Saturday, 14 August 2010
The Colonel, La Tasca, Dark Peak Ale and Me
The Wheatsheaf - real home cooking, fresh made pastry on the pies, locally sourced meat & fish, generous portions. I remember Rick Stein bemoaning recently that British Pubs are fast becoming more the go-to place for thai fishcakes rather than a Ploughmans. Not so the Wheatsheaf . Sure, you can have here your chicken in cajun spices, and your fish ( fresh) in chilli and lime - but you're well advised to set about the cheese and onion pie, Dark Peak Ale and Steak pie ( local meats, locally brewed ale) or the Barnsley chop. And I do. Set about them, I mean. We happily waited an extra half hour not so long ago, for the seasonal wimberry pie to come steaming from the kitchen. Light buttery crisp pastry, great toothstaining purple wodge of wimberries, sweet and tart, deep as a ball pool and just as giddy making. With ice cream, thank you very much. I don't have any undisclosed interest in the Wheatsheaf by the way, I just like it. Very much. Thursday , a cheap and cheerful get together at La Tasca on Deansgate, Manchester with a couple of friends. Tapas, whats not to like ? Yes, I know.... Evuna, Luso, El Rincon are much more The Thing and we've been to and love them all. But there was (still is till Sep 5th, fact fans) 50% off at La Tasca at the moment so that was that. And as I've probably established with my visit to the Colonel, there's no food snobbery here ( I mean, you eat dairy lea on toast) there's a time and a place for everything. Particularly at 50% off. And then Friday, under the weather and and lacking in pizazz, Tesco's Finest king prawn malaysian biryani. It was very good, as it happens. Not just one top note layer of heat and spice. I'd have it again . I'm thinking home made pizza tonight. I thought that before I even wrote the word pizazz. In the meantime, heres a pic (blurry, I'm working on it...) of a fruitcake made a couple of weeks ago and steadily being plied with sherry in time for a wedding in September. Its to go on top of a 200 strong cupcake tower . Hows that for pizazz ?