McDonalds-Small-Heath

Last Wednesday I went along to a blogger event at McDonald’s in Small Heath, Birmingham. I’m not a f McDonald’s regular but I do love the odd double cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake so I thought it would be a great opportunity to go along, find out more about the company and see what goes on behind the scenes.

When I arrived at the restaurant, I was greeted by Sarah from the PR company who had organised the event and then I was introduced to Martin, the Franchise Manager. After telling us all about his history with the company, Martin gave us a tour of the restaurant and explained how the brand has progressed over the past few years and what the future plans are. You may have noticed that your local branch has had a bit of a makeover – the new decor is very bright and modern and a lot of new technology has been installed.

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With the addition of the touch screens, life has been made much easier for both the customers and the staff working at the branch. With these, you are now able to select exactly what you want, you can see pictures of the food as you are making your selection and you are easily able to customise your order. This is very handy for someone like me who is extremely fussy – I can select a ‘plain’ cheeseburger and I am able to check the order before I pay and it goes through to the kitchen to ensure that everything is correct and I am going to get exactly what I want. When using the touch screens to complete your order, there’s also the option of table service; all you need to do is let them know which part of the restaurant you are sitting in (it’s split up into three different zones) and then leave the receipt on the side of the table. When your food is ready, a member of staff will then bring it over to you which is a great idea if you are dining as a family with small children.

The Small Heath branch also has Samsung tablets installed into one of the tables so customers are able to play games whilst they eat, one of the tables even has charging points for phones which is very handy and there is free wifi throughout the store.

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We were then taken into the kitchen so we could see how the food was prepared. The first things we were instructed to do upon entering the kitchen was to put on an apron, hair net and cap and wash our hands thoroughly – something each staff member has to do every half an hour. We were then shown how the patties are cooked on the grill – did you know that the standard patty that you get in a cheeseburger or a Big Mac only takes 42 seconds to cook?

It was then time to learn how to create a Big Mac! We watched as we were talked through the process, starting from toasting the three parts of the bun in a massive toaster which gets the job done in 17 seconds, to adding the special Big Mac sauce, onions, lettuce and cheese to adding the two patties at the end. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a fussy eater so when it came to making my Big Mac, I opted to go without the sauce, onions and lettuce; Martin let me put an extra slice of cheese on to make up for it though! I really enjoyed the whole process and the end result tasted pretty damn good. I’m not sure if I would be able to work there and produce as many as they do – up to 85 an hour and still get everything right.

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Although I am a meat-eater, I am always open to trying out veggie options of meat; I do really like vegetarian sausages and have enjoyed the odd veggie burger in the past. Quorn have a vast range of meat-free options and I’ve been amazed that they have tasted so much like the real thing, a lot of the time I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between the meat and the Quorn!

National Vegetarian Week is coming up next month from May 16th – 22nd and I’ve decided to try out some vegetarian recipes during the week to see if I could possibly be persuaded to cut back on my meat consumption a little bit.

 

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I’ve had a look on the Quorn website and there are so many different recipes for all of their products, some of them I would have never thought of trying myself and the one that immediately caught my eye was the Pulled Quorn and BBQ Sauce buns. This is something that I would usually have but with either pork or chicken, so I would be really interested to see how it compared.

Ingredients

  • 4 Quorn Meat Free Chicken Fillets, defrosted
  • 100ml BBQ sauce
  • Coleslaw
  • 75g white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 75g red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 75g carrots, grated
  • 50g red onion, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp mayonnaise, low fat variety or natural yoghurt
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • Seasoning
  • 4 brioche bread buns

Method

  1. Hand shred the Quorn Meat Free Chicken Fillets and mix with the BBQ sauce. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes
  2. Mix together all the coleslaw ingredients and season to taste, chill until required
  3. Tip the shredded Quorn Meat Free Chicken Fillets in the BBQ sauce onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C/Gas Mark 4 or until core temperature is reached
  4. Divide the coleslaw between the buns and fill with the Pulled Quorn

For more information on eating Quorn as a source of protein, have a look at the Mycoprotein Information site.

This post has been written in collaboration with Quorn. The recipe is property of Quorn.

 

Coast-to-Coast-Birmingham-Potato-Skins

Coast-to-Coast-Birmingham-Pulled-Pork-Sandwich

Coast-to-Coast-Birmingham-Ice-Cream-Sundae

A few weeks ago, I was invited along to Coast to Coast, an American restaurant and bar on Birmingham’s Broad Street. I must have walked past this place hundreds of times, but I’d never noticed it before. Being just a 5-10 minute walk from the city centre and situated right in the hustle and bustle of Birmingham’s biggest street for night life, Coast to Coast is the ideal place to go to kick off a night out.

Walking in, I was surprised at just how big it was – the bar area is massive and would be a great place to go to for cocktails. When I arrived, I was presented with a voucher for our food and I headed over to the bar where my friend and I spent a while deliberating over cocktails whilst we waited for my other two friends to arrive. I finally decided to get a champagne based cocktail which was delicious. One of the waiters also treated us to a glass of prosecco after finding out it was our first time there – how nice was that?

The restaurant is situated just behind the bar and is also suprisingly huge. There were plenty of tables and we were seated in a little booth towards the back. We didn’t have to spend long looking at the menu as all four of us had already looked at it online before we arrived – we were all so excited! We decided to go all out and have starters and in my case, a pudding too.

For my starter, I chose to have the loaded skins with bacon and cheese which were just perfect. This is one of my favourite starters to have and I will always choose it if I see it on a menu and I must say that these were some of the best loaded potato skins I have ever had. They were served with a sour cream dip and were perfectly soft on the inside with just the right amount of bacon and cheese. I could eat these all over again!

Choosing my main was a no brainer – when I saw that they had pulled pork on the menu, I just had to have it. I’m a huge pulled pork fan and hadn’t had any for quite a while so I decided to go for the sandwich with sweet potato fries. I enjoyed this although there wasn’t a lot of sauce so I found it to be a bit dry. Now I look back at the menu, it says that there was meant to be a jug of bbq sauce served with the sandwich but I didn’t get this; it would have been so much better with the sauce!

I always have room for dessert – I always say that I have one stomach for ‘proper food’ and one stomach for desserts. I went for the mint oreo sundae which was so so good – I could eat that everyday, I do love a good sundae! It was the perfect end to the meal.

Coast to Coast has such a great atmosphere, the food is fantastic and is very reasonably priced. I would highly recommend you pay them a visit the next time you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Birmingham.

I received a voucher to pay for our meals, no other compensation was received