A Bit About Bait

27 Feb

Ethan Morris, a graduate student in the public history program, is the first MTSU student to participate in the study abroad program at Northumbria University in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England!


 

A Bit About Bait

I enjoy trying a new restaurant and thought I would conclude my February posts with short descriptions of a few of my Newcastle favorites. I begin most mornings by walking five minutes to the Caffé Nero on St. Mary’s Place. The staff knows my regular order of black coffee and, occasionally, raspberry porridge. The store boasts a wonderful view of the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr, which lies just across the street (and has an interesting backstory if you care to do a little research). If I’m inclined to take a longer walk, I would likely visit the Riverside Café on 1 Queen Street. The shop reminds me of mom-and-pop stores in the States, and it seemed comically appropriate to hear both Randy Travis and Barry Manilow on the radio during my first visit. For those of you watching your wallets, a good cup of black coffee, no matter where you go, will cost about £1.75. If, however, you’re hard up but need a cup, you can get coffee for £1 at the Lit and Phil.

For lunch, I would recommend the Hippo House on Collingwood Street. You’ll need to use a GPS on your first visit because the store has no distinguishing marks. From all appearances, the store is a camera shop and actually was once—in 1915. The owners discovered this bit of history during a renovation several months ago and decided, for the sake of heritage, to leave the shop with its original facade. The Hippo House serves sandwiches for around £3 and caters primarily to office workers who drop in to pick up their bait, or take-away lunch. I would suggest their Monte Cristo with salad greens on seed bread. Another excellent lunch spot is Wi-Fri, a diner in the Grainger Market, where you can order an enormous plate of fish and chips for a little over £5. If you aren’t too full after your visit to Wi-Fri, walk about fifty feet to Oliver’s and pick up a piece of caramel shortbread to take-away. I promise you won’t regret it.

The dinner options vary. I would suggest the Herb Garden on Westgate Road. The restaurant serves gourmet pizzas, vegetarian dishes, seafood, calzones, and assorted meat platters. You can easily spend £20 here, but, if you order a take-away “lunch” just before 5 pm, you can slide out with a dinner pizza for a cheap £5. Not far from the Herb Garden, beside the Hippo House in fact, is the Coop Chicken House. While it may sound like a terrible name for a supposedly “fine-dining” experience, the Coop serves quality food at a good price. For £10, you can get half of a rotisserie chicken, a bowl of skin-on fries, and a plate of ratatouille or roasted corn. After dinner (because of course you’ll want dessert), visit Di Marco on Grey Street. Hand’s down the best pastry shop in town, it serves any number of hot drinks and cakes. Be prepared, however, good portions of the menu are in Italian. So feel free to point if you don’t know exactly what something is. After all, when it’s at Di Marco, you can’t really go wrong.

Caffé NeroCaffé Nero

The Riverside Café

You can faintly see the glowing “OPEN” sign of the Riverside Café, located in an old section of town, directly under the Tyne Bridge.

-Ethan Morris, Public History Graduate Student

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