18 Dec 2013


Burlington, Vermont

When I first walked past this diner in a little free-standing house, I thought it looked rather shabby, but I’m happy I dared to venture inside. I was greeted by friendly and efficient staff, and walked past their range of cups, t-shirts and other Henry’s Diner souvenirs. A classic 50s interior with yellow stalls and bar stools, along with little flowery curtains in the windows makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time. With a long menu, including a slightly random Greek section, they serve more or less anything you could want from a diner. I had a craving for hot dogs, so I ordered one classic beef hotdog and two of their Michigan Dogs with minced meat and chili on top. Each hot dog is split along its length, so it’s double fried in that sense. There is even more grease in the amazing bread, a toasted bun with lots of butter on the outside. The hot dogs were served with perfect pickles and crisps or fries. This is definitely not the place to go for a light or healthy meal, but ideal for a proper American diner experience. The clientele was mixed, with young hipsters and middle-aged truckers dining alongside each other. I loved the atmosphere and the food, which is why I came back already the next day for some grilled cheese.

155 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401, USA

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15 Dec 2013


London, UK

It seems like London restaurateurs have become obsessed with the no reservation policy and merely accommodate a first come first serve basis, which usually turns out to be an hour long queue. The auteur and godfather of all queues belongs to the highly popular Burger and Lobster, and unwilling to wait for three hours to get a table at their Soho outpost, we went onto Brewer street and came across a cute, charming and rustic looking delicatessen Damson & Co. It was midweek around 6:30 in the evening and it wasn’t very busy, and as such we managed to get a table fairly quickly. The best way to describe Damson and Co is to compare it to a country cottage, it's very cozy, warm and small, and the wait staff is extremely friendly and attentive.  The interiors are pastoral with timber flooring, white painted wood paneled walls and leather padded seats with studded trims that make the place feel all too charismatic. The dining and drinking options are clearly displayed on chalkboards all through the restaurant, and advertised as a cafĂ© / deli it surprisingly has an extensive drinks list. In truth even though we wanted to dine at Burger and Lobster we were not that hungry but wanted to nibble. We ordered the house salad, a salmon tartare, the steak tartare and the sea bass ceviche. To drink we each ordered a bottle of their homemade iced tea; yes, bottle, as all their drinks come in mini bottles branded with the restaurants name, a nice touch. The food came quite quickly; it was all raw after all. The salmon and steak tartare surprisingly came unprepared, in that we were presented with a piece of salmon, and a piece of steak where the waiter would show us what we were about to enjoy prior to slicing it down to its expected presentation. They both came served with garnishes and relishes to add on the side; an unusual albeit nice surprise. Both tasted fresh and exquisite, although the portions could have been a bit bigger; each dish was finished after four bites. The sea bass ceviche was as equally tasty and refreshing, and the house salad that is a traditional salad of mixed greens and radish was very crisp and delightful. At a price tag of 25 pounds a head for four dishes (tapas portions I may add) and three iced teas, Damson and Co is definitely not cheap, as such won’t rank high on the hanger meter as for that price I’d expect more generous portions; it’s a deli in Soho after all, not a restaurant!

21 Brewer St, London W1F 0RL

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9 Dec 2013


London, UK

Whenever in doubt or out of options as to where to eat, Byron usually comes as a safe bet; it’s reliable without needing reservations, it’s consistent in delivering to expectations and it is very tasty and filling. My latest Byron spree was last month when Byron was serving their November monthly special, the ‘Mo’Shroom’ in honor of Movember. It was late afternoon and my friend and I had just finished watching the latest Hunger Games (a must see if you haven’t already done so), and we were walking around for two hours. As a result we were very hungry and wasted no time by contemplating what to order. My friend opted for her classic order of the Byron burger, whereas I decided to try the Mo’Shroom burger. We both ordered French fries, a coke each and shared an Oreo Milkshake. The food arrived quite swiftly and we immediately dug into our burgers, so quickly that we forgot about our fries and shake till the end. The Mo’Shroom is best described as an upgraded rendition of a classic cheeseburger. The burger is a 6oz hamburger served with sliced Portobello mushrooms, Swiss cheese, Emmental cheese, crispy bacon, shredded iceberg lettuce, red onion and cep aioli; I ordered my burger sans bacon. The burger was very good, though a bit too heavy on the cheese side with the two types of cheese. The burger patties were expectedly well cooked and the aioli and lettuce provided a refreshing taste and crunch to the overall experience. It was a very predictable and solidly good burger but didn’t manage to leave a lasting impression. The Byron burger my friend had was its usual excellent quality with a good taste. Byron is definitely a favorite in that it never disappoints, however it never manages to excite or thrill my palate. Still, I would definitely recommend it as a dependable and reasonably priced institution.

93- 95 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3LD

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