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zero degrees, reading.

so this weekend i went to go and see lucy rose at reading minster church, which was, well, a beautiful setting for a beautiful voice. well worth the drive down! plus one of my favourite things to do when i'm off to a new place is to do some in depth restaurant research before i go. this time i decided zero degrees was the place for me. as well as being just round the corner from the gig venue, i was won over by the interesting menu of delectable pizzas, pasta and mussel pots with locally sourced ingredients in the quirky setting of a microbrewery. 

i have to say, the food didn't disappoint either. mains i was swayed by were the mussels thermidore (with brandy, wine, mustard, cheddar cheese, cream and parsley), salmon and mascarpone pizza or lime and tequila chicken tagliatelle. i know, right?

we ended up choosing a porcini mushroom pizza with extra parma ham and bangers and mash. the pizza already came with porcini mushrooms, red onions, white wine and garlic sauce and smoked cheese and you had a choice of two flavours of sausage special that day. i have to say - i was pretty disappointed that you were told to ask your waiter or waitress what the sausages of the day were and ours didn't know. it's the little things, you know? she told us there was a mexican one and another beginning with c that she couldn't remember the name of. i promptly replied "cumberland." it was cumberland. :) 

anyway i suppose that's besides the point in the end because the sausage was gorgeous and flavoursome and the mash was creamy and well seasoned. i also liked that the parma ham on my pizza came in a proper slice and that the white wine and garlic was like a pizza base. i'm not sure how else i imagined it to come though to be honest - though it was a nice change to the standard tomato.

when we came to pay (which sadly took a while to come and we needed to go to the gig quick smart!) the bill had two clear totals. one was the total of our food and the other a +10% optional service charge. what was a shame for the end of the meal was that when the waitress put the figure in the card machine, she assumed the larger number and handed it back over to enter the pin. the service charge is optional afterall, so why the assumption and why not the anonymous card tipping thing like usual? so overall i guess the service could be a little improved - but if i'm ever in the area again that probably won't stop me going back to try one of their mussel pots.

Square Meal