This week we thought we'd try somewhere new, somewhere that in our mind, didn't have a reputation for good food. Not to say it had a reputation for bad food, more that we hadn't really heard much about the pub in foodie terms. I I was alerted to its potential a few months back when on a night out in Petersfield. The pub has been refurbished since I'd last been there and felt almost unrecognisable from its previous incarnation. There was also a convenient blackboard advertising a glimpse in to the food on offer, and it sounded pretty good. Through our years of experience, you can get a good idea of what the food will be like from how the menu is written, and this one caught my interest. So we set off for pub territories uncharted, hoping to uncover a hidden treasure.
We remembered the pub as more of a locals watering hole, that's not meant in a derogatory fashion. Now a days, The Square Brewery strikes you more as a contemporary, well run foodie pub, whilst still maintaining the rustic edge of the classic British pub. The first thing we noticed, was the ticking of all the basic pub essentials boxes. The welcome was warm, the pub was a good temperature, the menu read well and the right sort of music was playing at the right sort of level, a good start indeed.
As we examined the menus, it became refreshingly clear that the prices were bang on the money. The average meal setting you back around £10, a perfect antidote to the numerous gastro pubs pushing the boundaries of reason. Dad went for the ham, egg and chips, that's one of his favourites, it's also one of those classic dishes that gives you a solid gage of the quality on offer. I ended up choosing the spinach falafel burger. Our order was taken at the table, always a nice touch. As we talked and drank, our appreciation of the pub grew. It is a good place to be, locking you in a bubble of warmth, safety and security, as should be the want of any good pub.
Our exploration of the menu had heightened our expectations, and when the food was placed on the table, our faith was vindicated. The burger was delicious, as was Dad's ham, real, good quality ham, but what we hadn't been prepared for, and bear with me here, was the standard of the chips. My species of chip was of the skinny fry family, and after one mouthful it was obvious that these were homemade and of a very high stand indeed. As I tried to contain my childish excitement at getting some decent chips for a change, Dad passed me one of his chips. These were of the chunky persuasion, but blow me down with a potato if they weren't as good, or possibly even slightly better than mine. We did later confirm that said chips were in fact made in house. We think, that being the case, this should be shouted from the roof tops. Chips may not be a culinary masterpiece, but good chips can transform your meal. Imagine you order fish and chips. Half your plate is filled with chips. If those chips are limp, pale and tasteless, that makes half your plate pointless. There are so few pubs turning out real, quality chips, we feel it important to credit those who make the effort, and we want them to know it is worth that effort and appreciated.
When it comes to eating in Petersfield, you have plenty of options. But if you haven't yet tried The Square Brewery, we recommend that you give it a go. You might even find us in the corner getting over excited about our chips.
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