This is starting to become an annual list but, to be fair, the culinary landscape of Crosby seems to be fairly fluid as well so hopefully I have captured the must visit places that our little town has to offer. Enjoy and please let me know if you agree, disagree or have better suggestions.
1. Mixed meat and cheese platter – Livin’ Kitchen
Livin’ Kitchen has been a great addition to the College Road Collective, as nobody but me calls it, under the expert eye of Gav the manager. Though only a small eatery, with limited kitchen space, the staff are brilliant and the quality of food and drink are exceptional. Though not particularly cheap, you get what you pay for and the fact you struggle to get a seat is evidence of the popularity of this place. Top of the shop has to be the cheese and meat platters and best of all the mixed platters. Choose your favourites, or let the staff surprise you. All accompanied by plenty of bread, nibbles and chutney.
2. Popcorn (all flavours) – Tipsy Monkey
Another new arrival to the Crosby scene and, to be fair, would almost certainly be on this list for its small plates rather than its popcorn, but I am yet to try them. Once again, an establishment that is enhanced by the quality and knowledge of the staff, in this case the owner George, who is only too happy to share his knowledge and expertise with you on any of the food and drink on offer. His recommendation was goat’s cheese popcorn paired with red sparkling Lambrusco.
3. Bavarian Slice from Satterthwaites
Now a well established Crosby institution, Satties has a regular Saturday queue emerging from the doorway, ably served by the ladies in red (“£20 Barbara” – for those who know). There are many things both sweet and savoury to relish at the bakehouse but my particular favourite is the Bavarian Slice. Take care when eating as they can be messy things, my advice is keep licking the custard from the sides – only a fool goes straight for a full bite!
4. A Pint of ice cold Estrella from Corkscrew Crosby
After all that food and on a nice hot day what could be better than a quick visit to Corkscrew Crosby. Lois and her staff are extremely friendly and the Estrella is as close to a great Spanish experience that you can get in Crosby: crisp, chilled and in its own glass. Look out for the half pint glasses as well – cute!
5. Scampi from The Good Catch
A new addition to Crosby, this is one of a small chain of fish and chip shops which deliver quality fish and chips. Our favourite, however, is the scampi which provides something a little different from the traditional fish and chips. Make sure you have it with their delicious tartar sauce.
6. A Buddha Bowl from The Little Deli
Yet another new entry to the Crosby food scene, based on Endbutt Lane, the Little Deli is run by Rana and Julie. Once again it is evidence that having a passion, knowledge and love for your food is a key element of success. Now anyone who knows me and my lukewarm relationship with many vegetarian foods might be skeptical but, even I, thoroughly enjoyed their Buddha bowls, not just healthy and nutritious but actually full of flavour.
7. Thai Street Tapas at Ayuthaya
This is another restaurant I have done a full review of (click here) and the food is very good. The restaurant brings a welcome oriental dimension to the village and is a big improvement on the long gone Harry’s Bar. Of the many dishes worth a try I enjoyed the Street Tapas 2 from the lunch / early bird menu: pad thai chicken, mopping (sweet pork skewers), prawn toast and Tom Kha chicken soup.
8. Iron Men Blend Coffee (IMC) from Crosby Coffee Roastery
It is great to see young local entrepreneurs doing well and Jack, the founder of Crosby Coffee, is no exception. I did a longer review of several of the coffees from Crosby Coffee (click here) and they are great. All freshly roasted and the IMC is a blend of Brazilian Santos, Guatemalan Coschecha and Indian Cherry. Just opening the pouch is joy in itself as the rich, fresh aroma floods out. But now he has his own premises complete with on-site roastery and coffee rooms. Give it a try.
Not open for most of the week but when it is you know you are getting quality. The best dish for me was their seafood platter a combination of crispy skinned fillets of hake, cod and trout, scallop, king prawns, crab and mussels. All of this cooked in light and delicious sauce with a good hint of chilli and served with beans, carrot and fragrant rice. You can read the full review of Ellington’s here
10. Pornstar Martini in This is Livin
The older sibling of Livin’ Kitchen, this is now a well established bar / restaurant off College Road which is particularly popular in the summer with its outdoor space and expanded conservatory. Serving a range of quality beers, including draft Moretti ensures a decent, reasonably priced night out. However the stars of the show here are the cocktails and king of those is the Pornstar Martini. Well made, sweet and indulgent, very easily Red’s favourite.