Bar Watch: Food, notorious food!

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Bowland

Bowland Bar’s new pie service isn’t going to win any Michelin stars, but unlike the other campus bars, the food isn’t promoted under the pretence that it should. It’s a quick, no-nonsense post lecture affair, but it tastes great – exactly like Granny used to make it. There is always a choice of at least three types of pie, served piping from the hotplate with vegetables at a meagre price of £2.95. I had the fisherman’s pie – the potato, filling and sauce were all shades of creamy, and you could be fooled into thinking it was home prepared, rather than produced centrally and served in canteen style.

Quite rightly, the bar is doing a roaring lunchtime trade as a result, but one wonders if it might do better if people knew they also offer a takeaway option. Bowland Bar pie is always a plate of creamy, flavoursome joy – go and get some.

Fylde

One of the things Commercial Services promised when trying to justify themselves earlier in the year was to improve the choice on offer for students. Fylde Bar has taken an unorthodox approach to this by halving its menu. Now serving food from 11AM (costing themselves a load of breakfast business in the process), Fylde seems to view itself as the campus Wetherspoons’.

Despite installing a brand new kitchen, most of Fylde’s produce is still prepared in the same way, yet somehow tastes worse.

I had a toastie and chips. Not ‘fresh, locally sourced’ chips, mind – they taste like they’re full of Smash Mash and have the air / food consistency of a Rice Krispie. Fylde’s food used to carry the same air as something you might eat in a nice little café on a trip to the Welsh Valleys. Now it’s stagnant, greasy shite. That isn’t a bad thing, but it certainly is a fall from grace.

Fylde – add burger and chips to your menu, serve it after 7PM on a Friday night, and reintroduce the food queue so that bar staff don’t have to run around serving plates every ten seconds. Then, and only then, we might talk.

Grizedale

A Mediterranean inspired menu in Grizedale Bar. If there is a worse idea on God’s green earth then I hope I’m not up a tree when I hear it.

Picture the scene. You’ve just come out of a lecture, it’s a winter afternoon, and you glance at your watch. “Ooh, I’ve got an hour free. I’m really hungry. I think what I really need right now is to sit in the ugliest bar on campus and spend £3.80 on four lukewarm dough balls and a postage stamp sized slice of toast with a slither of ham on it.”

Grizedale Bar’s ‘Mezze and More’ offering is the culinary equivalent of wearing a cheap fez and claiming to be deeply knowledgeable about Arabic culture. It doesn’t look very nice, and it tastes like someone has looked at a picture of genuinely nice Mediterranean food and tried to recreate it with cardboard and glue. Maybe it would work as a special, well prepared ceremonial offering during a hot summer period, but at the moment it’s yet another hollow attempt by Grizedale Bar to emulate some degree of ‘classiness’.

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