Moroccan Tastiness

Al Bab Mansour, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1 1JQ


Slow cooked lamb

Had lunch with a friend here recently. We both chose the Moroccan lamb dish which was slow cooked lamb with vegetables served with a choice of rice or couscous which was very tasty. The lamb melted in the mouth and went well with a spicy harissa sauce. Tasty food indeed.

A bit pricey for lunch (£6.50) although I really enjoyed the food here. Would have preferred either more food or a lower price as I think the amount of food wasn’t substantial for the price.  The other main meat/fish dishes they serve are priced between £5.50 – £6.50 and the vegetarian dishes from £2.50 -£4.99



Friedfully Good

Soup ‘n’ Sandwich, 3 Fairfax Street, Bristol, BS1 3DB

Soup ‘n’ Sandwich

Received an email from friends saying they were going to Soup ‘n’ Sandwich and asking whether I wanted to come along. My head felt sore – it was the morning after the German BeerFest and I had cycled 4.5 miles that morning to reach an appointment. Without  a moment’s hesitation, I was on my way to Soup ‘n’ Sandwich.

After all that cycling (and drinking), I was very happy to have their ‘Special Breakfast’ (sausage, bacon, fried egg, toast, buttered bread, a choice of beans/tomato, and a bowl of chips with a mug of tea for only £3.60). The waitress asked whether I would prefer beans or tomato – I stood for a few seconds staring blankly with my mouth open until she said “I’ll give you a bit of both”. That’s what I like about this place. My friends with their even larger appetites opted for the ‘Hungry Breakfast’ where you have an additional fried egg, sausage and toast all for £4.60.

Soup ‘n’ Sandwich serve hearty food all day at a decent price, especially when you think they’re in the city-centre. They’re a cafe that serve hot drinks, sandwiches and hot food. It’s decent food at a price that’s right.

The ‘Special Breakfast’ (the accompanying bowl of chips, not shown)

The ‘Hungry Breakfast’ (unfortunately the chips are a bit blurred)

Lunchtime Bites – The Kofta Bar, Bristol

The Kofta Bar, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1 1JQ


The Kofta Bar

This place serves fresh Lebanese food – I tried the lamb kofta wrap which was large and very tasty indeed. A khobez (a type of flatbread) filled full to the brim with hearty chunks of lamb, cucumber, a roasted red pepper hummus, shredded red cabbage, chilli with poppy seed relish, parsley, feta cheese, cumin, rose harissa and tahini sauce with baba ganoush (mashed aubergine (eggplant) with olive oil and seasoning that has a smoky taste). This tasted so good.

I’m really surprised they don’t regularly have a queue of people here. It’s worth noting that they do both a vegetarian and a salad box version. The cost was £4.25 whilst the vegetarian version is £3.95. In addition, with the ‘salad box’ version you choose between a spicy butterbean or cous cous salad.

Other items they make are ‘salad lunchboxes’ where you select four ingredients from a list and a grilled wrap where again you a have a selection of ingredients to choose from. In the case of all dishes you can ask for ingredients you don’t like to be left out. There’s certainly a lot of choice for vegetarians here.

This place is worth a visit.

Lunchtime Bites – Rubicon cafe lounge (cafe and chocolatier)

26 Chandos Road, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6PF

Rubicon cafe lounge

A selection of chocolate treats

Rubicon is a fantastic cafe on Chandos Road in Redland. It’s clean and friendly but two things stand out about it: the food and the owner. The day I was there with my friend Kimi they were selling three kinds of cake by the slice, and yes we tried all three. They were all good but I would especially recommend the fridge cake to anyone who loves chocolate. I also had some chocolate truffles, which were superb, and a very tasty panini which came with the nicest salad I’ve had in ages (partly because I don’t have salad that often… but my point is that it was really good). They also carry James chocolates which I will have to try on my next visit.

The owner is awfully nice and he made us feel really welcome. I think I’d be a regular there if I lived closer.

There’s an excellent curry house next to it so the people of Chandos Road are really spoiled.

By Tim Kovacs

Easter biscuits

Lunchtime Bites – Summerhill Bakery, 97 Summerhill Road, St George, Bristol, BS5 8JT

Easter biscuits

Feta cheese with spinach bake

A few days ago whilst travelling to my vegetable patch, I was feeling slightly peckish (to say the least), I stopped by at this bakery for something to eat. There is a lot of choice and it was not an easy decision but in the end I plumped for the Easter biscuits and a feta with spinach bake. The Easter biscuits had a delicious cinnamon and sweet-spiced flavour so a good buy I thought. I’m not really sure where this tradition began but the ones made at this bakery are really lovely. I also tried the feta with spinach bake and thought that this was really tasty, a lot of filling that also included chunks of potato and pureed spinach.

This bakery is really popular with the locals and although it’s not a ‘trendy’ type of place, the choice of freshly baked food is great and the service is really friendly.

Lunchtime Bites – piri piri chicken to go

Portuguese Taste, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1 1JQ

Piri piri chicken to go

I’m a newcomer to Portuguese food – I bought lunch from Portuguese Taste a few days ago. It’s been based at St Nicholas Market for several years now but to my shame I had never eaten here before and I was in for a treat as the food here does not disappoint. You’re given large portions that includes plenty of fresh vegetables. I tried the piri piri chicken served with rice which I found to be very tasty indeed – lots of tomato, onions, chicken, carrots, broccoli and peas. The piri piri is the African bird’s eye chili variety that has a kick to it.

The majority of dishes at Portuguese Taste are priced from £4.50 to £5.50 with the exception of soup dishes at £2.00/ £2.20. Other dishes they were serving include cod fillet with tomatoes served with rice and salad, a beef stew served with rice, chips and salad, meatballs served with rice, chips and salad, as well as pork and chickpeas served with rice.

You can eat within the food market or you can eat nearby in one of the City’s parks. I chose to eat with friends in the nearby Castle park.

Portuguese Taste

This place is worth a visit.

Lunchtime Bites – pick a pitta

Pick a Pitta, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1 1JQ

Pick a Pitta

“You’re going to kill Falafel King”, said the bloke three places in front of me in the queue as the chap handed him his falafel. And certainly on a number of points this place has the edge over its regal rival. For many of us city-centre wage slaves, it’s a lot more conveniently located than the van by the harbourside, and  of course way more central than Cotham. It’s also better staffed than the Falafel King van – one person takes your order, another cooks and a third stuffs all the ingredients into a pitta – so you’ll get served a lot quicker than at the van. And if you really fall in love with the place, you can build up loyalty points – buy 10 and the 11th is free.

But kill Falafel King? I have to say I’m not so sure and the reason lies, oddly enough, in the sauce. You can choose any or all of: lemon and olive oil, chilli or tahini. I’ve had all three and, latterly, chilli and tahini only and in every case I found the sauces far too sweet and runny to the point that they dripped all over me. You might just about get away without sauce but I think falafel is the sort of meal that really calls for a bit of chilli and tahini, and if you get it wrong you can ruin the whole dish. At £3.95, Pick a Pitta is also 45p pricier.

The king may rest easy in his bed for a little while yet.

By Tintenfisch

Lunchtime Bites – sabich

Falafel King, Bristol, (Harbourside) BS1

Sabich served in a home-baked pitta – Delicious!

I had a sabich  for lunch yesterday from the food stand Falafel King located by the harbour in the  city-centre. This dish consists of fried aubergine and sliced hard-boiled eggs served with loads of tasty chopped red and white cabbage with a vinegarette and tahini sauce. It was served in a large home-baked pitta (you can choose from white or a wholemeal pitta). You can also add more tahini sauce as well as a sweet mango sauce or a spicy chilli sauce if you prefer. I opted for more tahini sauce and the sweet mango sauce. Cost £3.50 – really good value for money with such large-sized portions. They also do  a £4.50 version of all dishes where you’re given even more food for your bucks – incredible.

Sabich – a quarter eaten. Yum!

The food Falafel King serve is middle-eastern vegetarian and you’re given generous portions, including of course falafels. They also have a restaurant located at 6 Cotham Hill, Cotham Down, Bristol, BS6 6LF.

Worth a visit.

Check out the first review of Falafel King at

Lunchtime Bites – Caribbean wrap

 Caribbean Wrap, St Nicholas Market, Unit 33, Bristol, BS1 1JQ

Goat curry, rice and okra in tomato sauce

It was a nice surprise to find good Caribbean food in the market. The goat was juicy and tender and the sauce was tasty. I’ll be going back. Goes well with grapefruit Ting.

By Botch Claypole

Thai is best!

Lunchtime Bites – Fullers, Old Fish Market, 59-63 Baldwin Street, Bristol, BS1 1QZ

Set in what used to be a fish market, this Fullers pub includes a Thai restaurant serving delicious lunches and evening meals. I visited with a group of friends for lunch.

Tim – tried the Thai chicken green curry which was served with delicious basmati rice. All tasted freshly cooked and I was very happy with this meal;

Blenchly – tried the stir fried tofu with vegetables which was good, although wished I had picked something spicier.

Matt – tried the chicken, basil curry which was nice.

Botch Claypole – tried the sweet and sour chicken and was really unhappy with it as the sauce was tasteless, it was basically sugar and I didn’t like the chicken.

lovefoodpinny – tried the beef rendang which I thought was very tasty and spicy indeed. It was served with properly cooked rice and two vegetable spring  rolls with a sweet/sour dipping sauce. It all tasted freshly cooked – yum!;

All lunchtime Thai dishes are £6 which is good value and the Fullers beer including London Pride went down very well.

A Winter warmer

A flat hat Winter warmer - hearty and yum!

Lunchtime Bites – The Kings Head, 60 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6DE
This is my favourite pub in central Bristol. The place is tiny and it’s in a time-warp. The staff are genuinely welcoming and the beer is good. I had a Winter Warmer (£5.45), which is a large Yorkshire pudding filled with beef mince in gravy, with mash topped with cheese. I had it with a pint of Doom Bar (£3.30 ono) and it filled me up. By Botch Claypole

I love this pub. It is a tiny, one-roomed affair, the rear being screened off with wood panels to form a cozy seating area that resembles a railway carriage. The decor throughout is warm and muted and, perhaps most importantly these days, it feels as though it hasn’t been changed in a very long time. Both staff and clientele combine to make the place feel welcoming so that once you’ve sat down you won’t want to get up again in a hurry.

The beer is, well, beer. There are a few Sharp’s ales on and I’ve grown quite partial to Doom Bar. I’m not in a position to say how well it is kept, but I find that a couple of pints will slip down quite easily.

Stilton Pig (sausage, mushroom, bacon and cheese in a baguette) - delicious!

The food is worthy of special mention, however. It is basic, filling, unpretentious and very reasonably-priced. £5 (give or take 50p) will buy you a good-sized roll filled with sausage, bacon and cheese, a choice of burgers, chilli-con-carne or the wonderful “flat hat” – a plate-sized Yorkshire pudding with your choice of filling. In keeping with the decor, this is not modern gastro-pub fare but for those of us looking for a decent pub meal that won’t break the bank, this is hardly a criticism. By Tintenfisch

A Flat hat Winter warmer

In my case I picked the ‘wrong’ dish as I had chill-con-carnie (cost of £5.55) which I was really disappointed with – the sauce tasted as if it was a shop bought bottled sauce, there was hardly any minced beef in this dish and it was served with microwaved rice. In contrast, I tried the flat hat Winter warmer, a large Yorkshire pudding into which there’s beef, gravy, mashed potato, topped with cheese. This was delicious and for which I’m going to make a visit back to this pub next Thursday. I think it’s worth eating this pubs’ own specialities such as the flat hat Winter warmer where you have a delicious, tasty and hearty meal rather than a chilli-con-carni which let’s face it you can buy anywhere. Worth a visit. In fact I’m planning on making a regular weekly Thursday trip to this city-centre pub that has wood panelling and reminds me of a lovely old train carriage. Great, and has a special warm and friendly atmosphere. By lovefoodpinny

Lunchtime Bites – The King William ale house, Bristol, BS1 4EF

A nice pint of beer

I came here for lunch a couple of days ago with friends. We ordered a fish pie, sausages with mashed potatoes, and a plate of chip wedges. With the exception of the chips which was an extra portion, the dishes cost £6.50 which was relatively expensive for the food.

The fish pie tasted nice but had hardly any fish, although on the good side there were lots of prawns and mashed potato. It was served with carrots and peas and it was a shame that these vegetables did not have any butter as they were dry. The sausages were not particularly nice as they tasted cheap and were gristly and were again served with carrots and peas that needed buttering. We were undecided as to whether the mashed potatoes were made from ‘real potatoes’ or from powdered potatoes. The chips were overcooked which was disappointing. The consensus was that this is a place for good beer.

Fish pie (unfortunately blurred photo)

Sausages, mashed potato with vegetables (unfortunately blurred photo)

Lunchtime Bites – Frome valley farm shop & cafe

Poplars Farm, Frampton Cotterell, Bristol, BS36 2AW
This is a gem of a cafe. Next to the farm shop which sells an array of local and organic produce from fresh vegetables and herbs to fresh meats, pies & quiches, bakery items, frozen fruits and organic beers and juices. The cafe serves food made from the same local & organic produce in a traditional country-style setting. In summer the veranda is a relaxing place to chill and get some rays. You can even watch the chickens and feed the pigs.
In less favourable weather, the inside is sweet & cosy. My favourite dish is the scrambled eggs. Always cooked to a slightly runny consistency, served in ample portion on a slice of toast and with a side helping of cooked cherry tomatoes on the vine. Simple but delicious. This time, it being the festive season, I treated myself to a side portion of bacon & a splash of brown sauce…mmmmmm…. They always have a range of home-made cakes and biscuits displayed on the gingham tablecloths to tempt you. We usually have to book as it is a popular venue and can get very busy with a bit of a queue to order but once you’re seated the food is served fresh & promptly always by a friendly face. A good place to escape to the country for an hour (or two) away from the office.
By Karen Cooper

Lunchtime Bites – A sausage sandwich – The Bristol sausage shop, St Nicholas Market, Bristol, BS1

Lunchtimes can be tough times for lazy misers in Bristol. An overpackaged sandwich from one of the “express” supermarkets will set you back a couple of quid; go looking for a hot meal and you’ll be lucky to see change of a fiver.

There are notable exceptions, of course, and one of them is the Bristol Sausage Shop in St Nicholas Market. The stall’s main stock in trade is a variety of exotic sausages that you take home and cook yourself but at lunchtime the proprietor does a nice side-line in “sausage sandwiches” – two fat bangers in a baguette with onions, relish and mustard, and yours for £3.

The Bristol Sausage Shop

The choice, as you might expect, is not as wide as it is on the cold counter next door. On the two occasions I’ve been, I was offered the choice of lamb or pork-and-something (the “something” varied and, to my shame, I cannot now remember what it was in either case). The sausages are delicious, truly having a flavour of their own, and you’ll need a pretty hefty appetite if you’re still to feel hungry after chomping through that little lot.

A word of warning to those who like to eat on the hoof. I spent a happy fifteen minutes wandering aimlessly about Castle Park and stuffing my face, and it wasn’t until I’d finished that I noticed that the relish had been quietly dripping out of the end of the baguette and down the front of my shirt. If you have the misfortune of working with people who enjoy a laugh at your expense, you may find it better to remain seated while eating.

And the verdict? Well, healthy eating it ain’t and the hardened niggard may baulk at the thought of £3 for lunch but it’s a hot, tasty, filling meal, your pennies stay locally and, particularly in a city like Bristol, you can pay a great deal more for an awful lot less.

The Bristol Sausage Shop

By Tintenfisch

Photos by Botch Claypole

Lunchtime Bites – Falafel King, Bristol, BS1

Bristolians, especially those who frequent the centre, have long known where to get falafel (פלאפל), the middle-Eastern deep-fried chickpea balls. Falafel King is a food stand right by the harbour in the middle of town. The food consists of either falafel balls or boiled egg and aubergine (‘sabich’) and comes in pitta pouches. It tastes fresh and healthy and the portions are acceptable. They are great with special diets – all the food is vegetarian, and they will give information about their ingredients if asked.

Falafel King, Bristol, BS1

We visited early afternoon, sitting for a while by the overcast harbour as Tintenfisch gazed out mumbling “Call me Ishmael”, but they are open all day and until late in the night. The woman at the stall possesses a unique view of the world. Cost: £3.50. Better than Subway.

Verdict: “OK”.

By Botch Claypole

Check out a later review of Falafel King at