Monday, April 29, 2013

Delicious Discovery

Last weekend my husband and I went out for a bite before attending a local concert. I wanted to check out a new little place that I had read about in the newspaper. The article described it as a restaurant run by a family of three (husband, wife and adult son), with a strong emphasis on homemade, authentic English-style pub fare. It sounded very intriguing.
I've driven by it many times but after reading more about it I wanted to taste and see for myself. I always want to support small family-run businesses, especially restaurants, cafes or bakeries. Homemade food will draw me in every time.

I was sorry to see that on a Friday night at 6:00 we were the only ones in the place. Though small (only three booths inside with a few stools at the bar) it was very quaintly British in decor. Outside there was a beautifully built stone patio which is where we chose to sit after we ordered our food at the bar. The lone employee that night was a friendly, tattooed bloke that chatted with us about the place. I was glad to hear that despite the emptiness of the seats that night, he had had a very busy lunch crowd.

The menu was indeed English pub style with an emphasis on fish and chips, Scottish lagers and...something I was really excited to try...pasties! The article I read described them as rivaling any pastie made in the United Kingdom.



I've blogged a lot about hand pies and pasties. Aside from the fact that I make them myself and teach others to make them, I also lived in a state (Michigan) where pasties have a long history as a traditional food, especially in the mining towns of the Upper Peninsula. Pasties were one of the favorite lunch foods of my husband in his bachelor days when he bought them at a food cart ("King Arthur's") in the city where we lived as newlyweds. I have also learned that I have an ancestor who was famous for his delicious meat pies but steadfastly refused to share his recipe so it died with him an hundred years ago.



Our barkeep/waiter/cook brought both "red" sauce (the way the Australians eat pasties) and "brown" sauce (what the British use) with our chicken pastie. I was really pleased to try the brown sauce- I have never been to England so had not eaten it before (not even on trips to Canada). It was kind of a cross between a ketchup and a barbeque sauce and quite good.



However, I didn't really need any sauce because the pastie was so flavorful it stood well on its own. The crust was flaky and buttery, perfectly baked. The filling- full of chicken and vegetables- was delicious. Because of my ridiculously snobby standards, I have never found a hand pie outside of my own kitchen that I would recommend....until now. I am so happy to know that there is someone else in my community making hand pies the way they should be made- with skill and love for tradition. I will definitely be going back there.

5 comments:

  1. Those look so delicious! Was this place in your hometown or the big city?

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    1. In my little hometown! My husband was pleased to go there since they are his customers and he loyally patronizes his customer's businesses. He is going to have the lunch menus for the guys at his shop too.

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  2. I thought about having a pasty for lunch today. From a chain restaurant. It wouldn't have been as good as that one looks!

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    1. I bet you can get them all over where you live but maybe not homemade ones much? Sad how that happens to traditional foods.

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  3. Oooh, that looks so yummy! And now you've given me a craving for fish 'n' chips...

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