Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Foodventure #3: Lucky Baldwins Delirium (Sierra Madre)

With an hour to kill for lunch (and under the influence of a recent L.A. Times article about Pub food) ~ I decided to check out nearby Lucky Baldwins (not the original in Old Town Pasadena, their "Delirium" Pub & Cafe in sleepy downtown Sierra Madre.)

To my surprise, even in the middle of lunch rush (around 12:30p) this British Pub is pretty much uninhabited (2-3 tables and a guy on the bar) ~ I was surprised. And though I've never been to Britain before, the interior of this Pub definitely gives off that Old World vibe. It's gotta be that dark wood furniture (well, and one of the patron's distinctly British accent.) Oh yea, the walls are plastered with beer signs and posters of varying shapes, sizes and languages.

But on to real deal - the food ... and the beer!

They boast 63 different kinds on tap (plus quite a few more bottled) & a good number of them are seasonal offerings (right now they have several Oktoberfest-themed beers) - looking back I wish I chose something more unique, or at least their specialty beer:
Delirium (which 1) once won Best Beer in the World ('98) 2) what this particular pub is named after and 3) manly enough for the pink elephants to promote, heh.) Alas, I settled for something lightweight . . .

Blackthorne Apple Cider - which actually tasted pretty good. Distinct apple flavors, neither too dry nor sweet for a cider, and very little (if any) weird aftertaste that I often get from Wyder's.

Now that I'm properly quenched -- onto the food. Just like its environs, this place's menu is pretty authentic to true British pub food (alongside some American fares) -- bangers & mash,
sausage roll, meat pies and
pasties. And of course . . .

Fish & Chips!! - and this is an impressive half-order (and both my stomach & wallet thanked me for not ordering the full version, this turned out to be just enough to get me full and not bloated.) Served with peas (like the UK,) this dish turned out to be pretty yummy too. The fried fish (ale-battered icelandic cod) had a very satisfying crisp, kind of flaky, definitely light and not greasy at all. The fish itself I actually found a bit bland and just not fishy enough, but it tasted alright with the malt vinegar & tartar sauce. The extra-thick-cut chips were great with catsup and the peas are, well, peas (this is honestly the first time I've been served peas with my fish & chips, so I really am just more surprised then anything else, though I was told by a British friend that they serve peas with everything over there.) And again, in hindsight I wish I tried something more exotic but at the time I was just jonesing fish and chips.

The bill for this casual lunch:
Pint of beer: $4
Fish & Chips (half-order - 6oz. of fish): $7.25
Total (pre-tax & tip): $11.25

How I felt about the place:
Ambience/Decor: 4/5 (It's a pub so looking clean is good enough for me)
Value: 4/5 (not a steal, but the prices are honestly reasonable for what I'm getting)
Service: 7/10 (not bad)
Food: 16/20 (everything was overall good, the fish could be tastier - however)
Bonus/Demerit: +1 for lots and lots of beers to choose from
TOTAL: 32/40 (looking forward to a coming back here)

Other notes:
- This definitely looks like a place that has lots of specials going on, so be sure to check out their blackboard and menu inserts, even after you've committed to an order from looking at their online menu.
- Bartender very knowledgeable, feel free to talk/ask beer! (though there is a sign that says "no samples")

All in all, a really solid place to get some comfort grub (British or American), good beers and hopefully great talk w/o blowing a lot of change. Definitely will make a return trip to check out some specialty beers and more British food.


Anonymous said...

btw, i hope you don't mind that i linked you on my blog..


daniel said...

You've done it again!...made me hungry with your words and pictures...Good luck with this new blog.

Anonymous said...

This is down the street from me! ALso you should know they are now serving full english breakfasts.

jepot said...

Ahh Fish and Chips! I haven't had one in while, looks great, I am getting one on my next trip there.


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