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Vampire friendly

Cathy Marston never considered vampires an ethnic minority. But it seems that after her trip to San Francisco-based restaurant, The Stinking Rose, she may just have to change her mind.

by: Cathy Marston | 15 Nov 2006

I am very lucky in that I will eat most foods except Marmite, which I believe to be a cross between boot polish and burnt roast beef. I can't even bear to be near it and, when Kevin has eaten it for breakfast, then he knows that is it for any displays of affection from me for the next twenty-four hours.

Luckily he completely understands my attitude as he has a similar loathing and abomination for onions and refuses to go within a mile of them cooked or raw, all of which makes both eating in and dining out a bit of a challenge.

Still, even if he doesn't like onions, at least Kevin will eat garlic which is one saving grace. In fact, he really rather likes it which is kind of odd when you consider how similar the flavours are. So, with that memorable saying – 'a clove a day keeps a vampire away' in mind, one of the first stops on our trip to San Francisco, was The Stinking Rose – a garlic restaurant.

This is the place which claims that they 'season their garlic with food' and boy, do they ever. You can smell it a clear block down the street and after we'd eaten there, you could smell us at least two blocks down the street as well. Dishes of note include whole roasted bulbs of garlic for spreading on your bread, Forty Clove Garlic Chicken, Garlic-encrusted Baby Back Ribs and you can then finish your meal with their famous Garlic Ice cream with caramel sauce. They also do a 'Silence of the Lamb Shank', chianti-glazed and served with fava beans, which has nothing whatsoever to do with garlic but makes me laugh anyway.

There is a school of thought that restaurants should be places of entertainment and not just eateries and I must say that on that score, The Stinking Rose certainly pushes my buttons. Their sister restaurant is equally amusing, being charmingly called The Dead Fish. It features a section on their menu of 'Recently Deceased Fish' with their meat dishes being entitled 'Other Dead Things'!

But the real thing that makes me laugh about The Stinking Rose is the fact that some of their dishes have little Dracula symbols alongside them, which indicate that they can be prepared without the garlic and are therefore suitable for vampires. Now there's an ethnic minority I haven't been considering lately!


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