Having clearly failed the honest reporting test… as my last post had been somewhat unfairly likened to culinary hate mail, by a disappointed punter who was unable to join the inaugural Black Salt adventure. There was only one possible solution to what otherwise could have become a tense Mexican Dine-Off on an ordinary Friday night in a favoured local boozer (big shout out to the Flute & Tankard!).
A reunion with culinary confusion was duly arranged with said punter, and the previously failed search for the mythical Wine List and Greek Salad amongst a sea of battered vegetables was accepted. Not least, so that the gauntlet of challenge can be retrieved from the litter-strewn pavement of Whitchurch Road.
On my approach, I did wonder if there was a cunning tactic at play… paying unemployed hospitality sector employees to pose in an open window idly chatting with interested passers-by. Could this be the new way of making places look busy and in demand?
Anyway, the time arrived when the afore mentioned gauntlet needed grasping… and before I could even raise a patronising clicked finger demanding to see the previously extinct Wine List, there it was, already laid out on the table, taunting me back into a pose of relative British consumer timidity.
The road to redemption is clearly signposted, so my next decision is delicately poised… what starter to tempt the palate? ‘Safety first’ shouldn’t be the determining factor when it comes to culinary adventures; but, sod it, that Halloumi with Chilli and Honey was just too good to be missed!
Then came the prime purpose of this visit, to see if a Greek Salad really could accompany a steak on the same table at the same time. It may sound like a simple request, but on the previous occasion we mere mortal diners had committed the cardinal sin… asking for a Greek Salad to REPLACE the signature oceans of fried batter that unquestionably accompany everything that had walked or swam in a previous incarnation. Lessons have been learned… just ask for Greek Salad alongside everything else. And lo, before our ravenous eyes, two Greek Salads duly arrived ahead of Daisy’s delights.
Only one challenge was left, in order to redeem my reputation as a serious investigator of all things Fillet. Could the true centrepiece of the visit stand alone, unimpeded by the burden of shouldering an onion ring the size and consistency of a tractor tyre? Again, there is a simple solution presenting itself in gluttonous obviousness… why have 8oz when you can have a 12oz beast of medium rare succulence? Even accompanied by a mega slice of cooked tomato, this animal has no intention of lurking in any shadows! And yes, those chips were very tasty when dipped in a pond of peppercorn sauce. [For any overseas readers, chips and oz’s are what Brexit might have been fought over, whilst still being a completely ridiculous idea!].
Until we speak again, yes… it’s a French Red Wine, a St Emilion. But in my defence, I didn’t order it! Personal redemption, it seems, comes with a price tag. ‘Black Salt II ~ The Redemption‘ was worth extending the glove of friendship, at least to resolve any unnecessary continuation of the Mexican Dine-Off. Trilogies, however, well, that’s a whole different culinary affair!
Being the said punter I am absolutely pleased that the restaurant was able to raise its culinary standards to meet the high expectations of the author. The ensuing visit to the Flute and Tankard was subsequently free from critical dissection of the restaurant!
It feels nice to eat out again. We were so excited when we could eat out. We are kind of back to normalish with precautions. In crowds we were our masks and we keep our hands clean. Vic got his booster shot and I’ll be getting mine next month. Things in NY are still trying to go back to normal. Crime is def on the rise which is bad. Things are still weird but hopefully they’ll figure themselves out eventually. How are things in the UK?
Good to hear from you again in these continuing strange times. The UK seems to have too many people who think this thing is beat. I still take the precautions you mention, and hope we don’t slip back into more restrictions.
Eating out feels like a great treat again. Ice just returned from my first trip out of the UK today… we spent a week in Malta. Look out for a post or two on eating out in foreign lands again! Keep safe.
Exciting! Glad to hear you got away! Can’t wait to see and read about your trip! We were going to go to Canada but our flight kept getting cancelled to Victoria, other options were making us rethink going there so we pushed that trip to next year. We’re also moving but our closing date keeps getting pushed. So we don’t know when we’ll get our new home, soon but…Of course I’m itching to get away sooner and want to squeeze something in BUT I feel better out of the US because a lot of places have better vaxx rates (NE has the highest rates in the US). Travel Gourmand (Allison) has moved to Lisbon for a bit and we’re hoping to squeeze a visit to see her in early December (we met her in Seattle 2018). I feel irresponsible asking people if they’d like to meet up in Lisbon but if you both feel comfy and interested email me: email@example.com. Maybe we can have a tiny blogger meet up. Vic got his booster and I’m due next month so I really wanna fly since we’ll be freshly juiced up on vaccines. Sorry, I’ve gone bananas at home but much better thae more normalish things get. Randall (Global Sojourns Photography) may be interested in a tiny Lisbon meet up, he lives in Czech at the moment. Stay safe too! I’ll keep you posted. It’s all a bit last minute since we suddenly have a week free in December.