I’m special, so special; I gotta have some of your attention; give it to me.   The Pretenders

Okay; so you’re probably thinking ‘What a weird way to start a blog post’ right about now. Valid point.

Is this about pretenders?

Or being special?

Actually, it’s about both of the above. It’s about pretend specials or, to put it another way, not-so-special specials. Don’t you hate sitting down at a restaurant only to find that the day’s specials are a not-too-thinly-veiled retread of stuff on the regular menu? Us too.

While we’re big fans of the BBC’s signature dishes, like Steak & Ale Pie and Shepherd’s Pie, we do occasionally feel the need to mix things up a little. Man cannot live by beer-battered fish alone, right? Not surprisingly, we’ve got the menu down at this point so reading the specials is always the first order of business. No, wait; it’s actually the second. Beer comes first.

As we’ve been popping around from pub to pub lately – we have the best job…ever – we’ve all been in agreement that the kitchen crews have been knocking it out of the park in the specials’ department. And they’ve clearly been planning ahead. Not only are the ingredients not something found on our regular menu, we’ve never even heard of some of them. We don’t really know what shishito peppers and cotija cheese are, but they taste great when paired with a smoked-corn citrus vinaigrette.

Hats off, guys; you have so got our attention.

In Portsmouth: Blistered shishito peppers and cotija cheese tossed with smoked-corn citrus vinaigrette.

In Hyannis: Tandoori chicken with jasmine rice, grilled asparagus and roasted garbanzo beans.

In Falmouth: Grilled pork chop with a roasted apple, hard cider reduction and cheddar mashed potatoes.

In Franklin: Seared ahi tuna with sesame seeds, soy-lime reduction, cilantro-lime slaw and mango pico de gallo.