Burger and Chips at The Vintry, St. Albans

On a spontaneous trip to meet Al Monty and JB, we checked out this very wine based gastropub in the centre of Verulamium, or better known as St. Albans.

Burger and Chips at The Vintry, St. Albans
Burger and Chips at The Vintry, St. Albans

A decent burger, with plenty of oompf. They do the 8oz and 10oz version, with various toppings and in various styles. Bacon, Emmental Cheese, baby tomatoes, anything you could think of. This place could have been a burger bar in a different life.

I opted for the 10oz version, which comes with chips, and is only £6.90 – which is a bargain compared to London prices. You get this with a pint of coke for under a tenner, which gives extra plus points right from the start.

As for condiments you have Heinz squeezable mayonnaise (which was empty), mustard and Heinz ketchup from a glass bottle. But you also get a side dish of their famous “Bloody Mary Ketchup” in a little pot on the plate, which is great – a hint of Tabasco and a bit of something else make this one an unexpected dunkable delicacy.

The burger itself is huge. Definitely the size of a DVD, with a grilled sesame bun. Mine was a bit burned, but the waiter exchanged it immediately for a nicer one. Full of meaty goodness I say, this home made burger stands out. Well done yet juicy, served with a huge slice of tomato and two slices of lean bacon. Bit of lettuce, and that was it.

The chips were special too: thing cut, like fries rather than thick cut, with the skin on in places. These babies are not off the shelf and remind me of what you get at The Outback Steakhouse (but different… you get my drift).

Verdict: it was so big that I couldn’t finish it. That’s a GOOD sign. It was juicy, it was tasy – it was the best! Up there in Burger Heaven, not even The Diner can touch it!

11 Thumbs Up!

Miami Beach Huts

Miami Beach Hut, 12th Street
Miami Beach Hut, 12th Street

Here’s a project Julia and I started last year: take a picture of all the Miami Beach Huts.

Shame neither money nor time allows us to go back this year and finish the series, but it’s on the backburner. Here’s what we have so far, all the beach huts from South Pointe to 15th Street.

I was inspired by these little pieces of art ever since I came to Miami back in 2001, and I always wanted to do this. Since then, the character of South Beach has chanegd dramatically, and it won’t stop there. South Beach is like Las Vegas: everything changes all the time. Gone is the slightly seedy character from 10 years ago, and in move the super rich (or those who pretend to be). Soon there will be the point where you won’t be able to buy a cup of coffee for less than $10.

Meanwhile, the Beach Huts have been the same. They stand the test of time and are the real Art Deco. Each of them an individual, and here’s hoping they’ll stay just the same.

Farewell, Beach Huts, and hang in there another year. I’ll be back for the rest of you ;-)

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Pringles Pocket Pack: Original Flavour (2009)

Pringles Pocket Pack: Original Flavour (2009)

Looks like Pringles will do anything to lure you away from crisps made from chopped potatoes. Stable Chips are the future, and here’s another desperate attempt by Procter and Gamble to make sure you won’t look the other way.

Vegan and Veggie safe, a measly 35g in the bag, for the price of an entire tub.

Verdict: er… we’ll let you know.

Chicken Burger and Chips from Deliverance

Having received a raving review on the Beef Burger, I decided to give Deliverance another go.

Judging by the photo, "terrible" is an understatement
Judging by the photo, "terrible" is an understatement

However, on the Chicken Burger, they couldn’t quite “deliver”.

With the usual sweaty chips and all the ingredients you would expect from a good burger, this one came to the office luke warm. On top of all that, the top of the granary bun was rock solid hard.

Not good, especially when we know they can do better. Considering £8.50 plus £2.50 chips, we’re all very disappointed… In their defence, I must admit having had this dish before, and it was definitely on to another winner.

Bad luck in the kitchen, I guess you just can’t win the all.

Verdict: grab a Pot Noodle

I just had the same idea: www.12seconds.tv

There’s me having a creative blitz, only to find out someone has already done it!

Since I’ve started my video blogging extravaganza Today in My Life, I’m really getting into it. In fact, it’s feeding into all kinds of other ideas I’m getting. You could argue, I’m inspiring myself – that’s a very interesting experience!

12seconds.tv - and I'm on the front page!
12seconds.tv - and I'm on the front page (in 5th position)

What I like about the series is that I’m using video footage like I would use Twitter or Facebook: put out a random thought, short and sweet, and that’s the end.

The difference between this method and classic “video blogging” is that with the latter, there are no time constraints. You could ramble on for minutes, which bores you to death when you watch it back next week. So I thought, maybe there’s a way to utilise Twitter’s API, combine it with YouTube’s API, and create TwitVid.

Could work in the same way as TwitPic, then post via direct capture, MMS, email or upload. But the important bit is to introduce a time limit on how much you can actually post. Once done, the system would automatically Twitter this to your account.

Friday evening, I thought to myself: “This would be very cool”. Come Saturday morning, I mention this idea to John Williams. Highly excited, I did a Google search on “Video Twitter” and am already checking domains.

After about 30 seconds of research, of course I find 12seconds.tv – doing PRECISELY what I’ve just thought up, and they do it since sometime last year. Shortly after, John sends me an email telling me about this service too.

At first I was a bit disappointed that someone else had this idea before me. But then I thought, there’s obviously a gap in the market, sharing my philosophy – so I joined immediately! And so should YOU, dear reader!

From now on, the series available on this site as well as 12 seconds – check out my brand new channel at http://12seconds.tv/channel/versluis/