Sizzling Pubs across the country have a new menu and to find out what we think about it, the Blue Bowl in Hanham/Bristol invited us for lunch. We received a very warm welcome and were promptly seated. The team were expecting us and had reserved a table for us, but every other guest received the same treatment, so I can truly say that the Blue Bowl is a very friendly and welcoming pub.
As soon as we were seated, Amy received a little activity set with crayons, which kept her busy while we choose from the menu and ordered. The majority of meals on the menu are meat based, but there’s a good selection of vegetarian dishes available too and a separate menu for children.
For Amy, we ordered a garlic bread starter and a beef burger with chips and peas as a main. I was quite surprised by her choice as she’s usually a chicken and salad girl, but she wanted a burger and a burger she got. I went for my all-time favourite breaded mushrooms with sour cream while Ben choose glazed chicken wings with a honey Chipotle sauce.
I received a generous portion of mushrooms and they tasted nice, but it would have been lovely, if the side salad had been a little more adventurous. Maybe a swap with the side salad that accompanies the mains might be an option. I would have definitely preferred that.
Ben’s chicken wings were succulent and juicy and once again, the portion size was very generous. The sauce was bursting with flavour and Ben enjoyed the wings so much that he asked to take some of them home in a doggy bag. A chef can’t receive a bigger compliment than that, can he?
Amy enjoyed her burger and sides, but didn’t finish all of it. She never has a big appetite around lunch time though, so this is by no means down to the quality of the food. Kids meals follow a simple three step pattern at Sizzling Pubs like the Blue Bowl: Children choose their main (plain chicken breast, beef burger, chicken nuggets, fish goujons, pork sausages or BBQ chicken) and then pick one of three potato sides (mash, chips or potato skins) before choosing their vegetable side (peas, beans or salad). Other options are pasta with tomato sauce or a chicken wrap.
Now, while most kids will love these dishes as a one of treat, I do find that there aren’t enough vegetarian options for children. Okay, children could eat two vegetables sides and leave out the meat, but that’s not very exciting, is it? A vegetable lasagne or a veggie burger might be a nice addition to cater for those who don’t eat meat.
My main meal, Portobello Mushroom and Goats Cheese Tagliatelle, was absolutely lovely. As soon as I saw it on the menu, I knew that I would love it and it didn’t disappoint. Creamy pasta dishes with mushrooms are totally my thing and this dish was everything I had hoped for when I placed my order. The pasta wasn’t soggy, the mushroom sauce was creamy and the sliced chicken breast that I had added to my meal was moist and tender. All in all, this was a really lovely dish that I would happily eat again – plus, the side salad was much nicer than the one served with my starter.
Ben’s main, the Rack Stack with BBQ glazed ribs, chips, onion rings and homemade coleslaw, was another winner. The meat was tender and fell off the bone and the coleslaw was crunchy and creamy – just how Ben likes it.
Would we eat at the Blue Bowl again? Definitely! We had a lovely and relaxing lunch in a very (family)-friendly atmosphere. The food was tasty, great value for money and the staff were very attentive and helpful.
I did notice that one lady complained about the presentation of her meal (which both Ben and I thought looked perfectly fine), but the staff dealt with her complaint in a very friendly and professional manner and I found it great to see that the Blue Bowl really value their customers and aim to provide customer service at the highest level.
Disclosure: We were guests of the Blue Bowl in Hanham/Bristoland received a complimentary meal in return for our honest review.