For all Durham may lack the volume of restaurants of our neighbour to the north, Newcastle, there is one thing we do abundance…. Independent country pubs offering locally sourced home cooked food.
This brings me to today’s review.
The Chester Moor is located on, funnily enough, Chester Moor (A167) – the main road from Chester le Street to Durham, the main bus route and previously the ‘old A1’. The pub resides on the side of the road between an Indian restaurant and a Vintage Inn chain pub (Boo!) which is always inexplicably busy.
We visited on a Friday lunch time with one thing in mind, a roast dinner. Nothing else would suffice. With a wide menu focusing on the more traditional of choices, the prices are pretty good and given the quantity and quality, they swing to the side of excellent. From Thai curry to a trio of chops to sizzling chicken skillets, the choice is great.
For a starter we shared the Combo for Two (£8.25) and it was piled high with your run of the mill pub grub type nibbles. Freshly cooked scampi, garlic mushrooms, hand cut fresh wedges, chicken goujons, a mountainous pile of amazing onion rings and freshly toasted garlic bread. All served with a fresh crisp salad and 2 dipping sauces.
|Sorry, the picture quality doesn’t get any better, I was stealth shooting!|
What stood out for us with this starter, it wasn’t dried out, the batter was fresh, the salad was crisp and the garlic bread had been made fresh with a brushing of garlic butter then toasting. Unlike most restaurants who serve those frozen slices you can buy Iceland. You know the type!
Not the healthiest of starter but plentiful and a good test of quality. If a restaurant can produce a fresh plate like this without cutting corners to remind you of a frozen party platter then the rest of the food should be grand.
And we were not disappointed. Both of us had a large filled Yorkshire pudding (£7.99). Mr T had beef and ale and I had the sliced roast beef. Served with tasty mash and a generous helping of seasonal veg. The beef and ale casserole was packed with tender juicy chunks of beef and a very tasty but not overpowering ale taste. My sliced beef was never ending, lean, tender and covered in proper meat gravy. We liked that when the food was delivered, extra gravy was offered instantly. Sometimes you have to practically beg for extra, it’s a nice touch that we accepted and when it arrived, it was, again, proper meaty gravy.
Service was exemplary and pleasant from start to finish with friendly chat, the manager even commended Paul on not getting any dinner medals on his pristine white dress shirt!. Despite the restaurant being pretty full and it was Valentines Day afternoon, we were not rushed.