At the weekend I went out for a family meal, to a pub called The Greyhound near Brentwood in Essex.
Let’s start with the positives: the pub itself is gorgeous, located in the middle of no wear it is really quaint and pretty. It has a large beer garden to the rear and a fair amount of seating inside the pub itself.
Now on to the bad.
We had booked a table in advance, although we needn’t have worried as the pub was at about 50% capacity. After ordering some drinks at the bar (where there was 1 single bar man taking all drinks orders and any food orders for those sitting outside…) we were shown to our table.
The menu itself looked fantastic, a great selection of dishes and side orders. I was hungry, really hungry, and so everything looked appealing! Eventually I settled on the “Chicken Liver Pate” and “Merlot and Beef Pie”. Good choices I decided.
The waitress was quick to take our order, but we then proceeded to wait almost an hour for our starter. At no point did anybody come over to tell us that there was a wait or that they apologised about the delay. An hour seems a long time to put a small block of pate and two pieces of toast on a plate!
The food, when it arrived, looked nice. Simple but nice. It wasn’t offensive to the palette at all but it was just a bit plain. It didn’t get me too excited.
Other members of my party had small complaints too, such as their prawn cocktail coming without a wedge of lemon and the calamari being slightly dry as it came without any form of sauce.
But onwards and upwards, our plates were quickly cleared and we looked forward to our main. Again, we waited and waited without anybody coming over to inform us on a reason for the delay or even that there was a delay! I would understand if the restaurant was busy, but as I say it was only about 50% full.
Eventually our mains arrived, and only then did we get an apology for the wait. In fact, only on arrival of our mains did the staff start informing other tables that there was an hour wait for food – even a sandwich! Amazing.
Presentation of the dish was fine, although the waitress did spill a quarter of my chips on the table when she placed the plate down. An error anybody could make but she then walked away leaving them all over the place instead of attempting to clear them up. I’m not likely to pick them up and eat them from a pub table am I!
I had high hopes for the pie, I love beef in pie as it is usually tender and flavoursome. This beef was slightly sweet, from the merlot addition I presume, but it was quite chewy – not what I had expected. There was barely a lid to the pie too, it was thin and the side were burnt on to the dish. The pie also featured one lump of red onion and that was it.
The chips were fine; the veg was mushy and overcooked.
Not so great. I ended up leaving the majority of the dish, not that the waiting staff made any comment – in fact they didn’t even ask how our meal had gone at all. Something I was taught is a basic in a restaurant.
We decided to leave dessert and coffee as imagined we would be drawing our pensions before it arrived.
I am really disappointed as what promised to be a great pub and wonderful meal really was anything but. I had heard positive things from friends about the restaurant but I don’t know if it has changed hands as there are a few negative reviews on Tripadvisor from recent visits.
The Greyhound is part of the “Vintage Inn” chain.0