Bloody good Mary

Unfair old me. After being a little bit miffed (but not as much as DPM) at the lack of sausage gravy to accompany biscuits at Randall’s one Wednesday, I thought I’d set the greasy spoon a brunch test, just for fun. But I didn’t tell them that.

Sharyn Rosenblum Evron, you guessed it, born and bred New Yorker, was their examiner. But I didn’t tell her that. Fresh in from NYC just three days ago, Sharyn has just fulfilled all her brunch needs, biting and munching her way around the Big Apple for the past two weeks. Oh yes, she’s probably still flossing bagel sesame seeds out of her teeth, and if anyone can judge the authenticity of a US brunch, it’s going to be her.

Although it’s been a mere 72 hours since she (well, the plane) conquered Chile’s volcanic ash drifting across Argentina, a Bloody Mary topped the examiner’s list of must haves. As she checked the head count via text, I confirmed it was just me and that I should be included on the Bloody run. No sooner than I sat down, a cheery salt-and-pepper-lined glass turned up, celery standing to attention. It needs to be mentioned, as not everywhere includes gets it right. Perhaps prices were on an inflation-related bender last week, but Magdalena’s Party omitted the requisite stick. A case of celeracism?

It was a spicy meatball and assurances came that it had horseradish and Tabasco in it. Lip tingling, it was stronger than my cast-iron stomach and the effects were felt. Really drinkable, plenty of muscle and excellent value at 20 pesos, considering a bottle of mineral water was 10 pesos. That’s right, I’m advocating Bloodys as an inflation-busting tactic.

Food did take a while to come out, a good 30 minutes for the buffalo wings and ranch dressing (see photo). Wolfed down, the “medium” hot option didn’t seem to do much damage although with all the lip tingling go on, it was hard to tell. Thank God dem wings arrived as I was ready to fall out of my chair.

So Saturday is definitely a sausage gravy and biscuit day. I was pretty happy with my first go on this creamy, savoury, porky mass plonked on top of two halved, scone-like biscuits. Call me the Virgin Mary, why don’t you. Obviously I have nothing to compare them to (I’m English…), so it wasn’t about tasting home for me – it was about trying something different that I’ve heard a Texan friend rave about. But there was so much food going on I didn’t know what to tackle first: fried eggs and potatoes or the biscuits. As a consequence, cramming was the only option; despite that, by the time I got to my bit of Philly steak sandwich, it was cold. We wanted everything and greed got the better of us.

Sharyn loved the Bloody. I know she’ll back for it. I also reckon she’s keen to try out other dishes, so it’s a “pass” for Randall’s from the New York examiner and her dental floss.

I had a lot of love for the Bloody. Plenty of care had gone into making their classic sort-your-hangover tipple. Eggs – fine. Gravy and stuff – great. Wings – lovely. Service attentive from our bilingual waitress and the owner. But something was missing. I ate well, I was stuffed to the gills, I was merry and had a great catch-up with a good friend in a warm place on a chilly day whose main dining area was packed with foreigners and Argentines. But perhaps in an attempt to replicate all the dishes perfectly for that “back home” experience, oddly it felt like a tiny sliver of love was missing.

Randall’s, Malabia 1530

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *