Most of you know how I feel about the new round-a-bout they are preparing for at the intersection of the bypass and our end of High Street. We don't need it. It's a waste of time, natural resources and money. And that was before it started to suck the life out of our lunch business (not that our lunch business had a lot of life to give). For a perfect example of what it's like to travel through the old three way stop, yesterday I left the restaurant for my daily commute home to feed Ruby at 2:02 PM. At 2:10 PM I called Kevin. From the parking lot. I still was waiting to get out onto High Street. And if no one is nice enough to let you into the line of traffic (that stretches clear back up Flatland Road) you might have to wait through a second cycle. Coming back it's more of the same. Not a whole lot of people have an extra 20 minutes on their lunch hour that they can waste sitting in their cars on their way to and from Brooks Tavern. And there is no other way to get to us without taking that route - from any direction - unless you walk.
Okay. I got that out of my system.
Luckily the Flaggers on High don't work at night. (Nor have they been found to work too much during the day on Fridays, hint, hint.) We were very busy last night, with the menu being pretty popular and regulars being very supportive.
The entree was St. Brigid's Farm sliced roast of beef, glazed with horseradish cream cheese. The flavor of that beef is unrivaled, and the glaze - primarily the horseradish - complimented it perfectly. Speaking of SBF, their annual Field to Fork dinner is this Saturday night. Don't get too excited - it's sold out and has been pretty much since tickets went on sale. Robert and Judy are pioneers in the local Farm to Table movement, and their dinners, literally in the field, and featuring SBF meat and other locally produced produce, cheese, wine, the whole menu, are a terrific promotion for the Slow Food and Buy Local movements. Plus the proceeds are donated to a local cause.
Dessert was Apple Crisp, made by Kevin, since Cherelle is out with a cold. It turned out pretty good, with those Honey Crisps under the oatmeal coating. I'm going to try to get him to make another batch for the weekend.
I promised you some seafood pictures.
Fluke was treated to a shower of crab meat and lemon sauce this past weekend, which certainly looks inviting here at least. Kevin is no slouch when it comes to putting Maryland Jumbo Lump crab meat on his fish, that is for sure.
Shrimp were the feature of a special salad at lunch, as was Redman's corn and a buttermilk dressing.
Rock fish was rolled in crushed potato chips, with a perfectly matched sour cream and chive coating under the chips. Sour Cream and Chives - my favorite!
Seafood pasta, with the added bonus of pork belly, has been the latest dinner special. With shrimp and calamari, the linguine has been sauced with white wine, garlic and cream. The other night I noticed that a guest had eaten the whole dish, but left behind the pieces of pork. I told her she could have ordered it without the meat, but she replied that she didn't want to miss out on the flavor the pork would add to the dish, just didn't necessarily want to eat all that bacon! Great compromise, eh?
So you see, unlike the impression you may have gotten from some of my blog post pictures, we do serve seafood here at Brooks Tavern. At dinner, and a lunch too, despite what you might read on Yelp.
But, of course, I still have a few meat happy plates to offer.
Last week's Thursday night burger, to start with. Roasted onion and blue cheese on top, browned under the salamander, was about as good a burger as there can be. And not quite as messy as one of those special burgers can get. Want to know what tonight's burger is? Go to FaceBook. Ha!
St. Brigid's veal got the royal treatment, with a sage and sausage filled roast. Just looking at this makes me hungry. And in real life it practically calls out to you with juiciness and so much umami. You want it.
We did have one thing to mess up all that sweetness and light we enjoy here day in and day out at the Brooks Tavern. Of course we did. Probably one of the worst things that can happen in a restaurant dining room - especially on a Saturday night that was already gruesome in its slowness. A customer bit down on something that was not food. And cracked his tooth.
That is really a bad thing. It's one thing if you serve cherry pie and miss a pit and someone bites down on it and it causes damage - cherry pits are naturally found in cherries and you would not be found liable if someone bites into that hard little cherry pit. Same goes for bits of crab shell in the crab cake or a peach pit in the cobbler. You don't want those things to happen and you do all you can to avoid it, but a natural product that you are using fresh has its inherent risks, so to speak.
A slice of your bread should not be risky to eat. And that is what our customer on Saturday night cracked his cap on - some foreign object in our bread. Ouch! Unfortunately I never saw exactly what it was that made its way unseen into the bread that caused the diner to suffer, but I do know that Kevin wanted to immediately sift through the entire fifty pound sack of flour. After commiserating with the gentleman in question I was a bit at a loss of what to do - he certainly didn't want another piece of bread! Jay made the very wise call to get his information and that is what I did, promising to call him later in the week to see how bad the damage was. This seemed to settle down the situation and the foursome went on to happily complete their meal. I called them yesterday and while the cap is indeed cracked, a repair has been made and they don't feel any need for retribution on our part. Frankly, they have been very nice about the whole thing, which I certainly appreciate. We still don't know what it was that could have made its way into the bread without anyone seeing it, but you can be sure the flour is getting quite a close inspection these days!
I leave you with this picture of Charlie, taking the time last night to clean our big front window so we can watch the flaggers directing traffic on High Street better.
I am not sure that that window has ever been washed since we've been here. And it showed. Thanks Charlie!