Over the last decade I have become an authority on pub lunches. At one time I considered writing the Good Grub Pub Food Guide with a sister publication the Bad Pub Food Guide.
Sheer drunken idleness killed off the process before I got started.
There are good food pubs out there – and some that would make a hash out of hard-boiling an egg.
Just the other day Sheila and I bumped into and old friend as we entered a pub we call the Microwave Arms as he was leaving. We had a brief chat and he warned us: ‘under no circumstances have anything to do with the cream cheese and butternut squash. I think they put the ingredients in a bladder and run it over with a three-ton Bedford lorry.’
The last time we ate there I encountered a hot spot in a steak and kidney pie that welded together the prongs of my fork while a couple of inches away the meat was as like a chop off the old block that sank the Titanic.
Why did we go there, you ask? Well, it’s handy for one our favourite walks and we heard that a patron had shot the chef, which was a leniency he didn’t deserve. I had plans for him involving an ox-roasting spit and a recipe presented by Vlad the Impaler.
As a general guide I suspect pubs which scrawl out the day’s offerings with coloured chalk on a blackboard. They are just too tempting for the comedians amongst us. I saw one once which advised diners to sign the Poisons’ Register when ordering.
I think this particular pub was in Guildford, a theatrical town bristling with thespians. The bill of fare leant heavily towards pork –items like terrine du porc fricassee, honey glazed pork, rib of pork Cantonese. The peasants were offered pork sausages and creamed potatoes, which translates into bangers and mash.
I think the local theatrical group must have been playing a Shakespearian season because someone had added: “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this ton of pork.”
Can’t help thinking that the Eric Morecambe vandals need brain surgery for targeting the dear old chap. Now if they had any sort of sense or civic responsibity they should have tackled that appalling thingie (statue it ain’t) which presents its elephantine arse to folk entering the town from Carnforth and district.