Lunchtime Bites – The Kofta Bar, Bristol

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

Delicious!

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.

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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 – 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