13. Shepard's Pie from The Blue Anchor

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13. Shepard's Pie from The Blue Anchor

Just beyond the trendy steakhouses and sleek cafés on Delray's Atlantic Avenue, you'll find The Blue Anchor, a charming and unassuming English pub near the Intracoastal. The 19th century exterior of the pub was imported from the London where it had a history of catering both to scoundrels and the well-heeled. Today, with its stained glass windows, warm lighting and authentic decor, The Blue Anchor provides a cozy retreat for British expats, Anglophiles and wayward locals.

The Blue Anchor's extensive menu runs the gamut of British cuisine from ubiquitous fish n' chips to curries and kebabs which reflect the country's imperial past. With so many options available, ordering a dish as mundane as Shepard's pie is a toss up. Will it be authentic or a mediocre nod to the classic British dish?

At first bite, The Blue Anchor's Shepard's pie, has a distinct flavor that seems at once foreign and familiar. A careful second bite reveals the addition of garam masala, a dry Indian spice blend, which adds both spicy and sweet notes to the dish. This subtle addition puts a delightful spin on the British staple. Served in a crock with a healthy dollop of whipped potatoes and savory Guinness gravy, all efforts to resist eating the filling dish in one sitting are futile. Yield to the urge --and don't forget the pint.

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