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Chelsea14Ian

Food On The Broads

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It may be me being a Chef working in kitchens since the early seventy  and getting on  a bit,but I have found many pubs and restaurants  now fill there menus with pizza,pasta hot dogs burgers and spicey chicken.There is a place for such food.Dont forget old favourites like Spag bol,curries.Homemade pie and mash,fish and chips etc.

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I agree as well but I must also say that, over the last 5 years or so, the general standard of food available to the Broads boater has improved beyond all recognition in a lot of places.

I can recall, not that many years ago really, that, once you discounted the gems like the Kings Head at Coltishall, Sonias at Surlingham, Nelsons Head at Horsey, the majority of pubs were expensive badly cooked and presented mass catering. The chings of the microwaves reverberated around the bar! Of course there were also the cafes such a Roseys, and the occasional restaurants so this is not an exhaustive list, but you get my general train of thought?

( I didn't mention Woodbastwick establishment as I've never been minded to walk there)

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Yes you are correct there are many good pubs serving good food,but have noticed a trend of fast food in pubs.My guess is aiming at twenty something's.I just hope it is balanced and does not occur in most pubs.

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Having worked for a Berny Inns and Chef and Brewer back in the 70s (amongst other fine dining establishments) I recall limited menus, fast service and reasonable prices. I also recall low hygiene levels dangerous practices and chefs who didn't give a damn.

HOWEVER, there is still a place for the Chicken in a basket and Burgers type places, (though I think many over-charge at the moment) but we also need the "home cooked pies and fish & chips" plus a few places that offer tiny portions on massive plates,  and empty your wallet in seconds (Odd that... "seconds is about the only thing the don't offer).

No, I suppose the thing that irritates me is that everyone chases the same money rather than aiming for all the different niche markets out there.

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I guess the old adage applies, you can't please all the people all the time.

I don't think I've had a bad meal on the broads and I regard myself as quite a foodie, some places are fancier than others but I think there is probably something for everyone, you just have to seek it out.

If you want trad pub grub, then the Ferry at Stokesby, The kings arms at Ludham or the bridge at acle do a grand job. You want something a bit fancier then the lion at Thurne or the white horse fit the bill.

All the pubs have to appeal to a broad (excuse the pun) audience, many of whom will be kids, and/or fussy so I guess they sell whatever is popular. 

What I think is good, is that instead of saying "well, we have a captive audience, we don't have to be good" as is oft the case, they seem to be (on the whole) getting better due to the competition.

There is one pub, that I will never grace again, in fact the first one I experienced on the broads, which actually left me questioning whether I'd booked the wrong holiday, down to both pub, and clientele, but that's the only time I've had a bad experience. I won't name names, but it was about 30-40 mins down river from Wroxham.

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20 minutes ago, JamesLV said:

There is one pub, that I will never grace again,

Ha, Never say "never again".   Things can and do change, even under the same management.

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57 minutes ago, JamesLV said:

There is one pub, that I will never grace again, in fact the first one I experienced on the broads, which actually left me questioning whether I'd booked the wrong holiday, down to both pub, and clientele, but that's the only time I've had a bad experience. I won't name names, but it was about 30-40 mins down river from Wroxham.

That would narrow it down to two or three pubs in Horning, then. Isn't it better to name the premises (against the ToS?) rather than to cast aspersions on the other two (ToS compliant?)?

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Not cast aspersions on anywhere, I’ve said I had a bad experience at a pub 30-40 minutes from Wroxham, nothing more nothing less, any assumptions are purely your own.

 

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7 minutes ago, JamesLV said:

Not cast aspersions on anywhere, I’ve said I had a bad experience at a pub 30-40 minutes from Wroxham, nothing more nothing less, any assumptions are purely your own.

 

No assumptions, merely deductions. The only place with pubs "30-40 minutes down river from Wroxham" (as you posted) is Horning, which has only three pubs. Q.E.D.

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I concur, but I haven’t named any names, so why vilify me?

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there is a market out there for a couple of good quality local bangers with a dollop of mash and some good gravy for under a fiver.

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10 minutes ago, grendel said:

there is a market out there for a couple of good quality local bangers with a dollop of mash and some good gravy for under a fiver.

Think you may be pushing your luck for under a fiver.

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14 minutes ago, grendel said:

there is a market out there for a couple of good quality local bangers with a dollop of mash and some good gravy for under a fiver.

Definitely a market, but what the profit is in it is another matter, I think a fair average is a 75% gross profit on food, some places will be higher (think harvester etc) and some will be lower, by the time these places have paid staff, paid bills, bought the raw ingredients it soon adds up.

My local does fish and chips, usual pub affair, posh chips, beer battered fresh fish etc, and they’re hitting 60% gp on that, not a loss leader but way below the chefs bonused target

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Very true.Also depend on sausages,good local ones are never going to be cheap,mass produced ones will be cheaper,but won't taste as good.

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There is a dish usually on every menu that I use as a 'price barometer.

Sausage and mash for around £13 is taking the p*ss IMHO ! That's what two Northern Rivers establishments are charging

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proper butchers bangers n mash in a big yorkshire pudding is £ 7-99 in my local and its all good and proper ,now whilst expecting to pay a tad more in an area that relies on seasonal trade there is a limit i will pay and £13 is day light robbery -they shot themselves in the foot long term 

finny

 

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2 hours ago, JamesLV said:

I concur, but I haven’t named any names, so why vilify me?

Not trying to vilify you, just trying to understand the 'no-naming-and-shaming' policy of the forum. It seems that naming the particular establishment is a no-no, but identifying a location with only three pubs, one of which has got to be the one complained of, seems to be OK. A bit tough on the other two, though.

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I think that they work on the premise on holiday wife doesn't want to cook and a captive audience ie can't drive round corner as there on a boat that is moored up so you pay up or open a tin of beans,there's another boat coming tomorrow. Thoughs that have car trade in addition tend to be better and more value for money.  John

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20 hours ago, Chelsea14Ian said:

It may be me being a Chef working in kitchens since the early seventy  and getting on  a bit,but I have found many pubs and restaurants  now fill there menus with pizza,pasta hot dogs burgers and spicey chicken.There is a place for such food.Dont forget old favourites like Spag bol,curries.Homemade pie and mash,fish and chips etc.

Where did my favourite food of the sixties and seventies go. 

Prawn Cocktail, Avacado and prawns, smoked salmon and smoked trout to start.

Escolope of veal cordon blue, Tournados Rossini, Dover Sole, Rib of beef. Veal or chicken in Marsala or a proper chef prepared Kiev made from a whole breast, not some reconstituted rubbish.

And to follow a Black forest gateaux, cheesecake or fresh fruit soaked in Kirsh. Made in house and not shipped in from a Food Services company.

Being on my own I do not eat out nearly as much as many folk but when I do, I want it good and within reason am not worried about price. However more and more I am disappointed.

I had dinner three weeks ago  at an establishment in "The Bunch"  it was rubbish. Not so much the food, that was average but they had booked in a big party of about twenty. They were totally out of their depth with not enough staff who were also trying to serve in the bar, waste of money.

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2 hours ago, Paladin said:

Not trying to vilify you, just trying to understand the 'no-naming-and-shaming' policy of the forum.

There are other threads dedicated to questioning the running of this forum Pally, as you well know! :-)

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33 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

There are other threads dedicated to questioning the running of this forum Pally, as you well know! :-)

I try to avoid such threads, and my comments were pertinent to a post in this thread. Such confusion :default_unsure:

 

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Just had dinner at the Lion,considering there was a group of 40 plus about another 35/40service was quick food very good.Whats been done at the pub is first rate.Also got to meet Rick.Can tell he has a real love of the trade.My point starting this tread.There is a place for burgers,hotdogs,spicey chicken,basic food high end,good pub grub,but let's keep it balanced and above all whatever kind of food do so with care and love.As for tonight,well done Rick and the team at the Lion.

Ian

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Its a shame that the Broads pubs and indeed many other pubs around the country do not do simple small meals. Personally, I rarely eat in pubs as the portions are in my eyes enormous. I would be paying quite a bit of money for food that would be wasted as I could not eat it all.

I used to use a little pub (The Wheatsheaf) in Borough Market, London years ago and their doorstep bloomer BLT sandwiches went down like hotcakes and they did a roaring trade at lunchtimes with them. Also their bacon and mushroom bloomer sandwiches were just as popular. Another one was the sausage sarnies using excellent sossies bought in the market went down a treat. However I recollect that a riverside pub in Norwich did do these doorstep sarnies about three years ago.  

Even if you can find a pub that sells that sort of fare it usually comes with an enormous pile of chips which would be paid for but not eaten by me.

What amused me last year in a pub which was not on the Broads were advertising a light snack of pork pie, pickle and salad for under a fiver. Wonderful I thought and ordered it. Basically, its a quick and easy dish to do and very acceptable to a light eater such as myself

Wait for it...........................the bozo in the kitchen had only put the pork pie in the Microwave! It was a really good pork pie as it had jelly in it which nowadays is a rarity and as I cut the pie it ran out all over the plate.

 

 

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