Eating Out

In celebration of his recent birthday Mister E and I have been sampling "street" food in a couple of  different ways. Eating out is one of the things that we have particularly missed during the various pandemic associated restrictions, so indulging ourselves seemed the perfect answer. Of course, dining isn't always about the food and sometimes, especially in the case of street food, the ambience alone can be the highlight.

The big day included other exciting plans too, like the purchase of a can of paint from a local hardware store and parking in a multi-storey that we had never visited before (even the little things can provide a novel episode, not least on the upper floor of a carpark when you walk round and round trying to find the stairwell to exit on foot). Then, and simply because it fitted with our schedule, we made a decision to sample the fare from the town's newly refurbished covered market complete with street food stalls and bar. Don't get me wrong we hadn't expected anything approaching our visit to the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid although a champagne and tapas offering might have gone down rather well bearing in mind the occasion. Sadly, however, it was a little more "agricultural show without sheepdogs" or, for that matter, without a hog roast and the cornish pasty van both of which would have fitted in well. A long way to go to reach the ambience of Borough or Camden Markets but hey the stimulation of retirement comes from trying new experiences whatever they might be.

Anyway last week, and in belated honour of the memorable occasion we took food sampling to a new level with an organised appetite tour around Harrogate, walking from street to street as we tested the delights on offer in various independent venues. Now we did taste local watercress to die for in The Starling Independent Bar and Kitchen Cafe on Oxford Street but, plebeian that I am, I can only say that all ice cream has now been ruined for me unless it first involves a walk uphill in eager anticipation, followed by a homemade offering equivalent to that of Vanilli's Artisan Takeaway on Cold Bath Road. Forget nectar, the gods must feast on this stuff; it was divine!

I don't know about you but working my way through the several courses involved in restaurant dining can be a bit of a struggle in retirement, so strolling between locations kept the appetite whetted and, with  the best part of a two mile walk to and from our parking spot on the edge of town, we even felt virtuous at the end of the day. I'm not sure that it's an idea that will catch on but it's a definite change to a yet not so different a theme of walking across the countryside with your lunch in a rucsack. Well that's my argument and I'm sticking to it.


Treaders said…
Sounds like a lovely way to spend a few hours. And I get what you mean about multiple courses! While I love to try different foods, the thought of having to plough my way through a 3 or 4 course meal kinda turns my stomach now. Oh and next time you get stuck looking for the exit in a multi-storey car park - how about laying down a trail of sweeties to follow!
Caree Risover said…
A trail of sweets that goes round and round indefinitely sounds just too good to be true !
How fun! I love street food, and there have been days when we have gotten all of our meals from a taco truck!
Caree Risover said…
I confess, it’s quite a novelty for us
that ice cream looks yummy. I miss eating out also. It does help now that we have to offer proof of vaccination to be able to dine in a restaurant in Southern Ontario.
Caree Risover said…
The ice cream was out of this world and yes we ate it outside Pre-covid if we looked at a restaurant and it was empty we assumed it was perhaps not too good, These days though we actively seek out places lacking in custom! How times have changed.
Jean said…
The wearing of masks and the "pass sanitaire" that only allows double vaccinated people into restaurants was the norm in France this summer. It was a very comforting feeling knowing that the anti-vaxxers and covid deniers were not dining in the same room and a bit of a shock when we got back to the UK and found even mask wearing very much a minority activity.
Caree Risover said…
Yes, I really can’t understand why the Prime Minister exhorted the public to behave with common sense, keep their distance and wear a mask whilst the legislation requiring it to do so was simultaneously revoked. Fortunately I do live in an area where most people are considerate and continue to do so but am aware from family and my own forays a little further afield that it is certainly not the norm, especially in some urban areas. On our street food expeditions, however, we truly didn’t feel vulnerable; masks, space, ventilation and outdoor tables abounded.

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