Newcastle is a beautiful and historic city with so much going on beyond the stereotypical nightlife. The food alone is something to shout about for me. There are so many wonderful restaurants and food-events in Newcastle. I've spoken about the cake & pie clubs, the Boiler Shop Steamer event and the Urban Night Feast (which is coming back in October!!!)
There is also the Eat Festival this month which has so many events, pop-ups, classes and opportunities to try new things. I have bought tickets to the Tea Owl Pop-up Picnic in September, and I am also eyeing up the Eat-Along Sushi event (anyone want to go with me?)
So as you can see there is so much more to Newcastle than you see on TV. Anyway, that is enough of the sales pitch...
Before I got a bit sidetracked there with professing my love for my city, I was going to talk about a new restaurant that has opened in the city centre. Ninety Nine is a small cafe/restuarant located beside Grey's Monument. I heard about it from a few fellow foodie bloggers on twitter. Hearing so many people whose opinions I respect greatly raving about 99's burgers, I knew I had to try one.
The cafe itself it quite small, the chalkboard menu's have regularly changing specials and also doodles and messages which gives the place a relaxed feel. All the pots of fresh herbs along the counter add a lovely freshness to the place and also smell really good. (I love the smell of fresh basil).
I was a little overwhelmed at first as there were so many things I wanted to try. The fresh pasta looked wonderful, the salads were fresh and interesting, no limp lettuce and soggy cucumber in sight!
I opted for a classic burger with sweet potato fries and a soft drink (meal deal for £5). It was pretty busy so I took my gourmet take-out back to my office for the all important taste-test. The sweet potato fries were OK, if a little soggy but I loved the spice they used to give them a little added kick.
The burger was delicious! The burger itself just melted in your mouth. The bun was lightly toasted, the salad was peppery rocket and the relish had a lovely sweetness to it. I was really impressed. I definitely feel that a quick and easy decent burger was hard to come by in the city centre and thanks to Ninty Nine I shall never be forced to eat a sub-par McDonalds out of necessity again.
I will definitely be heading back there for some salad or pasta soon. Someone posted a photo of a chicken, bacon and avocado salad on twitter and it looked heavenly!
You can follow Ninty Nine on twitter here.
So, in conclusion... Come to Newcastle, we have good food.