Thursday 31 March 2022

High Steaks

Hello, dear readers!

It’s a bit like buses. You wait ages for one to arrive, checking your watch or phone every five minutes, perhaps giving vent to a frustrated ‘tut’ every now and then of shaking your head in a resigned fashion.

And then two turn up at once.

Not that this post has anything to do with buses, you understand. No, this week I want to focus on a completely different subject, the same subject I focussed on last week.
A Free Lunch
Yep, I’ve been eating out again. Not bad for a Benefits-Wallah like myself in these times of austerity and food poverty, eh? Of course, I didn’t actually pay for the food.

I should probably qualify that statement.

Christmas is, of course, long gone, but Tina, my wonder-wifey, and I still had one present left; a voucher for Miller & Carter Steakhouse bought by my sister and my brother-in-law . It’s been lurking on the mantle for some weeks, waiting for us to decide the time was right and our appetites keen. A time that came this week.

To be fair, life and all its topsy-turvy ups and downs have provided quite a challenge of late, so it felt like a treat was in order. We go to Harrogate on the postponed trip you can read about HERE, but that’s next week. I wanted a treat now.

Lunch Money
We decided to eschew the evening service, partially because that was something we already had experience of (some time ago, but still fresh in the memory), and partially because the extra expense meant a very generous present would soon become something of a financial liability, especially with greedy-guts here having eyes (just) bigger than his ever-extending belly and a taste for cocktails.

So, lunch it was.

I drove to rule out the possibility of the aforementioned cocktails, and save on taxi fairs, (it’s trundle-able, downhill all the way in fact, the way home would be a killer, though) and even with the usual ritual of locating the keys, the cash card, and both our phones we still arrived nicely on time to a mostly deserted restaurant.

Once safely ensconced at a table-for-two by the window, we made a show of perusing the menu so no-one thought we’d spent the previous evening on-line doing exactly the same and had a fair idea of what we wanted.

Claim A Steak
The lunchtime deal really is excellent. Two courses could be purchased for a measly £12.50, or three for £15.50. The menu was set (as you might imagine for the price), but there was still a reasonable amount of choice, even within that. I started with mushrooms in a cheese and spinach sauce. Tina had the smoked mackerel pate. For mains, we both went for the steak sandwich and we both deferred dessert until after we’d finished that little lot.

It’s fair to say the meal exceeded both our expectations. The starters we could easily have swapped and remained perfectly content, but the star of the show was the sandwich.

I don’t know if you’re aware of Miller & Carter, but as a steakhouse, you might expect the steak to shine (not literally, that would be off-putting) and so it did. There were other mains we could have chosen, battered fish springs to mind, as does mac & cheese, but as I say, we were in a steakhouse so, what you gonna do?

It wasn’t just that the meat was good (although it was), no, there was onion loaf in-between the toasted ciabatta, too, and I think something garlic-y. The fries that went with it were reasonably standard fayre, but the little pot of beef dripping gravy in which to dip them? Well, I could take a bath in it. A bath with a spoon. Possibly a ladle.

Yes, it’s fair to say I enjoyed my sarnie (and a little of Tina’s sarnie too), but there was still room in my generous gut for dessert (Tina didn’t technically finish her main, so no pud for her. Plus, she didn’t actually want one), so I ordered the profiteroles and an Americano, the first of which was a memorable treat and the second an entirely forgettable experience I could outshine at home.

Oh Yes It Does
All-in-all it added up to a real culinary treat, and when you add in the ninety unrushed minutes out of the house, in the company of a lovely and ever-fascinating lunch companion, it really was a blissful escape from the drudgery of daily routine and the worries and stresses that life seems to visit with such malicious joy. The fact it cost us nothing but a small addition (that will be the profiteroles) and a tip was more than a bonus for two people who could play Cinderella and Buttons (I’ll let you decode which way round) with conviction and believability, and heartfelt thanks has to be offered upon our return.

It might not be the fanciest of eateries. It might not be Michelin star food. The company was world class, however, and for both of us it felt cosy, comfortable, and, well, nice. Just what the doctor ordered.

Hmm, steak sarnies on the NHS, now that’s a thought.

Until next time


Hey, folks! If you would care to take a look at some of my more creative writing, then the links below will transport you to the magical worlds of two anthologies my short (and in one case, very short) stories have been included in. Feel free to check’em out!

New Tales Of Old: Volume 2

Death Ship


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