I think the decline of Western civilization can said to have started in earnest when the word “gastropub” became an actual thing instead of a nonsensical word made up from the last tiles in a Scrabble game.
Now they’re even being ranked. Fach.
Here’s what I want to see on a pub menu, in no specific order:
- fish & chips
- steak (+mushroom, +onion or +kidney, by choice) or chicken pies
- toasted (“grilled”, in Murkin) cheese, chicken, bacon or steak sandwiches
- chips / “fries” (in a basket)
- eggs to order
- mixed grill* (for the super-hungry)
- cheese, chicken, steak, beef, bacon etc. on a fresh roll with condiments to taste
- simple salad (for homosexualists, veganists and women — some overlap)
- …can’t think of much else, really.
If you aren’t satisfied with anything from the above, you have no business being out of the house.
Best of all, this simple and honest menu is going to be cheap, instead of noisettes d’agneau au poivre costing fifty bucks a portion. Savings can thus be applied to the real business of a pub: booze.
And if the pub’s “chef” (a contradiction in terms, surely?) gets oh-so bored preparing the same basic stuff every day and feels “unfulfilled”, he needs to quit, open up a “fine dining experience” in his own restaurant and go out of business in six months like all those other trendy establishments.
Just stay out of my damn pub.
You missed out on egg and chips and not even a mention of black pudding!
If you look carefully, you will see “eggs to order” and “basket of chips”, the combination of which will result in “egg and chips”… and you can forget that black pudding nonsense.
I assume we’re opening this pup in America so I’ll add a few things.
Appetizers -make a good selection of appetizers for folks to share while watching a game or talking over drinks
Buffalo wings with assorted sauces.
Spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips
Fried Camembert with dijon mustard. A German restaurant I used to dine at had this and it was delicious. Fried mozzarella sticks with marinara ketchup is flavorless. I’m surprised the eye-ties didn’t wage some sort of protest at our embassy when that monstrosity appeared on menus in America.
Turkey Club Sandwich
if we’re in New England or the East Coast, then add a chicken pot pie to the entrees.
If the chef/cook gets bored with the menu then they can do specials for a few days. Lots of different ways to make cheeseburgers and wings. Also, the chef can show their creativity and vary a special menu for various seasons. Octoberfest themed menu, do some Mexican food in May for Cinco de Mayo, Day of the dead etc.
Other than that, you’re spot on. There is a Tavern near me that has very good pub grub, a good whiskey list, they make good cocktails and their beer list isn’t bad. We probably go there 2-3 times a month. I’d go more often but finances.
Given my acid reflux issues and occasional ulcers, the term “gastro” followed by any other word choice is going be taken as another fucking stomach ailment for which I need to take yet another fucking pill. So classifying restaurants/pubs as Gastro-xxx is going have me looking for somewhere else quickly.
I’m assuming the “cheese, chicken, steak, beef, bacon etc. on a fresh roll with condiments to taste” is their version of our hamburger? If not, add that to the list. Pub pizza is usually pretty good, but then BJ’s is really the only pub-like experience we get down here. So maybe not a thing over there?
I see nothing wrong with adding simple fare like normal sandwiches (not the foofy crap, thanks), perhaps a decent burger, and yes, deep-fried chicken wings—which have the added benefit of pissing off the Food Nazis.
When I was staying in London a few years back (OK, two decades ago) the local across from my flat had good basic grub, but their wings were nothing short of fantastic, and they made decent burgers and chips, which was much appreciated because I dislike fish.
I would put a proper Bangers and Mash just below Fish and Chips in order of importance.
Wings! Gotta have buffalo wings. (The fried or baked kind, not breaded.)
I would only add a Reuben sandwich, with bonus points if served on marble rye.
I’ll second that emotion! And for those who aren’t partial to corned beef, make it a Rachel.
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