"Well, then, let's go to the pub," I said. Puck Fair is only four blocks from her office in SoHo. (It's on Lafayette, the border street of SoHo and NoLita, if you care about such things.)
Can you guess what I ordered? It's one of the heartier items.
There was one way to tell its quality for sure:
"Try this," I said to Elizabeth, who had ordered an iced tea. She does not like Guinness, though she is willing to try a sip once every year or so when I tell her I've found a really good one. She took a sip.
"It's not bad," she said.
Trust me, that is very, very high praise.
Normally I stay away from seafood quesadillas in restaurant, and especially bars. There is just too much opportunity to serve inferior pieces of seafood at a big markup, knowing the customer most likely won't be able to notice the difference when the offending protein is mixed with cheese, veggies, and a grilled tortilla. This was the best seafood quesadilla I have ever had in a restaurant.
I don't believe I have ever received more fish as part of a fish & chips order. There were six pieces here, all of them glistening with oil and emitting that wonderful aroma of fish right out of a fryer.
Of course, who cares how many pieces you get or what they look and smell like if that don't taste good, right?
The batter had a nice flavor but it was a touch too soggy for me. The fish was magnificent - fresh, juicy, flaky, with nary a dark spot in all six pieces. (If you took the ultra-crispy batter from Chip Shop and encased this fish with it, you would have the single best fried fish I've had on this side of the Atlantic.)
And yes, I ate all six pieces, minus a couple of bites I gave Elizabeth. I was getting full after three pieces, but I didn't want any of this to go to waste. And I wasn't going to take any home with me; it would never again be as tasty as it was at this moment.
Chip Shop or the hand-cut fries from nearby SoHo Park. But, to be honest, I didn't really care. I filled up on the fish and left myself no room for fries. The above is what my plate looked like when I was finished. (Well, almost - I did eat that one little piece of fish on the right of the plate.)
Normally when I meet Elizabeth for lunch I walk to her office to work up an appetite - it's 3 miles on the dot - and take the subway home. After this lunch I decided to walk back, too. Exercise burns calories (I think) and I consumed a fair amount here, but it was worth it. I really liked my lunch. A wonderful pint of Guinness and great fried fish.
There are still a lot more places I want to eat before I return to Puck Fair for food, but I will stop by the bar and have a pint of Guinness any time.