Catford Bridge Tavern SE6 – new in 2017

It’s pleasing to see the redeveloped CBT doing well again under new ownership, since re-opening Easter 2017 with a new roof terrace, refurbed dining room and a good range of drinks from craft beers to “gincident” gins

The former Catford Bridge Tavern run by Antic, closed back in November 2013 (Tesco bought the lease, then sold it to Solitaire after community campaigns to save the pub), it then caught fire and stood empty for about two years (see re-construction time-lapse). A disappointing saga.

With a happy ending?

Let’s take a look. Starting with skin-on chips that take some beating:

Beer battered haddock + skin-on salted chips with tartar sauce

Beer battered haddock: nice white ‘meaty’ fish

Food promos run on weekday evenings:

Burger MondaysBurger + skin-on chips and a pint for £10.00 (the offer’s since changed to buy a burger, get a second for £1)

They’re good burgers. Every day of the week.

The menu changes fairly regularly, here’s a sample from April 2017:

Sample menu 

Sea bream @ £11.00

Pano – cross-section restaurant and bar-side

Fancy a bar snack?

Cumberland sausage rolls with mushroom ketchup – bar snack @ £4.00

Craft beers

Saving the best ’til last, it’s got to be Sunday roasts:

Sunday roast: pork belly + crackling @ £14.00

20170903_CBT Sunday roasts
Sunday roasts: pork belly with crackling (top @ £14) and topside of beef (bottom @ £14.75) with roast spuds and proper Yorkshire puddings

Eton mess @ £4.00

Watch out for quirky events and themes, from music by a Granny DJ to “Gincidents” and dog shows.

The verdict: Catford has a great traditional-style pub again – good food, drinks, and service (bar and waiting staff are usually chatty and helpful) in a comfy, clean space that’s enjoyable to relax in.

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Pub, British
– Address: Station Approach, Catford, London
– Postcode: SE6 4RE
– Nearest station: Catford Bridge, Catford
– Website + menus: Catford Bridge Tavern website
– Photos on flickr: images of Catford Bridge Tavern food
– Location: Catford Bridge Tavern map


Rolling Stock Burgers – Haggerston

Huge beer garden – perfect for hot summer days

After a very weird interactive secret theatre experience at the King’s Head in E2 (some really-good-burlesque that turned into a not-at-all-good-zombie-apocalypse in a mucky-Hamleys-style pub full of dead animals; parodying From Dusk Til Dawn) L and I were ready to enjoy a drink, some food and the sunshine, late Saturday afternoon.

We hadn’t gone far along Kingsland Road before we came across Rolling Stock, set in arches next to railway lines. The inside space seems pretty cavernous with all the lovely old arches. Or maybe it seemed that way as it was empty due to the glorious weather. The few customers who were there, were outside enjoying the beer garden. And on the plus side, the Rio Olympics were on, on big screens, both inside and out.


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Huge beer garden


Bar staff were welcoming and jolly, but didn’t have a clue about the craft beers available, when asked. And at £4.80 a small can of beer, it wasn’t exactly good value. I guess that’s trendy Shoreditch for you but may explain why no one was here on a Saturday afternoon when other places nearby were heaving. No matter, I was glad of the peace and space.


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Burger with bacon – served in a seeded bun


L ordered a burger with bacon, while I had a rolling smoke burger @ £9.95 with lettuce and caramelised onions. They both included excellent skin-on chips.


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Let’s have a look inside…


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And see how pink the beef is in the middle – perfect, and the cheese is in the middle of the patty


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Empty inside on a hot Saturday afternoon – showing sports



The verdict: Great beer garden for hanging out on warm days. They describe themselves as an “arts destination” for local “creatives” (as is the whole Shoreditch area, surely?). It could be worth checking their website to see what’s on if you’re in the area. Great burgers and good bottled/canned beers.


Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
– Type: Burgers, bar
– Address: 48 Kingsland Rd, Shoreditch, London
– Postcode: E2 8DN
– Nearest station: Hoxton, Shoreditch High Street
– Website + menus: Rolling Stock website
– Photos on flickr: Rolling Stock images
– Location: Rolling Stock Haggerston map


Mudville 9 – Traditional American + craft beer New York

After a fun-filled afternoon at Barcade in Brooklyn playing games like asteroids and drinking craft beer, we explored Williamsburg but struggled to find somewhere really appealing to eat. K had already got his eye on Mudville 9 – a traditional American restaurant with the largest selection of craft beer in Tribeca (over 150 beers) – so we headed back to Manhattan. Great choice.


The restaurant was busy and nicely buzzing on our Saturday evening visit. We were greeted promptly and experienced really efficient service throughout. Our server was really on the ball – she didn’t even write down our order but everything arrived correctly.

Single portion (10) of wings @ $12.50


If ever there was a time to convert K from his dislike of chicken wings, it was here in New York, at a proper American barbecue and burger joint. We ordered a ‘single’ portion of 10 wings to share (a generous portion) with sauce @ $12.50. And guess what –  he’s converted and now likes chicken wings. Tick.

We ordered side dishes of truffle mac n 4 cheese @ $9.00 and onion rings @ $8.00.

Onion rings, truffle mac n 4 cheese


Mudville 9 food menu



One of the drinks menus – craft beer


For main course, I ordered beer battered cod sandwich platter with tartar sauce @ $13.50 while K had a bar-BQ burger sandwich platter with Bonelick BBQ, hardwood bacon and onion rings @ $15.50. Both were served with hand-cut fries.


Beer battered cod sandwich platter with fresh tartar sauce and fries @ $13.50



Bar-BQ burger platter with onion rings and fries @ $15.50




The verdict: This was a seriously good meaty meal with an excellent choice of drinks. Given the size of the portions, it was really good value too. Good, straight-forward American food. I hope to visit again.


Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
– Type: Traditional American, BBQ, burgers
– Address: Chambers Street, Tribeca, New York
– Zipcode: NY 10007
– Website + menus: Mudville 9 website
– Photos on flickr: images of Mudville 9 food
– Location: Mudville 9 map

Mudville 9 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ristorante Archimede Santa Eustachio – Rome

Saturday night in Rome (2 of 2)

Following pre-dinner beers at and a re-visit of the Pantheon (obligatory when in Rome), we stumbled upon Ristorante Archimede Santa Eustachio on Piazza dei Caprettari, nearby.

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Ristorante Archimede Santa Eustachio

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Outdoor dining

It looked appealing and cosy, serving typical Roman cuisine. It was this that attracted us rather than it’s grand, fourteen-syllabled name which doesn’t roll off the tongue so easily.

Greeted with welcoming Italian hospitality the moment we stepped around the hedge, we ordered a bottle of Elena Walch (EWA) vino bianco d’Italia (recommended as an aperitif or to accompany slightly spicy dishes owing to its dominant grape ie. 60% Gewürztraminer, 20% Muller Thurgau, 20% Chardonnay) which was very reasonably priced and turned out to be a really good wine.

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EWA vino bianco d’Italia

From the extensive menu, and with a little assistance from our jolly waiter, we ordered deep fried artichoke flowers (a Roman speciality) and octopus for starters.

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Deep fried artichoke flowers

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Cucina tipica Romana – octopus in a tomato sauce, artichoke tempura

For main course, K ordered porcini fettuccine while I had potato gnocchi seasoned with a tomato and basil sauce. Both were outstanding and full of fresh ingredients giving a surprising complement of flavours in each mouthful.

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Porcini fettuccine

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Fresh gnocchi

Although we were stuffed we were so enjoying this dining experience, that K ordered a strawberry pannacotta for dessert. It was outstanding, served in the juice of fresh strawberries (no fake flavoured sauce from a bottle here).

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Strawberry pannacotta

A serendipitous find, Ristorante Archimede Santa Eustachio has set a high benchmark for this holiday’s dining.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Roman, Italian (in Italy)
~ Address: Piazza dei Caprettari, 63, 00186 Roma, Italy
~ Website + menus: Ristorante Archimede Santa Eustachio website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Ristorante Archimede S. Eustachio food
~ facebook page: On fb
~ Location: Ristorante Archimede S.Eustachio map

More Rome drinking + dining:
~ Bir + Fud – stone baked pizza + craft beers
~ – real ale bar + restaurant
~ Open Baladin – 100+ craft beers
~ Ristorante Archimede Santa Eustachio
~ Roma Cavalieri – terrace dining in a Mediterranean oasis
~ Virginiae – cucina Romana *best pizza*
 – Rome’s craft beer scene

Saturday night in Rome (1 of 2)

The current craft beer revival is more widespread than you might think. Rome’s craft beer scene is particularly vibrant and fast-growing, with over 100 breweries and several brewpubs.

And we intend to try as many local brews as we can during our short holiday here.

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Small bar at

First on our hitlist was (on fb, or see my photos) where we stopped for pre-dinner beers served in nicely designed re(thinking)Ale glasses. Knowledgeable, friendly bar staff talked us through the local beers available (less than a handful) and while the restaurant looked appealing, it was small and full so we moved on to look for somewhere else to eat… (see post 2 of 2)

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Real ale at (Naturale Organico Alimento Umano)

Restaurant/bar info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Address: Piazza di Montevecchio, 16a, Rome, Italy
~ Photos on flickr: my photos
~ Location: map

More Rome drinking + dining:
~ Bir + Fud – stone baked pizza + craft beers
~ – real ale bar + restaurant
~ Open Baladin – 100+ craft beers
~ Ristorante Archimede Santa Eustachio – typical Roman cuisine
~ Roma Cavalieri – terrace dining in a Mediterranean oasis
~ Virginiae – cucina Romana *best pizza*



Howells + Hood Chicago

There’s nothing objective about this post.

I just happened to have a very, very nice time at Howells + Hood – hanging out on the capacious bar terrace at the base of The Tribune building on a warm Spring evening, slurping craft beers carefully selected from a menu boasting the largest selection of draft beers in Chicago (114 unique local and global varieties) and generally relaxing with friends I hadn’t seen for ages, after getting burnt walking around Chicago this afternoon in the sunshine (from Navy Pier to Ohio Street Beach along Lake Shore, past the volleyballers at Oak Street Beach, to North Michigan Avenue, The Tilt at Hancock Tower and back down to DuSable Bridge over the Chicago River). Ahhhhhh. I love this city.

And did I mention tasty beer?

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Mine’s a Goose Island Greenline – cheers!

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Some kinda local specialty – deep fried cheese (who cares exactly what it is; it’s deep fried cheese in a spicy coated crumb. Yum.)

Because some notes are worth keeping

Well I did say there was nothing objective about this post. But if you’re in Chicago and you’re thirsty and you’re passing The Tribune, check out Howells & Hood. It’d be foolish not to.

Restaurant + bar info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: gastropub
~ Address: 435 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL60611
~ Website + menus: Howells + Hood website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Howells + Hood shenanigans
~ facebook page: Howells + Hood on fb
~ Location: Howells + Hood map

More Chicago dining:
~ Gilt Bar
~ Gage Tavern
~ Spanglish Mexican Kitchen
~ Tesori

Howells & Hood on Urbanspoon

Byron proper hamburgers – and fab veggie burgers too

This was only my second visit to a Byron burger bar. Again, it was a fairly speedy visit during lunch hour. And again, I ordered a veggie burger @ £7.75 (grilled Portobello mushroom, roasted red pepper, goat’s cheese, baby spinach, tomato, red onion and aioli) and courgette fries @ £3.25.

Veggie burger – Portobello mushroom + goat’s cheese too good to resist

Courgette fries – remember to take a photo before hoovering them all up!

In part, I ordered a veggie burger over a hamburger as I was going out for dinner in the evening so didn’t want to be too full (in case you missed it before, I find that too much meat at lunchtime sends me into a sleepy food coma). And in part because it’s proper delicious.

Byron menu – proper hamburgersproper veggie burgers too

The verdict: thoroughly pleasing. And craft beers too. What’s not to enjoy?
I just hope I can resist the veggie burgers enough to try a “proper hamburger” some day…

More of the menu:

The ‘Byron’ burger with skin-on chips – 6oz hamburger, dry cure bacon, mature Cheddar, shredded iceberg, tomato, + Byron sauce (no onion) @ £9.50. “Proper hamburger”, proper good.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Burgers
~ Address: 36 locations across London, plus 9 cities across the UK
~ Website + menus: Byron burgers website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Byron proper hamburgers
~ Spitalfields branch (E1 6FQ): Byron Spitalfields map

Byron Spitalfields on Urbanspoon