In a little side street off the Edgware road there is a food revolution taking place. A Youngs pub is turning out delicious US style ribs, burgers & fried chicken for their hungry , happy punters. I know some might scoff at this as there is more than one dish on the menu, it isn't in a converted Dalston meth lab and you aren’t being served by surly/clueless staff with really interesting hair. However for me this is the most interesting dining trend so far of 2013. Youngs despite their long heritage and roots in South West London (sadly the Wandworth brewery has now gone) have always been a far sighted company. They got into pub food early on, do a good selection of craft beers and have made good use of their estate by offering rooms at many of their pubs. So at the Lord Wargrave they have got in the team from #BBQwhiskyBeer to run their kitchen so instead of dull gastro pub 101 food they are offering fun American food in a pub. As the name suggests BBQ, whisky and beer are a most natural pairing.
So with this in mind I popped in last week with my NCT veteran mate Ketan. He lives nearby and it didn’t take much persuasion to give this a go. The pub itself is a lovely old school affair, lots of dark stained wood, plenty of seating but without losing the pub feel. The bar is in the centre of the room with the open kitchen to one side. Decoration is minimal apart from a large mural on one wall illustrating the menu. However what struck me was how normal it all looked, no gimmicky wackiness and a clientele who looked well you know normal. This made for a nice atmosphere. The pub was busy and buzzy but we found a table for two easily enough. We kicked off with some fried chicken livers and pork ribs. The chicken livers were deep fried balls of chopped liver with a lovely strong flavour, they came with a spicy mayo sauce which gave it a nice kick. The ribs were a nicely cooked with a tasty whisky soy glaze, also for a starter it was a hearty portion much more generous than a couple other specialist I have been to.
To follow I was feeling hungry so I had the beef royal burger which was a huge concoction of beef burger, beef rib, onion rings and mushroom ketchup in a bun. It was tasty, decadent and totally filling. A real daddy of burgers. I could taste all the component parts, it was very lovely indeed. Ketan went for the southern fried chicken which he loved, I tried a piece and it was succulent and tasty. Some good cooking is on show here. Everyone seemed very happy and there was a good mix of drinkers and diners. Our bill came to about £20 a head which was very reasonable. Post dinner (no room for dessert after all that) we tried a couple of whiskies as they have a huge selection. What a pleasant evening and an illustration of how a chain pub no less can take an innovative approach to its food. For me this is much more interesting than some faddy pop up serving the latest emperors new takeaway. This place was packed on a Tuesday night, serving tasty, well cooked, reasonably priced food. I hope more pubs take note of this as this approach to food could be the saviour of many a pub.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9
I've been back since and though BBQWhiskeyBeer have moved on the pub still does a similar menu and it is just as good. with the good well priced food and a great choice of drinks this is one of the best pubs in the area