I've been meaning to check out The Cross Keys for ages, and finally ended up in there twice in one weekend. Friday night was beers only, then I returned on Monday for a bank holiday lunch. The lunch menu comprises sandwiches and a handful of mains, less ambitious than the evening menu but still sounding a cut above your average pub grub.
A rare skirt steak sandwich with caramelised onions for me, and a Gloucester Old Spot bacon and brie sandwich for my dining companion. Chips to share.
The steak in my sandwich was spot on, rare as described with a rich, almost gamey taste. It was a bit chewy but I like that sometimes and it's exactly what you'd expect with skirt. The only problem with this was that the bread wasn't really up to the task . It was very soft, cut thickly from a good quality white sandwich loaf, and disintegrated rapidly. Something a bit sturdier to stand up to the steak would have been better. I wasn't keen on the caramelised onions, as they were far too sweet for my taste. Good sides though, both coleslaw and salad being nicely dressed.
The chips were excellent, probably the best pub chips I've eaten this year. At a guess they'd been at least double, or possibly even triple fried given the perfect texture (outer crunch and inner creaminess). The bacon and brie sandwich was declared satisfactory, but warm bacon would have been preferred.
As with Friday's visit table service was provided for drinks as well as food. The guy serving was friendly and efficient. The bill was just over twenty quid including a drink each and a tip. A return visit to sample the evening menu is definitely on the cards.
107 Water Lane