Race season is now closed, race weight goals gone and out comes the stretch pants. Friday’s sprint event was the Beer Mile, then comes the food equivalent of a 42.2km. Thanksgiving at the Fentons.
Pleasure mixing it up with only the food-loving runners of HuRTS (and +1s, offspring); notably the Everetts (R&J), Heyden, CT, Macca, Renaud, Jeet, Eoin, Fats, Sonya, JO’C, Quentin, James M and LJ.
At 1:30pm, 20 of us are hungry and share the same unspoken skepticism…Is American cuisine more than deep-fried butter sticks, peanut butter bagels and a take on Chinese Peking Duck that’s closer to Lebanese kebab?
Like a steep climb, breathing shortens as covers are lifted. First flies, then diners converge on the amalgamation of American classics.
OK this can’t be safe. Carved turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sides, sides and more sides. My opening shot shows a segmented section for pie! Fantastic.
Food critic hat goes on and I’m not deterred by generous portions. No dish labels displeases me. Some of us venture from the Inner West and we need to know if the carrots are organic?
Initially, we’re laughing at the minute plate diameter of 20cm. Too small to house such juicy turkey.
70% beehive straight to a peculiar looking tray, to which JFen proudly insists is The Dish to try.
Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Casserole (Fenton Family)
Translation – golden potato mash, encased in crusty flakes and generously layered in melted clouds of toasted marshmallows. What is this abomination?
One fork later … the US citizenship application is out. Ignore a defunct political situation and a broken healthcare system. Worship the mashmallow upgrade! It works and Jeet and Renaud are all on the same page.
Carb loading does not end here. Cornbread (RHS), being so heavy is a waste of stomach real estate. A few unnamed Bondi residents express disappointment in the lack of quinoa sprouted bread.
My pick of the salads is the pumpkin. Creator is not certainly not shy to showcase feta!
Everyone knows to quarantine a 2nd stomach for pie. Imagine our fear seeing the pie count at five!
Left to right … Lattice Apple Pie #1 (Everett), Straight Apple Pie #2 (Fattorini), Pumpkin Pie (Heyden), and Pecan Pie (Fenton). I order the lot.
For me – Pecan > AP #2 > AP #1 > Pumpkin.
Pecan wins due to strong caramel flavours, high nut ratio and thick crust. Meanwhile, J Everett, the aspiring Apple Pie maestro nervously waits for my verdict.
I’m no pie expert but I credit him with hand-made pastry and a slow apple cook-down job. He could take a leaf from AP #2 (Fats) with finer apple slicing and cinnamon agression.
Lastly, Pumpkin Pie is sweeter than my preference. Not quite for me.
The result of this five course is a food baby that displaces my actual kid.
It’s time to ignore the photogenic people in the forground (Lucy, Taffy, JFen, Renaud, Macca and Sonya) and utilise the jumping castle.
Desperate for a turn in the castle, we waited, waited and waited. Sadly, Fats and a dozen kids had a four hour monopoly on this house-of-fun. Everyone else suffered. Even so, overwhelming feedback on those that did try, said the bounce-factor was sub-par.
On balance, tick to the food and company, cross to poor Castle utilisation:
– Food – 8/10 – marshmallow combo wins. Turkey good, other sides hit and miss.
– Value – 9/10 – main costs for me is bridge toll, screaming toddler and 4L Blue Ribbon ice-cream.
– Other – 7/10 – limited parking and the wait line on the Castle was ridiculous.
– Overall – 8/10 – North Shore lacks good American cuisine. This is a decent plug.
Thanks to the lovely Fenton family and HuRTS chefs for salvaging the North Side’s faltering reputation as a respectable food destination. We all had a great time and look forward to 2016.
Photo disclaimer – kids photos not shown as I’m concerned the type of people that read this blog.
Lovely outdoor seating with Greta, JO’C, Taffy, J&R.
Renaud and Quentin gleefully lining up for the fourth course. JFen said neither tipped…
JO’C, CT and Jeet hiding beers from the shot.
Quentin and JFen crossing swords
JFen’s sword is inadequate, so Bonnie steps in.
Everyone pretending to smile whilst actually waiting to eat.