Ma Boyles Liverpool

I’d never been to Ma Boyles, I’d heard about it, passing comments or quiet mentions between friends, talk of the Beaujolais run, fresh oysters and great seafood. Tucked away in the basement corner of tower gardens, you’d be fortunate to discover it by accident or pay it any attention. It was this idea that intrigued me, those quiet unseen places with a devoted followings, obscure, out of sight and in their own special way quite brilliant. I was hoping for that moment of walking into a seedy desolate backstreet pub only to discover a vibrant bar, great food and a welcoming atmosphere. I descended the steps slowly, a growing sense of anticipation and child like excitement gripped me, I pushed open the door and beheld what could only be described as a seedy desolate backstreet pub.

The place wasn’t just empty, it was deserted, the only other person was the manager, sitting at the bar, reading the paper and eating a cheese toasty.  He had no interest in me, clearly I’d distracted him from his rubberised tasteless sandwich, something I thought he’d be thankful for. The wines available weren’t worth remembering let alone paying for, instead a pint of passable ale proved to be the best Ma Boyle could muster. “No prawns today” was the response as I enquired about the menu, I was relying on the food to raise my thoroughly dashed hopes, realising this wasn’t going to be the case the prospect of eating fresh oysters suddenly became much less appealing. With a glimmer of hope I ordered the mussels, perhaps some small shred of quality remains in this tired old pub. Alas, what arrived was straight from the freezer, rubbery tasteless and on the verge of inedible, I could only manage one mussel before pushing the plate aside. This was the poorest quality product cooked with the lowest level of skill.

Looking up from his paper the manager asked “Is there something wrong?”, now paying me more attention due to the dish of untouched food. “Truthfully mate, they’re really horrible, I can’t eat them” I earnestly replied. Expecting this response to inspire at least an insincere attempt at resolution, “I know lad, I know” he answered, with a look of sympathy and resignation that said more than his limited words ever could. I finished my beer and left.

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