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.
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.