There's no question. This is a British Restaurant!
I love the red phone booth in front and the red Vespa! The front door is red and this very fine uniform is, as well. No humans wear costumes or uniforms at Black Labrador, (and I do enjoy some entertaining clothing) but this mannequin did. He gave us 3 bonus points for starts!
5 bonus points a lovely outdoor area! Even though Black Lab is in the heart of busy Montrose, there are large trees that give a neighborhood feel. I always appreciate it when a restaurant gives me an outside dining option. But this is above and beyond! Tables, benches AND a giant chess board!
The restaurant has been here for 25 years, housed in what used to be the office section of a church. The 65 year old Cantral Church of Christ, with bell tower and stained glass, now houses a library. What a nice switch from the majority of cafes and restaurants in my blog. Most of them are in strip malls! 5 bonus points for a restaurant with a classy, if not holy history!
I happen to love antiques, so I loved the warped table tops and wobbly benches. I even liked the sort of aged smell of the dining room. Every old print, kettle, crock and Windsor chair probably had a history of smells. Or maybe it was stale beer and pipe smoke from back in the day...I don't know. But it reminded me of my Aunt and Uncle's old Missouri Ranch! 5 points for all the old stuff AND for and our corner table which had "pews" for seats and lace over the windows!
Lisa in the blog!
This was Lisa's first time on a dining blog adventure, so 2 bonus points for that! It was fun sitting in our cozy corner while a little thunder rumbled outside. We waited for our food to arrive while sharing a few travel stories. Lisa's memories about dining in England got me eager for my order to arrive. It also got me in the mood for a trip back to England.
I had been more excited about the atmosphere than the food, until my Tour of Britain arrived! A small sheppard's pie, battered fried fish with malt vinegar, banger sausage and onions, sweet baked beans and a little veggie assortment! I ate almost every bite. Lisa gave me a sample of her English Fish Pie! A pretty amazing mountain of fish, potatoes and cheese! 4 points for our hearty meal at Black Labrador!
People Encounter with Nikki
Nikki was working behind the bar. I asked if there was anyone in the restaurant with a British accent. (always searching for authenticity) She laughed and said she could fake a British accent for us. Nikki was busy whipping up some cream. "For desserts?" I asked. "For drinks." She answered, reminding me of all the cozy coffee drinks I'd like to sip on in the winter, next to their fireplace.
I asked Nikki about some of the antiques. She told me one interesting detail. Even though they constantly straighten the framed prints and photos on the walls, in the morning they are always crooked.
5 bonus points for Nikki and the very thought of a ghostly...black Lab, perhaps!
Mugs and a Dumbwaiter!
There were a couple other intriguing bits! I noticed the pewter mugs hanging above the bar. Each was engraved with the owner's name. If only I lived closer, I could purchase one for $85. and get a a cheaper rate on my beer. That would give Nikki more work though. She says they have to be hand washed.
And what's the dumbwaiter for!? The kitchen is upstairs! Must give Black Lab 5 more bonus points for their mugs and the very first dumbwaiter I've seen in a restaurant!
Not Enough Time!
We didn't have enough time to read all the framed write ups or study all the portraits of Royalty. If only we'd had time to sit down and read a newspaper hanging on one of those wooden library racks!
But we had to go, pausing just a moment to enjoy the sweet statue and painting of the black lab near the front door.
Black Labrador earns...
A Total of 34 Points!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.