Today we were in fact on our way to West Meon , but as we ended up passing through East Meon, decided to check in with Ye Olde George Inn. We have visited here before, but it was some time ago.
It was another one of those cold, grey days, so what we really wanted was a nice warm pub, selling good honest food. The first box was ticked as we entered this 15th century coach house, there would be no need to keep our coats on this lunchtime. It's a good looking pub inside, the central bar flanked by the public areas. Although there are plenty of tables, it's easy to find yourself a corner where you can relax in relative privacy if you so desire.
As we looked over the menu, which at first sounded quite imaginative, it soon became clear that we were to be challenged once again on our pricing notions. The cheapest main came in at £13.95, I believe that was the burger. Other meals ranged from £14 to just under £20. We were also surprised by a shortage of vegetarian options and the complete absence of chicken.
Unwilling to pay over the odds any more than was necessary, we decided to stick to the classics. Me giving the fish and chips a go and Dad opting for the six ounce steak from the light menu, both costing £14. This was incidentally the first time we've seen a lighter option costing more than your average standard main. My meal required a choice between peas or mushy peas, chips or triple cooked chips. I chose mushy peas and triple cooked chips, obviously.
After we had commenced eating, there was a very definite split on our little table. Me being very impressed with my food, Dad not so much. My chips were good and crispy, my fish was big and perfectly cooked, and I was given a good amount of mushy peas. Dad's chips were not so impressive and his steak had been beaten out flat giving it the illusion of size whilst making it near impossible to cook rare. As much as I enjoyed my fish and chips, we come back to a point raised several times in the past. Can fish and chips in a pub ever be worth £14? I think the question, is an average steak from a light menu worth £14, is easier to answer.
It is a real shame that pricing can be the downfall of so many upper end gastro pubs. If we had paid £10 or even £12 for our food, we would have come away with an entirely different mind set``. The fact remains though that we feel that most of the menu here is perhaps 20% over priced. It is true that sometimes it's worth paying a bit extra for higher quality food, but there is a limit to that, and we know of other pubs doing high quality food for reasonable prices. We wouldn't put you off going here. It's a nice pub. The service is nice enough and the food is good, but we think it important to make you aware that it will cost you a bit more than you may have been expecting.
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