As summer heats up and daylight lingers longer, we generally see an uptick in dining, especially during the week. (And frankly, if Tuesday night continues to bustle I am going to seriously consider putting some more staff on the floor - Tuesday is not a night when I much feel like bustling!) Even without Burger Mania last week, Thursday was very busy. The weekends - not so much. There's always competition for the dining dollar, and with Memorial Day boat-outs and June graduations and weddings, weekends this time of year are full of other options and obligations.
We lost one of our biggest fans last week, and all of his fans are still feeling the pain. Ed 'Pop' Fry had to be one of the most congenial and welcoming people Kent County has ever had the fortune to know, and his friendly face and big hand shake a source of joy for many. He loved coming in here to eat some St. Brigid Farm beef or veal, or a crabcake if necessary, and always knew half the people in the dining room. He would get so impatient with me if I was unsure of who some one was or where a certain farm was located - after all, I'm a native, I should know these things, right? His table with Lorraine was one of the few I would ever join, and of course now I wish I had joined it more often! He always referred to BT as "Barbara's", which certainly isn't fair to everyone else who makes the place tick, but it is how he saw it - a dining room he could call home if he wanted to, and where he and Lorraine were as welcomed as if it were. We will miss him very much.
Fruit pie! Coming on strong now, after the first few miserable results using that almond streusel I was so excited about. Why that topping caused the filling to be too juicy is beyond me. I went back to my old crumb topping, and voila! all is well. First blueberry, soon black raspberry, and then, if we get lucky, my favorite sour cherry.
And crab steak! Not on the menu yet, but available to those members of the cult who ask. Here's a look:
Oh yeah. That's a crab steak all right! Now all we need are some soft shells!
Drinking some nice rosé these days, Mas La Chevaliere rosé from Languedoc to start, and soon to be followed by a Cline mourverdre rosé, from California. The first is very dry, the perfect rosé to convince people that they just might like a pink wine after all. The latter is a little more full-bodied, more fruit forward, but equally delicious, maybe even better for summer consumption with summer foods. I like them both, of course! And lucky for me, I stumbled across an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, touting the rosés of 2011, with a long list of suggestions for me to look for. Out of thirty, I found three in our Maryland Beverage Journal, which, trust me, is a lot better than I usually do. I'm going to seek them out in the next few weeks and see what we come up with. We may end up right where we started, which is not a bad thing at all. Drink Pink!
Our Fifth Year Anniversary here at BT sort of came...and went. No fanfare, no cake. It's not because we weren't pleased to still be in business after five years, but when you look at the big picture: still in this business in Kent County after 26 years, that is what we should be celebrating. We are so fortunate to have made that business decision in 1986 (thanks Mom!) to take over the space at 236 Cannon Street, when Cannon Street did not have the cache it does today, and blithely open a business that has a 25% chance of failure the first year. What did we know? And it astounds me that we still enjoy the support of many of the diners who came through those doors in the very beginning! Mr. and Mrs. Hewes remain Saturday night regulars; Geri Bristol and Polly Ill and their table of ladies are lunch time regulars, just like they were two and a half decades ago. Some of our current guests were babies when their parents came in with them - Emily Ross was in utero when her folks first brought her into the Ironstone; now she is a full-fledged diner, taking her Mom out to dinner for a birthday celebration. And there are many, many others, from those early days to the present, without whom we would not have made it this far. We are proud and amazed at the same time - has time simply stood still? Mostly we are grateful, that the community around us has given us the opportunity to support ourselves doing what we love to do, while living in a place we love. Thank you all so much!