Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack – Covent Garden

Saturday hubby and I decided to visit Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crab Shack in Covent Garden. With our impending US trip in less than 3 weeks we decided we needed to acclimatise our palates to American Fare. Plus we absolutely love BBQ, Seafood and American cuisine – this place had all 3.

 

We booked a table via TopTable.co.uk for 4pm, when we turned up we were promptly shown to our table. Note: if you have a big butt, lots of shopping or just puffy clothes the tables are tightly packed and you could end up dragging people’s dinner off their tables, or your clothes through their actual dinner. I was lucky that the table next to me was empty – not that I have a big butt mind (see my running posts as proof!)

 

The décor inside was great, very well designed and very in keeping with the crab shack feel, nice touch were the neon lobster signs in cages hanging from the ceiling. Music was a rousing mix of bluegrass, jazzy Americana, not too loud but enough to get your toe tapping.

 

I’d already spent a constructive afternoon before we booked looking at the menu to decide which cocktails to try, I’d whittled it down to 3 and started with the Margarita Slushie that consisted of Cabrito 100% agave white Tequila, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Briottet orange liqueur, lime & white sugar. The tequila had quite a kick, but this was a nice refreshing start.

Hubby started with a Big Easy Larger, which was actually Scottish even with the name Harviestoun Schiehallion.

 

For food we decided to share some Deep Fried Voodoo Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce to start. The sauce was red and this confused me, couldn’t tell what it tasted like as was too scared to try too much in case it was spicy 😉

The prawns were good – juicy & tasty, a great way to start.

 

For main we decided to go seafood, as we do BBQ meat a lot, but we love Crab & Lobster too, so we opted for the Lobster Bake consisting of Half 1½ lb Lobster, Peel ‘n’ Eat Jumbo Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws & New Potatoes cooked in Garlic Sauce, and hubby had Crabshack Combo consisting of Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp, Crab Claws, Mussels, Clams & New Potatoes cooked in Hot ‘n’ Spicy Sauce. We also ordered a side order of Mash & Gravy – just because!

At this point I also ordered my second cocktail – Boozy Juice Calle 23 100% agave white Tequila with Watermelon juice, fresh-pressed at the bar.

 

When the main dish turned up it was a little overwhelming and I was worried I wouldn’t even make a dent. I shouldn’t have been concerned!

Lobster Combo

Lobster Combo

The Jumbo prawns were MASSIVE, the two in the dish would have been a meal in itself. Everything tasted great.

The plastic bibs came in handy given the amount of claws we had to crack.

Phill needs protection!

Phill needs protection!

 

This dish was very reminiscent of paella, but it had new potatoes and it may have been good to offer rice as an option. The potatoes were the only thing I left.

 

 

We demolished the main course easily. Waiting staff were good at emptying the shell bowls, as we filled them to brimming!

 

When it came to dessert the menu was a little limiting with not a lot of choice, but this was a perfect excuse for cocktail number 3.

X-rated shake Grasshopper comprising of Mozart Dry chocolate spirit, Edmond Briottet mint liqueur, milk & chocolate ice cream.

This was delicious but it pushed me offer the edge from being pleasantly full to stuffed and I couldn’t finish it.

 

At just over £100 for a starter, 2 mains + a side, & 3 drinks each it wasn’t bad value. If I hadn’t had the cocktails it would have been super value, but not as fun!

 

Definitely plan to go back as there were lots of other exciting dishes to try – I have my eye on the Taste-O-Rama!

 

Note: if one of your male party need the toilet they may be gone for some time, apparently it’s halfway to china or something 😉

 

Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crab Shack is located at 12 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA

Telephone 020 3728 4888

For reservations only – email coventgarden@bigeasy.co.uk

 

Opening hours
Monday to Wednesday
Restaurant 12 noon – 11.30pm
Bar bites until 12am

Thursday to Saturdays

Restaurant 12 noon – 12.30am

Bar bites until 1am

Sunday 12 noon – 11pm

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Starbucks – What’s my name today? Success? (04/04/14 – London Bridge, St Thomas Street)

Starbucks - What's my name today? Success? (04/04/14 - London Bridge, St Thomas Street)

Success – Right? 1 out of 3 can’t be bad!

Band of Bakers – Chocolate Theme – Brixton 26th March 2014

Band of Bakers latest event was a chocolate themed extravaganza @ The Chocolate Museum in Brixton.

Much debate was had as to whether we would see any savoury dishes, luckily there was one and it didn’t last long! This did mean that a trip to McDonalds was required by one baker, to enable them to continue consuming the vast amounts of sweet chocolate delights – good call!

Eating that much chocolate meant my sugar rush hangover the next morning was severe, I even woke with a stinker of a headache. But boy was it worth it. Have a look at some of the delights we sampled.

I couldn’t remember all the bakers, so if you would like me to add you and a link to your blog/twitter/etc then just let me know, more than happy to include you. If I don’t have a picture of your bake, and you do, happy to add you in, just send me a message via twitter (@kurbkiss) or comment below!

Can’t believe I didn’t take picture of Aimée’s Meringue kisses!

Bourbon Biscuits made by Eva (@Eva_Beaver)

Bourbon Biscuits made by Eva (@Eva_Beaver)

Chocolate Brownie Cookies baked by @gingergourmand

Chocolate Brownie Cookies baked by Naomi (@gingergourmand)

Double chocolate & salted caramel tart from Gemma (@boozyrouge)

Double chocolate & salted caramel tart from Gemma (@boozyrouge)

Double Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies baked by Giulia (@mulia)

Double Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies baked by Giulia (@mulia)

Sticky Chocolate Gingerbread Cake by Chloe (@clo_bags1)

Sticky Chocolate Gingerbread Cake by Chloe (@clo_bags1)

Brandy Snaps with white chocolate & ginger cream baked by Anne

Brandy Snaps with white chocolate & ginger cream baked by Anne

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pots by Ben (@ben_mulock)

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pots by Ben (@ben_mulock)

Chocolate Orange Battenburg baked by Keith

Chocolate Orange Battenburg baked by Keith

Salted Caramel Torte baked by Harley (@kurbkiss)

Salted Caramel Torte baked by Harley (@kurbkiss)

Chocolate Rugelach by @toddlersurvival

Chocolate Rugelach by @toddlersurvival

Estonian Chocolate Liqueur & Stem Ginger Truffles by Chloe (@cedges)

Estonian Chocolate Liqueur & Stem Ginger Truffles by Chloe (@cedges)

Triple Chocolate Millionaires Shortbread

Triple Chocolate Millionaires Shortbread

Salted Rolo brownies baked by Jassy (@ginandcrumpets)

Salted Rolo brownies baked by Jassy (@ginandcrumpets)

Chocolate & Coffee Mocha Cake baked by Heather (@mrsjkitchen)

Chocolate & Coffee Mocha Cake baked by Heather (@mrsjkitchen)

Chocolate Soda Bread

Chocolate Soda Bread

Beef & Chocolate Empandas

Beef & Chocolate Empandas

Chocolate fudge cake with Pedro Ximinez soaked sultanas

Chocolate fudge cake with Pedro Ximinez soaked sultanas made by Lisa (@peckhamryeeats)

Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies

Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies

Malt Chocolate Brownies baked by Harley (@kurbkiss)

Malt Chocolate Brownies baked by Harley (@kurbkiss)

 

 

 

20 Miles, my longest run – a review

On Sunday 2nd March 2014 I took part in the Thames Riverside 20, organised by Clapham Chasers

In preparation for the Big Sur Marathon in April this was to be my longest run to date. 

Now, the lack of blog updates on my marathon training are not an exact testament to how my training is going, but it’s not far off. Commitment to exercise has never been my forte even when I have something this massive to aim for. However, I have been steadily increasing my milage, it seems to be the short runs in between that are lacking.

To ensure I did the long runs I signed myself up to some 20 milers & a half marathon.

The Thames Riverside 20 (TR20) is a great little race as in order to gain permission to hold the race they have to have pacers. The slowest pacer was 10 minute miles, so I promptly went for this group. I am very conscious of the time limit on the Big Sur Marathon (6 hours = 13.45 min miles) so need to make sure I can run a majority of marathon distance at a faster pace than the limit, especially as it has some killer hills.

As this was the slowest group I was pleasantly surprised to see it had quite a number of runners in it, and I hoped I wouldn’t be trailing at the back.

Starting at Bishop’s Park at Putney Bridge, the race started at 8am (which meant a 6.30am set off from Woolwich – YAWN!), with each pace group setting off within 2 mins of each other. No chip timing so your start time was based on the start time of your pace group, so I guessed that some people could in effect cheat and start in an earlier group if they wanted??

The race route takes you over Putney Bridge to the south bank, past the posh college boat houses (hence the requirement for the pacer) and you then follow the riverside path all the way just past Richmond bridge, and then back again.

Drink stations were position approximately every 3 miles, offering water & Gatorade, and heaps of support!

My usual shorter distance race pace is around 9 – 9.30 min miles, so I found running at 10s pretty comfortable for the 1st half of the race. Some of the early miles were quite a bit quicker than 10s, but given how hard I find it to pace myself I can’t complain. It was good to be surrounded by people who just wanted to get round in a set time and not feel overly competitive, except with myself.

The path was quite muddy due to the recent flooding, and I was concerned what effect this would have on my feet after splashing through a few decent puddles when I got bored (tired) of leaping over them. 

Race nutrition is not something I usually consider but given this is a build to the big one I decided to strategically try planning in a gel and what drinks to have when. Usually I will just take whatever is offered to me at the time. I decided I would take Gatorade up until half way, then I would have my gel with water, then back to Gatorade.

I think I needed to really plan in two gels, as I was already getting tired by half way, and when I hit 17 miles I started to slow up quite a bit.

I started to fall back from the pace group at around mile 17 too, I wasn’t too concerned as most of my miles have been well under 10s up to this point, but I knew I couldn’t drop off too much. The route also got a lot busier on the way back.

I felt fine in terms of breathing, heart rate etc, it was just my legs and back that were starting to feel the 3hrs on my feet. The last mile was easily the worst I have ever felt, my legs were like lead weights. It felt like I was going so slow, so was pleasantly surprised when I realised I was still within 10.30 for the last mile.

As I entered the gate to the park and the last 100 meters I saw my husband waiting for me and cheering me in (he had joined the 7.30 pace group and had waited in the cold for me for an hour – bless him – and he then drove me home!), I started to get emotional and then found it hard to take a breath – need to sort that out for the marathon!

I crossed the line in 3hrs 19mins 34s – bang on pace at 9.59 I was pleased! I was broken, but pleased!

Every finisher received a goodie bag filled with drinks and snacks, I was a little disappointed there was no medal. But for £12 I did get an extremely well organised, fabulously supported and enjoyable training run for my next big challenge.

My walking style suffered a little yesterday, but stretching out my muscles helped. So did the muscle soak bath I had once I was home. We treated ourselves to a pub roast dinner, congratulatory beers & sticky toffee pudding. Asleep by 9pm with slightly achy knees today but overall feeling good & positive.

I’ve got the Spitfire 20 in two weeks to keep my mileage up. I’ve decided to stick to 10s or maybe even 10.30s to just get me through and let it help me plan my race nutrition better.

 

 

BAR BBQ ON ICE Review

A day off on Monday saw hubby and I at a loss for lunch. A quick twitter and pop up london search lead us to Bar BBQ on Ice.

Nestled behind Liverpool Street Station next to the Broadgate Ice Rink, BAR BBQ ON ICE is London’s latest pop up restaurant. The menu, inspired through travels to Memphis, promises to bring authentic flavours of smoke and fire alongside craft beers and great cocktails plus something for the kids.

I was excited, as you now probably know I love BBQ & meat! I was also surprised to find that there was an ice rink behind Liverpool Street.

We took quite a convoluted route around Liverpool Street station to find it due to the Cross Rail works blocking the road, but once we did we were promptly seated and looked after.

We decided to share some dishes, so we went for the BBQ Tray – which consisted of Sliders, Ribs, Slaw, BBQ Beans, Chilli, Hotdog & house cut chips; Chipotle-Maple Chicken Wings & Moonshine Shrimp.

The shrimp were amazing! Cooked just perfectly and they came with a nice bloody mary dip. The chicken wings were succulent, couldn’t really taste the chipotle very much. The BBQ tray was substantial, ribs nice and soft, there was just too much for me to eat my share so I skipped on the slider, I didn’t really like the hot dog.

It all comes served in cool metal crockery lined with printed greaseproof paper.

BBQ Tray

BBQ Tray

BBQ Tray & Moonshine Shrimps

BBQ Tray & Moonshine Shrimps

The atmosphere was quiet for a Monday lunch, but they had a few tables full. I guess BBQ meat is not everyones go to meal for a Monday lunch time – certainly did the trick for me.

Even though it’s just a pop up the detail to the decor was well thought out. It was a bit strange eating with wooden cutlery – guess it saves on washing up! The floor of the structure is extremely ‘bouncy’ so you find yourself vibrating whenever someone passes your table.

It was a great find by hubby, and reasonable given the portions. I’d go again, still need to try the Mac n Cheese. Have I ever told you about the time I ate Mac n Cheese for 3 meals in one day….???

Since publishing this post I discovered that Bar BBQ on Ice is only around until the 28th February, so best get there while you can.

BROADGATE ICE RINK
exchange square
broadgate
london ec2a 2bq
0203 011 1185
INFO@BARBBQONICE.COM