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Take 2 — London Calling

Seattle Times readers who are traveling to London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games are taking over our Take 2 blog to share their Olympic experiences from the United Kingdom.

August 13, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Olympic food was impressive, but there wasn't enough to go around

Wimbledon. The very name connotes fine clothes, fine style and, of course, refined foods. The first thing we tried was a gigantic grilled chicken sandwich. The sandwich contained two whole chicken breast cutlets cooked to perfection and a side of roasted potatoes. It was delish!

We found out later that since McDonald's was the big fast-food sponsor of the Olympics, no other vendors were allowed to serve fries/chips with food, unless specifically offered with fish to make fish and chips. We saw lots of roast potatoes, baked potatoes and the like.

While watching the tennis, we kept noticing people walking around with cups of what looked like iced tea with mint. It looked good, whatever it was, so Suna picked one up. This drink was called “No. 1 Fruit Cup,” and it was definitely not iced tea. It was instead a delicious cocktail of liqueur and fresh fruit.

We had stumbled across the favorite British cocktail of summertime, the Pimm’s Fruit Cup! Unfortunately, Pimm’s is not an Olympic sponsor, so its name was removed from the cocktail at the Olympic Games. We learned that Pimm’s is as much of a Wimbledon tradition as strawberries and cream. By the way, we had that, too, and it was delicious.

Unfortunately, we also had many service issues around Olympic Park. The crowds were immense and it seemed like many food vendors were completely unprepared to meet the demand. We tried to sample the food court near the basketball arena, which featured street foods from around the world. We struck out trying to get Pad Thai and satay, macaroni at the pasta bar, and salt beef sandwiches, which looked particularly tasty. A similar issue came up at the Olympic Stadium, where it took several tries for us to get meat pies.

We should have known better than to order pizza, but we made this mistake twice. It reminded us of a badly copied frozen Stouffer’s french bread pizza we ate back in the '70s. Thankfully, our lovely friends Loren and Susan made us homemade pizza on our last night in London. Nom nom nom!


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