Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hubbly Pubbly

We have successfuly dined in a pub. That's right. It only took five attempts and one English escort. But we have ordered, received, eaten, and paid for both fish-n-chips (with mushy peas!) and a lamb-n-mint burger. As you may recall, our first 2 attempts at pub entry met with steely gazes, no available tables, and a certain sense of confusion.

Being intrepid, however, we tried again Friday night. On a Friday night, we reasoned, English pubs would be crawling with hungry, lager-swilling young-uns eager to hand over their pounds and pence for a little fried meat. But no. One of our neighborhood pubs, the James Street Inn, home of 10 dogs, 3 children and poo weather, welcomed us with the news that they only serve food on the weekends. Friday doesn't count. But the young lady was so pleasant, and the Guinness taps so shiny, we were all but forced to drink a pint of Guinness and a half pint of Strongbow (cider). That made us a little toasty (no dinner, yet), so we toddled off down the street.

Then we tried the Hobgoblin, and they informed us that they stopped serving food every day around "half seven." It was 7:45, so no dice. The young ladies here were kind, too, but we were already wobbly. No time for more beer.

So that left us to try a restaurant. We walked four more blocks, to a little asian bistro thingy that Charles liked the look of. I knew it would be good when the Buddhist monk next to me smiled. Later, he tried to buy his soup bowl, but the waitress refused. Charles and I think she ought to have given it to him.

One Kong Bo shrimp and one teriyaki chicken noodle later, we emerged happier but no closer to our goal: food in an actual pub. You wouldn't think we'd care so much, since pub food isn't exactly...famous.

But today our deliverer arrived. And he delivered a futon and a wireless router! We immediately swept him down to the James Street Tavern to act as our Englishman-in-residence. With him in tow, we managed to convince the pub to give us actual food, including said fish and lamb burgers. But here's the best thing about lunch in the pub: it comes with beer! For 5.50 (pounds, natch), you get lunch plus a pint of something. I had Strongbow again, as did Charles, while Tony drank Foster's.
So, to recap: pub grub enjoyed, noodle place scouted and approved, futon providing a place to sit other than the bed, many lovely stories exchanged between ourselves and Tony. Unfortunately, Bart was sick at home, so he missed much of my best material. But we plan to visit he and Tony in Milton Keynes next weekend, when we'll try out a "gastro-pub." That's a pub with food people actually want to eat.

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