Originally Posted by Catmaniac
Apart from the exoticism of Vesta curries, food was generally very bland, poor quality, repetitive. Meat was of poor quality, the butchers kept aside any de ent cuts for hotels and catering, and some of them displayed quite an attitude if your mother complained and said she wanted a better cut next time, there'd usually be some cheeky remark like "you're lucky to have meat missus, and it's all good". It would have cost an absolute fortune, and the only affordable stuff was poor quality mince.
Eating out was mostly done in hotel dining rooms or "grills" where fried plaice, the classic mixed grill, etc, with chips, would be usual fare. Dessert was usually apple pie or in late 70s Black Forest Gateau. Prawn cocktail, melon or half a grapefruit with cherry on top, were usual starters. If you were seriously splashing out for an occasion smoked salmon was the no. 1 choice. Standalone restaurants were relatively few and far between, but you did gave the odd relatively affordable place like the Berni Inn where you could push the boat out and order steak, and even Irish/Calypso etc coffee for afters!
I remember, after starting work, bringing my mother on an annual 3 night winter break to somewhere like Edinburgh, and I couldn't stretch to the optional full breakfast, as all the money had been spent on air fare and hotel bed. We had to stick to continental. On the other hand the following year I took her to a Berni Inn hotel in Bristol and we got steak for breakfast! There was a wine bar in the hotel of all things, however no en-suite bathrooms in the rooms. En-suites bedrooms in hotels were not that commonplace, and in Ireland you always had to go to a "Grade A" hotel to be guaranteed one.
I don't know. My memories of food in the 70s as a small boy was pretty good. I don't ever recall eating shit
meat. Rashers, sausages, eggs, black pudding for the fry were "same as it ever was". A chicken for roasting was the business....probably better then from the butcher than the water pumped, battery farmed crap from the supermarket now. A boiled ham to go with the cabbage was always done better by my granny than by my mother....who is a great cook. Granny just got it right. Smoked cod for the fish pie was excellent. Butcher cut corned beef slices to have in sandwiches on Sunday afternoon after the oul lad finished his round of golf were a lot better than the packaged gear you get now.
The food wasn't repetitive at all. We just didn't have "foreign" foods like stir fries or pasta