We got the weekend off to a pretty amazing start with a breakfast entirely of desserts at The Little Macaron Shop (who were lovely and complimentary and encouraging about my Bootleg Maclairs recipe which was very kind of them, even though the originals were so much better). I actually can't say enough good things about this place, it's only a small shop cafe but filled with character and the passion that Ste has for the food definitely shows in every inch of the place. There was quite a large group of us this time we so we got one of every dessert in the shop to try between us, it seemed rude not to really. This included white chocolate maclairs, four different flavours of macaron (including lime and salted caramel) and chocolate mousse. It was probably the greatest breakfast I've ever eaten and it put The Little Macaron Shop right to the top of my places I'd recommend to eat in Liverpool list.
One of the main reasons we decided to visit the city on this particular weekend was to catch the end of Tate Liverpool's Summer exhibition, which this year was titled Mondrian and His Studios. I wasn't too familiar with Mondrian before but the whole thing was beautifully put together, including an artists reconstruction of his Paris studio which for lack of a less cliched phrase, really did bring the works to life.
Despite spending several hours in the Tate, we were still pretty stuffed full of maclairs when we left so decided to go for a bit of a walk around before thinking about dinner. We stopped off at The Open Eye Gallery, which is an absolute must for any photography lover visiting the city, and where on this occasion we were in the gallery looking at photographs of other people in galleries looking at photographs and then someone took a photograph of us, which is probably the most hipster thing thats ever happened to me.
We also got to visit a few of the Superlambananas which are my favourite things on earth. For the unfamiliar, they're basically large statues of sheep that have bananas for bottoms and they are all over the city. It's the weirdest and best thing I've ever seen. They capture the spirit of the city brilliantly and every time I see one of these crazy statues it reminds me of all the good and silliness and loveliness there is in the world and it makes me incredibly happy. Also how cute would real life superlambananas be? Come on Science, make it happen.
That Saturday happened to be National Taco Day so there was really no debate about where we'd be going for dinner that night. Lucha Libre is a mexican street food restaurant in the city centre and it is beautiful. 'Hipster chic' seems to have been the interior design trend for all restaurants and bars over the past few years but there are subtle differences between the mass produced venues and the character filled, independent restaurants who really own the aesthetic. Having never been to Mexico I can't assess how well they put across the spirit of the culture but Lucha Libre does feel extremely welcoming and relaxed and it captured my imagination far more than any chain restaurant ever has. We're back to cliches, but when you find a good independent restaurant you don't just get food, you get an experience.
I decided to order the Chorizo and Potato Quesadilla because my unhealthy obsession with melted cheese makes quesadillas a strong winner with me whereas the boys went for a burrito each. We also shared some spicy fries and to celebrate taco day, some plates of the days specials which were blackened pork, apple, cabbage and sour cream puree, and a vegetarian option of halloumi, carrot puree, beetroot and spring onion. As we'd been before we already knew the food was going to be good but the specials definitely blew me away. As a big fan of the pork/apple combination anyway, the mexican twist on this got me very excited and the vegetarian taco was a nice break from the very spicy dishes we'd picked to accompany it.
Every time we've been to Lucha Libre the staff have been delightful and this trip was no different. There are no forced smiles and passive aggressive hints for tips, they're just genuinely friendly and helpful. We were also pleased to receive 10% off our bill with Dave's Independent Liverpool card, although the prices are incredibly reasonable to begin with and if you're in a hurry (or just want some extra to take home) they have a takeaway option. I really can't think of a better way to have spent National Taco Day, or our Saturday night.
I'll be putting up reviews/tales of the rest of our trip later on in the week. In the mean time I'd love to know what your favourite places to eat out are right now, so please leave a comment below and let me know!