No appetizers were on the menu, so we picked the Ploughman’s lunch to start the meal. The plate consisted of cheese wedges, hard-boiled egg, pickle slices, smoked ham, pork pie and bread. The chutney was loaded with flavor and the ham (gammon) was delicious, too. The rest of the platter left me kind of cold. The cold pork pie looked impressive with its thick, baked pastry, but the taste fell flat.
I expected my Welsh rarebit entree to have a broiled cheese appearance, but The Stag’s rarebit sauce looked more like gravy. The flavor was a bit salty and had a bitter aftertaste from the ale, which made me grateful for the elderflower fizz drink I ordered. I enjoyed dipping my bread into the runny yolks of the over-easy eggs.
The drink - elderflower syrup and sparkling water - was refreshing with a delicate flavor. It tasted even better when I added a squeeze of lime juice and the spearmint garnish. Our server was excellent in making sure we had refills throughout our meal.
My daughter tried the bangers and mash; she thought the bangers (sausages) were bland and needed additional spice. I agreed. I was expecting something in the spice range of a bratwurst or sausage link. She reported that the mashed potatoes and gravy “were great.”
The Stag’s steak pie looked appetizing. You could see the layers of flaky crust, which was golden brown on top. Unfortunately, the filling was dry. In England this pie would have been traditionally prepared with kidneys. Steak and kidney pie would likely be less dry because of the moisture from the kidneys. Also, in some recipes, a “jug of gravy” is served on the side. This pie would have benefitted from some additional gravy. The mushrooms were tasty.
For dessert, the sticky toffee pudding was heavenly. The sweet, moist, dense dessert was buttery, warm and decadent. British baker Mary Berry would agree; it was scrummy.
Another classic British dessert is spotted dick. This bread pudding with raisins was served with warm custard oozing down the sides. It had a faint lemon flavor and was quickly devoured.
Be sure to make reservations and go before The Stag closes April 28.
I have a few friendly suggestions for The Stag’s student staff:
Our food was brought to the table promptly, but it came too quickly, and everything came all at once. The flow and pacing need a little work.
Please clear all dirty dishes before serving dessert.
Please give diners a clean fork and spoon with dessert.
Those minor tweaks will ensure Stag diners will have an Anglo culinary experience they will remember fondly.
This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Laura Weston-Elchert at email@example.com, or call her at 461-8468.
More InformationThe Stag
Where: Holiday Inn Fort Wayne-IPFW, 4111 Paul Shaffer Drive
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursdays through through April 28
Elderflower fizz: $2.25
Turnip and apple soup: $4.59
Scotch eggs: $5.59
Full English breakfast: $8.59
Welsh rarebit: $8.99
Bangers and mash: $9.59
Steak pie: $9.59
Fish and chips: $10.99
Sticky toffee pudding: $3.50
Spotted dick: $3.50