Last day in the UK for a couple of weeks – me and the missus are off to Floridia for some theme park action, a marketing conference and some serious lying on beaches. And food, obviously. Lots of food.
Its the first time we have been Stateside without the kids, so its a bit poignant in some ways but at the same time its going to be nice to be able to do adult things. Which in our case means food, since neither of us drink or take drugs!
Lots and lots of food. I will be mentioning food a lot over the next couple of weeks. Theme park food, good ol’ American diner-type home-cooked food, if this is to be found, and maybe the occasional airline meal, who knows?
(* this carries a No McDonalds guarantee *)
But before we go, one last proper English meal. See, the Americans don’t do chips. Not proper, deep-fried, thick-cut (or at least medium-cut) chips. They do these horrible thin things called Fries which seem to have taken over the world. These are deeply, deeply depressing pieces of reconstituted yuck that sully the memory of the poor potato from whence they came.
Fortunately, I live in the town of Barnstaple, North Devon – a holiday area near the coast. And we have at least two certified classic chip shops here. And there is only one choice for the final meal before heading Stateside.
Woody’s. Stop snickering at the back.
This is an absolute little gem of a chippie, with takeaway facilities but – crucially today – also with a restaurant. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever eaten here – freshly-cooked haddock and cod, steak and kidney pie – but I have settled on the full breakfast and I’m not keen to try anything else any time soon.
“Would you like chips with that?” says the waitress. She’s new. Or having a laugh. Course I want chips with that. Why else come to the best chippy in North Devon?
The food arrives. You know that impending moment when you are about to eat something really tasty but not especially good for you? And you realise you don’t care? That.
Chips. Perfectly cooked, slightly yellow (its a myth that they should be golden-brown. This implies overcooking)
Beans. Relatively recent American addition, most welcome.
Fried bread – not quite the stuff slathered in bacon fat but ’twill suffice.
Fried egg – again, poifect. Nice runny yolk.
Sausages, bacon. Nuff said.
America. The standard has been set. Are you up to the challenge?