Friday, February 21, 2014

"The Queen and I?" or a Flash Back from Drugs I never Inhaled?

“Good afternoon your Majesty. My name is Ray. You like my other friends can call me Rayray. As you can see from my shirt I live in Tennessee; however, I love your country.” “I loved my tours through your old castles. I saw the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and Warwick Castle the last time I visited England. Maybe you would let me tour Buckingham Palace where you live on my next visit. I think it would be pretty fancy!” “I saw your picture at the National Portrait Museum, I also visited the National Gallery and the Tate. Have you ever seen those great British art works? I am sorry that was a silly question, I am a little nervous as I never thought I would be talking with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth." “On our visit, my friends and I had to go down to Abbey Road where we jay walked across that intersection just like the Beatles did on that famous album cover. Very unsafe, we were almost killed by a speeding taxi and a double-decker bus. Bet that when you did that stunt that they stopped the traffic for the Queen. Can you help me meet the remaining Beatles? How about the Downtown singer, Petula Clark, I had the largest crush on her when I was in junior high.” “Is that your 1977 Mini Cooper parked out front with the Union Jack on the roof. It is beautiful and distinctive; none the less, I really thought that the Queen of England would rate a large Limo. Guess the international budget crisis is having an effect on all of us these days.” “Unlike many Americans, I am a loyal soccer fan. I follow Manchester United, and I am sure they are in for another Premier League Trophy this year! Although, as one of their stock holders (MANU), I think they paid way too much for Wayne Rooney! He probably now makes more than you do! Eight-six million pounds seems very high for a thirty something soccer player." “I have always wondered one thing about the differences of our cultures. Why is it that in your county English is not always ENGLISH? I have always wanted to know why your people call an elevator a lift? What does her Majesty call her Umbrella? a boomershoot, a gamps, or a brolly? I apologize for hogging the conversation; however, you don’t seem to say much!” “Sir your table is ready. It has been ready for quite some time, your friend Louise is already seated. She was showing me the fabulous oil lamp she bought across the street. We did not want to interrupt you while you were carrying on a great conservation with the Queen. Many of our patrons take their picture beside the Queen; however, you are the first to carry on a lengthy chat with her. You do realize she is just a cardboard cutout? Don’t you?” “I do now! She looks so real. Where am I?” “You are at the Pig N Whistle in Hardy, AR. My name is Diane and I will be your server. Sir, if you would follow me I will take you to your table. Louise says she is hungry and ready to eat” The Pig N Whistle is what happens when an Arkansas Girl meets a British Chef, a fellow Disney Cruise employee, and then gets homesick for the Ozarks. The Ashcrofts (Philip and Rebecca) now offer authentic Anglo-American pub food in the middle of the antique district in Hardy, Arkansas. It should be easy to find as the 1977 Mini Cooper (Red with Union Jack painted on the roof) is parked right out front. The walls are covered in British memorabilia, including lots of photos of The Beatles, Diana, and soccer stars. They even have a realistic-cardboard Queen Elizabeth if you want a picture with Her Majesty; or you might even become enamored with her and carry on a lengthy conversation. Ok, maybe that was just me being real special! The friendly owners can be found at the front greeting you when they are not in the kitchen maintaining excellence. They or one of their chefs will actually visit your table to ask about your meal? The service staff is very quick, friendly, and willing to answer all the dumb British cuisine questions you might have. We had no complaints for the kitchen or the wait staff, only praise! Every bite on our plates was spectacular, the portions large, and the prices were very fair. The drinks include soft drinks and real British tea. I still can't believe my ancestors threw that good stuff in the Boston Harbor? If I had been there and got a vote, I would have voted for them to throw turnips, broccoli, or spinach, but not TEA? The good news is that neither the Ashcrofts nor the Queen mentioned our little tea party so maybe they are finally over it! They also carry several domestic and imported beers, and small wine selection. Just like the small pubs across the British Isles, you can order the Full English Breakfast all day long. They have several sandwiches if you just want a quick lunch or can't get over your fear of different tastes from strange lands. If you're new to British cuisine, be sure to check out the British-to-American translator on the back of the menu. With the help of this menu page, I was able to partially translate some of their menu options from English back into ENGLISH. Go ahead have something different you can't order in most towns in our area. You will be glad you drove over for a meal! ANLGO ( British) -- My loose American translation Chicken Tikka Masala - chicken chunks in a spicy orange curry sauce. half British/ half Indian Shepard’s Pie - hamburger casserole with carrots, corn, and peas, topped with mashed potatoes. Swede - turnips Fish and Chips - halibut fillets and fries Cornish Pasty - meat and vegetables in a semi-circle of flaky pie filling - think very large hot pocket Bangers and Mash - smoked sausage hunks in mash potatoes Toad in the Hole - pig in a blanket Carrot Ginger Soup - chicken vegetable soup with ginger Desserts include wonderful cakes and Scones and Cream Tea - powdered doughnuts with jam and tea with milk Bread & Butter Pudding - raisin bread layered and baked in French toast batter Spotted Dick - pudding containing dried currants or raisins commonly served with custard Pig N Whistle 107 E. Main Street Hardy, AR 72542 (870) 856-3769 p.s. Remember Hardy, AR has a population of less than 800 local people, but explodes on weekends with tourist buying antiques and enjoying the Ozarks. So the Pig N Whistle is open weekends, but closed most Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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