The Anonymous Widower

Leon Goes Posh!

I took this picture in the Leon Restaurant on Moorgate yesterday, where I often go for breakfast.

I’m not a lover of plastic cups and in that restaurant, I can have a big mug of tea with my gluten-free full English in a pot!

As you can see, those who don’t like plastic cups or mugs  sized for builders, can now have their beverage in a real cup and with a posh saucer.

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

My First Fast Food Burger In Twenty Years

As a coeliac, I do eat burgers, but only from the upmarket chains and proper restaurants, who say everything is gluten free.

I also trust McDonalds chips, which with an orange juice make a stomach filler.

Today I got an e-mail, which said that Leon now do gluten-free buns with their burgers.

The char-grilled chicken burger was very nice.

I certainly didn’t have any adverse reaction.

April 5, 2019 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

The Orchestra Pit At Waterloo Station – 14th March 2019

These pictures show the area nicknamed the orchestra pit at Waterloo station.

It looks like it could be open soon!

Although Network Rail and their pandering to the terrible tastes of the average rail traveller, this are will probably filled with gluten-rich junk food.

I’d like to see a Leon added to Waterloo, as they already have two Marks and Spencers and a Carluccio’s.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Ruined Saturday Mornings!

Since, I moved to Dalston in 2010, my Saturday morning routine has been something like this.

  • Take a 30 Bus to St. Mary’s Church.
  • Visit the Carluccio’s and have a gluten-free breakfast, like a full English or an eggs benedict.
  • Visit Waitrose for half my shopping.
  • Visit Marks and Spencer for my gluten-free shopping.

But things have changed.

Egyptian Buses On Route 30

A few weeks ago, new buses started on route 30.

I don’t use them, except as a last resort.

They were built in Egypt. Now, I’ve nothing against Egyptians or their country, but we make very good buses in this country and we should have British buses for British bottoms!

The new company running the route seems to not provide the same frequency anyway, so catching a 30 bus, would often involve a longer wait.

Carluccio’s Has Closed

But the need to take a 30 bus decreased, a few weeks ago, when Carluccio’s in Islington closed.

As there is no other place in Islington to get a quick gluten-free breakfast, that put a big hole in my Saturday mornings. I could go to Bill’s or Cote, but they take a lot longer and are much more expensive.


Waitrose too, are annoying me.

They have redone their self-service tills and they are useless for my way of shopping.

I have a large reusable M & S bag, that folds into my man-bag and although it was fine for their original tills, it’s too big for their new tills.

So to shop in Waitrose, I put the bag in the trolley, load my purchases onto the till without a bag and then after payment move them into my shopping bag. How inefficient is that?

I now limit my purchases at Waitrose by using the much-more customer friendly Sainsburys next door.

Anyway, Sainsburys have a much better gluten-free selection, than the terrible range in Waitrose, where no care is taken to make ranges of foods like sausages and burgers gluten-free.

In fact, I wouldn’t trust Waitrose on their allergen philosophy. The labelling might be correct, but it’s all about how different product types and ranges are handled.

You wouldn’t shop in Waitrose if you were a family with one member who was coeliac or gluten-free!

Marks And Spencer

Marks and Spencer at the Angel carry on as normal, as they have done since my paternal grandmother shopped there ibefore the First World War and, when C and I used to shop there in the 1970s.

But they have competition in that I am ringed by others of their stores in Dalston, Finsbury Pavement, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street and London Bridge.

Yesterday, I ate breakfast in Leon at Kings Cross and then roamed the shops before doing my Saturday shopping in their Finsbury Pavement store. That one is now opening on Saturdays and I can get two buses directly from the store to the zebra crossing by my house.


All of these factors are combining to make me use Islington less.

What the Angel needs is a Leon, so I can have a fast gluten-free breakfast on the go.

One of the great things about breakfast in Leon, is that there is often time and space to layout your tabloid-sized newspaper and eat a leisurely breakfast.


November 18, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Delicious Meal For A Coeliac In A Fast-Food Restaurant

When I was diagnosed as a coeliactwenty years ago, fast-food restaurants were all gluten-full and alcohol, especially beer that I prefer was absent.

But look at these pictures of my lunch.

I ate in Leon in Leadenhall Market.

Gluten-free food has certainly changed for the better.

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fast Food Restaurant With Gluten-Free Beer In An Iconic Location

Leadenhall Market is one of the City of London’s iconic locations.

Leon have an outlet and I was surprised to find that it sells Estrella Damm Daura, a very reasonable Spanish gluten-free beer.

I’ll experiment one day, to see how a beer goes with Lean’s excellent gluten-free chicken nuggets.

The restoration of the market was done in 1990 by students, as I posted in No Budget; Employ Students.

I actually walked through at eleven o’clock on a Sunday morning, and it was good to see the City more open at that time.

In a couple of years, the City will become one of the must-see places to go in London and the best time will be the weekend.

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

What Are These Guys Watching?

This group of mainly men, reminded me of the scenes you get in pubs with football on the big screen or in betting shops.

But it was in the Leon in Moorgate.

The wait for my gluten-free chicken nuggets was worth it!

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | | Leave a comment

My First Chicken Nuggets

I am seventy and I’d never eaten chicken nuggets, until yesterday.

They didn’t really exist before I was diagnosed as a coeliac twenty years ago and I would now never buy anything like that from a fast-food shop, as I don’t want to be glutened.

However, yesterday, I received an e-mail from Leon to say they had finally cracked gl;uten-free chicken nuggets.

So I just had to go and try a few.

They were delicious!

August 3, 2018 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Leon’s Black Bean Chilli Con Carne

This was my lunch on the way to Leeds in Leon in Kings Cross station.

Leon's Black Bean Chilli Con Carne

Leon’s Black Bean Chilli Con Carne

It’s a new addition to the menu and this was certainly worth eating. I think customers felt that too, as I had to wait as they’d run out and were cooking the next batch.

March 4, 2015 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment

Food Tasting At Leon

C always used to say about me, that I couldn’t handle bones. Whereas a good part of the population like to eat spare ribs, I tried them just once and haven’t tasted them in perhaps thirty years. If we had chops for supper, she would always take mine after I’d finished , and then strip any spare meat. In fact, when I have chops now, I always buy them without the bone. I also am one of the few men, who can’t carve.

It’s not a phobia or anything like that, it’s probably down to a problem with my hand and arm.

It’s also not just meat, but I really can’t fillet fish on my plate. Although, I’m getting better at that, if someone presents me with a plaice or sole on the bone. I’ve also got form about getting bones stuck in my throat, as this post shows.

I had been asked to taste a new gluten-free chicken by Leon, so I went with a friend to their restaurant in Spitalfields.

Gluten Free Chicken At Leon

Gluten Free Chicken At Leon

The chicken unfortunately was on the bone. It is cooked in a herb crust and is served with a dip of choice.

Despite the bones, I quite liked it, although of the dips I tried, some of them were more to my taste than others.

I might try one again, but now I know it has bones, I would probably stick to one of their bunless burgers.

I’ve asked my companion for an opinion and I’ll post it when I get it.

But you have to admire Leon for being upfront with calling a product Gluten Free Chicken. How long before this initiative is copied?

And how long before we get Gluten Free Lamb etc.?

Ten years ago, coeliacs like me had a problem finding good food in a restaurant. Now in the average town or city centre, this choice has got a lot easier in the UK. But like the Tap on the Line, there are still restaurants trying to do good food, who don’t have a clue!

Recently Carluccio’s have changed their bread from an excellent brown one, to something best described as a crap white.

Restaurants that don’t cater for coeliacs and the gluten free, now have a problem, in that there are now several restaurant chains, who take gluten free meals seriously!

I once asked Gordon Ramsey about his attitude to those who asked for gluten-free food in his restaurants. He said that if when you book, you say you’re gluten-free and they say they can’t handle it, then the establishment is not a good restaurant.

I would take this further. And restaurant that thinks it’s at the top of its class, that doesn’t say what dishes are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian or vegan etc., is definitely not at the top.

September 12, 2014 Posted by | Food | , | 1 Comment