Credit Crunch Lunch – updated.

Me eating Sunday lunch at the Frog and Nightingale

I’ve had quite a bit of free time lately. Loads of places in Chester are offering exceptionally good deals on pub lunches. I’ve tried a few of them, and decided to do a bit of a review. Have a look bellow and tell me what you think.

Since a originally wrote this “article”, a couple of things have changed, so I have revised it.

The Temple bar on Frodsham Street The Temple Bar
About the pub:Temple has really picked up lately, after being a bit of a dive, a few years ago. I go in there regularly, they sell the excellent Amstel lager that I like for £2 a pint.

I had: Fish, Chips and Mushy Pea’s

It was:Mushy pease, were very runny. Fish was nice, but a bit soggy, I normally prefer it a bit crisper. Plenty of chips.

It Cost: £8 (You actually get 2 meals for £8)

Conclusion:Food was okay, but not particularly outstanding. Was pretty upset that they didn’t mention I could have an extra meal included in the price. Will probably just stick to the cheap Amstel.

Food Quality: ** Value for money: *
The Frog and Nightingale on Canalside The Frog and Nightingale
About the pub: Okay, so its my local and I’m slightly biased, but that said, it has 2 excellent chefs and all the food is purchased locally and fresh. It now only has 1 chef, as Jo has left. The ace Nathan is standing in though !.
I had: 2 course lunch. I had pate to start, and Chile as a main.

It was: The pate was excellent, and as good as the stuff I’ve eaten at the Grosvenor hotel. Chile was delicious with nacho’s and rice, although I would have liked a little more.It Cost: £5

Conclusion: This is isn’t so much a pub, as a restaurant that has a bar. What I ate was some of the best food in Chester, for £5.

Food Quality: ***** Value for money: ***
The Custom House on Watergate Street. The Custom House
About the pub: One of my favourite drinking haunts, down towards the racecourse. They employ a lot of students, which can sometimes mean waiting a while to get served. In every other way its an amazing pub.

I had: Fish, Chips and Mushy peas.

It was: The best fish and chips I think I’ve eaten in some years.

It Cost: £4.75

Conclusion: Food was fantastic, but its still a single course meal and a pint north of £7.50, and were attempting to find good food for pocket money, which this isn’t.

Food Quality: **** Value for money: **
The Boat House next to the river Dee. The Boat House
About the pub: Lovely pub, down by the river. On a sunny day, it looks like the Mongol hoards have descended on it. They’ve obviously had a re-organisation, as the landlord appears to run a tight ship now.

I had: Steak Pie with Gravy and Chips. Comes with an inclusive drink, I chose Fosters.

It was: A delicious full sized pie (not like one from the chippy, which I was expecting) plenty of thick gravy and loads of chips. Fosters was sharp crisp and clear.

It Cost: £5

Conclusion: I thought for a moment, they would do the old trick, of serving me the drink, then hanging around with the food and only putting it out, when I ordered a 2nd drink. They did nothing of the kind, the food was on the table in 20 minutes and I was asked on 2 occasions if the food was okay etc.

It just doesn’t get any better than this !.

Since then, the pub has been taken over. You can still get a nice pie and chips (although you now have to suffer a pint of Carlsberg, which I find “Gassy”) the problem is, it costs £10.70 !!!.

Food Quality: **** Value for money: **
The Red Lion The Red Lion
About the pub: One of the busiest and most popular pubs in Chester. Not one I go in often, but a friendly pub, with a good mix of regulars and not so regulars. They do pints of Fosters for £1.79 a pint and various spectacularly cheap food deals.

I had: The Thursday curry and a pint for £5 (they do 5 different sorts of curry.

It was: A clear fresh pint, and the curry was tasty, if a little small.

It Cost: £5.

Conclusion:The Shere Khan, aren’t going to put their restaurant up for sale just yet, but the Red Lion Curry was quite nice.

Food Quality: *** Value for money: *****
Burger King - there everywhere !. Burger King (obviously)
About the pub: Its not a pub, but it was spotlessly clean and the staff were friendly and helpful. They advertise a £2 deal, and in the advert they say “you’ll feel like you robbed us !”.

I had: burger, medium fries and a coke.

It was: Very tasty, but not really wholesome, if you know what I mean.

It Cost: £2.

Conclusion: Okay, not particularly healthy, but as an occasional treat, what can you say, it was 2 quid !.

Food Quality: *** Value for money: ****

And the winner is ?: Nobody is going to go in a pub and order lunch, without having a drink as well. Considering this, it would be the boat house, as its a delicious meal without compromise and a drink included for a fiver.

Well, as we’ve seen above, the Boathouse no longer do the £5 deal. The principle of a not buying a meal, without a drink still stands, and on that basis it would have to be the Red Lion (they do food and a drink all week, for £5, I just wanted to try the Thursday Curry, and it didn’t disappoint).

In other categories, I would say:

The best value lunchtime snack: Burger King

The best quality pub food at a fair price: The Frog and Nightingale

The best “pub” fish and chips in Chester: The Custom House

On the subject of food. If you have a moment, visit hungersite. All you have to do, is visit the site and click on some links, and you will feed someone in the developing world for nothing.

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