Monday, October 28, 2013

Island Paradise: Fun with Patties

One of my World War I contacts, a native Orcadian himself, recommended to me that I try a patty. As you'll learn from a variety of links (such as this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one), a patty is a uniquely Orcadian dish made of potato ("tattie"), a bit of minced beef, a little bit of onion, and some seasoning, and then fried. They're pretty good. I've had several of them, and trying them puts one particular aspect of this year's Giddy Limit calendar into context.

I was informed that the best place to go for a patties was Harbo(u)r Fry, near Kirkwall's little harbor. Last week, after a couple of drinks at a pub around the corner (to be featured soon), I decided to give it a try. I walked in, and was immediately and enthusiastically greeted by two of the young staff, one of whom is related to the restaurant's proprietor. We proceeded to have a lengthy conversation about me, them, the restaurant, and all things Orkney. I was informed that I need to be sure to stick around through Christmas and Hogmanay in order to witness or even take part in the Ba game. (I have yet to conclude whether I'll be participating or not, but if I do, you'll surely read about it.) I tend to enjoy talking to young people, not only because it's fun for people to be curious about me, but also because young people tend to be eager to talk about their experiences of living wherever it is that they live, be it Aberdeen, or Naples, or even Orkney.

Harbo(u)r Fry is open from noon to 2:00 PM for lunch, and then from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM for dinner. As I mentioned previously, they're located adjacent to Kirkwall's harbor, on Bridge Street, just a few steps from Skippers Bar on the right and Dil Se Indian restaurant to the left. With most of Kirkwall's bars within a few steps (for the evening opening), and Kirkwall's high street just a quick walk (during the lunch hours), you'd be hard pressed to find a better location for authentic Orkney takeaway chow. That said, I don't really understand the whole curry thing; I realize that American restaurants, mainly McDonalds, sometimes have things like burritoes or whatever, but it just strikes me as really odd that you'd walk into, say, a burger joint, and they'd have all of the fare that you're expecting, and then have a whole part of the menu dedicated to Mexican food. (The reason why I use Mexican food as an example is that Indian food is to British cuisine as Mexican food is to American cuisine - the United Kingdom has almost no Mexican restaurants and tons of Indian restaurants, while the United States has comparatively few Indian restaurants and tons of Mexican restaurants.)

The odd thing about patties is that they're apparently served with fries/"chips". It's roughly akin to saying to someone, "Hey, here are your carrots, would you like some carrots with that?" I've decided that, in fact, patties are best employed as a side, rather than as a main course. For example, one could walk into Harbo(u)r Fry and order a fried haggis and two patties, and it would make a perfectly good meal. They seem to have tons of different menu options to choose from, even though plenty of them aren't on their actual menu board. You'd better believe that as I continue spending evenings at the pubs, enjoying the Orcadian night life, I'll be stopping into Harbo(u)r Fry to refuel.

No comments:

Post a Comment