Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

The Red Cow in Sandwich, Kent: a review

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I should have been suspicious when we tried to book a table for lunch and had to try several times to get through and avoid the answerphone.

I have eaten at the “Red Cow” in Sandwich on a number of occasions previously and was always very happy with my meal, in particular the “Hunter’s Chicken”.

So I got a shock to find out last week that things had changed – in my opinion for the worse.

There was no menu outside in the usual display to read. I thought this was because the outside was being repainted, but once inside the restaurant part there were no menus either. The reason was quite simple: there are no menus that can be distributed to the guests – the waitress arrived with two blackboards and stood them up on chairs at the corner of the table for us to look at!

No Hunter’s Chicken for me this time – the menu had been severely reduced to a number of basic items. There was a choice of baked potatoes, salads, steaks and other “meat & veg” dishes. And they all fitted on those two blackboards.

We asked if they had a child’s menu for our 5-year old daughter. After all, the sign on the door had said “children are welcome”. They did not, however, possess such a thing and offered her chicken nuggets with chips. As an alternative she could have a 1/2 portion of most items on the menu.

There were also “chicken strips” on the menu, served with salad and a chilli dip. We asked if that was with chips or any other form of potato – no, that was extra. Oh, and the strips were in beer batter, but the menu didn’t mention that.

The Red Cow in Sandwich
The Red Cow in Sandwich
(photographed in 2007)

I decided to play it safe and ordered a baked potato with beans and salad for just over 5GBP. I got just that! A baked potato (which I suspect had been cooked in a microwave oven) in a dish with some baked beans on it. The salad consisted of two lettuce leaves, a few strips of red and green peppers and some slices of a spring onion. It was more of a garnish than a salad! And it didn’t taste fresh either!

As the other meals arrived, those that had ordered steak were given sharp knives. Now, I learnt very early on in life not to point knives at people. Unfortunately the staff had not learnt this lesson yet, as they put at least one of the knives on the table with the sharp-end pointing towards the person sitting in front of it.

The “chips” turned out to be what I would call “wedges”, the “chicken strips” were, in my opinion, borderline as although they were cooked sufficiently to be white inside, they were still very moist. Generally I found the portions to be small considering the price of the food.

I was wondering what to say when the waitress came to ask if everything was OK. But she never asked…

Pssst! Want to buy a bar of chocolate?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Excuse the joke, but I’ve just read this article on the BBC news website about someone finding a Cadbury’s Wispa bar and selling it on eBay, even though it is out of date.

The article says that the bar is rare – because the bars are no longer made. This was something that I didn’t know, so I went over to eBay to have a look at what was on offer.

I found T-shirts, mugs and Wispa bars. Some are on their own, others in packs of 5. There are even boxes of 48 that will set you back 40-50GBP (maybe even more!)

Why this madness? Well, wispa bars were popular (I liked them as well 😉 so people are obviously stocking up on them before they run out again. Perhaps Cadbury’s will take notice and bring them back again.

It made me wonder what other rare bars of chocolate I could find on eBay, and a quick search turned up a Marathon bar (not Snickers!) but not much else.  I couldn’t even find a Raider bar on eBay in Germany – that’s called ‘Twix’ these days!

Why pancake races have problems

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Today is Shrove Tuesday, so traditionally people throughout the United Kingdom make pancakes before the start of Lent – however much they actually will be observing the latter!

This great tradition is also known for one of the wackiest race ideas on the planet – the pancake race, in which you toss (that’s throw up in the air and catch again) a pancake in a frying pan, whilst running along the course.

Sounds simple – and probably used to be, but not any more, as this report shows. There are so many risks and costs involved, that this tradition seems to be falling fowl of modern bureaucracy as well as health and safety rules.

Perhaps someone can tell what exactly these rules and risks are?


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