Dizzy Gull, Brighton

It’s a Sunday. Therefore we needed a plate of roasted foods for lunch. So after seeing a number of tweets about Dizzy Gull‘s food at the Brighton Beer Dispensary, we meandered up the road to get some grub. They start serving at 12, so thanks to the fear that good Brighton eateries have instilled in me in that if you haven’t booked, you won’t get a seat, we arrived at 12.01pm to get a table. We were literally the only people in there for at least 45 minutes. They don’t take bookings, but we were there until gone 2pm and there were plenty of tables, so don’t worry about rushing down there.

Luckily for me, the very nice lady behind the bar was very helpful in guiding me towards a beer, and I was soon handed a Brighton Bier and we settled ourselves in to the back corner with Connect 4. Then we ordered one beef roast, one Dizzy burger, beerkins and three cheese fries (to clarify: this is one portion of fries with three cheeses on it, not three portions of cheese fries). In hindsight, this was too much. The beerkins were crisp and salty when they arrived, deep fried in batter and served with mustard mayo. As a gherkin lover, I was a fan. The boy isn’t such a gherkin fan but agreed they were pretty good. Sadly, our food arrived super quickly so these got abandoned and as soon as they got cold they were just a bit oily. The beef roast was delicious. As usual in a pub roast, the potatoes weren’t the best; but the beef was tender, the Yorkshire was fluffy and the accompanying veg was good. My main issue was cauliflower cheese. I don’t like this at the best of time and I don’t appreciate cheese in my gravy.

The boy’s burger looked yummy, and as he picked it up juice and sauce came dripping out and covered the plate – perhaps a second plate is needed for people like me who actually put their food down during a meal. His review was “it’s structurally sound, tasty and attractive”. Despite the amount of sauce that dripped out, the bun held itself together and the chips were well seasoned and fluffy – again, like the roasties they could be crispier.

The chips carried on with the three cheese fries. Dripping in smoked applewood, Brighton blue and Sussex charmer they were really yummy. For the four I managed to eat. Sadly we grossly over estimated the amount of food we wanted as the first meal of the day. But these lasted way past our meals and a few more overly competitive games of Connect 4 and were still pretty yummy when cold.

We ended up somehow paying £42 – £12 for the roast (very reasonable), £10 for the burger (very good), £5 fries and £4 beerkins, which left £10.40 for two beers and a lemonade. Would we go back? Yes. The food was nice and freshly cooked, the staff were super lovely and it wasn’t rammed so we didn’t have to fight for space or yell to hear each other. Plus they have board games so it’s a winner in my books.

Have you been to Dizzy Gull? What do you think? Let me know on Twitter and Instagram!

Then we walked here <3

Five Guys Brighton

img_9184Five Guys, the American style diner, has opened up on the new Marina Boardwalk bit that juts out past the Wetherspoons, and so we headed down there before a cinema trip. Ordering is super simple. img_9185You pick your burger and then pick as many of the free 15 toppings as you’d like. We ordered a cheeseburger with grilled onions, jalepenos, pickles and BBQ sauce, and a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, ketchup and grilled onions. And Cajun fries. As we were sharing fries we ordered a large, the women informed us this served four people so we laughed and ordered a medium.

img_9187£28.40 later and we went and took our table with our beers and waited for our number to be yelled. It’s like Argos meets Nando’s. Better than McDonalds but not quite a restaurant. But #15 was yelled and I sent the boy to grab the bag. Out came two burgers and – what both of us called – a normal amount of fries. We definitely could have had a large. NOTE: We spent the meal complaining about a lack of sauce to dip the fries into. This is by the collection point. But the boy didn’t spot these. So just remember that. Also, food comes in a bag, no tray, not plates. Just burgers and fries on the tabletop.img_9189

The burgers were fine. Each bun comes with two thin patties and your toppings. Personally I prefer a thicker burger, medium rare. But I understand that’s not their thing and compared to most fast food this is pretty good. It’s juicy and tasty, and they don’t skimp on the toppings. Mine was loaded with jalepenos that were super spicy. img_9191Lucky I had a beer and some cheese. The boy said “yeh. It was good. It didn’t look like much but it tasted much better”. I think that accurately sums it up. They look a bit pants but they made us happy. The fries were soft (which is nice, I’m so super bored of overcooked fries) with a really generous covering of spicy cajun seasoning. Considering they arrived in under five minutes, I didn’t have any reason to complain. Other than the boy’s inability to find mayonnaise. Oh and I think it’s a little overpriced for what you get.img_9192

Five Guys are all over social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

You can check out my food photos on my Instagram and Twitter.

Have you been to Five Guys? Let me know what you think.

No.32, Duke Street, Brighton

photo 1 (2)After seeing Jess and Josh Cook’s Instagram photo of their burger fest at No. 32 Duke Street, I decided it was time to drag everyone along with me for all the meat. We arrived just after 6pm on a Tuesday and it’s pretty empty. As in there are two other full tables. The waiters are clearly bored and in 20 minutes we had four different waiters ask us if we wanted to order our drinks. We kept saying we were waiting for a friend but they did not get the hint. When Catriona finally arrived with her mangled foot (not as gross as it sounds) we ordered our beers. Our drinks arrived promptly then they seemed to stop caring and it took a while for someone to take our food order- one classic burger, a spicy burger and a Brie burger. All with chips. Obviously.

photo 2 (2)Because I’m lame I got really excited that their napkins are slightly better quality than usual. Feel luxurious but still rip-able and clearly disposable. But they feel like they might be reusable.

photo 3 (2)
The ‘Spicy’ burger

The food finally arrived and boy were the chips good (for two of us anyway). Not too crisp but not to soft and super salty. My spicy burger was, frankly, a disappointment. No hint of spice. It came with a huge amount of blue cheese that was particularly whiffy and yummy, kimchi that could have not been there and made no difference, and mustard mayo. The blue cheese overwhelmed everything – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not what I wanted or expected. I admit that I like super spicy food, which most places don’t do as they have to cater to everyone. I get that. But don’t call something spicy that has no spice in it. Pungent Burger might have been a better name for it. Nice bun though.

photo 1
The Classic burger

Catriona: “I ate the No 32 Classic with no tomato relish. The mustard mayo was an unpleasant surprise, but overall the burger was tasty! Until the last few mouthfuls. I found a bit of gristle in my patty and that, coupled with a greasy/fatty bit of bacon, I’m done. Chips were phenomenal though.”

photo 2
The Brie burger

Lisa: “Brie burger was okay. Brie was all in one lump but lovely when you found it. Chips were okay but too salty.”

So, all in all, a mixed bag. To sum it up, I would say it is fine. Whilst I won’t be hurrying back for the best burgers ever (oh hey Coggings and Co), if I was in town and had a hankering for a burger, you could certainly go worse places (oh hey, JB’s Diner). Burgers priced around the £12 mark with chips included is good in my books – I hate when you go places and they charge you £12 for your burger then an additional £3 for chips. Beer is well priced – a bottle of Brooklyn Lager was £4.50 which is, sadly, about right for the tiny bottle. On a weekday they also do a burger, chips and milkshake deal for £10 which is a bargain.

photo 3
The view from my toilet door

They also have insanely huge toilets. I thought there was a mirror in the middle, it wasn’t. It was more toilets. Well done team.

So after our burger and beer fest, we pootled off to watch Suicide Squad feeling that perfect level of full – not hungry but also not so full you can’t move.

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Kooks – a review

No. Not the band. (Although why not listen to Seaside as you read this).

Kooks opened in the North Laine’s recently and I’ve been intrigued by the name, menu and frontage. Due to Dan’s inability to make a decision, I told him this is where we were going for dinner.

Describing themselves as “Brighton’s boho bistro, home-from-home for the creative types”, this is normally the kind of sentence that makes me loudly sigh and hate Brighton a little bit. How can a bistro be boho? Drawn in by my lust for a steak, we stroll in just before 8pm on a Wednesday to a fairly empty restaurant. 90 minutes later when we leave, the place is packed with barely a seat spare.

Bar at Kooks
Bar at Kooks
Beer beer beer
Beer beer beer

We settle down and order the two lagers on the menu – although Dan gets served the wrong one but it isn’t explained what we got instead… I get a Camden Town Brewery lager and whatever Dan was served was flavoured with lemon and thyme which was nice and zesty against our evening of meat.

The menu. An interesting mix with starters ranging from wrapped vine leaves with pitta and hummus to sweet potato soup and mains featuring steak (mine), burger (Dan), spiced green lentil salad, haddock, and spinach, ricotta and parmesan gnocchi. But yeh. We went for meat. As always.


Steak with chimichurri sauce, sweet potato fries and grilled baby leeks
Steak with chimichurri sauce, sweet potato fries and grilled baby leeks
Steak burger with streaky bacon and cheddar cheese and sweet potato fries
Steak burger with streaky bacon and cheddar cheese and sweet potato fries

I order my steak medium rare and with sweet potato fries instead of twice cooked chips. That steak though. I finished eating it nearly two hours ago and I’m still thinking about it. I imagine it will be the only thing getting me through work tomorrow as well. Beautifully pink in the middle, I have finally found somewhere that understands how to correctly cook a steak. Nice and juicy and seasoned with black pepper to perfection. The sweet potato fries weren’t too soft or too crispy, a good size – certainly a chip but not quite a wedge. What makes this so incredible was that chimichurri sauce. Heavy on the garlic and vinegar, it’s potent but not overpowering. Basically. I was in heaven. To the extent that I repeatedly said how happy I was. I’d had a bad day and was a bit grumpy but this turned my mood around.

It was so pink.

Dan’s burger was huge. The brioche bun just held it together as meat juice dripped out onto the serving boards. I didn’t try any (we don’t really share food) but his review was “yeh, it’s a burger and it’s pretty good”. I really need to start dining with more eloquent people. They certainly didn’t hold back on the bacon, although the streaky bacon didn’t look as crispy as it could be.

We didn’t think we could manage dessert as the meat sweats were kicking in so we paid our very reasonable bill (£37.50 – £17 for the steak and £11 for the burger) and strolled out [side note: tonight was the night I chose to wear my new leather jacket, I left with a chunk of cow in my belly and the incredible smell of soft new leather wrapped around me. I still can’t believe I used to be vegetarian].

Would I go back? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. I liked the look of everything on the menu – I nearly went for the lentils which says a lot! They have a wide variety of wines and cocktails, as we were leaving the bar seats were filling up and I can imagine hanging out here of an early eve (because I’m a creative Brighton type…). But order the steak.

Kooks is on the corner of Gardner Street and Church Street and is open everyday with special breakfast and sandwich menus to keep you going throughout the day. You can check out their website here, and find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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I will leave you with the wise words of Camden Town Brewery…

Wise words
Wise words.



Crafty Chooks

On Saturday I tried to go to Crafty Chooks for the third time. First time was just after it opened as my friend worked there, but we just had drinks outside on a sunny bank holiday. Secondly, we were hungry and wanted chicken, but it turns out 8pm on a Friday is a busy time and we couldn’t get a table. Finally though. Saturday. We made it. After a long afternoon of chilling in the sunshine and ridiculous amount of Brighton seafront wind, we wanted some nom and as part of my long on going argument with Dan to prove that Hove is just as fun and cool as Kemptown we headed here.

Crafty Chooks does – you guessed it – rotisserie chicken and craft beers. Placed down on Second Avenue in the shell of the Tin Drum (and directly across the road from my friends former flat), I have the advantage that it’s super close to my house. We booked a table this time and got seated in the bar next to a rather noisy table of drinkers (we were offered a table in the restaurant once a table had finished, but by that point we had our drinks and were too lazy to move) in the window so we could rudely stare at every person that walked past/in the door. The restaurant end is cosily decorated with soft lighting and wood panels, the bar end feels more open and conveniently has the word ‘bar’ in big red letters.
A selection of craft bottled beers on offer (and cocktails)
The drinks menu features five beers on tap, 10 craft bottles and another 12 ciders and beers. Plus sprits, cocktails and soft drinks (side note: there are only three gins). Not too shabby. One Sol and Old Mout later, we are tucking into one chicken burger (skinny fries substituted for chunky chips) and one steak burger (skinny fries substituted for sweet potato wedges).
Front: Steak burger with sweet potato wedges Back: chicken burger with thick cut fries
The burgers were a good size (aka it just about fit in my mouth without having to cut it up) in a nice round brioche bun. The wedges and chips were big and plentiful, I think I ate an entire sweet potato. Slight crisp to the outside and a soft squishy middle, my wedges were perfect. With sweet potato fries being in abundance on menus across the city, it was nice to see a slight variance on this and the wedges were winning because they were basically mash in a nice shell. My steak burger was nicely cooked, I did ask for it pink in the middle which didn’t happen but there we go. Served with emmental cheese, onion marmalade and dill pickle, the burger was juicy and soft. The addition of chilli sauce and sour cream helped a lot – but honestly chilli sauce and sour cream make everything better.
"How was the chicken burger?"
“How was the chicken burger?”

Terrible burger review aside, Dan was also unconvinced by the giant chips because “they’re too soft in the middle and not crispy enough on the outside. I don’t like big chips”. This coming from the boy that deliberately ordered the thick cut chips instead of the French fries. I snaffled the last one and they are indeed very soft in the middle – but I think that’s a good thing. Just me?

By this time it was 9pm on a Saturday, and like the cool kids we are, we headed home because our afternoon of sunshine was too much for us and we were tired. With the bill coming to around £30 (would have been less except we both substituted our fries) for a burger, chips and drink, I think it’s pretty good value. Not the best burger I’ve ever eaten, but also certainly not the worst. If you’re looking for an afternoon to evening place, I think this is a winner. The outside patio is good in the sunshine, and features heaters for when it gets colder. They also have a fairly extensive sandwich and salad board, along with the option to have half/a whole chicken so I think there is something for everyone.

If you fancy checking them out, you can find out more on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

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