The French Market Grille, Surrey Center, Augusta, GA.

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

So my outlaws invited me and the wife to go down to The French Market Grille last week. My initial impression was good, it was busy, fairly noisy which I like in a restaurant.

Service was a bit slow initially with it taking a long time for the drinks to come out.

The food was excellent. I ordered the seafood gumbo (delicious), followed by the crab chop (again excellent) and finished off with some sort of cream pie (out of this world).

One thing that was odd was the waitress asked if we wanted the dessert menus when we basically had just started eating our main course !!

CONCLUSION: The food was excellent and I would definitely go back.

There is a twist though, the next day checked the bank account and for some reason they had put another check through for 72 bucks on my card. The extra amount was nothing to do with us. Rang them up and they weren’t really that apologetic but did take it off.

Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, Washington Road, Augusta, GA

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

One of my work colleagues put me onto this place, Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, Washington Road, Augusta, GA. It serves what I thought was excellent Mexican food and I liked the place very much. So much my wife and I made it a regular visit every week, as we loved the Patron chicken salad which is on special for lunch on Tuesdays.  We have been going there every week for about a year when this week (Tuesday 24th January, 2012) we ordered two Patron salads and the meals arrived. I tucked into mine and commented that it tasted slightly different. My wife told me that it was me, it was fine as always. Then about ten minutes into the meal my wife spat out some chicken stating it was rotten. On closer inspection it smelt like the worst trash can you had smelt. The chicken was clearly rotten. I was nearly sick when I smelt it.

We got the waiters attention and he got the manager. The manager looked at us like we were mental and didn’t really say anything about it. We paid for our drinks and left. It was one of the most disgusting things that I have experienced in my life, it has really put me off going back there.

Rick and Me At El Rickys Mexican Restaurant

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

Yesterday I got invited around a very good friend of mines – Rick Marden. It was excellent we had fajitas and they were good. Also had to have a photo with the hat !!.

It was such a great send off for my emigration to the USA. It ended up with him giving me a bottle of Pol Roger which was Winston Churchill’s favourite champagne and a special edition scalextric mini cooper from the Italian Job. So kind, thank you.

It was just great and I will miss him and his wife Judy a lot.

Senor Farrow Visits El Faro, London

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

Well things finally came to an end for myself on the BPOSS (BP Open Shipping System) team.  So the team decided that we would combine the Christmas team lunch with my leaving dooooo.

John Sparke thought we should go to a Spanish restaurant that he knew…

Farrow at El Faro

Enjoying A Fillet Steak

Originally uploaded by paulfarrow

El Faro
3 Turberry Quay
Pepper Street
London E14 9RD

It is right next to Crossharbour station on the Isle of Dogs.

The staff were welcoming and Spanish which is great as most of the waiting staff these days in Spanish restaurants are english.

I would say the menu was small but precise with some really good stuff on it.

I had the Spanish omelette to start with, followed by a perfectly cooked blue rump steak.  The wine menu was excellent and I and a colleague had a red rioja which was just fantastic.

For dessert I had the caramelized bananas served with Madagascar vanilla ice cream.

My colleagues meals were also excellent.

The bill was 433 pounds which worked out at 86 pounds a head so it wasn’t the cheapest lunch although I think the three bottles of champagne and the brandy’s after the meal somewhat pushed the price up.

Would I go back – YES I would.

Really Terrible Chinese From The Jade Inn On Bramley High Street.

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

Last Thursday 3rd December 2009 I decided to go get some Chinese from the Jade Inn on Bramley High Street. I haven’t been there for some time but like to go there as its (or was) one of the most traditional Chinese takeaways in this area.

Firstly it was empty when I went in there which is very strange as it used to be a very busy and you had to wait a while for the food. I ordered chicken chop suey, special egg foo young, sweet and sour pork.

While I waited for my food to be cooked, in came what I recognised as a regular face to the takeaway. He was moaning that his sweet and sour chicken was not cooked properly. This seemed odd to me as I have never had any problems there. The guy behind the desk said they had a new chef and that he had a different concept of what was cooked and not cooked. At this point it should have spelled trouble to me, but I just sat patiently and waited for the food.

Then up came my food I immediately checked my sweet and sour pork, felt fairly warm. So I then trundled home. Once home emptied the carrier to find at the bottom of the bag the special egg foo young (special omelette) but instead a block of omelette it was more like special scrabbled egg. It looked terrible. The chicken chop suey was cold and the pork in the sweet and sour pork tasted as though it had been cooked over a week ago was all tough and didn’t taste that fresh.

So basically probably wont go back there for some time, or at least until I hear reports that the chef has been replaced. It truly was horrible.

Neal’s BBQ, Thomson, GA

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

Neal’s BBQ, Thomson, GA

Originally uploaded by paulfarrow

Popped out to the states last weekend for Paula and Ben Herz’s wedding and what a lovely event it was. They looked so happy. While I was out there though visited Neal’s BBQ in Thomson, Georgia. Now the reason that we took ourselves out there was because it had recently been featured on Jamies American Road Trip. It was the recent series from Jamie Oliver and he visited Neal’s on the show.

It was the best BBQ that I had ever tasted. And Olivia our little girl went straight in and started talking to a couple of guys at a table which one of them turned out to be the owner. They were so hospitable and the prices are so reasonable – all children 8 and under eat for free and the main prices are about 7 dollars per plate.

I had to try a bit of everything, so had the chicken, pork, ribs, beans, green beans, potato salad and a glass of tea. Oh and the lovely hash which was one of the things that Jamie helped make while he was there.

It was delicious and will definitely go back. Completely recommend it and think the locals love it too as it was really really busy.

Thanks guys for your hospitality it was great talking to y’all. Cant wait to come back and try your fish.

Sticky Fingers in Augusta, GA

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

While away this summer on Edisto Beach had a few days in Augusta, Georgia and decided to go to “Sticky Fingers” rib restaurant in Augusta. Now Sticky Fingers is a rib specialty restaurant, so was looking forward to it very much. We went right at dinner time and had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated so was still looking very promising to be an excellent restaurant. We got in there and I perused the menu and decided upon half a rack of ribs marinaded in the sweet BBQ sauce.

The ribs eventually arrived which took some time after ordering but hey they were busy so I allowed them this. The food was dumped and we weren’t even given cutlery or napkins to start with. After asking these were provided for, how could they forget cutlery !!!

The ribs didnt look marinaded in anything except some generic BBQ sauce which looked like it had been on for days. The ribs were tough and not really that pleasant at all. They didnt taste of the marinade that I had chosen. Was very disappointed indeed. At the end of the meal I couldnt find any wipes to clean my hands which you would expect to be available being a rib restaurant.

On getting back to England was so disappointed with the restaurant decided I was going to let the owners of the chain know of my disappointment with the Augusta branch. So fired up the Sticky Fingers website and filled in a page detailing my experience, pressed the button. Then got emails back from their site saying that it couldn’t find the host from its mail server – agghghghghgh.

This is obviously a restaurant chain in decline, wouldn’t recommend it at all. Although I guess a lot of people are happy with second rate ribs as it did have its busy periods.

The Bramley Cafe, Bramley, Surrey

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

The Bramley Cafe

Originally uploaded by paulfarrow

Well saw that the cafe in Bramley had re-opened after the last owners had left, so thought being a lover of cafe’s I would go and try it today.

It is situated on the high street in Bramley. Initial impressions: lovely smell of hot food and it was busy. I opted for the Bramley special which was a sausage, 2 pieces of bacon, fried egg, fried slice, 2 pieces of black pudding, baked beans, hash brown, bread and butter.  I also ordered a mug of hot tea and the whole lot came to £6.20.

The delivery of the food and drink was a little different to most other cafe’s I have been in around this area because the others tend to give you your drinks as you pay.  Here you pay, sit down and the tea is brought out to you. I guess this approach is a little posher but personally I like to get my drink there and then as you can drink and read your paper if you have one.  It took a little while for the tea to arrive but was quickly followed by my food.

Initial reaction – it looked good, food was hot and fresh.

You can always tell something about a cafe by the type of sausage they have on offer and this sausage was a very meaty one, it was delicious.  Minor detail here but could have done with a bit more bread and it would have been nice if it was on a plate because there was just too much stuff for the size of the plates they were offering.

Value for money – I would say it was a little more expensive than I am used to but it was nice to go to a cafe out in the sticks. It was nice so I am happy to pay a little extra.

Would I go back – Yes I would go back, probably not as often as my favourite cafe in Leatherhead but I would go back.

What has happened to Thames Court in Shepperton

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal

Went there yesterday with the BPOSS team from BP shipping and gosh the food has gone right down hill they charged me £7.50 for a sea food salad and I needed a magnifying glass to see it.  The green salad was in a small bowl and a few bits of sea food around it.

Complete rip off.  The beer on the other hand was good, pint of doombar.