Sunday, July 22, 2012

Only Mad Dogs And Englishmen

In tropical climes there are certain times of day 
When all the citizens retire, to tear their clothes off and perspire. [...]
But Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
~ Noël Coward circa 1931

The Belle of Ballast Point and I avoided the midday sun and just barely got to Mad Dogs and Englishmen on South MacDill in Tampa yesterday evening before the skies opened up. We had reservations for seven o'clock and we were really glad of that. As we approached the hostess station a couple without reservations just ahead of us were turned away to duck under awnings before getting drenched.

Boddingtons301.jpgWe were ushered in to the dining area and promptly seated and presented with menus. As John, our gallant server of the evening, brought our draught Boddingtons, I mentioned to my bride how happy I was to have requested inside seating when I called earlier in the day.

This was our first visit to MD and E in almost five years. On that occasion we were pretty much ignored in favor of patrons who apparently frequented this establishment on a regular basis. We were hesitant to try again, but this time we had a much more pleasant experience. Maybe because we kept our clothes on and didn't perspire perhaps?

We began our dining adventure with a shared order of Tuna Tar Tar - sashimi grade tuna tossed with a tamarind soy vinaigrette, coriander, jicama, sesame black sticky rice, and a toasted wonton.

The black sticky rice had us confused at first as we were reminded of black beans, which seemed like a novel idea. This is not meant as a negative, since the Tuna Tar Tar was a pleasant start to our meal, although a little acidity provided by a squeeze of lime or lemon might have enhanced the flavor.

Moving on to our entrées, my dining partner chose the Shepherd's Pie. This dish of minced meat, usually lamb (when made with beef it is called "Cottage Pie") topped with mashed potatoes was probably invented sometime in the 18th Century by frugal peasant housewives looking for creative ways to serve leftover meat to their families. 

The Mad Dog's version is in the "cottage style" with savory ground beef, carrots, onions, and peas; simmered in a Guinness demi-glace, then topped with red skin mashed potatoes and jack cheese.

This was judged to be a very tasty, filling, and comforting dish for a blustery, rainy night.

To put it another way - Yummy!

I was torn between the Cola-Cumin Pork Chop and the Herb Rubbed Lamb Chops.

 The pork chops will have to wait for a subsequent visit. The lamb chops just seemed to be calling my name.

Grilled to a perfect medium rare, topped with Gorgonzola butter, and nestled atop creamy mashed potatoes with sauteed asparagus on the side, my taste buds were aroused to gastronomic heights. Not quite orgasmically good (something the elderly couple at an adjacent table probably would have been happy about), but close.

Sadist that he is, John our server, tantalized my bride by offering several dessert options that were hard for her to resist. She finally chose the Toffee Cake with a scoop of ice cream.

I hesitate mentioning orgasmically good again, but there was a fair amount of moaning with pleasure going on across the table from me.

I avoided eye contact with our elderly neighbors as I enjoyed my glass of Porto Cruz and my bride enjoyed her decadent dessert.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen provided us with a great meal and a very pleasant evening. I am glad we returned.

I was really pleased when we got our check. The total for the evening including food, adult beverages, and a well deserved gratuity came to a very reasonable $91.72.

 Mad Dogs & Englishmen on Urbanspoon

Mad Dogs & Englishmen on Foodio54

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