Thursday, 15 December 2016
A curate's egg at the Polite Vicar
In a bid to raise the tone I'd like to introduce what might be called the 'reviewer's paradox.' It goes like this, what do you write when your experience was just about ok but everyone else with you had a pretty rough time?
That is the problem a recent trip to this venue posed, to keep the clerical metaphor going it was a bit like the curate's egg, some parts were excellent, others less so.
The spicy nachos, 'Jingle Burger' and chocolate orange cheesecake combo I went for was well worth the close to £13 bill. Perhaps because the only thing Christmas related was the name of the burger that probably appears under a less spangly name the other eleven months of the year.
Where things went wrong was with the one thing everyone else had come for, a good old down home Christmas dinner. The vegetables were undercooked to the point of still being in the soil, things didn't get any better with dessert, unless hunt the Christmas pudding is your favorite party game.
The portion given to one of my companions and then hidden under a lake of custard could have been served up by Scrooge himself. To be fair though the profiteroles served to another resembled a miniature mountain range drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Maybe the chef was helping the time pass by playing dessert roulette, fine if your number comes up, not so good if it doesn't.
To their credit the staff were helpfulness incarnate when we complained about the veg, it's just doing something about it seemed to take forever. I suppose cook was off in some far corner of the kitchen wearing a tux and sweating over having put all his white chocolate gateaux down on black.
The Polite Vicar isn't the Ritz Grill; you expect competent simplicity not haute cuisine. For the most part that's what we got at a reasonable price too.
The trouble is some even simpler mistakes made on a night when the pub was far from busy mean we probably won't be back in a hurry. As any gambler knows you only get one throw of the dice and the poor old Vicar lost.
The Polite Vicar
600 Etruria Road