As it happens, we had been to Thackeray on the previous night to check out the bar and conduct an initial reconnaissance. While they have an extensive list of cocktails and a wine list, we were in the mood for beer. Too bad for us! They had an IPA from Georgetown Brewing which might be special in some towns, but not here. And of course, there was a beer from Fremont Brewing (a pale ale, I think) which is just a stone’s throw away from Thackery. I was surprised to see a sour beer. (Can’t get into sour beers. They’re just so … sour.) Then there were a number of beers of caliber similar to Peroni. I may have to drink such things after the Big One, so for now, I’m holding off. We moved next door to Miir.
On the night in question, the night of my Thackeray dinner, we arrived just moments before the end of Happy Hour (Monday through Friday, 3 – 6pm), and were happy to be able to order some falafel and a mini-sub off the happy hour menu. The falafel was very flavorful, and I’ve had my share. But it was also pretty dry. I realize that on the moisture scale, falafel is supposed to be pretty far removed from the watermelon end of the spectrum, but still …. The mini-sub was my choice. It consisted of 2 meatballs on a short, white bun with cheese and tomato sauce. Really yummy. As a result of prior deal making, I was forced to split it with my wife, but as it sat there on her plate, I shamelessly asked, “Are you going to finish that??”
Then came the Big Mistake.
As a rule of thumb when ordering at restaurants, I typically avoid ordering things that I could easily make at home with equally good results. And I steer clear of items which I know taste really great at other establishments.
How then to explain my ordering the lamb shawarma? I’m struggling just to spell the word! I could get that at Mr. Gyros! What about the black cod and prawns? The risotto? House burger, anyone? I looked past all that and ordered the shawarma. To be fair, it was a fine shawarma. And it was made with actual shaved meat — not those pressed patties you sometimes get at places that pretend to make shawarmas.
My mistake was compounded when my wife’s order arrived. She was smart enough to order the Ethiopian Fried Chicken (not available at Mr. Gyros or anywhere else I can think of offhand). Whereas I had a side of fries with my shawarma, she got a slab of nice, moist cornbread. I consider myself pretty familiar with french fries in all their various forms; I’ll bet you are, too. No gastronomic adventure there. Cornbread is a different matter. It often comes out like a block of compressed talcum powder. But Thackeray knows how to do it right, and they serve it with some sort of honey butter. Nice touch.
Each entree also comes with a little side salad. My mistaken shawarma came with a tomato and cucumber salad which was fine, but the Ethiopian Fried Chicken came with a very interesting kale and brussel sprout creation. So better salad, better side … Ethiopian Chicken beats Lamb Shawarma.
I suppose some description of the physical surroundings is in order. Thackeray has a really big space. If I had a really big party, I would consider coming here. You won’t have to sit on your boss’s lap while passing food to cramped corners of the restaurant inaccessible to the wait staff. And they take reservations if you need that peace of mind.
As for portions, I might have eaten a dead squirrel had I come across one on the sidewalk during my walk over to Thackeray. (So glad I didn’t!) I left with a leg of Ethiopian Fried Chicken — and no appetite for squirrels.