Sunday, 26 February 2012

Forum Bars Broadfield Ale House - Reprise

Good afternoon all,

    over the last couple of months I have been to the recently reopened Broadfield on Abbeydale Road a few times. Its been a mixed bag of experiences, mostly good but plenty of irritating niggles to contend with that have refused to go away. Earlier last week me and Chala ended up popping in and to my delight many of the annoying failings had been ironed out.

No Broadside for Broady...

Literally,since I doubt the Adnams beer of the same name would feature on the bar, with its emphasis on local brews and breweries production. But a reflection of the fact that I am taking this opportunity to praise the Broady, not pick holes.

First things first, when we came in, there was a board, albeit small, proclaiming real ales that were on. At least, I think it did. Its ironic that I moaned that they hadn't done this, only to find that when they do, its too small for me to read. However sharp eyed folks can, and in case of eyesight problems you could always ask a member of staff to tell you which beers were on sale on the 125 yards of bar that is the hub at the middle of the pub.

In addition to the usual suspects, i.e Bradfield and Kelham and Acorn, there was the excellent Pure Gold, an easy drinking session beer from Partners Brewery in Dewsbury ( see Partners tell you what they brew . Canny readers will recognise some of the beer names from Anglo Dutch brewery. I knew this already but it puts me in an awkward camp here - I liked the Partners porter a lot along with another beer of theirs I had at Cropton beer festival, and I liked this one as well. However, I was expecting more hops. One of my complaints about Anglo Dutch beers was that they were vety samey and lacking any definitive character, apart from the stronger ones. They particularly lacked sharp citrus hop flavours and it made their beer a bit muddy to my mind. I will still try their beers though, and am especially looking forward to trying their porter again.

Anyhoo, I digress, I had the partners beer and Chala had a very large glass containing a very average measure of wine. I am going to suggest this is a letting the drink breathe plan on this one. We've never been blown away by the wine choice here but this Pinot Grigio was remarkably good. Meanwhile, 1 pint turned into 3, and similarly Chala kept up with her wine. We enjoyed these in spacious luxury in one of the booths to the far right hand side.

Crisps were purchased, and we even ventured to try one of their range of gins. This is a weird decision, since, erm, neither of us like gin; but it sounded so damned interesting. Luckily we had the cheerful patience of the lass with the tattoo that served us the first time we both visited so ended up with an interesting if not particularly moreish drink. Since we didn't expect to like it I think that says a lot. By this time crisps seemed a poor choice, so we caved in and got a table to eat at.

Admittedly, there is still the rigmarole of finding one that isn't reserved, but we found one in the far left corner that suited us perfectly. We ordered a bottle of the wine and I a half of the Wentworth Oatmeal Stout. This was in impeccable condition, so I had another half whilst we awaited our food.

Heres where the Broady ramps up brownie points. My £6.95 steak and ale pie with mash peas and gravy was a sensible size and really really tasty. Chala splashed out £8.50 or so on the Ham hock which came with veg and mash and more delicious gravy. And it was absolutely Hyowg. Probably enough for two in terms of the hock, and cooked for about a day it seemed, so tender and succulent as it was. We both finished our meals full to bursting, having had some excellent food and delicious beer and wine along the way. (I eventually ended up with two pints of the fantastic Stout, I couldn't resist)

However, the real winner here is the fact that they have now caught up with the York and particularly the Old House by having a drinks menu, always helpful, and which sparked our gin interest, and a comprehensive whiskey list, which with such a huge range, is arguably essential. Finding these improvements early on put us in a good mood, , as well as finding that the cask ale board idea had been taken on. These three elements were the final cogs which made the whole experience now run smoothly instead of being a jolting stuttering mixture of highs and lows.

One final point, on the right hand bar next to the Partners was the True North First Born beer. Its a shame I didn't opt to try it - what with one of yesterdays posts, it would have been the icing on the cake if I could have sampled it myself as well.

Overall a good showing, which warrants a return.

Wee Beefy

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