The “Big Question” being polled in today’s Leicester Mercury is not about religious assemblies, the possibility of Greece defaulting or court orders over parental custody of children. Bravely shunning the mainstream news agenda they’ve gone with “are there too many gourmet burger restaurants in Leicester?”.

The question is prompted by news that Five Guys could be opening in that empty former Santander building opposite the main entrance to Highcross. A couple of years back Five Guys and Shakeshack opened the same week in London to a hyped rivalry not seen since the Grea Blur/Oasis Standoff. The two US businesses have become stock market stars just a McDonalds star has started to wane.

I’ve never been to Five Guys, and it may be very good. It’s got a fast food approach to its restaurants, but  manages to price itself well in advance of the lively independents also setting up in Leicester – cheeseburger and regular fries is £12.  With Crafty Burger available three evening a week, and the estimable MeatCure about to open on Highcross Street, I’d like to think Leicester public will deem them surplus to requirements and support local businesses.

Right, now my views on Grexit…not really.

North's Afternoon tea

I will add something though – if you’ve really had enough of burgers for the time being, there’s a more genteel offering being launched by North’s Bar and Kitchen on Hinckley Road. On afternoons from Wednesday to Saturday they are now offering full afternoon tea featuring a selection of finger sandwiches, cakes, scones with jam and clotted cream,and a choice of tea or coffee and the option of a glass of champagne. Booking essential.

North’s has also extended its range of bottled craft beers f6orm Two Cocks brewery, for which it is the only stockist in Leicester. New arrivals include Roundhead, a fine traditional, malty  best bitter made form Cascade and First Gold hops, and which won a Great Taste Award last year.

 

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North’s Bar and Kitchen

February 11, 2015

north'sIt was good to attend a busy pre-launch party at North’s Bar and Kitchen on Hinckley Rd last week. Sited in the same corner building as the much-loved Entropy, it’s been smartened up outside and refitted inside, retaining the two-sided layout and (semi-)open kitchen, but extending the bar and upgrading the outdoor area at the back.

The food doesn’t try and replicate the high-end approach of its predecessor, but does promise simple, affordable British and European food, cooked onsite and with a commitment to local sourcing. So for the evening menu starters might be mushrooms with garlic and parsley or whitebait, mains parma-wrapped chicken breast or goats cheese and caramelised onion tartlet.

There’s bar, business, and restaurant experience in the management team and it’s good to see a stylish independent opening up here. West End folk will be pleased to see it retains an all day approach and there seems no reason why it won’t become a popular place to while away time with a coffee and sandwich, and for those lazy Sundays with the paper that turn into a meet-up with friends, a  late lunch and few glasses of wine.

 

 

 

 

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