Chipotle Chicken Salad – Tossed, Bankside

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The weather is still cold as we speak and the forecast looks to be staying cold till end of March! Looks like spring will be awhile yet. Have not been feeling great digestion wise so decided to have a salad today. Took a walk to Bankside and visited Tsuru’s neighbour for lunch.

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Tossed is one of those salad places where you can either get a house menu salad or mix and match your own concoction on the spot. Identical in concept to Chop’d which I have blogged about  before. Apart from salads, they also have stews and what they call tossed pots which are various toppings on brown rice. Places like these can be bewildering while you decide which salad component goes well together so the house menu option is always a good bet. Posters around the joint stated that their Chipotle Chicken salad is a best seller so hedged for that to give my brain cells a breather.

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For the salads, you have a choice of medium or large or for it to be served as a wrap. I went with a large and it cost £5.95. There are quite a few other house menu options, some costing as little as £3.95. You place your order at the counter, pay then proceed to the collection counter where they assemble your order. Was wondering why my receipt has the name Jordan on it. Only figured out that each order is assigned a celebrity’s name when I overheard Justin Bieber and David Hasselhof summoned before mine. Ironic since I’m not really a breast person.

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There is also a fridge area where you can pickup pre made items if you are in a rush. Did not managed to explore that section much as my order was ready in a jiffy.

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Was not expecting much from my order by the looks of it but this is a standard case of don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I thoroughly enjoyed the concoction! The crunch of the tortilla chips and lettuce leaves, the creamy avocado, mixed beans and tender chicken breast, the tangy salsa and ranch dressing to the heat of the jalapeno peppers all complimented each other exceedingly well. A word of caution though, they were quite liberal with the jalapeno so for those who can’t stand the heat, do ask to go without.

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I will definitely be back to try the rest of the stuff on Tossed’s menu.

Tossed
6 Canvey Street
London SE1 9AN
0207 928 2928

Sierra Chicken Sandwich and Salad – Micha, Old Spitalfields Market

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Readers of my blog will know that it’s very seldom that I crave for bread being a rice bucket and all. Came lunch time today, I could not get the image of a hot and toasted sandwich out of my mind. Was intending to go to Go to try out their toasted foccasia but got distracted by the long queue at Micha instead.

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I have blogged about Micha awhile back and as before, was amazed by the range of options available and the value for money. Apart from Tesco, I don’t think you can get a huge sandwich/wrap/baked potato with a small salad for between £6 to £7. They also offer a soup and salad option due to the impending cold weather.

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The Sierra Chicken Sandwich was the only bready thing on offer today and the combination of chipotle mayo, Gouda cheese, tomato and chicken sounded tempting enough for me. There was a choice of plain or seeded bread and I got seeded. The sandwich was toasted on order and managed to stay warm from the walk back to office. The highlight of the sandwich was the chipotle mayo which provided the smoky and spicy kick the sandwich requires while the thick slices of tomatoes counters with tang and juice.

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For the small salad, I got gnocchi, orecchiette with pea sauce and a lentil and chickpea salad. It is suppose to be a small side salad, but after plating it out, it’s bigger than the sandwich! Sandwich and salad for £6, can’t beat that! So cost wise, it’s great but quality wise I’m not as convinced. The gnocchi was doughy and quite heavy in texture with a rather bland tomato sauce while some of the orecchiette was not cooked through. The lentil and chickpea salad is what it is so nothing to wow about.

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Was looking at the other customers and some of them were munching on paper cones of chips while waiting for their wraps to be toasted. When I got closer to the counter, there was a note that said the chips are free with order of sandwich or wrap, you just need to ask. I never pass up a freebie and glad I did as the hot and crispy chips kept my tum warm on the walk back. Free chips! Score!

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Micha
Horner Square
Old Spitalfields Market
London E1 6ED

Pork Ciabatta Pulled Pork Chipotle Soup – Altamarea/M&S Simply Food, Ely’s Yard/Liverpool Street

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Looks like it’s going to be a piggy lunch day. I have a spare ready meal soup from Marks & Spencer from my forage yesterday so decided to just add a bread of some sort to make it a full lunch. Being Friday, the food stalls at Ely’s Yard are out in action and I was sort of craving for a ciabatta.

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The nice Italian owner of Altamarea kindly talked me through what they have on offer. Was seriously tempted by the calzones but decided to stick to my guns and had to chose between the parma ham or the slow roast pork ciabatta. I think the choice is obvious, at least for me! At £4.50, won’t exactly say that the ciabatta is a good deal but having been told that the ciabatta is home made, I will hold my judgement.

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Back at base camp (i.e., my office), stuck the Pull Pork and Chipotle soup into the microwave and turned the dial to 6 minutes on full. I get very anxious whenever I microwave thick soups in it’s tall container. It’s either the top portion of the soup boils over while the bottom is stone cold or some components of the soup decides to spontaneously explode. It’s never a straight in and ding affair, at least a couple of stirs in between. Anyway, the soup was hearty and delightfully spicy. The entire container was filled with black turtle beans, British Pulled Pork, chunks of celery and tomatoes, all in a smoky tomato broth. The smokiness probably came from the chipotle.

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The ciabatta in contrast was pretty tame tasting. Slices of salty roast pork, melted cheese, rocket and tomato all packed into a light and crusty ciabatta. I think the taste of the package would be much improved if some sort of chutney, salsa or pesto is added. By itself, it would be pretty plain. Luckily, I have the strong tasting soup as a compliment.

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Apparently, Altamarea has a shop in Borough Market and everything in the food stall is prepared at their shop. They set up their food stall every Friday at Ely’s Yard, Saturday on the Brick Lane main thoroughfare and back at Ely’s Yard on Sunday. So if you are in the area, pop by.

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Altamarea
5 Green Dragon Court
London SE1 9AW
0790 717 9792
altamarealondon@gmail.com

Beef Burrito – Mexway, Shoreditch Boxpark

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Hola! It has been awhile since I had a burrito so thought why not? Remembered there was a Mexican place at the Boxpark so I grabbed one while travelling from one office to another.

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Mexway is one of the few food outlets at Shoreditch Boxpark and I believe this is their only outlet. The container (Boxpark shops are all made out of shipping containers) is mostly taken up by the long counter where the food is assembled so the only seats are outside. Making an order is easy, first you chose between burrito, taco, salad or totopos. What is a totopos you might ask? Reading the definition in Wiki, I think it’s similar to what is commonly known as nachos.

Back to ordering, next you chose the filling of either chicken, beef, pork or veggie. Then you choose either rice or beans or both then lastly a salsa. I went with burrito, beef, both rice and beans and the spicy salsa. Apart from that, I also got guacamole, cheese and some lettuce and chopped tomatoes. At £5.95, pricing is pretty standard for a Mexican burrito. Also added some tortilla chips with salsa at £1.50.

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The burrito is pretty good I have to admit. The beef was nicely marinated but still has the beefy taste, the rice was nutty and provides a good chew. The spicy salsa was a killer! Worse was I had the same spicy salsa on my tortilla chips as well. For those you who can’t take the heat, suggest you go with a milder salsa. I can still feel the warmth radiating in my tummy now. My only complain is that the burrito is not hot (temperature wise). Not asking for it to be boiling but if the meat was kept warmer, I think it would taste even better.

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Mexway
52 Boxpark
Bethnal Green Road
London E1 6GY
0207 613 2973