Last night, to celebrate the return of the Great Love (GL) from a week of working away, and having not spent longer than two hours together in three weeks, we went out on a Hot Date.
Delirious with the prospect of his being home, and keen to acknowledge his seven days of work, I selected a dinner location which for almost the entirety of our seven years consciously coupled, had never once been on the menu.
Texas Joe’s BBQ; meat odyssey and welcome home for the East London-hearted.
Housed within a Brew Dog pub located in Shoreditch, the local venue proffered a fusion of craft beer and BBQ’d meat.
While the GL salivated, I marvelled: what a significant step forward it marked on my return journey to animal flesh and a full stomach.
I had already sampled bacon, yes, and mince too, but with the GL away, I’d reverted to leafier habits and the meat journey had died (like a hunted animal) dead in its tracks.
But, with the GL returned, we were settled in – me post-work, shiny-browed and growling stomach – at Brew Dog, shifting gear and bound for Destination Carnivore.
We started out with a selection of ales – I had an Oskar Blues which was sweet and easy – and caught up. The drink tasted good, the shared trestle table was comfortable, our neighbours friendly and the music enjoyable.
Another Oskar Blues and I was hungry. I gave the GL the nod.
There were plenty of options, but only the one dish for us: The Sampler.
It was a meat platter, delivered promptly I might add, containing a run-down of everything that is good about flesh (I’m told): brisket, pork, hot links and ribs.
We also ordered the chips with macaroni cheese as a fallback measure should I baulk at brisket.
In short, I didn’t.
I’d never actually tried brisket, but dove in fork first. And was told promptly to stop being such a hog (pun!).
The hot link was deliciously spicy and I tempered it with mouthfuls of hand-cut fries bedecked with Macaroni.
I sampled the pork (several times) and tore meat from the spare rib’s bone, wondering all the while what exactly makes it so?
There was plenty on our platter, but it lasted seconds. Devoured some would say.
Licking lips we compared notes:
Me: Hot link? Divine.
GL: That may have been the best brisket I’ve ever had.
It also marked the fulfilment of a long-held GL dream: to share a meal of meat. For me, vegetarian without a cause for the best part of a decade, to offer such easy (and satisfying) wish fulfilment, well, meat-eating isn’t a life decision to second guess.
Onward and meatward.