A butcher's hook
It's part of what makes them unique in a business world slowly succumbing to the big corporates.
Tony Varga and his TLC staff go out of their way to trade chat with their customers but there's always an exception and that bird is wearing big Tony down. A pesky seagull, now going by the name of Bert, made the roof of Tony's car his day-time roost at the back entrance to the outlet in the Richmond Centre about 18 months ago.
Bert flits in as soon as the company car pulls up in the morning and stays for the day.
"He's a bloody nuisance and craps everywhere," Tony bemoaned.
"I've had to replace a car since he arrived . . . not because it was worn out but because his crap had rusted the roof away."
Ever thought about concocting a seagull pie because you sell just about everything else?
"Nah. He's become a bit of a legend, really. I tried to discourage him by placing a plastic magpie on the roof but all that did was attract another mate. Now he's here just about every day, too."
All this feathery talk wasn't about to dissuade the boss from pushing succulent red meat as his choice of product for the column.
"Mate, you can just feel summer in the air. The warm days are beginning to outnumber the cold ones, so people are cranking up the barbecues, which is great." He reckons people should test themselves over the hot coals (and gas) this year and branch out with their choice of meats.
"There are some pretty slick barbies out there these days, yet people seem reluctant to put them to a true test.
"If yours has a rotisserie then use it.
"Meat cooked properly this way is magnificent."
That said he plucked a rolled angus sirloin steak from his cabinet with an encouraging "Give this a go and you'll see what I mean".
"We've been promoting the angus brand for a while now. It's all grass-fed meat and perfectly marbled.
"This will only need 45 minutes because you don't want to eat this cooked beyond pink."
Roger that Tony.
The Bingham barbie is not equipped with a rotisserie but a mate's down the road was. A quick call saying "we're coming for tea, don't worry about the meat" was eagerly accepted.
The mate knows about this column and licked his lips when he saw the vacuum-packed roll.
It was a beautiful evening and the wafts of prime beef cooking under the hood of the barbecue added to the occasion as the sun slowly slid away.
The promotion had been bang on.
It cut easily and just melted in your mouth. Sirloin and salad. That's all that was needed. Roll on summer.
Taranaki Daily News