“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Friday, March 19, 2010

Jeanette's Café

The other week my Sis and I were trolling around town doing a bit of shopping and we decided to stop in at Jeanette's Café, which is located inside Greenways Garden Centre on the A28 in Bethersden. Jeanette, I was reliably informed, makes most of the food, including chili, shepherd's pie and curry, from scratch. So naturally I was anticipating eagerly the culinary delights awaiting us. To get to the café you have to walk through the shop, past all the lawn ornaments etc. and through another internal door. When we got there the nice lady (Jeanette, it turns out) behind the counter told us that she'd been without power all day and consequently could only do sandwiches. So we disappointedly left and instead of going elsewhere for lunch, we decided to just go home and make a sammie. Little did I know...
However, the next week we were out and about once again and decided to try again, and I'm glad we did. Jeanette (for it was she) told us that on the day in question she was without power till after midnight. Evidently some road construction taking place nearby had hit a power main. Eek.

Jeanette's Café appears to be your average diner, with lawn furniture for tables and chairs, and a pretty standard menu. But oh! The food!

Sis ordered a baked potato with baked beans and cheese, which had a side salad. I ordered the Bumper Burger & chips, not knowing what was on it, but I was hungry, so I figured I'd go for the biggest one. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise.
First there was the mountain (I am not kidding here) of delectable chips on the plate, stacked so high they were spilling onto the top of the burger. Then there was the burger itself, nicely cooked, with lettuce, tomato, cheese, red onion, relish, and a big slice of bacon. I had to cut this bad boy in half just to pick it up. Humongous. Sis's baked spud was of a similar hugeness, laden with beans and a pile of shredded cheese on the top (real cheese, too - none of your pre-packaged rubber cheese here). Her side salad could have been a meal by itself. My coffee was really good too. I was eyeing the homemade chocolate cake on the counter also, but I was too full. After all, this was only lunch. Reasonable prices, nice atmosphere, nice staff, great food. I will give Jeanette's the Jeffy rating of 4 yums out of 5. I'll definitely be back, to sample the shepherd's pie... and the curry.

While I'm on the subject, I just want to say a word about that most wonderful and versatile of foods, BACON.
While Stateside I encountered instance after instance of overdone bacon. I like my bacon to be just starting to turn brown at the edges. To me any more than that and the bacon is ruined. I know I am not alone in this. But it seems most American restaurants that serve bacon (and hence most Americans) like their bacon crispy, some to the point where it just breaks apart. I'm sorry, but why is this? Can we not use our God-given teeth and chew a little? Must we have bacon that shatters like glass as soon as it's in our gob? I worked for a brief time at Cracker Barrel, a chain restaurant that does breakfast all day if you want it, and while there I encountered on the computer touch screens a button for limp bacon. This is their term for bacon cooked the way I like it. Limp? While this term may be factually correct - the bacon is not stiff as a board - I feel that the word limp is loaded with contempt in this context. As in weak, feeble, incapable, floppy, useless... limp. I tried, believe me, to make the case for (ahem) limp bacon, but try as I might, they are a nation of crunchy bacon eaters. And it's almost all streaky. Oy. Occasionally you'll find Center Cut  but absolutely no back bacon, and definitely no rind on any of it. I'm a rind man all the way. Oh well.

You will notice the Food Pic Of The Week is now a Can You Name This Food? Contest. Well - can you name this food? The winner of the contest will not win anything except the prestige of having their name in lights (well, pixels, but you get the idea). I will change the picture every week, so keep checking back!


Eat thy bread with joy,
and drink thy wine with a merry heart.
-Ecclesiastes 9:10

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