Something I’ve really started thinking about lately is where the food I eat comes from. Given how the majority of the food industry produces and grows its foods, this is actually quite important to keep in mind.
Without exploring this thematic too closely in this easy-going blog post, I’ll use this opportunity to advise you to see the documentary Food Inc. I assure you it will change how you see a lot of things.
Not long after I had moved to Southampton this fall, I stumbled across something I really want to share with you guys. As I stood in London Road waiting for the bus, I could hear my stomach screaming for food. I knew that I had a good twenty minutes until the bus would arrive, and I could smell amazing odours from right around the corner.
Chalk Valley served me the best fries I had ever had the pleasure of encountering. They were skin-on, completely fresh and seasoned wonderfully. I was sold. I also noticed the beautiful décor inside of the restaurant, and the fact that all their meat was grassfed, as well as all of their ingredients being organic and locally sourced. I was intrigued, but needed to run to catch my bus.
After researching their website, I found out that this really was something else. I brought with me a food-loving friend a few nights later, and we tried their burgers. There are so many to choose from, and they’re all generously garnished and nicely done. You can choose amongst different kinds of bread, patty and fries, all being distributed by local farms. Above the entrance you can find a list of all the ingredients and the names of the farms they come from. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it really makes you think: “where does the rest come from?”
Knowing that the animals have lived good lives and eaten well makes the burgers taste even better. It also goes without saying that it’s better for the consumers too, eating meat from animals that have been fed the most natural kind of food. And another plus side: you never feel bloated or uncomfortably full when you leave, even though you’ve just enjoyed a big meal.
As of now, Chalk Valley is a stand-alone restaurant, even though the founder told me he would love to expand the business. Let’s hope so for all of you unlucky people unable to come to Southampton to enjoy this!
After going back a few times, I would strongly advice you try a little bit of everything. The sweet potato fries are absolute heaven, the chicken burger too. Ingredients like blue cheese, swiss cheese, caramelized onions and salsa tartufata makes the burgers stand out from the crowd, and gives the taste buds a good reason to dance. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is calm, and suits the theme very well. All in all, a great food experience I wouldn’t want to be without, and a recommendation too good not to share.
Check out Chalk Valley’s website here.
Words and Images by: Line Omland Eilevstjonn, a Norwegian chocolate addict spending the year in Southampton.