Flat Iron is my go-to place in Soho when I’m craving steak but don’t want to spend a fortune.
The menu is simple, delicious and cheap; a winning combination.
The star of the show is the ‘flat iron’ steak, which comes with a fresh garden salad for just £10. For a few more pounds you can pick up some tasty sides like their dripping cooked chips, roast aubergine (one of my favourites), creamed spinach or their special salad. They also have a nice little selection of sauces for £1 to go with your steak – I tend to pick the béarnaise, which is creamy and rich, and might just be one of the best I’ve tried.
Flat Iron also put on a special meat of the day, which is either a different cut of steak or their famous flat iron burger. We’ve tried both and can definitely say that the specials live up to the high standards set by the other dishes.
The flat iron steak is mouthwateringly good. It’s tender, pink in the middle and perfectly salted. It’s not a standard cut – coming from the shoulder and cut with the grain not against it – but it is super juicy and full of flavour. The sides are all really good too; the chips are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, the special salad is simple but tasty and the roast aubergine is comfort food at its best. The goodness doesn’t stop with the steak though – they also do dessert! Well, there’s only one dessert, but it is amazing. Salted caramel mousse piped straight from the cream gun into a cute little mug, all to yourself. They even give you a little jar of salt flakes so you can add it to the mousse, bite by bite. It’s the perfect way to end the meal.
Not only is the food really good at Flat Iron, but the staff are all very friendly which makes the restaurant have quite a fun atmosphere. I’ve eaten at Flat Iron by myself before and not felt like a loner – I guess the shared tables kind of help! It’s also the little details that make this place so appealing, like a complementary mug of popcorn as you sit down at your table, the quick service, the ‘Flat Iron’ meat cleaver they provide with your steak, the fun music and the cozy environment.
Flat Iron don’t take reservations and they get pretty busy (which is completely understandable!) so we always try to go early so we don’t have to wait long. That said, there’s a nice bar downstairs that does pretty delicious cocktails so at least you can have a drink and sit down while you wait for a table. There are two locations (both in Soho) but I’ve only been to Beak Street so I can’t comment on the Denmark Street restaurant… yet!
So next time you are feeling a little low in iron and looking for somewhere fun and friendly that won’t break the bank, head to Flat Iron for mouthwateringly good steak. You won’t regret it!
© 2014 Fiona Tregeagle.
I’ve been to Barcelona twice before but this trip was by far my favourite.
I went to meet up with my friends, Kate and James, who were travelling around Europe over summer (and managed to join us on our Greek sail) and Micu, who was travelling in Spain while on gardening leave. It was only a quick trip (two and half days is far too little time in Barcelona) but it was just long enough to enjoy some tapas, soak up the Spanish culture and feel the warmth of the sun again.
To me, Barcelona is such a vibrant and wonderful place to visit. It has amazing art and architecture, incredible food, a really interesting history and culture, great nightlife, cool boutiques, beaches and lots of sunshine. Out of all the places I have travelled, Barcelona is one of the few that I could see myself actually living and working in. That said, it would be hard to work when there are so many other fun things to do!
The weekend was quite relaxed (although we didn’t end up sleeping very much!) but we still managed to squeeze in a few tourist activities, lots of food and some partying.
A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without some Gaudi so we ventured to Park Güell on Saturday for an early morning walk before the crowds arrived. Unfortunately it was quite overcast and glary over the city, so the view of Barcelona wasn’t as nice as it could have been but the park itself was just as amazing as the last time we were here.
We also went to the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. I had never been inside the Sagrada Familia because I was always put off by the long lines but this time we booked in advance to go in early, before all the tourists were awake.
I always thought the outside of the Sagrada Familia was pretty incredible but the inside is absolutely breathtaking. The first thing you notice is the height – the twisting columns towering precariously high above you, branching out like trees – then you see all the colours from the stain glass windows (which are fairly inconspicuous from the outside) creating beautiful patterns on the walls and casting an almost magical light inside. And then you begin to notice all the other little details – the intricate carvings, the subtle changes in colour and light, the ever-changing geometry, the symbolism. Gaudi’s attention to detail is truly amazing. The inside is so futuristic looking that it feels a bit surreal being there – it’s almost like you are on the set of a Star Wars movie! The photos really do not do it justice at all; it’s definitely something you need to see for yourself.
Casa Batlló is another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces – this time in the form of an apartment block which he completely refurbished in the 1900s. From the outside, the building is an interesting series of curves and colours, with the façade covered in mosaic tiles and glass, which make it shimmer in the sunlight. The building itself is said to represent an animal with it’s skull-like balconies and a spine along the rooftop covered with large tiles that change colour as you move along the terrace. It’s pretty unique on the inside too with its giant light-well covered in blue tiles and curved lines everywhere.
After Casa Batlló we met Kate and James for an incredible lunch at La Paredeta, just a street away from the Sagrada Familia, upon the recommendation of one of Kate’s friends. It may have been one of the best seafood experiences of my life. It’s a self-service restaurant so you basically go up to the counter, pick whatever seafood you want in whatever quantity, they cook it and you pick it up from the kitchen. It’s no frills (reminiscent of a school cafeteria) but seriously delicious and incredibly good value. We got pretty excited by all the fresh seafood on offer and may have over ordered, but for only €60 (split between 4) we got huge servings of grilled prawns, grilled squid, calamari rings, mussels, crab and octopus, plus drinks. Definitely worth it if you ask me!
We spent the rest of our time wandering the streets and alleyways, exploring the Gothic Quarter and enjoying all the food delights Barcelona has to offer.
Thanks for an incredible weekend, Barcelona!
Photos by Micu and I.
© 2014 Fiona Tregeagle.