Friday, 5 April 2019

THE BRICKMAKERS - Church road, Swanmore.

I wanted to take my sister out for a birthday lunch, so it seemed like a good opportunity to combine our powers for a hard hitting peace of foodie journalism. From a shortlist of pubs, we picked out The Brickmakers, and the words below will paint a picture of our experience. Here we go.

The first thing we noticed, was how light and airy the pub was. We were then greeted in a most friendly manor and shown to a table where menu's were delivered. The whole pub has the feel of a building which is loved and cared for. Everything is clean and scattered with loving touches and extra attention to detail. There are humorous signs scattered around, as well as the advertisement of blankets to take outside if it happens to be a bit chilly. We picked a table, not too far from the roaring fire, particularly as this day was indeed a bit chilly, born out by the unexpected shower of snow while we ate.

The menu sounded good, and the indicators were that everything was made in house, but we were especially impressed by something else. Over the last few years, it has become the case that if you step in to a nice country pub that makes its own food, you are more than likely to be charged between £14 and £16 for your average main meal. Not here dear readers, oh no. You are in the magical zone of £10 - £12 here. This probably got us more excited than is normal, but I don't care. I was starting to feel like we could have stumbled across the perfect foodie storm.

 Emily chose one of her favourites, rack of ribs, while I was seduced by the Cajon chicken burger. After some painful deliberation, I was swayed by the inclusion of dill pickles in the burger. As well as the standard menu, there was, as is so often the case, a specials board. It was however, the main menu for us this day. It soon became clear that the entire front of house was being run by just one man, but this was no ordinary man. We later found out that he was also the head chef, but this day he was out of the kitchen, taking orders and serving drinks and food. This became more impressive as the afternoon wore on and the pub filled up. We were left incredulous with his work rate and the ability to do it all whilst maintaining his affability, showing no signs of stress.

The food itself was perfect. My sisters half rack of ribs were delicious and sticky with BBQ sauce. My burger, and I know this will sound silly, had the heft of quality. Never before have I held a burger and been so assured of its majesty. Again this may sound silly, but I was particularly enamoured by the bun. It was of good size, but light and toasted within. The mildly spiced chicken filled the bun perfectly and was kept company by red onion and plenty of those magical dill pickles. The chips which accompanied both our meals were of the thin or, "FRY", variety, and were very good indeed.

I know my sister likes a pudding, so I let her decide if we would have one, thus relieving myself of any responsibility. I had the triple chocolate brownie, while she had the sticky toffee pudding. It was confirmed by our superman server that these were homemade. They were both beautiful. The portion size of the puddings were perfect, we are back in the land of Goldilocks here. I might even have to say that this was one of the best brownies I have ever had.

We really can't say enough good things about this pub, and it's head chef. Our entire visit was perfect and thoroughly enjoyable. The service was brilliant. The food was wonderful, and most gratifying, was the fair pricing. I could write a list of pubs that could learn from this, but I won't. If you haven't been to The Brickmakers, you really should. The ratio of value to quality is the best I have ever come across, and that my friends is high praise.

Atmosphere          9
Service                          9
Food                    9
Value                   10
Verdict                          5*