Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I'm in chains...

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.

They had normal high chairs, but also had these ones that clip to the table - Daisy loved being so high and right up with us.  Because of our bad experience I wasn't expecting the food to be OK - but it was, we ordered from the lunch menu, it arrived quickly, and was very pleasant.  We had a mixture of pizza and pasta dishes between us, some dough balls and a couple of puddings.  It didn't set the world on fire in culinary innovativeness, it wasn't likely to be locally sourced, but it was quick, decent lunchtime grub and that's all we were there for.  I can't say I'll be rushing to go back on an evening, I'm still annoyed with what happened last time, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at going for lunch again.

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.