Whilst I never mastered blogging consistency in 2016, one thing I did do was post almost 100 reviews over on Yelp. As you can imagine that made for one very busy year choc full of new foodie experiences in and around Glasgow. Before I embark on a whole new year of culinary exploration I thought I would reflect on my top 10 favourite food adventures over the last year. Without further ado…
Thank goodness for Taste Buchanan! Without them I’d have probably still have been waiting to try some of the amazing street food the team at Chompsky have been serving up. In their initial stint at TB they put on a small but delicious menu of Asian grub of four types of bao, sweet potato fries with spicy mayo and salt and chilli squid. Out of the six menu staples I only missed out on the mushroom bao and can honestly say they are responsible for my obsession with a steamed bun. They’ve recently changed over to a Mexican inspired menu so get yourself down to Taste Buchanan ASAP.
9. Street Food Putter Club
One of the more unexpected highlights of the year was a day out to Street Food Putter Club. With music, booze and amazing grub from Burger Meats Bun/Bo Kantina, all topped off with some friendly competition around a mini golf course, this is a day out that any group of friends should try. I completely sucked at mini golf and our team weren’t much better at Boules (so fun!) but I’ve rarely been to such a chilled out, unique event. This is one return I’ll be looking out for in 2017.
8. Primal Roast
If you’re health conscious then Primal Roast is your dream lunch destination. I was so taken by this place from the week they opened. The vibe is casual and inviting, with bright pops of yellow around the seating area to keep you alert and inspired. The music on each of my visits has been soft, acoustic rock, adding to that inspiring environment. The food is healthy, well prepared and interesting enough to quiet any health food naysayers. If you’re looking for the perfect place to lose a few hours, this is definitely your place.
7. Cocktail Week Blythswood Square Event
Cocktail week was one massive booze fuelled blur on reflection. However the event hosted by Blythswood Square, with our wonderful cocktail guru for the evening, Jide, was one I’ll be telling folk about for a long time. We sampled some beautiful whisky based cocktails from their summer cocktail menu, all paired with deliciously delicate canapés. Afterwards Jide spent time making each of us our perfect cocktail based on our likes and dislikes, which has resulted in me purchasing the rum he used in mine for home consumption. If you’re looking for the best cocktails in Glasgow you should add Blythswood to your list right now.
6. Wilson Street Pantry
I love brunch. Love it. Can’t get enough of it. Wilson Street Pantry are my kings of brunch this year with some amazing staples (eggs black, anyone?) and delicious specials (pulled pork eggs benedict). I keep promising myself I’m going to branch out more and try some of Glasgow’s other brunch spots but I always find myself back here tucking into their perfectly poached eggs.
5. La Favorita
First spot of my top 5 goes to La Favorita for their incredible Tricoloré pizza. Chicken, ham, tomato, mozzarella, pesto drizzle and potato… yep! Potato. You’d never know it unless you’d tried it but thinly sliced potato and pizza are a match made in pizza heaven. With such wonders as mac and cheese croquettes and parmesan topped sweet potato fries, as well as a huge selection of ice cream for afters, La Fav is any carb lover’s dream.
4. Bread Meats Bread
Ahh, the elusive Bread Meats Bread. 2016 saw my first visit to BMB and by that point I felt like I was the only person in Glasgow who wasn’t raving about their burgers. As soon as I visited them I immediately understood what all the fuss is about. Their signature Wolf of St Vincent Street is a towering feast, whilst their 3×3 Cali burger really does deserve its cult like status in the Glasgow burger scene. With an enormous menu and a new West End restaurant with even more choice, this is one place I’ll be seeing a lot of in 2016.
3. Cheese Toastie Festival
If you didn’t hear about Cheese Toastie Fest this year, where the heck were you? Not only did I get to binge on some of the most creative toasties you’ll ever see (mac and cheese with black pudding, nutella and ricotta, jerk ox cheek…) but I was part of the team that made this one happen. Which meant 12 whole hours of Cheese Toastie Festival madness. Hosted in the awesome Drygate I also got the opportunity to partner up some of my awesome toasties with delicious beer and I worked with some of the most awesome businesses in Glasgow. This is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done and something I’m so proud of. Cheese Toastie Festival easily makes the top 3 experiences this year and I’m eagerly awaiting Cheese Toastie Fest 2 in 2017.
2. The Sisters Jordanhill
The Sisters was by far the best dining experience I had this year. We went here this year to celebrate my birthday and in a random spot of luck we had the entire restaurant to ourselves for the evening. The whole thing was just so special and I’ve sent countless foodie friends in their direction ever since. Delectable, clever Scottish food using the very best ingredients makes the Sisters truly special. The menu isn’t large, but it doesn’t have to be when every dish is just so damn good.
McPhabbs just steals the top spot from The Sisters this year. Yes, my experience at The Sisters was wonderful, but McPhabbs became like a second home to me this year. I worked my way through their brand new menu quite quickly after the Firebird guys took over and I’ve been back a few times since to try new menu additions. The soft shell crab burger is an absolute must for anyone paying them a visit. Honourable mention goes to the sundried tomato truffle mac and cheese for being the best mac in Glasgow – no question. So drop in on McPhabbs in 2017. Just make sure you have a few hours to spare, because you’ll feel right at home here.
So that’s my round up of my best foodie experiences of 2016. I really did struggle to narrow it down to just ten. Here’s to another year of adventure, discovery and good eating.