Bonjour Bistrot Pierre!

This may come as a surprise, but the Love Middlesbrough Lasses love going out for dinner! We’ve been excitedly watching Bistrot Pierre’s progress over the last few months as they completely renovated a vacant shop unit which is handily close to Love Middlesbrough HQ – it’s completely unrecognisable now! As soon as we heard they were open for previews, we practically ran to the door to get in line for a meal, and we brought along our lovely friend Laura as an honourary Lass too.

The interior is as gorgeous as the food! Speaking of food, here’s what we all thought…

Claire 🐘

True story, I almost moved to France in 2009…so close to living the French dream…and yet so far… *sigh*  I love it and have enjoyed many, many wonderful holidays there, so it’s fair to say that excitement levels were pretty high for eating all of the French food. If only we hadn’t gone at lunchtime, then I could also have enjoyed all of the French wine 🍷 – next time!

There was so much choice it was hard to pin down exactly what I wanted, but I figured as it was lunchtime I would go for something light, which would then leave all of the room for dessert, but more on that very soon. I opted for the tarte flambée with mushrooms and all the garlic – so. much. yum. It was shaped like a pizza, but seemed to be made with some sort of flaky, light and dreamy pastry that melted in my mouth (I’m actually drooling just thinking about it now) – oh my, it was divine! With a choice of either salad (as if!) or ‘pommes frites’ (also known as fries) I’m pretty sure you can guess which side I opted for.

When it came to pudding there was no messing about. It was only ever going to be creme brulée – my all time favourite. I will 100% admit that I had very high hopes for this being the perfect version, and with total honesty I can reassure you that it really and truly is. First off, the perfect crack. Of course the sugar was caramelised to absolute perfection. The creme brulée itself was so creamy, so light, so so tasty. If I had been on my own and at home, and not in public with polite people, I would totally have licked the bowl clean!

I already know I’ll be back for more. Just have to decide when… 🇫🇷

Emma 🍫

We all know I love food, so it’s no surprise that I quite enjoyed (understatement of the year) lunch at Bistrot Pierre. I am always a little sceptical when trying new places as sometimes they don’t cater to my diet but boy do these guys know how to make Veggie food.

My main was a salad, but not just any salad; this was a halloumi salad. It also wasn’t the boring, lettuce, tomatoes and filling kind of salad that most places seem to do, this was an actual salad – with no tomatoes in sight thank god. I wasn’t particularly fond of the vinaigrette they used but that is personal preference and I’m fussier than Rachel when it comes to salad dressings. I also have a new found love of edamame beans – who knew?

Dessert was obviously the best part, sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. I was the first to finish, of course, and oh my god was it good. Words fail me with describing this and the waitress who recommended this dish was not wrong. Can I have another bowl please?

All in all, I have to say that I will be visiting Bistrot Pierre again and don’t be put off by the French names, the staff with translate for you if you’re not sure.

 

Rachel 🐱

I’m the certified fussy eater of the group, so I was feeling all the fear that there was going to be nothing I wanted to eat, but I needn’t have feared – my eyes found the word ‘pizza’ (well, tarte flambée) on the menu, and all was right with the world! 😍

And what a pizza it was! It was like a cross between a pizza and a quiche, and even though it had four different types of cheese on it, the dough (or pastry or whatever it was) didn’t feel heavy and I still had room for dessert. And so much cheese! I’m all about the melted cheese, in case it wasn’t obvious by now 🍕❤️

Dessert was literally the most amazing chocolate mousse, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I found out it was actually chocolate orange flavoured! Please just let me sit at that table and eat that for all of eternity! 😍

 

Laura 🐨

I couldn’t let the Love Middlesbrough lasses try the latest restaurant without me joining, so I became an honorary member for the day.

I also had the halloumi salad and loved every bit of it – just healthy enough to feel proud of yourself, but equally delicious and really filling thanks to the quinoa and the option to have fries on the side. A real strength of Bistrot Pierre is that you could go for ultimate French with dishes like boeuf bourguignon and steak-frites, or choose something lighter like the halloumi salad – even the fussiest eaters will be happy, though vegans might struggle (do they even have vegans in France?).

My dessert was what I call a posh eton mess, but it’s actual name is Méli mélo de fraises et meringue: strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberries, meringue, marshmallows, crushed pistachios, strawberry coulis and Chantilly cream. Boom. I’m usually a starter-main rather than main-dessert kinda gal, but I would make an exception for this dessert every time. The crunch of the pistachios and meringue contrasted perfectly with the smooth cream and ice cream, with slight chewiness from the marshmallows and oh so much strawberry-ness.

If the meal I had is an indicator of the rest of the menu, I’ll be visiting Bistrot Pierre again and again.

Adventures in dessert with Creams!

It’s not every day you get an email about a restaurant which only serves desserts, but that’s exactly what happened to the Love Middlesbrough Lasses a few weeks ago.

Creams Cafe (on Southfield Road) does frankly amazing things with gelato, crepes, waffles, cakes, milkshakes and any other dessert you can think of! Probably due to our incessant instagramming of food, we were very kindly invited along to try out the new summer menu 😍 (Can’t lie, we fangirled like absolute crazy and felt a little bit like real bloggers!)

The restaurant is super snazzy (does anyone use the word ‘snazzy’ any more? 😅); it has a disco ball and even glittery paint on the wall! It’s a good job that most of the food we ordered was meant to be cold, because we spent way too long taking photos of it before we ate it!

Rachel – Oreo bubble pop waffle

I’m feeling all the embarrassment that mine is by far and away the biggest of the three desserts (okay, who am I kidding, I’m not feeling any embarrassment at all! 😎)

I wasn’t sure what to expect – although I do love a good waffle, and Oreos, and gelato – but since it was new, I had to try it! I definitely wasn’t disappointed 😍 The waffle was much thinner than a normal waffle, which was good because if it hadn’t been, after eating all of that I’d have needed to lie down for about a century! The ice cream and waffle worked together really well, although I’d definitely recommend having the full range of cutlery to try and eat it! 😂

Claire – Disco cheesecake

If there’s cheesecake on the menu, Claire = happy, but when it’s disco cheesecake?! It simply had to be! As the photo quite clearly demonstrates it really was a disco too: buttery crumbly base, smooth creamy filling, topped off with rich chocolate, caramel, fudge bites and red and blue sauce with sprinkles…I mean, wow doesn’t even cover it. It was DELICIOUS! The ice-cream on the side was a nice touch too and just the right side of Mr Whippy consistency. I’m not going to lie, if I’d been eating at home I would totally have licked the plate – that’s the charm of me! 😂  As the coffee drinker of the group the whole thing was perfectly accompanied by a chocolate-y, frothy cappuccino – all the yum! When are we going again?!

You know what goes really well with a disco cheesecake? A disco ball! Ooooh, pretty liiiiiiiights!

disco ball

Emma

You should know by now that if it looks like it’s covered in chocolate, I will probably love it. Honestly, cookie dough is my favourite thing, as is ice-cream, so this was the best dessert ever, and the best way to finish the meagre salad I had at lunch. As much as I love food, reviewing food that rendered me speechless is really difficult so I think that just shows how good it was. I’m already craving more – pay day is soon if the other girls are up for it.

Thank you heaps to Creams Cafe for inviting us! All opinions are ours, because we wouldn’t lie about something as important as dessert! ☺️

Orange Pip Market Summer Special

Well, Saturday 24th June was host to Orange Pip Market Summer Special in Centre Square. The build-up was incredible, and the day lived up to the hype. The day itself was the usual sunshine with only a little bit of wind; typical Orange Pip Market weather.

You can only imagine that I ate a lot, and I mean a lot. Usually I’m restricted due to being vegetarian, but not at Orange Pip, I was spoilt for choice for meals and it took me a good five minutes to decide on my first purchase of the day – I’d already seen the first band with Love Middlesbrough Lass Claire.

I went for a Burger from The Green Guerrilla first, with their entire stall being veggie or vegan I knew I was safe. I topped it with cheese, vegan bacon, coleslaw and a tomato relish and it was sooooo good. I hadn’t had bacon in ages and I have to say, this was better than actual bacon- top marks for The Green Guerrilla.

Now you can’t have lunch without dessert and what better than a Nutella crepe. La Petite Crêperie was amazing, authentic (at least from my experience) and delicious. The vendor was a good conversation partner whilst I waited for my food to be prepared and boy was that good food – I have to say it again, it was so good. Can we have them back next month please?

Taking a break from the food, I went to have my hair done by Twisted Sister for the first time (I’ve been to every market since the original blog post) and we went live with it. As beautiful as it was, I had glitter everywhere. It’s not too much of a pain to clean but because it’s all over my bedroom, I’m still picking it off various areas of my body. Still, totally worth it for this beauty. Photo credit to Claire.

Claire and I then made our way back to the stage to watch the next band, a group of amazing women (and their male drummer) with AMAZING harmonies. The Cornshed Sisters are empowering women with a female bassist (female musicians know that seeing a female bassist is life itself) and  – once again – awesome harmonies.

Whilst listening to The Cornshed Sisters, Claire and I ate cheesecake from Simply Cheesecake – something we’d both been looking forward to for quite some time. I had strawberry shortcake – summery, refreshing and delicious – and Claire had Ferrer Roche,  “creamy, delicious, fluffy” – Claire. My only wish is that I’d bought some more to take home.

I took a break from the band to grab us some strawberry lemonade and discovered I could not be a waitress in a bar – I spilt half of my own drink. Honestly, strawberry flavoured food on a hot day is the best thing and I think I may be becoming obsessed. My obsession with strawberry aside, I have found my new favourite drink, Tap Garden’s strawberry lemonade.

We have to mention of Bobzilla but Baker Street’s artist (of birds) was spray painting another bird onto cling film wrapped around two trees. The end result was amazing.

I had a delicious salt lake caramel cookie from Moka Coffee (with a diet coke but that’s nothing special) and I want them all. I really should have thought ahead and bought more food to be able to eat whilst writing this post. I did steal a corner of Claire’s peanut butter brownie from Moody Baker whilst we were snacking and Oh Lord was it good! You couldn’t turn in this edition of the market without being greeted with mouth-wateringly good food, and the desserts were the best. Moody Baker and Moka Coffee, do you do home delivery?

I finished off with a simple, stone baked Margherita pizza, which really hit that empty spot. Earth and Fire is one of the best pizza places ever, not greasy (I don’t like greasy food) not too heavy on the dough and always baked for just the right amount of time too. I think my phone enjoyed it also – clumsy moment of the day was when I dropped my phone into the pizza just after taking a photo. Here’s the photo that lead to the disaster —>>>

My phone is fine by the way, no damage, just smells like pizza sauce… aka awesome.

I have to give a massive mention to all the bands, the musical talent was superb and Northern Monkey Brass Band really upped the energy to end the market; we were even up and dancing and no, you can’t see the video.

Big shout out to Skins and Needles and their very brave models for tattoos – I’m a wimp and probably wouldn’t be able to have a tattoo. The art you produced was amazing from what I saw. Also shout out to the police officer who joined in the salsa class and to the wonderful people at the Men Tell Health and Middlesbrough Volunteer Centre (with their outdoor living room) apologies I didn’t manage to talk to you, but you’re doing a great thing. I didn’t personally experience the outdoor games but from the looks of it, they were very fun and the kids taking part seemed to be enjoying themselves.

This summer edition of Orange Pip Market was amazing, family-friendly and quite festival-like which was great for summer. Can’t wait for July; don’t forget to follow Orange Pip Market on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.

It’s Middlesbrough Restaurant Week

The first week in May means it is time for the annual Middlesbrough Restaurant Week, starting today on May Day Holiday.

Year on year Middlesbrough’s food scene gets better and better and that means that this year there is more choice and variety than ever before.

This is the fourth annual Middlesbrough Restaurant Week and can be no doubt that there are more people enjoying eating out and there are far more venues out there. That has to be a very healthy sign for a town that is starting to establish itself as a foodie destination.

From independent cafés, bar-restaurants to much-loved family favourites and even high end restaurants, there has to be something for everyone in this year’s list. This is an open invitation to explore from Monday, May 1 to Sunday, May 7.

In total there are twenty outlets offering special menus, limited edition dishes and fantastic prices in restaurants across the town centre. Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to try somewhere new and sample more of what Middlesbrough has to offer.

I am looking down the list and thinking of where I have and where I haven’t been to eat. I reckon I will be needing to be cutting a couple of new notches in my belt by the time the week has finished. Then again there are some healthy eating options amongst those participating.

Oh an please note that Middlesbrough is passionate about supporting local suppliers and producers, and many restaurants participating in this year’s Restaurant Week are listed on the Growing Middlesbrough directory. So guests will be able to enjoy their meal with the knowledge that they are contributing to the local economy in more ways than one.

Here is the full list – click for offer details.

For information on restaurants supporting local food, visit www.growingmiddlesbrough.org.uk

Photos Tracy Hyman

National Vegetarian Week 2017

National Vegetarian Week 2017 is in a month and your resident veggie Love Middlesbrough Lass is coming at you with her favourite veggie friendly places in Middlesbrough- including where serves great poached eggs on toast and my fave veggie burger; you’ll never guess. You may be thinking, what has this got to do with me, I eat meat? But the idea of National Veggie Week is to encourage people to try being veggie for a week, or at least a day.

My all-time favourite place for food has to be Mohujos, almost everything on their menu can be made with their Veggie Chili and it’s Mexican food, who can hate on Mexican? Mohujos Burritos are massive too, it’s almost a food challenge to eat a whole burrito in one sitting.

I have a weakness for adorable tea shops and if you’re into the non-standard food, then The Olde Young Tea House is the best place. Not only to they serve awesome cake, but their menu is a refreshing change from cheese sandwiches and jacket potatoes with beans. They have a mozzarella, tomato and pesto sandwich which is like pizza in a sandwich, and they do a grilled pepper and humus sandwich which is perfect for vegans (assuming there’s no butter involved). Did I mention that they have freshly baked cake every day? I want cake now.

Another place that is totally unexpected to be veggie-friendly is Roast, they don’t have much in the way of range but after a quick chat with the owner, they will take you seriously. I got a fresh batch of gravy just because the owner wasn’t quite sure that the gravy wasn’t contaminated (with meat that is).

Chilli Cake is awesome. I’m just going to put that out there, they’re awesome. They have a menu full of veggie food, and are super helpful. My favourite from there is the Posh Chip Butty, which is a chip butty, but with sweet potato and on ciabatta bread. It’s also a super awesome place to work. I have only been in the Hartlepool store, however I have been informed that they’re pretty much the same. So if you’re planning on a train journey, pop into Chilli Cake in Boho, it’s super awesome.

Poached Eggs are amazing but so hard to get right (trust me, I’ve ruined many eggs trying) but there are two places (very close to each other) that do the BEST poached eggs, and both use sourdough bread. If you’re with veggies then the place to go is Bedford St Coffee House, they have awesome poached eggs and a few other options, you can also have their soup of the day (it’s on the specials board, but might not be veggie). If you happen to be with meat-eaters who want something a bit fancier, then go to The Curing House. They have the poached eggs of dreams and they have a very long wine list for those of you who aren’t driving. The Curing House also happen to be having a Veggie night in honour of National Vegetarian Week; on the 17th May you can get 5 veggie courses for £25, I will definitely be going! Both these places serve Rounton’s Coffee (The Curing House getting it straight from Bedford St Coffee) and they both have great service.

My ultimate veggie burger of choice may come as a surprise given that I’m all about the independents, but seriously, if you want a good veggie burger with flavour and also don’t have £20 to spend on a meal, then McDonalds have the best. I was surprised as you are when I first tried this -mainly because I had no idea they served it- but it tastes too good to be true. I’m not sure if it’s vegan when you hold the mayo but it won’t hurt to ask and McDonalds fries are vegan so hopefully the vegans can get a meal from everyone’s favourite fast food chain. There’s also something familiar about walking into McDonalds with your friends, it’s comforting.