Friday, 10 October 2014

Ladies Who Lunch - The Big Easy + DF Mexico

Last weekend was mostly spent eating. Blame being away from the city for the past couple of weeks, the awful autumn weather and goodbyes and birthdays. Or that my friends and I just love to eat (I told you they were good'uns).

First stop was The Big Easy for Elodie's goodbye (for now) meal. We'd been to The Big Easy once before when it first opened back in spring. The menu had slightly changed (no lobster roll or lobster salad anymore) and I thought it seemed a little pricier than before but the US vibes and large portions were definitely still present! I opted for the veggie burger after eating all of the animals on my China trip - the burger came with fries and slaw on the side for £9.90 - not too bad! The slaw was really good, not too mayonnaise heavy a good counterbalance to the prevalence of fried foods on the menu. The bean burger was really tasty - veggie burgers are often quite bland but this one wasn't. I ditched the bun as the chips were so good (I try to live by a "one carb per meal rule") - piping hot and crispy (nothing worse than lukewarm chips) and super salty - yum! My dining companions all opted for the shrimp basket - I was impressed by how huge the shrimp (/prawns because we're British!) were and liked the basket presentation.

For a big, busy restaurant the service at The Big Easy is great - I felt that we were really looked after by our waitress who was quick to take our order and check that we were happy with everything. I'd definitely go back to The Big Easy for a big group meal - they take bookings - but I think my arteries might need a break for a while. The portions are big and the atmosphere is fun but the menu could maybe do with a couple of slightly healthier options although I guess you don't really come to somewhere like this for "healthy".

On Sunday we headed east for Sarah's birthday meal. I'd wanted to try DF Mexico after reading Grace Dent's review of it and after walking past a few times on my way to Brick Lane. The restaurant is owned by the founders of Wahaca but is more American-diner themed than Mexican street food. Orders are made at a counter, Nandos-style, or at self service machines although I skipped these in favour of talking to a real person - while I like the idea of the machines I'd rather not be reminded of self-service check-outs when having lunch and the people using the machines seemed to be making a right meal of it (ha). Soft drinks are bottomless making for more Nandos comparisons - I tried the lime and chia and the sweet rice milk when I'd usually just have  Diet Coke (I had a few of those two - the bottomless drinks seemed to have a strange effect of making everyone ridiculously thirsty).

The menu is divided into sections - each offering a beef, chicken, fish and veggie option. I opted for a chicken burrito - for £6.25 it was really good value and super tasty, the DF Mexico burritos are much less rice-based then the takeout variety which I appreciated (see above carb rule). We shared some nachos to start and I pinched a few of Sarah's chips although they were not particularly crispy although as chips are not a Mexican specialty I'll let them off. Hannah definitely won the food envy contest with the platter - it looked so good and was a huge portion for around £10. After our mains, our waitress came over to have a chat with us about the food and what we liked and didn't like about the restaurant, she had maybe seen us all snapping pictures of the food and thought we might be keen to chat, which we were! In exchange we got some free ice creams - these are the only dessert offerings and come in three flavours. I'm not a big ice cream fan but the dulce de leche soft serve was really tasty. We were left to chat away for a good few hours and weren't made to feel like we needed to rush out which was really nice. I'll definitely be back to DF - as an added bonus of the ordering system, there's no awkward bill splitting at the end - definite win for any future group meals.

Have you tried either of these restaurants?



  1. When can we stuff our faces again?!

  2. Those shrimps... (insert heart eyes emoji here)

    Good thing I'm not gone for long since I'm now dying to try that Mexican place!

    - Elodie x


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