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Take Away Foods
In most small towns, you have your choice of the following take away foods: Fish and Chips, Indian, and Chinese. You may find fast food burger places in larger towns. My favorite is the Indian take away, because there are always lots of vegetarian options and the food is usually good, but we always go to a Fish and Chips place once on each trip.
Fish and Chip Shops
The best thing to order is the basic fish and chips (cod). These are not cooked to order, but are usually fresh because of the turnover. There are usually a few vegetarian options (veggie burger, mushy peas fritter), but they are not great. The food in general is pretty oily; okay for a treat, but not something you want to eat on a regular basis.
Fish and Chips shop in Winchcombe
The setup is usually the same. There is a counter where a person takes your order and you pay. Behind them is a warming area with fish and chips ready to be served up. You can see the cook behind. When you order, they take the food from the warming area, and put it on a stack of paper (they do not use newspaper anymore). The server will ask if you want salt and vinegar on it. If yes, he/she puts a good amount on the order, wraps it up, and puts it in a bag. Fish and Chips are no longer wrapped in newspaper, as they once were. Now they are wrapped in plain paper.
If they are behind on the cooking, and there are more people to be served, they will take several orders and then serve them up when there is fish and chips ready. One time we were in a long line and they took the orders of everyone ahead of us, but then stopped. They were not ignoring us; they now had fish ready and were getting everyone's orders ready. Once they were done, they resumed taking orders down the line. On a weekend night, it is worth it to go to a busy fish and chip shop just to watch the action in the line. Very social, very fun.
Fish and chips is an inexpensive dinner. The shop in Winchcombe sold fish and chips for £3.80, or a single order of chips for £1.00.
A typical Chip Shop menu includes: fish (cod, plaice, haddock), chicken, sausage, burger, chips, mushy peas, curry sauce (for the chips), pea fritter, canned drinks. Click to see a typical menu (from the Curry Mallet Chip Cart, May 2005 - www.chipcart.co.uk).
Better Quality Fish and Chips in a Pub
If you want good quality fish and chips, go to a pub. Many pubs offer good quality food now and they frequently offer a good quality version of fish and chips.
Fish and Chips Carts (mobile Fish and Chips shops)
Some small villages have a fish and chip cart (van) that comes once a week on a set day and time. Fish and chips night! You may see fish and chip vans parked during the day in places where they will get some business, laybys on busy roads. The menu is the same as in a Chip Shop.
People lining up at the weekly chip van in Curry Mallet, Somerset.
In 1988 we spent a week in a small village south of London. They did not have a fish and chip shop, but Thursday was the fish and chip van night. We went to the village green at 7:30 and there was a line of people. They were all orderly lined up in front of - nothing! We joined the line. A few minutes late the fish and chip van drove up and parked at the front of the line. As the cook was getting setup, the counter person started taking orders. People kept in line, but shouted their order down when they were next. We were so far back that we could not even read the menu, but we shouted our order down too. As people were served, the line moved.
In May 2005 we were staying on a farm, outside a small village in Somerset. One morning, driving down the country lane near the farm we say a sign hanging from the town direction signs saying "Chip Cart Tonight, Curry Mallet, 5 - 7pm". We went to Curry Mallet at 6:00pm and found the Chip Cart parked near the town hall and a line up of people waiting to order.
Indian Restaurants, Take Away
These are my favorite and you will find them everywhere. The food available is similar to what you find and Indian restaurants in North America.
Indian Restaurant and Take Away in Winchcombe.
Example of Indian Take Away Prices
Ustad's, 6 North Street, Winchcombe
We got take away for two for around £15.
Here are some items from the menu:
Set menus: £28.00 - £31.50 for dinner for two people
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