Saturday, January 29

The Triumphant Return of Quality Meats

On the third of December 2010, I left a butcher's shop with tears in my eyes. This is not a normal occurrence. Having lived in the Bedminster area of Bristol for a number of years, I'd long been a fan of North Street's finest butchers, named for its owner, Bob Wherlock. Quality meats, excellent service, reasonable prices, this was the place to buy your bacon. And then something bad happened.
Bob was retiring. Frank was going too. Fortunately, Ken planned to stay on and help the new owners settle in. At least there would be new owners. The mantle was being passed on, a sad thing, but also a sign that everything was safe. Top notch pork pies could still be had. And bacon. And black pudding by slice. And then something terrible happened.
The deal had fallen through. The handover was due to happen on Saturday the fourth of December, but somehow, on the evening of Thursday the second, the deal had gone sour. One of the new guys was pulling out. The feast was over. I went in that Friday unawares, hoping to buy something for lunch, maybe meet the new guys. After a brief chat with Ken, I came out with as much meat as I could carry, and a damp cheek. And I wasn't the only one. By close of play the next day, the butchers had received dozens upon dozens of cards, gifts, and good wishes from literally hundreds of saddened shoppers. 
Christmas deposits were refunded, the shop was cleaned out, the shutters went down.
And then a great thing happened.
All of a sudden, in late January, a small sign went up. Re-opening soon! Then another appeared. re-opening Thursday 27th January! Oh happy day!! Oh dreadful job! I had to wait until today, Saturday, two whole days after it's rebirth before I could get down there and witness it for myself. And thank the lord it was all true. There I was, 8:30 Saturday morning, back in the queue, only to be served by Bob himself, helping out for a spell while the new guys find their feet. And it seems like they're gonna do just fine. Eager, friendly, funny, and with the same great products available, they're gonna fit right in.

In celebration of their return, I treated myself to a slightly comical amount of food. But as an example, have a peek at this picture perfect porterhouse steak, purchased this morning, eaten this lunchtime, together with the note explaining my strange early morning absence.

Sirloin steak, rare, onion rings, fat bread and butter,  fresh made Coleman's English mustard.

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