Yesterday, @TheFrankFlyer and I entertained his parents in London. And, more than anything, this meant eating. The day totally trashed any attempt at healthy eating, but on the upside, my appetite has finally returned!
We started with brunch at The Big Easy here in Canary Wharf. After going for a run earlier in the morning, I had such good intentions to eat something vaguely healthy. Well, as healthy has somewhere that offers unlimited BBQ meat for brunch!
Somewhere between entering the restaurant and sitting down, I somehow went from wanting eggs benedict to justifying ordering the ‘Big Pig Gig’ – their unlimited BBQ meat platter, which comes with a side of an entire bottle of Prosecco.
In fact, we all went for a brunch deal, meaning we were entitled to a bottle each. So, being mature adults, and with an eye on the longer game – staying awake for the afternoon – we opted to just open two of the bottles over the meal, and took the other two to go.
That, my friends, is personal growth.
And my ‘Big Pig Gig’? A delicious assortment of chicken, ribs, pulled pork, cornbread, BBQ baked beans, coleslaw and chips.
These photos don’t do it justice. Really. Our waiter – an excellent Italian chap – was so attentive and friendly, he kept refilling the platter at the merest hint that we were making any progress.
Yes, both I and my father-in-law opted for the Pig Gig and I took great pleasure in watching his facial expressions as the additional meat arrived. They switched from joy, to bemusement, to fear towards the end.
Once we’d all had our fill, we left The Big Easy and went our separate ways. @TheFrankFlyer and his mum went shopping, while I took his dad to the local Brewdog pub. Ostensibly, it was to check out their brunch menus for Sunday’s meal, but we had to have a drink while we were there, right?
The frankly amazing Gianni from the Brewdog team brought us samples to try, as Frank Sr was far from sure about what he’d like to try. Four very diverse samples later, he opted for a pint of ‘Brewgooder’, while I went for the very delicious ‘Jet Black Heart’.
It was the perfect post-brunch pint. Strong, sweet, with notes of coffee in the distance, it was sipped over an extended period while I attempted to digest the several animals I’d consumed in the preceding hours. I’ll definitely be going back for more…
After getting home from this, I’ll freely admit that all I was good for was a nap. I got comfy (removing those now-constricting jeans) and fell fast asleep for almost two hours!
The next thing I know, @TheFrankFlyer was waking me up telling me that his parents were at the front door. Not of our apartment building, but of our apartment. Time to get up!
I walked in just as some of the prosecco was being opened, and against my better judgement, joined them in a tipple. We chatted and drank, I played piano with Frank Sr and we had a mini singsong. Soon it was time to go out for dinner.
I know, right?! I was still digesting brunch!
But older people like to eat early and so we headed out to get something to eat at 7pm. This proved to be more challenging than we’d imagined.
Our first port of call – 28 West – was closed for a private party. Way to go, guys – something you might have put on your website. We then tried to get into Zizzi (against my better judgement) only to be told that without a reservation, we hadn’t a hope. No waiting, no chance at all.
We then headed further into Canary Wharf and ended up at Byron Burger. Only to be told that a problem with the grill meant there would be delays. I suggested we secure a table and then see how long the wait would be.
I’m a fan of Byron, but I have to say I won’t be dashing back to the Canary Wharf branch.
The service was sluggish and disinterested. Our drinks order was completely forgotten and all our meals were lukewarm. The four tables around ours weren’t cleared of their previous occupants’ mess the entire time we were there.
My Cheesemas Burger could have been delicious if it was above room temperature. A quick pic to illustrate its complexity and sheer cheesiness!
I managed to finish the entire thing (and yes, that’s macaroni and cheese hiding under the top bun), but my cold sweet potato fries were abandoned almost immediately.
The one positive experience was the ‘secondary’ waiter who apologised when we pointed out the lack of drinks, who actually took them off the final bill. But attempting to get anyone else’s attention to complain about the temperature of the food was futile.
So, all in all, a day crammed with food.
I estimate my run accounted for about one quarter of the pulled pork I consumed in the morning. So there’s no way I didn’t go to bed having inhaled three times the calories of a healthy man my age. Now, I’m about to head out for another, longer run, to attempt to undo some of this damage.