Friday, 10 September 2010

On home comforts

I've been back in Grimsby for less than a week but already I've found a multitude of things to appreciate here. Things I've missed having only visited home a handful of times in the last two years, and things I kind of forgot about whilst settling into life in Vienna.

Since I'm a fat bastard these days, most of these things relate to food. People say English food is bland, but it's certainly no blander than the majority of Austrian cuisine I've had the misfortune to pay shitloads of money for at restaurants. And that's another thing - pubs here are so bloody cheap and since I love booze as much as I love food, that pleases me. At my bar in Vienna I'd pay around £17 for two Bulmers and a whiskey and coke. At my local here it cost me £8.60. My dad complained that his beer in his usual boozery had gone up to something daft like £2 a pint! That wouldn't even get him a half pint in Vienna.

The following are all brilliant things I've managed to fit into this trip that I won't get to sample again until next time I'm home:

Mum's lasagne - oddly I remember this not being a very popular tea when me and my brother lived at home but it's hands down the tastiest lasagne I've ever had. My mum's not a very adventurous cook but the handful of meals she makes regularly are spot on. Not exactly sure what goes into her lasagne and I'd like to keep it that way. Every time I come home I can guarantee my mum will have a lasagne ready and waiting for when I walk in the door. Cheers mum.

Wetherspoons - splashed out on a rib eye steak for £8 (expensive in my dad's eyes, but comparatively cheap as fuck in mine) and for once they cooked it perfectly. Two big meals and three drinks for a little over £20 - hard to find better value anywhere except at...

A carvery - a brilliant concept. Basically an all-you-can-eat Sunday dinner for £3.50. I could knock together a decent Sunday dinner back home but would spend more than that on the meat alone. It was top quality too. If I lived in Grimsby I'd eat these every day.

Matrix booze prices - I lost track of what each drink cost but I know for damn sure the bottles of Corona weren't setting me back £4+ each as they would in Vienna. And £1.60 for a double spirit and mixer. No wonder it's our hangout of choice.

Scotch eggs - I guess the concept of a scotch egg is a bit confusing but to me they're a perfect snack. And you can eat them like an apple without looking like a smug cunt. Seriously, it's impossible to not look smug whilst eating an apple, especially if you're reading a book at the same time.

Nana's tea - I dunno how she does it but my nan makes the best tea ever (PG or Yorkshire of course). It's spot on every time. I guess it must be experience - not sure exactly how old she is but I'd estimate she's had about 400 years or so to perfect her tea brewing.

Marks & Spencers sandwiches - I could be wrong but I don't think there are any supermarkets in Vienna that sell pre-packed but FRESH sandwiches. Sure you can get basic sandwiches filled at any deli counter, but they're no match for the M&S chicken & bacon baguette, or its oddly creamy cheese and spring onion in soft white bread.

Fish and chips - Even in London I struggled to find a decent fish and chip shop but at least they existed. In Vienna we have kebab stands and hot dogs of various varieties, each one a little more rubbery than the last. I guess it might be partly due to it being landlocked, but even a good seafood restaurant is rare, and you know it's gonna cost more than a couple of quid. Fish and chips shits on that. You can keep your scraps though - they're just weird.

Super Noodle sandwiches - yeah you heard right. It's a known fact that everything tastes better in a sandwich. Mild curry and chicken ones work best. Also helps having good quality sliced bread, available in every supermarket here, and not that shit, stodgy, stale stuff they try to pass of in the likes of Billa.

This will be updated as I remember more hometown aceness.

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