Sunderland Restaurant Week

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to sample the restaurants taking part in Sunderland Restaurant Week, along with a bunch of lovely North East bloggers and journalists. During this week (until 16 Sept) you can eat out across participating Sunderland restaurants for £5, £10 or £15 (depending on the restaurant and deal).

As well as providing a great opportunity to catch up with old colleagues and blogger pals, it was amazing to try out Sunderland's new and exciting edible offerings. To be honest, I never go to Sunderland. It's a bit of a trek from my home of Teesside and where I lived in Newcastle, so Sunderland restaurants have never really entered my radar.

HOWEVER, for some of these beauties I will be making a trip back, or at least booking in before the theatre or something.

We were put into groups of 4-6 to sample three different restaurants, one for starters, one for main, and one for dessert (after wine and nibbles at The Albert Pub as well lol). If you saw my Instagram story you will understand just how this resulted in a 'food hangover' for days. I. Was. So. Full.

Starters

For Starters, we went to No.2 Church Lane. The quirky little venue specialises in burgers with a total of 18 on offer (six being vegan or veggie), if you're wondering how on earth there can be that many varieties of the classic dish, here are some examples which may surprise: The Fish and Chip – a large piece of cod served with mushy peas, tartar sauce and a wedge of lemon, Sweet Home Avocado – char-grilled Cajun chicken with avocado chilli jam and lime mayo and The Plucking Swine – panko chicken breast topped with bacon, mozzerella and 'Churchy's sauce'. Anyway, enough about their burgers cos we were actually there to sample their (also quite extensive) list of starters.

Quick side note – they also threw in two options of loaded fries so we went for the Heavenly Fries (vegan, with BBQ pulled jackfruit) and the Holy Fries (drenched in beef chilli and melted cheese – not so vegan). I only tried the Heavenly because beef and cheese are not my thing, but I love a bit of vegan cuisine and they definitely were heavenly.


Actual starters-wise, we got Spicy Risotto balls (essentially Arancini, which I had a lot of in Oz so I was bloody thrilled by this), Falafel, Cheeseburger spring rolls (a strange one that I'm still not convinced on tbf), homemade slaw – always a winner, loaded nachos – these were idyllic with plenty of salsa, guac and sour cream, onion rings – I passed on this but they were HUGE and the others said they were excellent, Halloumi fries, Pigs in Blankets (who knew you could get a starter of this lil favourite anywhere) and chicken goujons. As you can imagine, I tried almost everything (soz onion rings and Holy Fries) and was so full, but it was very much worth it in the name of research.


Overall, I'd say Churchy's is definitely the perfect place for a filling post-pub meal, They even do a chip butty.

Mains

So everyone was slightly shocked by this one. For mains, we went to Wetherspoons. Maybe not haute cuisine, but they have introduced a new pizza menu full of thin, crispy and to be fair, quite decent pizzas. We sampled the Pepperoni, BBQ Chicken, garlic bread, and a few more but to be honest, I could only manage the BBQ chicken at this point in time (oh and ofc come of the cookie dough they threw in for good measure because there's always room for dessert). I did bring some home for my parents – it went down extremely well with the older crowd too.


Dessert

Being a tea-lover with a sweet tooth, dessert was my favourite. We went to The Looking Glass, which is a genuinely adorable Alice in Wonderland-inspired venue. Think quirky decor, clocks everywhere, gold leafing on the menus and the most extensive list of teas. By this point I was so full of pizza and risotto balls that I decided the detox tea would be wise, along with a chocolate and orange tart of course.



Find out more about Sunderland Restaurant Week and the deal specifics here.


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