Where to Bite – Cardiff [The Traveling Bite]
Today, my friends and I embarked on a day trip to Cardiff, the capital of Wales. Cramming an entire city into one day is an impossible thing – but we tried our hardest to see everything. After popping by to see Cardiff Castle and St. John the Baptist Church, we walked down to the Bay, before stopping in to see the National Museum.
All that sightseeing didn’t leave much time for lunch – paninis from a local cafe to go were the answer to a three hour long bus ride. But when it came time for dinner, we were glad to kick up our feet and relax with two for one drinks and delicious food at Ten Feet Tall.
While definitely not a case of traditional Welsh fare, this hotspot summoned us in with its promise of two for one drinks, live music and a wide variety of tapas and mains.
Recommended Dishes: The “Shakshuka,” a North African-style vegetable hot pot, with a poached egg, rustic bread, and a side of your choice was completely delicious and satisfying. The blend of peppers, onions and tomatoes had a distinct heat, and the runny yolk from the poached egg tempered that spice. Spread over thick ciabatta bread, with a side of arugula, I couldn’t have asked for a more balanced, hearty dish. Grilled button mushrooms from the tapas menu and a vegetable paella main were also fantastic options.
The Not-So-Good Bite: Service was a funny thing. You have to go in, pick your seet, grab a menu, and then order at the bar. While the staff was friendly and helpful, it definitely wasn’t a traditional dining experience, and it might not be the spot to go if you’re looking to be catered to. I’ve noticed this at a number of other places, however, and am starting to suspect it’s a cultural thing. A local recommended The Live Lounge, a spot with daily live music and a traditional menu. We decided against it because none of the tables had been cleared and it was very loud and smoky – after a long day, we were looking to relax. However, service appeared to work the same way. You take care of yourself, and they’ll bring the food to you when it’s ready.
The Good Bite: There are a lot of special deals, and they’re worth it. Two for one on selected cocktails, every day. For lunch, you can get two meals for ten pounds, and at night, any three tapas for eight pounds. Celebrating our jaunt to the country of Wales, I grabbed the Gin and Pear It, a delicious long drink made with Pimms (my attempt at incorporating something traditional into my otherwise untraditional meal), Plymouth Gin, maraschino liqueur, ginger syrup and pear puree.
The Best Bite: A something for everyone menu, with loads of clearly marked, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Sans the bread, my dish would have been both. The catalan-style spinach with pine nuts and raisins, or pickled mushrooms with a manchego crisp tapas are other gluten-free and vegetarian offerings.
If you’re ever rolling through Cardiff, make sure to take some of the local joints up on their deals. 10 Feet Tall offers Life Drawing Classes every Tuesday, live music throughout the year on selected days, and a menu with deals you can’t beat.
Until next time, when I’ll be taking a big bite out of Paris!