The best way to get a great meal by a great chef at not so great a price is to have luncheon.
It is, I think, rather a recent oddity that our midday meal has been reduced to the limp sandwich. In England the sandwich is king, and it even places highly on the list of the nation’s favourite foods. The inevitable blandness of pre-sliced bread has been turned into something of a gourmet caricature, with John Bull now thinking nothing of munching on crayfish and rocket, blackpudding and cranberries, or roast pork and stuffing, all between tranches of soggy bloomer. It’s a sad attempt to conjure up something of luncheons past, but typically ends up a mere meagre repast.
Get thee to a decent restaurant! You might have to work an extra hour at the end of the day, but if you get yourself fed up to the gills you’ll be able to do it, and a lot more besides. Gourmet eateries everywhere offer their best deals at luncheon, and you can often get premium cooking for a tithe of the evening price.
Now oddly enough, in Germany the main meal of the day is still at lunch time (at least for certain folks). You’d think, therefore, that the lunchtime thrift rule wouldn’t apply. But frankly I’ve found the best lunch in Europe, and it’s going for a song.
The place is called Filetstück and it’s right around the corner. In the evening you’ll pay 26 Euros for an 8oz entrecote, and 34 for fillet. Sauces and vegetables are extra. At lunch time, you get a hunk of beef or lamb, cooked exquisitely by their resident Frenchman (if he’s not actually French then he’s been plastically modified to look like one), with the vegetable sides, and a glass of wine, for 9.50. And it’s sublime.
Better yet, the restaurant doubles up as a premium butcher shop (and you know how I feel about butchers), purveying the finest cuts money can buy and making a mean sausage to boot.
Eat luncheon, dear readers! And get that soggy sarnie away from me!