Reliving our roadtrip through a couple of American Gulf Coast States lately had me Hank Marvin for a taste of the Southern hospitality that we enjoyed in each leg of our holiday. Scheduling in a touch of more refined culture afterwards (learning about Lady Emma Hamilton at the National Maritime Museum) the one and only Claire and I tee’d up a post-New Year catchup over cocktails and and a helping of Bar-B-Q.
Life is all about balance after all.
Ditching our menfolk and meeting at 12 noon on a carefree Saturday, our Canary Wharf brunch was probably verging on lunch by any cowboy’s reckoning, so we ordered with sheer mischievous abandon from both the brunch and normal menus. Deciding to forsake the lobster and bottomless prosecco brunches ordered at almost every table around us, we agonized for a fair while, much to our waiters amusement.
I – eventually – couldn’t resist the Lousiana style po’boy (which comes on a soft hoagie bun, crispy fried shrimp and a tantalisingly spiced remoulade) alongside a basket of piquant fried pickles and a boozy apple juice laced with Jack Daniels. Just as good as each time I’ve ordered it (though what isn’t photographed doesn’t count) my po’boy was delicious, though the shrimp were less generously ladled on this time. There is something magical about the textures of a po’boy that keeps me returning time after time. The soft roll cuccooning sweet, crisp shrimp, the fresh bite of lettuce leaves and slices of tomato. Is it voodoo or just clever contrasts?
My gorgeous date ended up choosing my second option, the Bar-B-Q pulled pork sandwich. Roasted low ‘n slow, hand pulled and served in a soft bun with lashings of the house Bar-B-Q sauce I had proper, proper food envy. Served with a side of fresh potato fries, house pickles and coleslaw plus an extra little pop of Mac and Cheese we were both in American Carb Heaven (gratuitous capitals necessary.)
Just writing this up my mouth is watering all over again. Knowing that we were not only enjoying breakfast and lunch, but effectively sorting ourselves out for dinner too, when out waiter cheekily popped the dessert menu down, we both played the ‘well, if you have dessert, I’ll have dessert’ ploy.
It was utterly impossible to resist one of the dressed up scoops – a hearty serving of rum and raisin ice cream with a pipette of El Dorado 12 year old Demerara Rum – crowned with a bow-tied gingerbread man that was almost too cute to bite. Almost.
Because she’s some kind of genius mind-reader, Claire ordered the lavish Iron Skillet Smores Fondue with Graham Crackers which was simply a whole ‘nother level of ridiculous delicious.
If this isn’t foodporn, I don’t know what is (and the best thing about hanging with other bloggers isn’t just the brilliant conversation, but the willingness to post mid-action with their desserts.)
Easily spending a couple of hours at our table, accompanied by proper Texas-style sweet iced tea we eventually shucked our complimentary bibs (perfect for the lobster devotees) for a bit of a wander through the City.
Canary Wharf is such a different animal on the weekend. Not buzzing with suit-clad money spinners, it makes for a rather peaceful wander…
…especially when you decide to walk off a few calories in the little garden at the other end of the building. Listing the Big Easy in my July ‘15 of the best London Brunches for under £15‘ I still stand by every word. Now, to plan the next US roadtrip and hope that it is even half as fun as the last one…
Have you been to any of the branches? Could you be tempted to cast off eggs Benedict for the siren call of pulled pork?