Tuesday night brought about our sneak preview of the 4th Sunderland Restaurant Week, starting on Saturday 17th and running until Sunday 25th of March. As usual we were treat to a sample of restaurants taking part in the hope of whipping up a frenzy about dining out at a bargain price. Restaurant week means being able to dine out in some of the great cafes and restaurants Sunderland city has to offer for as a little as £5, £10 or £15 pp.
Looking at the list of restaurants i was super excited as i have never been to any of them before.
First up was El Nido (which means The Nest), a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican foods and beers. They have a great range of cocktails and tapas style foods and are renovating their menu currently so will have a whole lot of new foods available in time for Sunderland Restaurant week. Unfortunately I have an intense dislike of coriander and spicy foods….and Mexican food is notoriously spicy and full of coriander! lol
Needless to say I could only sample a couple of the tasters but what I did have were delicious! The smells were amazing and everyone else seemed to really enjoy the food. The venue is downstairs so quite dark and atmospheric and i can imagine it being cosy with a great vibe on a night out with friends!
Our second port of call was to 2 Church Lane, a fabulous burger and pub type eaterie that boasts over 15 varieties of burger! This was my most favourite venue of the night and we will most definitely be a regular here! The staff, atmosphere and location were perfect, the vibe was bouncing and everyone seemed genuinely happy doing their jobs (this is always a bonus when going out for food, to know that the owners and staff are passionate!)
We were brought out a selection of their burgers including The Tyrannosaurus Mex which is a double 3oz burger patty topped with homemade chilli laced with Flag Porter, melted Monteray Jack cheese, sliced chorizo and chilli jam! One of my favourites was the spicy vegan risotto balls and since I’m not vegan its something I probably would have overlooked on the menu – so glad I got to have a taster as I will be ordering those again!
Next we popped across the road to The Engine Room Bar & Bistro at The Fire Station. A down to earth venue that oozes character because it has maintained a lot of the original features of the old fire station including flooring and tiled walls etc. Plaques adorn the walls and there are firemans helmets and memorabilia dotted all around the huge dining room.
Serving good old fashioned pub food including fish and chips, curry and burgers this is the kind of place that could become a regular hangout for a meet up with mates after a shopping trip around Sunderland for a quick bite to eat. The food was delicious and very homely, I can imagine the venue getting very loud and the noise bouncing off the tiled walls come Saturday night so I don’t think it would be the place for an intimate meal for two but ideal for families or groups of friends! They also have a fabulous selection of sorbets and ice creams that you must save room for!
Dessert finished off the night over at their sister venue, The Peacock. Now, when I use to drink around Sunderland it was known as The Londonderry and had an awful reputation as an old mans bar! I remember the floors being sticky, the ceiling falling in and the toilets unbearable so I was looking forward to seeing just how much of a transformation had taken place…and I am pleased to say I was very pleasantly surprised! With beautiful decor and furnishings, open fire and desserts to die for this was most definitely somewhere I would go to for tea and cake.
We sampled the 24 carrot cheese cake (a mix of cheese cake and carrot cake – see what they did there!), chocolate brownie and jaffa cake ice cream and jam pudding with custard! Be still my heart – I am still dreaming about that brownie and ice cream – divine doesn’t cover it!
Overall I am super excited to visit Sunderland restaurant week and will most definitely be taking the opportunity to visit more of the fabulous venues participating in SRW! #EatDrinkSunderland
We were invited on a food crawl around Sunderland, as always all views and opinions are my own and genuine.