If I was going to break the Whole30 no alcohol rule at any point in this journey then today would have been the day. My team had made it through to the finals of the Super Rugby and as I do not own a subscription to Foxtel I am unable to watch rugby from the comfort of my own home. Going to watch the game would mean leaving my healthy sanctuary and venturing out to find a venue that would inevitably sell deep fried food with sides of starchy carbohydrate and have wines by the glass or for that matter bottle. The trick here was that I was going to have to avoid all of these things.
Avoiding food could easily be averted by eating beforehand or checking the menu ahead and selecting a pub that had a compliant option. In the end I decided to eat at the venue as it would give me something to do if the game started to get a bit traumatic.
Avoiding alcohol on the other hand was fraught with much more danger. If we were winning I’d want to be celebrating, and if we eventually lost I’d want to drown myself in a vat of cider. Was it even possible to watch rugby sober? Was it actually possible to survive the aftermath of a game (good or bad) sober?
I found it difficult to find any buddies to watch it with me, as no one seemed interested in going to the pub with me if I wasn’t drinking (although they mostly muttered other excuses)! In the end I watched it with a friend who has no interest in the game at all, but who was himself participating in Dry July, and therefore he had found his rather hectic social life had dried up a little bit. With some gentle cajoling (pure manipulation) I lured him to the Dolphin with promises of free Soda Waters. To highlight how much better his life was than mine, I explained that at least he had the option of sodas, juices, or even a Virgin Mary. The list was endless! I knew the highlight of any thirst quencher I was going to sip (soda water or soda water) would be the twist of lemon.
In case you were wondering… we lost.
Also, in case you were wondering… I stayed sober.
Breakfast: Leftover Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Like all stews this was even better the next day.
Lunch: Boiled Egg, Mandarin, Cashew Nuts
After a pretty hearty breakfast, I felt a bit peckish early afternoon so prepared myself a snack for lunch to get me through to dinner.
Dinner: Dolphin Hotel – Grass Fed Rump, Mojo Verde, Duck Fat Potatoes, Salad and Mayonnaise
This was pretty much the only option on the menu that could be made to fit Whole30. I prefer a fillet steak, but unfortunately that was grain fed. I appreciated that the menu indicated which steaks were grass fed, and which were grain fed. I opted for a 300g Grass Fed Rump from Cape Grim, Tasmania with a Marble Score 2 +. I am finding it difficult to comment objectively on the steak, it was relatively tender, but it was stone cold by the time it got to the table. We had seen it walked past our table 10 minutes earlier when I’d actually asked the lost looking waitress if it was for us as the meals certainly looked like ours. She assured me that they were not for us. We then saw it walked upstairs, downstairs, and back upstairs before becoming distracted by a try (not ours unfortunately). I would have sent the steak back when it arrived, but we have all heard what happens to steaks when you send them back.
I had inquired with the cashier at the counter when ordering whether the mojo verde or dressing on the salad had sugar added. I was informed the mojo verde was fine, but the dressing had honey. Luckily they had house-made mayonnaise which contained no sugar. The mojo verde helped offset the stone cold steak, and was a great option for a Whole30’er when the normal gravies and brandy sauces etc are not allowed.
The duck fat potatoes were a bit of a disappointment. I was imagining amazing crispy potatoes (of which I would only have one), but what came out was a soft stack of what tasted like baked potatoes. It was pretty easy to give those a miss!
It would have been a fine meal for Whole30 if only they had brought it to the table in time.