The Diary of a Foodie

These food blogs are made up entirely from my own personal views. I do not work for, or get paid by any of the establishments that I mention.
It is a personal account based on a personal experience, and should be treated as such.
Please use the search box to search for your favourite style of food.
If you would like to suggest anywhere for me to try, please feel free to get in touch.

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Outpost/Asian/Carlisle

PLEASE NOTE:  The Outpost, as reviewed here has now changed ownership and name to "The Royal Outpost".  This review therefore is out of date and irrelevant.  It will be removed once a new review is in place.

The Outpost is a new restaurant, opened by Urvesh Bhagudia of The Spice Enterprise.

Situated above The Cumberland Inn close to the top of Botchergate in Carlisle City Centre.

The restaurant has no parking, you may be lucky and get a spot beside the Railway Station just a few minutes up the road, otherwise you would need to find a car park - William Street (Off Tate Street) or behind Walkabout are close enough.

The Outpost has it's own doorway, next to the door for The Cumberland Inn, walk up the stairs and into a lovely, well decorated, modern eatery. The staff are welcoming, polite and helpful.

I went with my five girlfriends, it was on a warm summer night, and it was a little hot in there, but Urvesh did open the windows for us.

We started with Poppadums, and dips - beautiful hand-made dips, quite unlike others I have tried, but Vegetarians watch out for the Shimp one, I just narrowly missed it.

I started with Kari Puffs - A perfect starter size portion, which I was instructed to "eat with my fingers" - I did :)

Really tasty with a nice spice blend and mixed vegetables, in crisp pastry with a sweet chilli dip. I also had some of my friends coriander and yoghurt dip which was to die for.

To follow I had Paneer and Cashew Nut Korma (half portion). A gorgeously creamy korma with a good kick of spice, making it very tasty. I also had a half portion of Crispy Fried Okra with coconut & chillies - this is amazing, I have decided I love Okra and will continue to return to this restaurant even if it is just for a bowlful of the Okra :)

To go with it I shared a coconut rice and a spicy vegetable noodles with my friend - both of which were very yummy. The best bit is I asked for no onions and got none :)

I did mean to take the photograph before it all got jumbled up on my plate, but was too eager to start and nearly forgot !

There was plenty of food, portion sizes were more than ample (there was acutally much more than is shown on my plate, and do try the netted bread, it is like a pancake mix - light and fluffy.

The Outpost is open most days, but closed on a Monday, except Bank Holidays. There is a Dinner Deal that runs from 5-7pm weeknights.

The website is still being constructed, but here is the link.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

La Pergola/Italian/Carlisle

Situated on Castle Street in Carlisle, inbetween the Cathedral and Tullie House, you will find a set of steep stairs. These lead down to La Pergola restaurant. You shouldn't miss it, there is a board outside with specials on usually.

La Pergola - say after me..... La Perg-ala, not La Per-gola

Parking is generally easy enough on an evening. You can park on the street outside, if you can find a space. During the day would be trickier, so the best place to park would be "Devonshire Walk" Car Park, which is situated to the left of the Castle (as you look at it). Walk over the Millenium Bridge and round onto Castle Street.

Lunch 12.00pm - 14.00pm, Evening 18.00pm - 22.00pm / Closed Sundays.

You feel the atmoshphere of this charming little restaurant as you walk down the steps. Inside there is a 'main room' which has around 6 tables, and then lots of little alcoves with more tables. You can have a little alcove all to yourself, very intimate and romantic.

You are always greeted with a smile. The staff always look very smart in their nice red waistcoats, and there is a well stocked bar which you may sit at while you wait for a table.

The menu is extensive, there is something to please everyones taste, and as the food is cooked fresh, they are always happy to adapt to suit. Good Vegetarian choices too.

Tables are beautifully set with tablecloths, and proper cloth napkins, wine glasses and cutlery. With a black pepper grinder on each table.

I went with my husband Andrew, we often go on a Monday evening as the Happy Hour menu is available all night.

So, onto the food.

Always try the bread, it is hand-made, crusty and fresh, served with proper butter. Be careful though, it is very moreish and you will easily fill yourself up.

To start I had ...

Funghi alla Boscaiola - Button mushroom pan fried with garlic, bacon, grain mustard, brandy and cream - served on a crouton (I order without Bacon)

Don't be fooled into thinking a crouton is a small piece of bread, this is a doorstep of homemade toasted garlic bread topped with the most delicious creamy, mustardy mushrooms I have ever tasted. Portions are not shy at all in this restaurant.

Andrew had, and always has....

Pizza all'Aglio con Mozzarella - Garlic pizza with mozzarella cheese

It positively glistens with juicyness.

Then onto the main course.

I had....

Penne ai Broccoli - Broccoli, cream and a touch of chilli

with an extra pinch of chilli :) Beautifully cooked broccoli in a rich cream sauce, topped with black pepper, it is a really tasty pasta dish. I have never managed to finished it.

Andrew had....

Lasagna della Casa - Home made lasagana

Andrew is a very fussy eater and would not normally order a lasanga for fear of it being full of vegetables, but he loves this one, very meaty and rich.

We don't do puddings, never have the room.

The bill came to approx £35.00, this included two larges glasses of wine, and 2 cokes, but not the tip. Remember though, that this was a Monday evening, so happy hour prices on our main courses, other evenings will cost a little more.

The website is a little out of date, but here is the link.

Monday, 21 June 2010


My name is Sue, and I like to eat - lots :)

My partner and I, my kids and I, my friends and I and anyone else and I go out, quite regularly, to eat.

When friends want to go out, they phone me to ask where the deals are that evening, and sadly, I always know.

After every experience, I write it up on Trip Advisor, good or bad, then thought I should start my very own blog, afterall, someone might notice it and offer me a job as a real food critic - that would be fab :)

So, about me....... I am 40 ish, chubby (guess why?) I do go to the Vibro Gym, but mainly to enable me to eat out more and feel less guilty, married with three teenagers.

I am an Onion hating Vegetarian, which can prove extremely tricky. I also dislike Blue Cheese and Peppers, so not the easiest Veggie to feed.

I must point out that the Onion thing is a phobia, so if I cannot see them, I can eat them. Let me tell you the story. Many moons ago, when I was younger than 8yrs old, I went to a school which forced you to eat everything on your plate. One day the vegetable was boiled onion (Euwwww, it's hard to even type it!!) and I had two on my plate. I stuck my fork into one and all the layers popped out like Russian Dolls.

Anyway, I refused to eat it, so the teacher made me sit right through my afternoon lessons, which incidentally were Maths and RE - shows how much it messed with my head that I can remember that, but I still refused to eat.

At home time, I thought I would get away with it, but the teacher said if I did not eat the onions I would have to stay there all night on my own! I thought my Mum would kill me if I did not go home, so gobbled down the onions and ran, crying and retching, to the school gates.

Very unusually, my Dad had come to pick me up, well he did have a new car, collected just that day, and wanted to show it off a bit. I jumped in and promptly threw up all over the interior, and then again out of the window, down the side, all the way home.

This was the first and only time my Dad contacted the school, he was furious, and I have never eaten an onion since. Well, that is a complete lie, I have eaten lots of onions since, I just haven't seen them :)

So, the aim of this blog is to bring you the good and the bad of places I visit. Service to me matters more than mistakes, anything can be sorted out with a smile.

Hope you enjoy it.