Friday, 29 September 2017

Trying out the latest cut at Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto

If you're from in and around Teesside you will have heard of the new restaurant in town, Tomahawk Steakhouse. What used to be The Dog and Gun in Potto has now been taken over and transformed into a modern, trendy steakhouse specialising in meat. Established by the people behind the Lotus Lounge, Tomahawk has now been open for seven months, so I thought it was about time I tried it out.

Organised by my fellow food-lover Rachel, we decided to go for the Early-Bird Menu which was fantastic value for money. I went for two courses at £13.50 whilst Rachel opted for all three at £15.95.

On arrival into the car park, we were greeted by two life-sized fake cows which confirmed to us that we were in the right place. The layout of the restaurant is very much the same as it was when it was The Dog and Gun but it seems much more modern with lots of clean colours and wooden furniture.

Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto - North Yorkshire
Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto - North Yorkshire

After a quick browse at the menu, it was time to order. Rachel chose the Salt and Pepper Squid to start which she thoroughly enjoyed. For our main course and dessert, we happened upon the same options; 8oz 28-day Himalayan salt dry-aged rump steak followed by Vanilla Creme Brûlée.

Although I'm not a fan of pink meat, I decided to have my steak cooked medium as the past few times that I've gone for medium to well, I haven't enjoyed it. When it came it was pretty pink in the middle but it tasted great. The steak was really flavourful and I paired it with a Diane sauce which was very rich. The chips and salad that accompanied it were perfect too.

Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto - North Yorkshire

Next up was dessert and having only had Creme Brûlée once before so I'm not able to tell what's a good one and what isn't, but this was pretty tasty. The little shortbread biscuit that came with it was good for breaking through the sickly sweet topping.

Overall I had a really great time at Tomahawk. The interior is elegant, the staff are very friendly and the food is really fantastic quality and full of flavour. If you're looking for a new spot to try in the North East, this should definitely be on your list.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Further steps I'm taking to reduce waste

Last month I wrote about how I'd come across the zero waste initiative and the community that are actively promoting this lifestyle. I noted the few ways I would try to help out the environment myself. I thought I'd write a follow-up post about my thoughts on trying to reduce waste and what has been working for me.

Reducing waste on fresh produce
Living quite close to a lot of farmland, I've been searching locally for fresh produce that I can purchase package-free. Although I pass it most times I go into Tesco, I've never really looked properly at the fruit and vegetable stand that's located outside. I visited with my new reusable produce bags and picked up a great haul of delicious produce. I was so pleased with what was available without plastic and shopping this way enabled me to pick up just what I needed. I did have a quick look in Tesco for a few extra bits I needed and it is crazy to see practically all their fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic! Have a look around and you can definitely find plastic-free alternatives.

Being more aware of plastic packaging
In this day and age, avoiding plastic is so hard when shopping for food. Everything is wrapped in a layer of plastic film and when you start really looking it's quite astonishing how much is used. It now fills me with joy when I find something new that is unpackaged and ready to pick up as it is. Making more with fresh is definitely an option but sometimes it is more work which you just don't have time for. I tried to make my own bread during last month which wasn't too successful but hopefully, I can nail it. I am now on the lookout more and more for package-free food like bread, nuts, rice and grains.

Straws are EVERYWHERE!
Seeing people with straws or getting a drink handed to me with one in honestly now makes my heart sink. The idea that we use a piece of plastic for literally an hour or so and then chuck it in the landfill is so wrong. It's hard to anticipate when you get a drink if the bar staff are going to try and pop a straw in your drink so you're always on guard. I recently went to a wedding and forgot my metal straws but I was happy to see that they didn't stick a straw in every drink! I would urge people to really consider if they need a straw. If not desperately needed, refuse it.

I'm desperate to compost
We tend to throw away quite a few bits of vegetables and fruit such as peelings or odd ends. Every time I pop something in the bin I desperately wish I had a compost bin. It is definitely on our agenda but we are currently sorting out garden out before we can find one its forever home. If anyone has any tips in the meantime about composting, please let me know!

Taking in part
Recently I took part in a beach litter pick in which we surveyed the amount and the type of litter collected. Having never really looked at the litter on the beach in this way before, it was astounding to see what people will drop and leave, or unknowingly dispose of. I'm definitely going to continue to help with litter picks with Friends of Redcar as they do these monthly. If you live in the area and fancy it too, have a look at their Facebook for dates.

Ridding plastic from the bathroom
I'm trying and actually succeeding in reducing plastic in our bathroom. I've got myself and Matthew a bamboo toothbrush which took a few uses to get used to, but now it is no different. I now use Earth Conscious deodorant (as seen in my last blog post), Lush bar shampoo and condition, Lush face soap and Sanex soap for washing. I'm still using up other products such as body butter and my face moisturiser but I will be looking for alternatives once they're gone. The switch for me has been relatively easy as I love Lush and their products.

The term 'zero waste' can seem very intimidating but I think it is really important to make the small changes you can. Although you make think this is all a fad, when you actually read into the problem that plastic and our waste are causing the planet, it is extremely saddening. To think we can all make relatively easy changes to improve how we live and how the next generation will, it is really a no-brainer.

What small changes have you been making?

Friday, 8 September 2017

Sunderland Restaurant Week | Saturday 9th - Sunday 17th September 2017

Sunderland isn't a place I visit often, to be honest, the last time I was there was to try out the football ground's Sunday lunch and the time before that was most likely to attend the first Safari supper. Like Middlesbrough, I think that Sunderland is going through a little bit of a revamp. The foodie scene is definitely upping its game and now it's hosting its third Restaurant Week. Nearly 50 restaurants are signed up to bring hungry guests some fantastic deals on food from Saturday 9th September to Sunday 17th. I was invited along with other local bloggers to try out some of the restaurants taking part in a 'safari supper'.

We started our trek in a restaurant I'd visited on the first Safari Supper, the Funky Indian/Prosecco Bar, and enjoyed canapés and drinks. Since I'd last been there they'd had a little switch up and now the Prosecco Bar is situated downstairs and the restaurant is on the ground floor. We heard all about the various Proseccos they serve at the bar and were treated to some delicious onion bhajis and masala fries.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Prosecco Bar
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Prosecco Bar

After accidentally eating too much of the gorgeous canapés in the Prosecco bar, it was time to move on to Asiana Fusion which was situated on the riverside. They served up the starter part of our meal which was a selection of Asian favourites including Satay chicken, duck parcels and vegetable spring rolls. During restaurant week they will be offering three courses for £15.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Asiana Fusion

After tucking in at Asiana Fusion, it was time to hop in a Station Taxi (sponsor of Restaurant Week, offering a £5 off voucher!) across to Port of Call's new teepee tent bar. Having already visited Port of Call at the previous event, I knew what to expect from the main venue but walking into the teepee was something else. It was such a gorgeous place to be and whilst we were there, we were treated to our main meal which was an abundance of meat. We had loads of different items offered to us including hot dogs, brisket, chicken burgers and mac n cheese. This is definitely one for the meat-eaters and during restaurant week you can get two courses for £15.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Port of Call teepee
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Port of Call teepee
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets

When we'd finished getting our fill at Port of Call, we jumped in a taxi again which took us to our final destination, Serendipity Tea and Trinkets. Inside it was very cosy and cute with lots of knick-knacks adorning the walls. At the back was a selection of cakes that we could try, and as I usually do, I picked the most chocolately one - Death by Chocolate. Accompanied by a cup of tea it was delicious. It was a great place to finish the night and after hearing the deal that they are doing during restaurant week, I think I might be back soon! They're offering a pot of speciality tea, a piece of cake and a bag of tea to take away for only £5.

As someone who is passionate about the North East, I loved being back in Sunderland to see what it has to offer so that I can spread the word about another part of our region. If you live in Sunderland or fancy the travel, I'd definitely suggest checking out the website to see what deals are on for Restaurant Week!

Let me know if you try any new places out that you think I'd like!
© this Northerner.

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