Sometimes perhaps we all focus too much on what is new. I’m certainly guilty of making a beeline to try new Leicester restaurants as soon as I can. Naturally this is to the detriment of established restaurants who I may not visit as often. We all love the novelty. But with such a difficult climate for small, independent businesses at the moment, it’s also good to revisit your old favourites and keep spreading the wealth.
Being pregnant has proved to be an excellent excuse to go out for lunch. For months now there’s been no guarantee that I’ll be up to much in the evenings. Going out for lunch has been a great way to chill and reconnect with all of my friends before the little one comes along. Plus it’s not like I’m spending any money in the pub, so I reckon I can afford to treat myself! Here’s a little glimpse at a few of the places I’ve visited in recent weeks – old and new.
Queen of Bradgate
I’ll be the first to say that the quality of food has yo-yo’d in the five years that the QOB has now been open, but I keep giving it a go. We seem currently to be in one of the happy peaks. The long running 50% off selected mains on a Monday remains difficult to beat.
When I last visited I enjoyed the chicken burger. It really is quite a mega portion, and the chicken fillet was relatively moist and served with delicious pancetta. I enjoyed the house coleslaw too, which was very rich and creamy and made a good topping for the skin on fries.
The Boy returned for the old favourite – which has been consistently good since the QOB opened in its current incarnation. The Shin of Beef chilli has always come with some combination of nachos, rice, sour cream and guacamole – but this is the best we’ve seen for a while and also the most filling portion. There was also issues with brown guac in the past, but no longer. So if you haven’t given the QOB a try in a while, I definitely suggest hitting it up to see how it suits you.
Nook Corner Coffee Shop
One of three cafes in Anstey, and convenient for me to organise meetings in (ah, the self employed life). A bit more out the way than the Leicester restaurants. This was the first time I tried any food at the Nook Corner. Normally I am content with their friendly service and perfectly adequate coffees. However, I was drawn in by the absolutely giant scone! I would much have preferred some freshly whipped cream, as the little tub of clotted cream was just not quite the real deal. However the scone was really excellent. Definitely worth stopping off for.
The cheap and cheerful menu at Firebug has been fuelling me on and off for a decade. Along with their selection of breakfasts, burgers and sandwiches, the chilli (meat or veggie) has been a staple throughout that time. Served understandably on top of your rice, but also inexplicably on top of your fried sides if you choose those instead (wedges, french fries or curly fries) this very wet chilli immediately soddens anything it touches. But it is still good and an inexpensive treat. I have been informed you can request your wedges on the side. So I will have to try and remember that.
One of the seemingly endless number of Turkish restaurants who open and close around the city, Adana is one of the latest offerings on Humberstone Gate. Simply decorated and inviting, this is definitely a glowing recommendation for lunch spots at the moment.
I’ve got to the point now where apart from on technical issues of quality I have no idea how to judge Turkish restaurants. I really need to go and try the authentic cuisine for myself so I can see how what is on offer in Leicester compares.
That said, the reasonably priced menu at Adana is full of flavour. In my pregnant state, naturally I picked the four person hot mezze starter as a main, because that gave me the maximum deep fried and pastry enclosed treats – luscious. I can also tell you that the Lahmacun also had a lovely spice to it and the complimentary lentil soup at the start of the meal was incredibly good – I would have been happy just to have a couple of bowls of that and some of the tasty warm flatbread!
The Good Earth
You don’t get more old favourite than The Good Earth, Leicester’s vegetarian restaurant that has been on the scene since the 1960s. And it seems it is still as popular as it ever was the last time I went in. The homemade vegetarian and vegan mains, classic rissoles and salad bar remains much unchanged, but the quality is still consistent and high.
Not really part of my independent round up of Leicester restaurants, as this pub is part of a chain. However we have visited a couple of times in recent months as to be honest you can’t beat it for an inexpensive and reliable carvery. They are a bit stingy on the meat compared to others I’ve been to, but the selection of veg is second to none.
Which Leicester restaurants do you rate?
Old or new, where have you enjoyed eating out recently? Are you a creature of habit or do you get easily swayed by the Next Big Thing?
All of these visits were undertaken of my own volition without the knowledge of the restaurants and I paid the bills in full.