Palate Freshener: music, brunch and croque monsieurs

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Poached eggs on toast
This time: top brunch in York, a community-owned music venue in Newcastle and a croque monsieur pop-up with a little je ne sais quoi

If you like: Un petit peut de je ne sais quoi
Then try: Croque Tease, various locations
We the ladies behind Scream For Pizza had put their extravagant croque monsieur/madame alter egos into cold storage, but they’ve been out and about again over the last few weeks at verious food festivals in the North East – keep an eye on Twitter to see if the renaissance is to continue. Basically, they do grilled sourdough bread with melted cheese, stout-glazed roast ham and topped off with a gruyere and Parmesan béchamel sauce. Mon dieu. 

If you like: Indie venues with a bit of personality
Then try: The Globe, Newcastle
After the George and Dragon at Hudswell won Camra’s Pub of the Year award earlier this year, community-owned pubs have been given a bit of a boost. This live music venue’s not in a particularly glam locale (it’s sort of near the Metro Arena) but it’s got a neat cocktail menu and a short menu of Tex-Mex nibbles as well as an esoteric list of upcoming artists.

If you like: Rapidly expanding foodie empires
Then try: Ham and Friends, Leeds
This sister venture to much-loved charcuterie and wine bar Friends of Ham is an expansion of the same produce-prizing, quality-first ethos which made the original a success. There’s a food hall, a kitchen doing refined classicist plates, wine bar and a dedicated cheese room. 

If you like: Brunching like a king
Then try: Robinsons Café, York
A place on Bishopthorpe Road comes with a certain amount of pressure as well as a certain cachet and in its year or so of life there Will Pearce and Rebecca Toppin have proved they can mix it with the best in the city. Brunch is worth queuing up for, and the upscale avo and roasted tomatoes on sourdough in particular.

Published in: June 2017

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