I've had a week of eating in chain restaurants/pubs. I didn't purposely set out to do that, it's just what's happened. I'm not snobby about eating in chains, I have a lower expectation of the standard of their food - but I expect them to be worth the money we're paying.
On Tuesday last week we ate at Frankie and Benny's at Crown Point in Leeds. On Friday I ate and had drinks at Tiger, Tiger in Leeds and on Sunday I had food at Flying Legends in York.
Predictably the worst food was at Flying Legends - and I only had a jacket potato with cheese and beans. Two jackets, a vast amount of cheese and barely any beans. But this is the place I'm most accepting of the food being bad. I didn't have any expectation of it being good. The place was chosen as an easy option, eating out in a large group at short notice with a large amount of children. It is what it is, is all I have to say.
Tuesday's meal at Frankie and Benny's has really turned round my opinion. After our disastrous meal at the York one last year I wasn't in any hurry to eat there again, but we needed food, and needed somewhere with enough space for the push chair and that would have a high chair.
On Friday I went out for after work drinks for the first time in over 2 years. I had no clue of where to go in Leeds, so my friend and I picked the safe option and ended up in Tiger Tiger, Mrs P had been in there for after work drinks/food a few times recently. On an evening there is 50% off food and drinks between 5 and 9, which is exactly the deal we were looking for. We shared a jug of cocktail - Raspberry Beret and ordered our food - Chicken Fajitas for me, and Chilli Glazed Lamb Rump for Mrs P. The high point for us was being in the restaurant - which meant on a busy Friday tea time we could sit down, eat and drink and hear each other, so we could have a good old gossip. No fighting at the bar, no noisy people, no struggling to find seats. The food was enjoyable, lots of fajita filling and plenty of tortillas, Mrs P enjoyed her lamb. The 50% off made it all the more enjoyable though really. Walking through into the main bar was a culture shock from our chilled evening, lots of people enjoying their evening in the main bar, a very different atmosphere to the restaurant with a younger group. I heard myself exclaiming "Ooh look at all these young people" and realised ten years back I was one of those young people - I struggle to accept I'm no longer young!
Before we headed home we popped into North Bar, if I had to pick one bar to go to in Leeds it would always be North Bar, fantastic selection of drinks and a laid back atmosphere - perfect.