Don’t worry, no need to close/delete – this isn’t a Labour Party begging e-mail – though if you do want to give me £20 then you are more than welcome. I’ll use it more wisely – gravy as opposed to gravy train.
I’ve been suffering from a notable case of GMT recently. Grumpy, Miserable & Tired. I’ve relapsed after a weekend of relative joy so I’m in no mood to put a smile on your face. There won’t be any tranny references, no drug references, no prostitutes, no bad jokes, no random digressions, no pointlessness, no politics and definitely no swearing. Just a plain old personality-free review of a roast dinner.
I do need your help though. £20 should do.
Seriously though, I want to know from you which places you think I need to review before I get shot by the mafia or end up like the orange juice man of Ibiza.
Call it a bucket list. I know I’ve been threatening to stop these reviews for about a year but an end point will come and I want to go out in a blaze of glory.
Comment, e-mail me, message me – whatever. If there is somewhere you really, really want to see me review, good or bad, for whatever reason, I want it on my list.
Yesterday’s roast was selected by my only good friend, the random number generator. It was pleasingly within easy walking distance of my house, despite being in another town.
The Three Frogs was the name. Three roast dinners were on offer for £9.49 each – beer, pork and chicken. I went for the allegedly slow-cooked half a chicken. I’d be cynical even if I weren’t grumpy today.
The menu suggested to me that it should be a step up from a Harvester, but not much else. The décor of the pub suggested similar – garish purple-patterned carpet that has been laid in more pubs than your average whore, with ugly haggard tables yet half-decent chairs. More suited for the football fan than the restaurant critic, of which I am only vaguely either.
Shit, I think I accidentally attempted humour in there. Doh.
I had called in advance and reserved a roast dinner. They serve them until close but warned me that they do sell out. And by time I arrived at 4pm, mine was the only one left. Some people might suggest this was a good sign.
I waited around 15 minutes as the queue for the microwave must have been quite long.
Let’s start with the red cabbage. Never my favourite vegetable, a pile of it was splodged onto the plate. I tried to eat some of it, however there was so much water involved that every time I took a bite, a small river of purple water would run down and infect my gravy, of which there wasn’t exactly a reservoir of.
I quickly gave up and moved onto the broccoli. Unfortunately this had been in some kind of reservoir for it was also soggier than an English bank holiday weekend. It had been boiled/steamed so long that it had just about lost its green colour. Edible.
Also on the soggy side were the carrots. Which was a shame as they were nice carrots – those small chantannoy ones, replete with outer skin, as carrots should be. But could have been mashed with a fork. A plastic fork.
The Yorkshire pudding was average at best. It appeared a home-grown effort, yet was somewhat rubbery and chewy. I’ve had worse.
At least the chicken had some cracked pepper on it, and it was a larger half-chicken than you would get at Nando’s – the most over-rated restaurant chain in the country, living on past glories of when they didn’t use disfigured malnourished mini-chickens, and nobody had yet discovered peri-peri.
I once wrote to Nando’s and offered to write a blog about their restaurant in exchange for two free whole chickens – the deal being that I would have to eat both whole chickens in one sitting, otherwise I would have to pay.
They wrote back to me to thank me for my suggestion, but that the only discounts they have available were for NHS, fire service and police. Why on earth well-paid public sector workers get a discount and average-paid roast dinner reviewers don’t, is another matter. Though I guess they work harder than me. Well, NHS and police, anyway. Hopefully my firefighting cousins will read this and withdraw my invite to the wedding I’m subjected to in a couple of weeks.
I guess that’s why Nando’s was smashed up when Portugal beat England in the football a few years back.
Actually the last time I went to a wedding of one of my cousins on that side of the family, I was served a roast dinner. It was a pretty good one too. Why on earth don’t we allow firefighters to retire at 40, and double their pay?
Then again, I only got one Yorkshire pudding and those on the top table got two. Vote Tory.
So the chicken. It was tasteless yet edible. The breast portion was a touch dry, the skin was limp and soggy, the thigh nice – the remainder in trace amounts. The cracked black pepper added nothing.
The gravy was a pretty standard Bisto kind of affair – very little on the plate but more was forthcoming on request, albeit not a huge amount more.
Not exactly a great roast dinner but there is something that I have not yet mentioned. Roast potatoes. I can see that you are expecting a variety of rarely-used vocabulary.
Yes, the roast potatoes were excellent. Almost perfection. Had they been freshly served then they would have been some of the best ever. And despite the obvious cooling and reheating, they were the best this year by some way. Proper crispy edges, fluffy on the inside – there were even 5 of them.
Albeit the one nearest the red cabbage ended up purple.
If only the rest of the roast dinner was that good. The excellent roasties rescued a fairly poor to average dinner – the rating therefore is 5.5 out of 10 – about half of which is for the spuds.
The highlight was the roasties – the lowlight everything else.
On the way out, I was advised that I was the envy of the pub, having had the last roast dinner. Quite.
Next Sunday (hangover dependent) I’m going to somewhere that apparently holds Morris dancing events. Unless I have a willing driver, in which case I’ll get them to head out into the sticks instead.
I hope you didn’t smile. I’m still miserable and grumpy, although I have nearly cracked a smile about the lesbian action at the night I DJ at on Friday.