1/2 I must mention George’s Bistro, if only to give one semi-review of a Welsh restaurant. I also ate a beef and onion pie from a chip shop that’s supposed to be quite remarkable (I can’t stomach battered, fried fish, despite loving other fried foods like French fries) and had toffee ice cream in a cone. Oh, and I had an order of chips at a pub. But none of those were actual sit down meals.
I had horrible stomach cramps and heartburn my entire weekend in Wales (and it began before the wedding/12-hour drinking binge so alcohol and assorted substances weren’t the culprit) and I don’t want to attribute it to the food. Maybe I just don’t travel well.
My mom became irrationally fixated on trying the “carvery” at George’s on Sunday. The few restaurants in town all seemed to have sandwich boards out front advertising this concept, which I imagined entailed cuts of meat. Because I only see my mom every couple years and I’m a wonderful daughter, I went along with her carvery idea. I will admit to liking roast meats and boiled vegetables, though it’s not the kind of thing I ever eat in NYC. I don’t think it’s even the kind of fare I grew up on. Good food memories and childhood aren’t synonymous for me. Neither my sister nor I were crazy about anything my mom came up with (which was why it was funny that our two cousins at the wedding whom we rarely see remarked that they remembered my mom making good spaghetti and garlic bread like 25+ years ago when they visited us).
George’s is in the George Hotel, and it’s sort of a stodgy, musty affair. But fine enough for a buffet. And I don’t think that buffet means all-you-can-eat, but simply that you can serve yourself from a spread of food. I say this because my grandma had like three desserts and then the stepdude had seconds too, and they were all gung ho to serve themselves from the dessert cart even though there’s a girl who’d supposed to do that for you. I don’t think the staff cared much (well, maybe they did—when I finally got around to dessert and politely asked for one slice of cake I was given a shitty, tiny piece with its frosting all falling off when everyone else earlier got huge, tidy slabs) but it didn’t go unnoticed by me because I’m a freak about rule following.
First course was shrimp cocktail slathered with what I’m guessing was marie rose sauce or lentil soup. I tried the shrimp despite fearing mayonnaise. The carvery part comes in when you choose amongst roast beef (with horseradish), pork (with applesauce) or lamb (with mint sauce) and it’s nicely cut for you and put on your plate. I didn’t have the beef because I didn’t want to be gluttonous, but everyone else got all three. The pork was the best because you get cracklings with it, and well, I just love pork. Vegetables included carrots, corn, cabbage and roast potatoes. Yorkshire pudding and gravy was also a must.
The aforementioned dessert cart contained bread pudding (which no one wanted), a fluffy chocolate layer cake, éclairs and something else that I can’t recall. It seemed like the sort of food that should be eaten on a wet, gray Sunday.
George’s Bistro * 23-25 High St., Criccieth, Wales