Dallas Cowboys

Food and facilities need some work in London

Day 2 in London featured a trip to Allianz Park, home of the Saracens F.C. rugby club.

Rugby is a growing professional and recreational sport in London.

A Saracen is a warrior who rode on camels during the olden days. Think of the Indiana Jones movie series and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Remember the scene where Jones shoots a knife-wielding warrior? Well, that was a Saracen, as the manager of the pro shop explained to me Wednesday.

Anyway, this is where the Cowboys are practicing this week.

My co-worker, Charean Williams, and I even did a video wearing a fez hat while holding a rugby ball.

It was a nice stadium, but no better than a high school football stadium in DFW.

After practice, it was work and dinner.

My daughters keep asking me about sightseeing. I have nothing to tell them so far, because we work all day and then it gets dark at 4 p.m., so there is no sightseeing. We did take in a Spanish Tapas restaurant for dinner. We were looking for a place with a little spice and flavor.

England is known for its bland food, and we found out firsthand at the stadium earlier in the day. A British gent, who was appreciative of my friendliness and humor, offered to buy me and the crew at my work table a bowl of chicken soup.

We were starving, so we said yes.

The soup was bland as heck. And there was no chicken, no veggies, no nothing. It was more like chicken broth. But that would be unfair to the tasty broth I’ve had in Texas.

But this place for dinner was something different. It’s called Donostia, Cocina Vasca Basque Kitchen. At least that’s what it reads on the business card. First off, they had no whiskey. The only vodka they had on hand was Absolut. Of course, there was no cranberry or pineapple to mix it with, only Coke or Diet Coke. I had water. The food choices were good, albeit small.

The waiter kept saying, “You Americans have big portions and eat a lot. We have small portions. You will need to order several things.”

I accused him of trying to up-sell us. But sure enough, the size of our entrees was akin to bird food. So we kept sending him back for more food.

The interesting thing in London, however, is they don’t believe in tipping. You are not supposed to tip the cab driver unless he helps you with the luggage, but no more than 10 percent. And there was no option to tip the waiter on the credit card receipt at the restaurant.

Tipping is an American tradition, not something common with Londoners.

So, I hit him with a few pounds (fist pounds) and we left.


Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram