Day of the Week: Sunday, 2/3
Total Bill: about $97 (before tip)
Breakdown: 5 appetizers, 2 entrées, 1 dessert, a few beers (2 or 3)
Pros: Some really awesome dishes, lovely atmosphere, friendly service.
Cons: Some shortcuts in the kitchen.
Verdict: A good place to relax with a pint and some pub fare.
We noticed The Pub when it first opened at International Plaza, but mostly because we were bummed it had replaced Bamboo Club, which is where we had our first date. Back in the fall, we were meeting friends at The Cheesecake Factory for a birthday celebration on a Saturday night. In case you didn’t know, trying to get a table for six at Cheesecake Factory on a Saturday night is like a rich man trying to get into heaven (i.e., it’s easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle). So, while we were waiting, we went to The Pub for a drink and a snack. The place was comfortable and the server was friendly, but what really captured us were the bacon wrapped dates. They were divine. We vowed to go back. On a whim, we decided to go for brunch this past Sunday.
We arrived about 11:30 and the place was practically empty. I was shocked. It was prime brunch time! Maybe it was because it was Super Bowl Sunday (sorry, the foodies aren’t into pro ball). Anyway, we were seated upstairs. I noticed right away that they have a serve-yourself bar upstairs with about 15 taps. You can get a “draught card,” which you place against the iPads mounted above the taps to add the beer to your tab. We didn’t try that but thought it was a pretty cool idea. Like Enomatic for beer.
Anyway, we got the nicest server, whose name I’ve forgotten (and I can’t find the damn receipt). We started with the bacon wrapped dates ($7.95), crab cakes ($12.95), curry chips (“Pub steak fries with yellow and red curry,” $4.95), and scotch eggs ($7.50). As before, the dates were amazing. (After we ate the first order, we got a second order.) The scotch eggs were also brilliant. Whoever invented them deserves a place in heaven. But the crab cakes were just “good.” They weren’t bad but they didn’t wow me and I don’t think I’d pay $12.95 for them again. The curry chips were exactly what they said they would be, were properly done, and served with two tasty dipping sauces. I just don’t like curry-flavored fries, so I only ate a couple of them. Hubby seemed to enjoy them.
For his entrée, Hubby had the tipsy berry toast ($7.95), which is “French toast battered English muffins topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream cheese and smothered with our Tipsy Berries.” He loved them and I thought they were pretty good, too. I’m just not a big English muffin fan, so I wouldn’t get them myself.
I had the welsh dip pub pretzel sandwich with “chips,” $12.95 (“Sliced prime rib, green peppers, onions, melted mozzarella and provolone cheeses served with au jus”). Our server said it’s the best thing on their menu and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true. It was AWESOME. Even reheated a few days later it rocked.
It’s kind of convenient I forgot the server’s name after all because I’m going to tell you something our server told us that the restaurant’s management may not want to be public knowledge: they only make one of their desserts in-house. At first, we were going to order the Tipsy Laird (“Tipsy berries, brandy, fried pound cake and English custard,” $6.95) but our server told us that the pound cake is just Sara Lee. We were then told that the whisky bread pudding is the only dessert made there (“Our custard-based bread pudding, whisky sauce, raisins and vanilla bean ice cream,” also $6.95), so we ordered that. It was delicious! Hubby doesn’t usually like bread pudding and even he enjoyed it. The bread pudding itself was a perfect texture and the whisky sauce was fantastic with it. If they sold that sauce in a jar, I’d buy it and put it on everything.
The Pub’s beer selection wasn’t exceptional but they have a cask, which I love (cask beer is kept at a warmer temperature than kegs, which releases more of the flavor), and lots of UK brands (like Fuller’s, which I also love). I wouldn’t go to The Pub for the beer, I’d go for the food, which is excellent overall. But I’d love to see them make a little more effort in the kitchen, especially with dessert. Pound cake is so easy to make.
Overall, we really like The Pub and would go back. Our server was very friendly and attentive, most of our food was fantastic, and it’s a really lovely restaurant. I just realized it reminds me of a couple of pubs we went to in London last summer. So I guess it’s got some authenticity to it, too.