The Longhair and I were invited to the Boardwalk to sample the French themed buffet presently being offered by the Bayside Pantry situated inside the non smoking section of the Casino.
One can only say that the Boardwalk’s core business of gambling is certainly a busy one – the crowds of people gambling and eating at the Bayside Pantry on a Wednesday night in contrast with the foot traffic in the retail area was absolutely chalk and cheese and indicative of a thriving business.
What impressed me no end was after each time I escorted the Longhair to the smoking casino I could not discern a whiff of second hand cigarette smoke on my person or clothes. This, despite the large numbers of smokers at all the machines. This area of the casino was definitely the busiest – maybe because of size but still chock a block with punters klapping machines and ordering drinks from the drinks trolleys. Forgive me but I thought the ringing bells were ice cream sellers!
Maybe the fact that I didn’t spot a Gauloises smoker also contributed to the lack of cigarette smell!
But back to the French Themed Buffet – we were quite excited to taste some French food, after all French cooking is the style that all chefs aspire to do well. We exited Chez Straton with the Longhairs’ words; “I will eat anything but Escargot (snails)!” ringing in my ears.
Privately I was was hoping for some simple fair like tripe cooked in cider and calvados, a simple Quiche Lorraine, coq au vin, a couple of Crêpes, classic French onion soup, maybe a Bouillabaisse, a classic bean soup, a classic herring terrine, French Veal Stew, green beans and of course the one dessert that I have a love hate relationship with in terms of getting just right – the Crème brûlée.
So what did the Bayside Pantry get right?
The Bean Soup was a winner, the green bean salad likewise, the veal (something I am not allowed to cook at home), the herring was more Danish than French though. I also liked the chicken and apricot salad (two classic French ingredients).
What would I have had on the menu?
- Classic French Salads: Salad Nicoise, Salade Aveyronaise (lettuce, tomato, roquefort cheese, walnuts)
- More of the classic slow cooked French dishes that lend themselves to buffet style presentation and constraints: Boeuf bourguignon, Coq au Vin, Cassoulet, French Onion Soup, fish stewed in cider, tripe, Ratatouille.
- Some quick and easy French Dishes: Chicken Cordon Bleu, mussels in white wine, fondue.
- Pate’s Galore: Chicken Liver, Liver, Mushroom, Olive, Salmon, Trout, Chestnut, Duck or Pork.
- And to drink? Brandy, Calvados, Armagnac, Cognac, Champagne, Pastis, Wine