“Bonjour, est Peter dans la maison?”
“Wae’aye! Is Pierre in the house, like?”
That’s just a short snippet of a conversation that dragged on for over 45 minutes. Eventually, it became clear that Peter was not in the house. It was at this point too late to find anywhere else to eat, so we agreed to take a table for two.
As a top #FoodBlogger I’m often first to know about the big news in the food industry, for example, I knew about fennel, salted caramel and razor clams before anyone else. However, very few things have blown me away compared to when I discovered that Peter Beardsley had opened up a chain of French Bistros across the UK.
That’s correct, set up in 1994 originally under the name ‘Bistrot Beardsley,’ it was decided that not enough people would want to eat there, same for ‘Bistrot Peter’, and eventually ‘Bistrot Pierre’ was born.
“What would Pete eat?” I said to the waiter who’d asked for my food choice.
“I’m not sure what you mean,” he replied.
“Don’t worry, I’m a food blogger, I know about the whole Peter Beardsley thing,” I whispered.
“Can I take your order?”
That’s just a short snippet of a conversation that dragged on for over 45 minutes. Eventually, it became clear the waiter was unwilling to talk about the former Newcastle winger. Frustrated, I ordered the first two things my eyes set upon: goat’s cheese to start followed by the fishcake for main.
My ladywife was uninterested about the whole Peter Beardsley thing, well, until I told her that the beef bourguignon she’d ordered was actually using a recipe Peter had perfected during his spell at the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1982.
My starter of goat’s cheese, sourdough, pear and chicory was perfectly reasonable. It was great to finally try Pete’s Pears straight from his orchard in Stockton-On-Tees.
My fishcake main was less successful, a stodgy salmon affair with a poached egg and a Dijon sauce.
Disappointed with my main, the next day I drove to the Middlesbrough branch of Pierre’s and was lucky enough to catch Peter on his way out.
“Pierre!” Pierre!” I shouted as he walked towards his car.
“Not me, fella.”
“Peter, I know that you’re Pierre. I want to talk to you about your fishcake.”
“No idea what you’re talking about.”
“It was very stodgy, Peter.”
And with that, he drove away, leaving me feeling like Matt Allwright.
To conclude, if you want average food, reasonably priced, cooked by a former Premier League star – you can’t beat Bistrot Pierre.