The Best Kind of Souvenir


I’ve never been one for souvenirs. Sure, I see the appeal of being able to bring something home with you when you go on a trip.  My mom, for example, collects refrigerator magnets of her travels. Mrs. TVFF has recently begun picking up Christmas tree ornaments specific to the location. I suppose I’ve always thought that a couple of photos and some good memories — particularly food memories — were more than enough for me.

Now, I’m not the most well-travelled person in the world, but thanks to vacations and business trips, I’ve been able to expand my culinary horizons with lobster in Boston, crêpes and café au lait in Quebec, Primanti Bros. sandwiches in Pittsburgh, Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza in Chicago and even smoked eel over scrambled eggs in Hamburg.  But nothing beats my trip to London in 2007 and the traditional pub meal that followed me back across the Atlantic.

Truth be told, when I was anticipating the food to be had on my trip to England, two things stood out: fish & chips and fantastic Indian food.  Neither disappointed, but the steak and ale pie was something else.  On the first night, we got to our hotel and needed an easy dinner, so a trip to the Prince of Whales pub in Kensington resulted in a steak and Bombardier pie. I was instantly hooked by the intense beefy filling and flaky crust.  After a trip to the Royal Ballet a few nights later, we dropped into another pub near Covent Garden and I was determined to have my second pie of the trip.  Shortly after I finished it, I knew I’d have to try to replicate it at home…

Read More