Sizzling Platters. I don’t really approve of pub food. I am very much a purist when it comes to the pub experience. Its pretty much drinking I’m after and any food tends to get int he way, and clutter the table at the same time. Nevertheless the are times when food is necessary – the day after a particularily lengthy stag night f’rinstance.

Now the pub we ended up in was no gastropub to say the least. We had been lured there by offers of Crazy Steaks (surely a dodgy promotional slogan at the best of times, but post BSE…). Instead though The Maynard Arms (Park Road, Crouch End) had changed its cheap, tacky – in both senses of the word) menu to Sizzling Platters. The food on offer was generic steak and chips, burger type fayre and truth be told ridiculously cheap. But the cheapness of the sales was not the selling point. No the Cast Iron Skillet which said food comes in sizzling on is the selling point. All well and good and rather attractive – but there is a downside.

For the food to be continually sizzling, the skillets are actually hot enough to cook the meat. Therefore if you order a steak you not only have to avoid burning yourself on the plate, but you need to wolf it down at quite some pace. Else your rare rib-eye steak becomes well done, dry and not what you ordered. What the skillets do to you chips, or worse still accidentally spilling vinegar on them is like torture. Vinegar vapour, rushing up your nose – nice.

Still, can’t say I cared that much. Hair of the dog, after spending the night lying on an ironing board trying to avoid man stench.