Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Gray Ox Inn, Hartshead, West Yorkshire

The Gray Ox is a Gastro Pub. If you're not a fan of the term that's their description not mine. It's a fair enough one though, as the food here is typical of the genre, good without being great, competent and safe enough to keep the regulars happy.

At lunch there are sandwiches as well as a full menu. I opted for the starter with a side combo, going for mussels mariniere and chips. They were plump, grit free mussels in a broth that was more-ishly slurpable as it should be. The chips were fine, certainly hand cut as described, though verging on chunky when I always think thinner are better.

Others had the sandwiches, home made fish finger getting the thumbs up but I wouldn't have been happy with the roast beef. I tried one of these and it was actually a steak sandwich with tough, greying meat that was overcooked by some margin.

The best bit of my meal was a lovely apple and winter berry crumble. Tart fruit, a rich buttery crumb and proper custard (aka creme anglaise) on the side, albeit in miniscule quantities. Two questions sprung to mind though. Firstly, are there any winter berries or does that just mean 'frozen berries'? Secondly, why do all pubs prefixed with 'gastro' serve all sauces in inadequate quantities? See also gravy.

Prices are par for the course (starters around five to eight quid, mains through the teens, puddings around six pounds) and service was good. We weren't hurried at all despite faffing around and not ordering pudding until well into the middle of the afternoon.

I'd be chuffed to bits to have a pub like this in walking distance of my house, but I wouldn't make a special trip.


15 Hartshead Lane
WF15 8AL 

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