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AIBU to find "pub grub" in general to be disappointing and over-priced?

(73 Posts)
EmpressJosephine01 Fri 17-Mar-17 10:55:05

I went out with three friends last night, to a local pub. Same story:
*Pub has restaurant attached;
*Restaurant very nicely decked out and of modern decor - ie restful B&F colour scheme and tasteful ornaments dotted about;
*Extensive menu you see everywhere - a lot of Italian; fish & scampi; steaks; burgers; a little of Indian and ethnic cuisine and the usual suspects on the desert menu.
When the food came, it was so ... average. One friend had ordered roast chicken breast and asked to have extra veg in lieu of the chips offered - and the 'extra veg' turned out to be salad - wait for it - and served with a plate swimming in gravy!
My scampi was ... well I'm not sure if it really is scampi anymore as it didn't taste of much. My chips looked great but tasted as if they'd had some lying around and had simply warmed them up, ie not freshly made.
Sadly, this appears to be the default experience and now meals out seem to cost around £50 for two, am I alone in thinking that dining out is fast becoming a waste of good money?
On the plus side, it did enable the three of us to get together for a good natter without someone having to spend time catering and clearing up.

Shoxfordian Fri 17-Mar-17 11:03:09

There's some really nice places where I live so maybe you just need to find some new pubs? Don't know where you live but there must be some good places to go

araiwa Fri 17-Mar-17 11:05:47

find a better pub

SparkleTwinkleGoldGlitter Fri 17-Mar-17 11:07:37

I think you are going to the wrong places tbh

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Fri 17-Mar-17 11:10:37

You can go to the local Spoons.. everything is ping... but cheep

I agree, a lot of food is very poor quality for the cost.. I suspect they think customers are bowled over by decoration and don't notice the actual food. We went to a "gastro" pub with fancy cutlery and plates and designer tables.. but the actual food was pretty non committal and my meal was scorching hot straight from a microwave.

Eatingcheeseontoast Fri 17-Mar-17 11:10:58

Yep, find a better pub.

Most pubs order stuff in chilled or vacuum packed from vast warehouses far away. That stuff is often actually very good - so ordering something where only a microwave has been involved - like a curry - can often yield a much better meal than where someone may have actually been involved in cooking it out the back.

Unless you've chosen wisely and the pub has someone who can actually cook!

PippaFawcett Fri 17-Mar-17 11:13:23

I find a lot of food quite disappointing when we are out these days, lots of places just reheat food and cook v little. We try to go out less frequently but go to places where doing homemade stuff is a selling point, fortunately there are a few places like that around here. I also hate spending £££ on a meal out when I could have grabbed some supermarket convenience food for the same effect.

Bluntness100 Fri 17-Mar-17 11:14:32

Our local pub grub is lovely, ex Gordon Ramsey chef runs it. I think it depends on the pub.

FurryDogMother Fri 17-Mar-17 11:20:52

It is disappointing, isn't it? I have friends who always suggest going to pubs with chain restaurants (Harvesters etc.) attached, and I always try to steer us to an independent eatery instead. If I'm paying for a meal out I like it to be something really enjoyable (doesn't have to be posh). I'm all for pubs which make their own pies, or do a good home made veggie soup etc.

On the other hand, I can see how people who have to cook all the time at home, and who don't really enjoy it, would be happy just to eat something that someone else has cooked, no matter what it is! Not everyone would describe themselves as a foodie - my husband invariably goes for the burger or lasagne option on a pub menu, and is happy with it - but I am one (a foodie) and so it matters to me.

There's no excuse for overpriced, poor quality food, no matter what.

TheNaze73 Fri 17-Mar-17 11:27:32

You can't generalise on this

PippaFawcett Fri 17-Mar-17 11:28:08

Ps. I'm always happy at National Trust places with their homemade quiche and soup!

zukiecat Fri 17-Mar-17 11:29:06

I very rarely go out due to cost but when I do there are a couple of very good places in town

Only just over £20 for two main courses and two drinks, we never have starters and only occasionally puddings

DD and me are both quite fussy but we've never had a bad meal in either pub

irregularegular Fri 17-Mar-17 11:32:17

Extensive menu you see everywhere - a lot of Italian; fish & scampi; steaks; burgers; a little of Indian and ethnic cuisine and the usual suspects on the desert menu

Always a bad sign. Avoid. What you want is a short menu - a few things with a coherent style that they prepare in house and prepare well. I'd only eat at the sort of place you describe in an emergency.

JustGettingStarted Fri 17-Mar-17 11:36:22

I agree with you, op. Bog standard pub grub is usually mediocre. Obviously, some are good but you need to look at online reviews to know which ones. You can't tell from the decor and prices.

This is why Wetherspoons is successful. They're cheap and reliably mediocre, with generally excellent service.

redexpat Fri 17-Mar-17 12:43:48

Gordon Ramsay said on a kitchen nightmare that a good restaurant does one kind of food and does it well. So that's why your pub grub is a bit rubbish. I've been to a few places where there are 3 starters, 4/5 mains, 4/5 desserts and they are always the best.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 17-Mar-17 12:47:56

I have never experienced this with pub grub. Yes you usually get the steaks, lasagnas, curry, grill, chicken dishes etc, but they have always been very nice where I am. I go to Ember Inn pubs, or MacMullen.

NotCitrus Fri 17-Mar-17 12:49:22

Agreed - either do cheap food, or do decent food with a small selection and charge for it.
I try to avoid the pubs which encourage you to drink lots so that you will then order their overpriced crap food.

JillyTheDependableBoot Fri 17-Mar-17 12:52:40

irregular has it - anywhere with an all over the place menu like that will be crap. Our excellent local pub has maybe 6 options for starter and main and 3 for pudding.

Mynestisfullofempty Fri 17-Mar-17 12:54:23

Just be more selective. Look at reviews and I always check the food hygiene rating too when I'm deciding on a place. The last pub I went to (Black Lion at Appledore) the food was superb as it had been on our only previous visit a couple of months before. One we visited in between those visits was not only disappointing but my meal (steak) was inedible and I was given a full refund and profuse apologies. I now know not to go there again.

AgentBlue Fri 17-Mar-17 12:54:56

Agree with the above; the bigger the menu the more likely it is to be crap.

Friends of ours refused to go to local pub as the menu was so 'restrictive' and so we'd go to places with 6-7 pages of 'mains' & they would then complain about the quality.

Finally got them to go to local, they way they go on now you'd think they they'd built the place by hand grin

MrsHathaway Fri 17-Mar-17 12:56:05

Our local is a Hungry Horse and very reliable. Kale and quinoa salads among the steak and chips. We'd struggle to reach £50 for two with three courses and booze - that's more like what we pay when we go there as a family of five and have pudding etc.

Not posh, obviously, but tbh we got tired of the waiting time at the naice pub (all hyper seasonal but without the highly skilled staff required to pull it off). The benefit of a chain pub is that you get what you're expecting. If we want naice we go to the naice little independent Italian which has the veal escalopes DH can't get anywhere else.

A long menu is fine if there's plenty of overlap - eg grilled chicken or steak with different rubs and served with salad or chips and coleslaw or mash and veg can make ten or twelve different headline things on a menu without overfacing a limited kitchen.

EmpressJosephine01 Fri 17-Mar-17 13:00:44

Alas, it was one of my friends who arranged the evening, chose the pub and ferried us there and back. She said she'd selected this place on the basis of having eaten there regularly with her DH and for the food to be consistent, reliable and reasonably priced.
Afterwards she admitted on this occasion that old faithful had let her down. However it was incredibly kind of her to organise everything for us and it was a lovely evening smile
So I'll put it down to experience and suggest a venue of my choice next time round.

ThePiglet59 Fri 17-Mar-17 13:10:59

Everybody's taste buds start to go in middle age. Don't worry about it.

fallenempires Fri 17-Mar-17 13:16:53

You need to look for free houses as they don't have the constraints of being tied in and having to provide the usual chain pub menus.
A good indication of decent food as pp's have mentioned is a shortened menu with 5 or 6 options for each course and maybe a few specials.The menu should also be seasonal.
Also take a look at what drinks are on offer.IME where you see a selection of local real ales,malts,gins and interesting wines it tends to indicate that the landlord/patron will also be as committed to their food.

RiversrunWoodville Fri 17-Mar-17 13:26:17

oh no our local pub restaurant is fantastic, they are really nice menu and well cooked fresh locally sourced ingredients and not overpriced. Although on reflection they may know us too well as when we sit down they know our drinks order and half the time when its an occasion like mothers day etc and they change the menu, the owner often says to me don't worry its not on the menu but we still have a portion of your favourite dessert in the kitchen blush
Although when we do venture further afield most places are very good

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