I must confess I have never had pigeon. And to be honest, I can't think of many pubs in London that sell it - even infrequently.
So when The Red Lion had Wood Pigeon stuffed with bacon, on a bed of lentils, celery and parsley on the menu this evening, I decided 'what the hell' and gave it a go.
I don't really have any other experience with pigeon to compare it with, so I don't know whether the Red Lion's meal was an example of pigeon at it's best - given that their food is normally superb, I suspect it was - but it was interesting. Subtler tasting than duck, with the texture of kidney in parts. I'm not sure I'd ever have it again, but I don't regret having it.
Yummy yummy yummy, I like good food in my tummy.
What I like though is the fact that I can try out interesting food, in a lovely little pub.
I may like some things on the menus more than others, but I always appreciate the time and effort that these pubs go to, to make their food something special.
I would much rather try something interesting and different that I don't get the chance to try very often, and find it not quite to my taste, than try something bland and mass produced in a factory and simply reheated on demand.
Frozen and microwaved? No thanks!
For too many pubs, and for that matter, too many restaurants, the food is simply prepared in bulk, frozen, shipped out to the pub, defrosted, shoved in the oven for a bit, then presented to the consumer. No thoughts of creativity cross anyones mind, helped by the fact that the people in the kitchen aren't even trained chefs. Well when you're simply reheating something made in a factory, who needs skill?
So I'm continually glad that some pubs put some effort in. It doesn't have to be as exotic as pigeon, but well made food is just so much more pleasent than microwaved rubbish. It may be something tradditional like a homemade beef and Guinness pie, or something different like guinnea fowl. The extra effort that has gone into the food adds to my enjoyment no end.
Get looking for the proper pub food.
There are pubs out there who serve truely wonderful homemade food. They take some tracking down sometimes, but they're out there, and when you find them, it's really hard to go back to the frozen stuff again. It's just a shame that the gems in the pub food arena, are completely outnumbered by those with no creativity or imagination.