Friday, June 2, 2017

National Fish & Chips Day

In honor of National Fish & Chip Day (at least in the UK), I thought I'd share some memorable moments of eating Fish & Chips (or chips with some other sandwich) over the eighteen years I've been married to my husband.
December 1999, Gloucester, England:
My best friend from college, Valerie, was visiting on her way home from the Peace Corps. On her last night in town we thought we'd treat her to a local (and national) speciality, which was fish and chips from our local chip shop (Oxstalls Lane Fryer?) around the corner. The three of us eagerly tucked in enjoying the British treat as well as each other's company. I think food sometimes tastes better when you're in the company of friends. Afterwards we went bowling at a brand new Ten Pin Bowling place on the outskirts of town.
April 2012, Brighton Beach, Adelaide (AUS):
It was Easter and we were visiting Andrew's brother & his family. We had spent the day celebrating with the Aussie Mays and their UK expat friends, which was fun, and certainly more exciting than our usual stay-at-home-alone Easters. About mid afternoon it was decided to take the party to the beach, so we all piled into our vehicles, dogs in tow, and headed for the sand and surf. Towards late afternoon someone suggested picking up chips and eating at the beach. My brother-in-law Paul and I headed for the chip shop with our scribbled order in hand. It was a bit of a wait, but well worth it. I don't know if it was the beautiful sunset we enjoyed while eating, or the mouth watering chips (& sides) or the company, but it was definitely one of the most memorable meals I've ever had, and probably the best Easter Sunday I've celebrated.
August 2013, Brighton Beach, England:
We had dinner at the infamous Harry Ramsden's, which is a well-known Fish & Chip chain in the UK. Andrew, who is not a fan of fish, had the bangers and mash instead
while his parents and I all had the cod and chips, which was absolutely delicious (not sure if I ate all my peas or not, but that's a standard side dish, which is usually served as 'mushy peas.')

August 2016, Barmouth, Wales:
After spending the first half of the day in one of the most picturesque towns in Wales (Portmeirion), we hit the road and made our way to Barmouth where Andrew had made reservations for us to stay in a castle (really just a fancy hotel on the hill). It had started raining while we were enroute, so we were somewhat soggy by the time we arrived. The proprietor couldn't have been nicer as he seemed the type who loved talking to foreigners (me). Probably close to an hour later we finally made our way upstairs to our room after learning that their chef was out sick, so we'd have to seek sustenance elsewhere. As much as I like an adventure when I am on vacation, I dislike getting wet, and we spent most of our time in Northern Wales getting absolutely drenched. 

view of the inside of the hotel

Having no choice, we schlepped back into our rental CRV and made our way to town where we looked in a few windows, both of us getting annoyed with the other when it came to making a decision. We finally stumbled upon a chip shop that either took credit cards or was more affordable than our other options, so we made our choice. Since we were already a little wet and paying for a perfectly good hotel room we hadn't yet spent much time in, we decided to take our order to go. I'm not sure if we were allowed to bring food up to our room, so we made sure to make a low key entrance, and I think the proprietor was away from his desk. After taking off our wet things we enjoyed our feast (me sitting at the desk eating my sandwich and chips while Andrew sat on the bed and ate his). I remember watching an interesting documentary on the BBC afterwards while I sorted my Ireland souvenirs into a plastic binder I had purchased.

Friday June 2, 2017

Although I would have preferred to have dined at either the Brazenhead in Dublin (which has intimate little snugs you can dine in and is the closest thing to a pub you get in central Ohio) or the Dublin Village Tavern (which has outdoor seating), both would have been absolutely heaving from not only the usual weekend rush, but also visitors from The Memorial (golf) Tournament. Hence, we stayed in Hilliard and went to get our fish and chips at the Rusty Bucket. What it lacked in authenticity it more than made up for with its family friendly environment (though I think I prefer dining with more adults and fewer children). Still, at least we didn't really have to wait for a table, and we probably saved a little money too (especially as it was happy hour so I got a glass of wine for about $4).

P. S. It's also National Donut Day, so Andrew and I had some Tim Bits with our breakfasts this morning.
Have a great weekend everyone!

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