Lunch spoilt by a few garden greens. Went to the Providore on Harmans Rd South today. Beautiful day and a good crowd there as usual. Jill, Brian, Pam and myself. Jill had a pie, Brian a good feed of snapper, Pam had a lamb curry and I had 12 hour shin. Described as cooked for 12 hours, with mashed potatoes and garden greens.
I was feeling quite hungry as I had missed dinner by going to bed at 6.30 the previous night after the Nicols garden party at Karridale and nursing a headache that would not go away. So the thought of some mashed potatoes and garden greens with tender beef swayed my decision. When the meal came, there was a good serving of beef stew with some onions and carrots, and a good serving of mashed potatoes, and sitting on top were four little leaves of Italian parsley (like celery leaves). The ridiculous thought crossed my mind that these must be the "garden greens" but I immediately dismissed that as being impossible - not 4 miserable little leaves.
So I said to the waitress that the meal was missing the garden greens, and she blithely said no, they were there, the bits of parsley. She then went off in a huff. Now the Providore prides itself as having an organic vegetable garden which they use for their kitchen. This garden was right in our view, and although largely for show (it is not nearly large enough for the kitchen), it does look good and it had a large range of garden greens. Lettuce and a whole range of other vegetables that could have made my lunch complete. All it needed was a bit of lettuce, some sprigs of parsley and perhaps a bit of cucumber or peas.
Although the stew was good, wanting some greens and not getting them really took the edge off my lunch. Even half a bottle of lovely rose' and baked cheescake could not lift my spirits. I asked the waitress to tell the chef that I was not happy with the lack of garden greens, which she grudgingly said she would do, but I doubt in fact that she did. Last time that we were at the Providore, Pam asked for the salad, which was a bowl of lettuce and some tomato and a bit of dressing. She complained that there was no cheese or bacon or anything substantial in it, and that she felt like a rabbit. The response she got from that complaint also left her wondering if anybody was listening.
Every breakfast we serve to our guests at the Bed and Breakfast, we put a garnish on the side of the plate. This consists of a large sprig of Italian parsley, and either some garlic chive, or a sprig of crinkle parsley or lately a sprig of mizuna lettuce and some of its flowers. Thus to have 4 leaves of Italian parsley masquerading as "garden greens" made me quite angry.
I guess if I go there again, I will have to remember to bring my own parsley and fetta.