Tuesday 13 November 2007

A Restaurant Review

We are at a restaurant en famille.

I am forbidden to take photos.

I suggest an artistic shot of the silver candelabra
with the candlewax dripping onto the scrubbed pine.
This is vetoed.

Behind us there are tartan rugs draped on the balcony;
this is a good thing because there is an icy draught
from the carpark that is coming through
the large open double doors into the food hall below.

This is not an ordinary restaurant.
This is an organic hotel for vegetables.
The only animals on the menu
are those who have volunteered to be eaten.

MissM chooses a smoothie made from apple, celery and ginger.
It looks like the water that comes out of the washing machine
when I have washed the socks.
She assures me that she loves it.
MasterM cannot face the wholesome ales and asks for tapwater.
I think briefly of asking for a Pepsi
and go for rosehip cordial instead.
Elderflower, it would appear, is Not In Season.

We have come for the steak which is always good
and in a town of pizza places difficult to source.
The much-pierced waitress carefully writes down the order
which is three T -Bone Steaks
one medium to rare, one medium and one well done.
Please don't tell me that charring steak is an abuse - tell MrM.
I have the Slow Cooked Belly of Pork

There is now an extended pause
in which we eat nutritious and very brown bread.

Outside the chef is asking for volunteers among the local bullocks.

MasterM and MissM can see the whole kitchen area.
There is a man with a pile of pumpkins and a very sharp knife.
He looks as though he is doing community service.
I really hope he has been taking his medications.

Eventually the steaks arrive.
We are gratified to see that they flop over the edge of the plates
and hide the cabbage underneath.
MasterM will only discover that his steak
has been contaminated with cabbage
after he has eaten it.

MasterM is hungry.
He eats his steak quickly
and it is only at the end that he realises
that he has been given the well done steak.
A blight is cast upon the evening
because he prefers his done medium to rare.

MrM now realises that his steak is pink.
He is horrified.
I point out helpfully that my pork is divine.

And now to the dessert menu.
The highlight is chocolate brownies with pumpkin icecream.
We think of the man with the sharp knife.

We ask what the other options are.
The other option is baked apple
with all sorts of apple creams, sorbets and foams.
MrM goes for the apple.
It looks like a baked tennis ball
but he tells us it is very wholesome.

We leave knowing that we have supported local agriculture.


tess said...

you write so beautifully Alice we don't need photos.

Ali said...

That is the best restaurant review I have read in a long time.

Off to see if the lamb in the fridge was conscripted or a volunteer. I suspect the former.

dottycookie said...

Alice, really - I was sneakily reading in the office and now everyone wants to know why I am choking on my coffee. My cover is blown!

blackbird said...

Thank GOD you didn't order the foam.

(Stage two of blogging en famille: the forbidding of photography.)

BreadBox said...

Blogging en famille is fine.
Eating en famille is fine.

Eating while blogging is fine. Well.... permissible.

Blogging while eating en famille?


Anonymous said...

So, MrsM, who nixed the picture taking - your family? So not fair for the fans. I agree with driftwood, though - your descriptions are wonderful. Your take on MissM's beverage reminds me of how my husband views my morning tea (to which I add lots of milk): "Looks like the Yellow River." (This is not a compliment. But better than sock water, I think.)

carrie said...

I love this description!

I would cry though, if someone gave me a well-done steak!

Mary said...

I love the medicated kitchen hand/chef.

I love the idea of cattle lining up to volunteer to be eaten.

Not so sure about pumpkin ice cream.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Someitmes the line between a family meal and a circus is very fine, isn't it? I love that the steaks were mixed up... it could have happened in our family and I can just hear the whining in my ears!

PS just take the photos, they get over it eventually

alice c said...

Welcome to ChezMagpie, Tracey.
I am glad that the terrifyingly bad grammar has not scared you off!

Unknown said...

Pumpkin icecream actually sounds good to me. Its too bad the family is getting goofy about pictures. Would have been nice to see...

Unknown said...

Sidenote, i've been eating out all week and everything comes with a couple of spears of asparagus whether you ask for it or not. I ate a boiled egg on an english muffin with crab, artichoke and spinach whatever and asparagus as garnish i guess. Interesting. Too much crab though. (this was breakfast)