved that the cheese had melted into the bun, yet still smothered the juicy beef burger.  Jen decided to put mayonnaise over her burger, and it was demolished.  Another happy customer!

Sharon had the Poppin’ Pork burger…

This was amazing, and I will definitely be ordering this for round two.  The pulled pork was so meaty and tender, and melted in your mouth.  Served with Kopparberg cider onions inside a warmed brioche bun, this was an absolute dream and Sharon’s face was that of pure ecstasy whilst eating!

Bella, a vegetarian (I know, right?) decided to have the Funky Funghi burger…

This burger consisted of roasted Portobello mushrooms, garnished with plum tomatoes and smothered with Dunsyre blue cheese.  She said that it was delicious, however if it doesn’t appeal to you there is another veggie option.

Chris decided to have the C&B burger…

A big chunk of beef, topped with cured bacon and covered in a later of thick melted cheddar cheese.  Not many words to cover how good it was, except perhaps awesome.

C&B do 2 for 1 on burgers, which means great value for money.  As there were 5 of us, we got a 6th burger for free to share.  We all decided to get the Frickin’ Chicken burger…

The chicken breast is seasoned with lemon, thyme and garlic.  It was very juicy and really delicious, however I’m a bigger fan of beef burgers.  If you are a big chicken lover (I realise how strange that sounds) then I would recommend this one for you!

We ordered chips as sides, which is standard practice.  However, my sister and I decided we wanted to try the mussel popcorn which they offered…

The fries were really nice and crispy.  I particularly enjoyed these chips, and found myself eating them absent-mindedly even after we had finished.  The mussel popcorn was truly amazing.  The texture of mussels is usually somewhat squidgy and slimy, however this popcorn totally transformed them.  The crunchy batter was salted yet sweet, so the general fishy flavour of the mussels was over powered, but definitely in a good way.  Each mussel was bite-size and wasn't tough to eat.  I can be quite funny about shellfish, however I definitely could have eaten buckets of this.  Served with home-made tartar sauce, it was perfect.

When eating at C&B, you must have cocktails.  Each is made fresh to order, so they come out separately – worth the wait though.  We had so many cocktails, I actually lost count of my own and could only judge by my bleary vision and worsening slur that it was more than just a couple.  You can read the different concoctions by clicking right here and matching up the ones we all gorged ourselves on!

Berry Mojito

Screaming Orgasm

Screaming Orgasm, Dark & Stormy, Cosmo & Strawberry Daquiri

Mango Mojito

Jack the Rabbit
 Once our bellies were full and our minds were swimming, we asked for the bill.  I was so amazed that the bill only came to just over £116.  That was 6 burgers (paying for 3), four sides and a ridiculous amount of cocktails.  I would recommend C&B for a casual lunch or dinner, a catch up with friends or even a casual date.

In a nutshell, if you love burgers (and/or hotdogs) and cocktails, this is the ideal place for you.  If you end up drunk and in Garage though, I can't be held responsible - I'll probably already be there...

Contact Details

Cocktail & Burger

323 Sauchiehall Street
G2 3HW

Tel: 0141 353 0953


Wheelchair access: No