Time to Graze

It is not a state secret that I enjoy and support the services of “Nick the Greek” at the Whitford in Burry Port. When one thinks of the term in popular culture “my local’, the Whitford would claim that accolade.

Nevertheless, I am the type of the person who does when the need arises complains, but also praises. I find it all too easy to focus on the negative and accept good, if not brilliance, in a cavalier fashion. This is not good. Everyone needs to know whether their efforts are worthy of recognition and also if there is a need for improvement or even something different that would work.

During these uncertain days of Lockdown 3.0, the prior prohibition on the sell of alcohol at licensed premises, and the weeks long curfew previously, added to the effects of the Lockdown 1.0, it has been never so difficult to operate a restaurant.

“The Whitford” rose to the challenge last year by offering a ‘take out” service whether collect in person or delivered, and used their own direct marketing through social media, as well as existing food ordering platforms, in their case “JustEat”.

Running an authenticate restaurant means catering for demand therefore the take out service was reduced to be available around the weekend. That is until two weeks ago when a special day time menu was launched targeted at home workers. Well, there are so many now, and lunch whilst at work has always been a chore. The hunt for a sandwich, a pie, runs to the chippy, or pack ups left on the kitchen side; all this with a finite amount of time to purloin and consume, as meant for many, lunch is a boring, hurried necessity.

Enter the new menu! At first glance it may seem there is little choice. You’d be so wrong for thinking this. What you have are the favourites from the Meze menu, such as the “Pitta Wrap with skinny fires”, available in 3 variations of Chicken, Pork or Jackfruit. I sampled the chicken last week and it is without question a tasty, satisfying choice, and at £5.55 priced competitively when you consider what the same buys at a Burger chain, and this is homemade.

The “Greek Club sandwich” is favourite of mine when I have the time to sit, order the largest cafetière, people watch, and chat over a very lazy lunch. Alas, until we are out of Lockdown I will have to rely upon the view from my home office window (it is of Worms Head so I am blessed). At £6.95 and the choices between white and wholemeal bread, and chicken or bacon, as a filling, it is a generous plateful.

What Greek menu would be complete without “Kalamari”, and this menu includes skinny fries, a Greek fish and chips if you like, personally I enjoy it in small doses, that’s me, however, at £7.95 its on par with traditional cod and chips.

Now, for today’s feast. Yes feast because the term graze box captures the essence of it most completely. A cornucopia of meze dishes that give the flavour and variety of the menu and its dishes in one easily manageable box. This is a stroke of genius!

Sampling the pita and dips (Tzatziki, Hummus, and Taramasalata), before enjoying a generous block of feta, olives, dipping oil, mixed with the crudités of carrot and cucumber, enjoying Dolmades, Florini pepper, and “my to die for” dish; Spanakopita. You really can’t finish this box in one sitting, you can try but grazing is definitely the way. At £6.95 and available in vegan & gluten free versions, this is undoubtedly the best value for money, healthy, filling & imaginative take out lunch I have every had. Pure genius!

If the cavities in your teeth crave something sweeter, than you’ll know that Nik is an excellent baker. Applying the same logic to the dessert trolley as the meze menu by offering a dessert graze box.

At the office traditionally there are times when someone would buy cakes for everyone. Working from home the process is reversed, bring every cake to someone! To be exact sample portions of the Whitford stalwarts (Galaktoboureko, Baklava [my favourite], Portkalopita, Bougatsa & Keik Sokolatas). If these names mean nothing to you, please google them, you will be glad that you did; better still google “The Whitford” and order in.

Delivery within the locality of Burry Port and Pembrey is free and extremely punctual. I also note the care and attention to detail the business has obviously employed in sourcing packaging which is both functional and recyclable. The logo stickers sealing the boxes is a great touch.

Further a field into Llanelli and surrounding there is a modest delivery charge which is much cheaper than what some takeouts levy via “JustEat” for example.

In conclusion, I ate well, healthy, and fresh produce from a local source. The order was delivered, at the exact time requested. The packaging was more than appropriate. Lunch didn’t break the bank. Living through another Lockdown and trying to eat healthy has been difficult. The tastes of normality brought to the door with such devotion to the enterprise and customer is outstanding.

I hope this service continues when Lockdown is a memory, because Nik, Laura and Luis have started something truly special, unique and value for money.

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