Glasgow; various eateries; Nostrana & the Finnieston Fez

So I finally tried, after it was only open a few weeks, Nostrana, a new Italian place in Hyndland (just north of Soul Space in the link), Glasgow.

Nostrana, Hyndland, Glasgow

It was nice, very friendly service (my date spelled their coffee, and they were just SO helpful with them, even giving a new one FOC!), with food that at first seemed “small”, but was huge.

Handcrafted pizza

As usual, I felt that a normal dish would not be enough, wrong again! I ordered some bread, whilst the plus 1 chose their salad; both ample enough.

Well worth it, but no doubt during the winter, it’d be desirable to sit inside.

4/5

This brings us to the Finnieston Fez, located on the eastern edge of Finnieston, in the West End of Glasgow.

To be honest, this was a surprise, though I had walked past before, and always had a hankering to sit in the window seat. I shall return.

While inside, I was literally the only one there (later there were more, almost packed), and was confronted with several very lovely people. What a joy, they WANTED to be there! Isn’t that a good feeling, I was not intruding.

The menu is a Moroccan type of Mediterranean thing, and I opted for something simple – a Falafel Panini, and just had to have the sweet, traditional, Moroccan tea – glad I did. And for it to be served in a traditional setting, perfect.

As for the Panini, it was flavourable, and not overbearing. The tee-pee type of container contained slight chillied olives.

I will return.

4/5

CB

Cavavin, Hyndland – Cafe’ish & Wine Shop – Wonderful surprise

Cavavin – Street Wine Bar with nibbles

Cavavin has been here at the junction of Hyndland Road and Clarence Drive, only for about two years plus? Not too sure, but recently, or the last few months, they’ve offered a street service, though this may have been here longer (they also have a very small seated area inside, near the beer section in the back)?

Equally, it’s possible to have small side plates with your obscur’ish wine; the usual ones though quite delicious – humous, olives, etc. I had the hummus and pitta bread, which fitted perfectly (some portion!)

I hardly think this is bandwagon jumping, as there are simply not enough wine bars / wine and snacks type of places here; Lord, do we really need more cafes?

Though naturally, it is possible to get a coffee, tea and even a hot chocolate here as well.

I certainly look forward to the winter, when I’ll definitely be here on the odd mid-week evenings.

CB

Jordanhill, Glasgow – the Prancing Stag – Restaurant

Nice touch with a business card

Have you ever walked, biked, carred, etc, by a place, and still never have gone there? This happened to me with the “Stag“, so after needing car repairs, we finally decided to pop in here; a place that has had numerous name changes over the years – I’ll be back.

As the name indicates, it has a Scottish / Scottish Highlands type of vibe going here, with food to match. We were brought out a free Aperitif that was a delight, particularly the butter, if that is what it was. I then ordered the Venison to share – a perfect mixture of meat and fruit.

The menu had a variety of meaty, fishy, and even non-meat dishes, that all were true to this theme and also to many other, “modern” restaurants in Scotland, particularly in the West of Scotland / Highlands.

Pork Belly & Chorizo and the Fish (x3) special on the evening

For the mains, we chose the crispy pork belly, that was perfect; crispy but at the same time, the meat melted from itself. My partner in crime simply loved the fish, it was also devoured.

This was both classical stuff and modern. They pulled it off perfectly, and a quick glance at the numerous reviews on TripAdvisor, will only confirm this.

The dessert was perfect, a parfait, with that new thing called “soil” – merely a crispy bit of crumbs, in this case chocolate.

In addition, the knives are this new type of design, where they can stay “standing up”, if laid on a flat surface.

5/5

CB

Nowita Ice Cream – Hyndland Street, Partick, Glasgow

Part of Hyndland Street, Partick, Glasgow

What a cool little street this is. Maybe it’s the true diversity of the shops / businesses / cafes here; or maybe it’s that there are no chains?

Hey, I LOVE big chains, but at times, I’ve no time for them; the monotony, the sameness, etc; though I do love the prices.

For example, we will have another new business here (above), Nowita Ice Cream, that will be an ice cream shop / parlour – a welcome addition. Considering we have two on the nearby Byres Road, that have seemed to stay in business during the pandemic; here’s hoping this one can as well.

A new Nowita Ice Cream café

I’ve not heard of them before, so maybe they are a local business? We wish them luck.

CB

Rickshaw & Co, West End, just off Byres Road, Glasgow – Different

The first thing that I had noticed when I was here a few weeks later, just to do a reckie, was that the menu was slightly different, and though there were familiar faves, it said on the label that this was a Bengali restaurant. If so, it must be a first for Glasgow? Though I’m not sure.

Rickshaw & Co, Partick Bridge Street, West End, Glasgow – Complete with Balcony

What really appealed, was that it is again, one of those type of “tapas” places, where the servings are allegedly smaller, and are brought to your table as and when they are prepared.

Believe me, the three of us had about two to three each, and it (along with some bread / nans) was more than enough.

Mural just outside the Restaurant

I had a hamburgy type of thing, that was similarish to American Sloppy Joes, though this was not as sweet, and had more of a slight kick to it. More of this please.

In addition, there seemed to be a multitude of spice bowls, where they certainly did not skimp on the portions.

This combined with a very attentive and knowledgeable service means I will return to check out the rest of the menu.

CB

More Thornwood, Glasgow – Amo’s Cafe, Dumbarton Road

Amo’s, Thornwood, Glasgow

What a surprise for us here, as we were looking for the always reliable Tulipane; no longer to be seen?

So wondered in here, and found it to be French? Maybe I am wrong, but after we finished, had a delightful conversation on Steve McQueen, and in particular Papillon (co-starred with Dustin Hoffman) – not the absolutely dreadful remake in 2017, with Charlie Hunnam! Maybe I will read the original novel, as suggested.

The eggs and avo were the hit

Have to say, everything was made from scratch, enough time to settle down and actually chat, and would be back.

CV

This week; the Thornwood area of West Glasgow, a newish café and various wanderings & more!

Thornwood, used to be out west of the West End of Glasgow, or at least that is how it seemed to me; even more west than Partick, but not anymore.

There are many newish restaurants and cafes in this area. And even some peculiar street art:

Royal Mail in Thornwood, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow

What a beautiful thing to have! And so far, it has not really been vandalised. Long may that continue

How intricate

CB

What a lovely, trad place; Glasgow Central Hotel, City Centre, Glasgow

I’ve been here before, and after a recent BBQ at my bit, someone had the nerve to say that it is just so old-fashioned and out of date?

Really? They’ve overhauled this place some time ago, and now it not only is modern, but fits its place that it is trying to do. Our very own Ritz, if I may add!


We were there for tea and cake, but the design, service and accoutrements were brilliant – linen serviettes. The view was perfect for not only people watching, but also to see the piano players, hitting the plastic ivory.

Various internal shots of the Cafe

Even the food was class, with a pink cheesecake chosen for me.

It seemed to me, that this is primarily known and used as a bar / champagne bar (its title), but whoa to be had, with just a little walking around the city centre.

They even had a collection of photos from previous stayers at the accommodation in its heyday; ranging from Roy Rogers to Gene Kelly; though I did not see the photo of Diego Maradona, from I believe 1979.

CB

Portugal – Part 4 – Lisbon City Centre – A brief (again) visit

After the previous day, decided to head to the city centre and away from the Alfama hills.

Lisbon Underground – Compact, efficient

When there, went west! Not to the hills and the hoard of tourists, or so I thought! They were everywhere! The place was crammed with every nationality known.

I managed to go to the go to place, facing the ocean and the huge square there.

There were quite a view people already there, concerning the early morning when I arrived. If you ever come here, go further west, and there are many more opportunities to grab an old street car, but more on this in a few days.

Here I noticed even a beer museum! Why not, but it was not open yet, and I had little time.

Beer Museum, Arco da Rua Augusta

From here, I walked along these streets to the west side, and came across a multitude of pubs, cafes, sights and restaurants.

Lisbon Streets

And saw one of the better tourist “things” to do ever, a mini car, that can be hired for two intrepid adventurers.

Mini cars for rent if Lisbon

CB

Portugal – Part 3, Lisbon Centre (Alfama), food, some notes . . .

After settling into my hotel, and having a overnight sleep, tried out the breakfast; but in this case, there was none? Hence, decided to go around the corner to buy some croissants, etc.

I found a metro market called Auchan – which is actually a French based shop, and noticed one or two peculiar but helpful things.

Order / Collect – Interesting Idea

One was the ability to order and then collect your food in an area at the very front of the entrance. I know there are shops here who do this, but maybe not to this detail; completely in English also!

The other was some bizarre (apologies for the black & white photo) chart on the wall at the entrance, describing something? Ah, the French strike again.

Instructions?

After this and some work, did a wander downtown, mainly to meet up with family in the Alfama region, of the city centre.

If you haven’t been here before, it’s a maze of hills, restaurants, yellow trams and tourists! OTOH, it is brilliant! Just go for a wander here, you CAN NOT go wrong.

Here, I walked by the coast and then by several places (Maritime Museum and a Taylors Port tasting room), that I will save for another day. BTW, the weather was awful, I seriously thought it was going to snow!

After this, I had a simply wonderful meal at one of the hundreds of places to choose from.

Restaurant in Alfama

Afterwards, used the metro to return to my hotel, and loved some of the wallpaper.

Lisbon Underground

CB