Shop Talk | May 3, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Eating Out - May 3, 2013

Shop Talk

MEAT RAFFLE WELL DONE ... There's no question that the Peninsula is on the cutting edge when it comes to technology, but as for more traditional items, this area lags far behind. Take, for example, the meat raffle. Popular in Australian and English pubs, as well as parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota, this unusual ticketed raffle gives away a platter of meat as the prize. Local restaurant owner James Maltby, who hails from England, has revived the practice in his Los Altos restaurant. Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Maltby's Pub at 101 Plaza North, the restaurant music is turned off so that the "The Mule Skinner Blues," a 1960s song by the Fendermen, can be heard loud and clear. "I really turn up the volume. That gets everyone's attention. Then I parade around the tables holding a large platter filled with 25 pounds of raw meat. You can't imagine the excitement this creates. And everyone keeps asking me, 'What the heck is a meat raffle?' I explain it as I give each diner a raffle ticket," Maltby said. "Then I select a random table, and instruct someone to reach into the hat and pull out the winning raffle ticket. It's actually quite a spectacle." And then someone wins 25 pounds of raw meat. A typical platter might include pork roast, brisket, tri-tip, bacon and sausages. Maltby enjoys the humor of a meat raffle. "It's odd, but funny. I mean, who wins meat?" he said.

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