Tag Archives: British

God Save the Queen!

Today is Saint Patrick’s day, Baltimore. It’s that most drunk and sloppy of meaningless phony holidays which are completely insignificant and thoroughly unenjoyable. We’re already on record as being against drinking holidays and the rabble they produce as a matter of principle, and all of this green and phony-baloney Irish crap doesn’t sway our opinion in the least. Throughout history the Irish have shown themselves to be little more than illiterate Papist subsistence farmers, no better than, say, Guatemala when you really think about it. Instead of ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish,’ we prefer ‘Kiss my ass, I’m American!’

Rather than swill green beer and play at being some sort of drunken foolish hooligan, we’re intending to mark today in the manner we think most proper… a celebration of all things English.

The Chop celebrates England, in all her glory.

With the closing of Canton’s Tyson’s Tavern last Fall, the area’s base of proper English establishments was reduced by a third. Fortunately, two British outposts remain in Central Maryland as a testament to and a reminder of the greatness of the English nation.

If you’re south of the city, Union Jack’s in Columbia is about as British as it gets this side of the Atlantic. We’ve never been, but the photos on their site remind us instantly of some of the pubs we saw in the high street on our trip to Southampton. With a full menu, some 60 beers, and four distinct spaces, there’s little reason to leave once you’re settled in.

If Howard County is a stretch though, you can still get your full fix of all things Anglo at Brighton’s. Hidden away on the second floor of Light Street’s Intercontinental Hotel, Brighton’s is something of an ironic contrast when compared with Union Jack’s. Although it’s in the heart of the city, the ambiance here is decidedly more upscale with something of a country feel to it. It wouldn’t take much suspension of disbelief to arrive around tea time and swear that you’d walked into a country estate, just after the hunt. It also offer’s close proximity to one of the city’s very best bars, the Explorers Lounge. The martinis here may be damn close to $20, but it’s a guaranteed lock that you’ll be able to drink one in peace without encountering a single one of the tossers and punters about in Federal Hill.

If you’re not as flush as all that though, you can still celebrate the same way we plan to: by donning our Arsenal jersey and spinning a Billy Bragg record while whipping up a vegan shepherd’s pie or a bread pudding, and settling into it with a James Bond flick and a pukka dry martini.

(We’ll keep admiring the English right up until about the Fourth of July, at which time of course we’ll conveniently remember our own Yankee superiority, which bows to no one and takes pride in being a citizen, not a subject.)

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Best Bets: Best Christmas Gifts Over $10

Yesterday we gave you our picks for the best gifts under $10. Today we’re going to spend a little more. Or, to be fair, we’re going to ask for a little more.

It would be a mighty merry Christmas at the Chophouse if Santa brought us a few of these items from our list:


A Bottle of Barbancourt

The Barbancourt distillery might truly be the only entity inside of Haiti that actually has its shit together. If you think of rum solely as a Summer drink, try the estate reserve. $22-$42.

Ca. 1900 British Steamer Trunk.

Louis Vuitton may talk a lot about heritage, but this kind of heritage is unfuckwithable… no matter how many fake African bush landing photo-ops you get Bono to do. $175.

Norse Projects Merino Breton Stripe Sweater

Melville never had it so good. You won’t need a White-Jacket, just accent it with one of these… $180.

Ca. 1950’s Ulysse Nardin Wristwatch

The movement’s been as dependable as the sun for 60 years or so. The case and hands are solid gold and still manage not to look gaudy. This is the kind of flash you don’t need to flash. $1500.

The HMS Bounty

The one from the movies. Captain Bligh may not have been on the quarterdeck, but Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp were. If all of you loyal Choppers pitch in, you can totally get us this for Christmas. We’ll even use it to give you a ride to work (provided you work near the Inner Harbor). $4,600,000.

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Elevenses: A Mini-Brunch For the Weekdays

You already know that The Chop Approves of Brunch. How could anyone not approve of brunch, really? In an age when most breakfasts consist of things like Nutri-grain bars, cereal, frozen waffles and drive-thru fare, it’s nice to sleep late once a week and wake up to eggs benedict, French toast, and fresh fruits and cheeses. Perhaps the menu is not what we like most about brunch. We suspect that these things taste most savory because we have the luxury of time in which to enjoy them.

Of course, this is also the one drawback to brunch… this once a week status. Why should something so delicious and luxurious be relegated to Sundays only? Do we not deserve the chance to stuff our faces mid-morning 7 days a week? Is that not the American way?

Want to be like Joe Strummer? Skip the Wheaties and take elevenses.

The British have one-upped us on this score, America. The English may not be know for their culinary ambition, but they have brought something to the world table which we have by and large failed to sample and savor: Elevenses.

Granted, they may not be very good at this even, with many of them subsisting on Hydrox cookies and Earl Grey, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pick up the ball and run with it. We’ve actually got some pretty good convenience foods here stateside, and if your office happens to be near one of Baltimore’s many bakeries, cake shops or cafes, you’re already set to pick up breakfast at 7:30, and a little something extra for elevenses. Just think of it… all that time you spend forwarding emails and fooling around with Facebook, you could be sneaking off to the break room for a fresh cup of coffee and one of these.

For our part, we’re a lazy blogger. We sleep until 11, so for us it’s just breakfast. When we’re outside the country though, you know, doing real work and waking up at 7 am every morning, we always take elevenses. Of course, we don’t call it that. We call it a coffee break. But it’s a perfect chance to sit back for half an hour, relax a bit, and tide yourself over until lunch. It really makes the work go by much more quickly and pleasantly, and is easily one of our favorite moments in the day.

Maybe you’re reading this at your desk right now. Maybe you’re a little hungry and a little bored. (You must be if you’re reading blogs at work.) Go ahead, take elevenses. Right now. If your boss asks, just explain that the English do it every day, so it must be right and proper. And after all, aren’t we better at eating than the Brits?

It’s not just a small, mid-morning meal… it’s a matter of national pride.

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