Reviewed by Joanne Watson
Every few months or so, my best friend and I meet up for a meal. As she lives a fair distance away from me, we always meet up half way, around Halesowen in Birmingham. We have tried several venues over the years, but I can happily say we have finally found one we really like, where the food was good and will be returning to!
On entry to The Stag and Three Horseshoes, I first noticed how busy it was! The pub was full and had a really lively atmosphere. I arrived before my friend but I felt entirely comfortable entering the pub and sitting alone while waiting.
The format of the pub is to find a table, peruse the menu, then order at the bar. We were warmly greeted by our waitress Caroline, who checked we knew the procedure for ordering and left us to read the menu. On the table were a selection of menus – a standard menu, children’s menu and a Friday night special menu, as well as a drinks menu.
Although we were two adults dining, we still had a look at the children’s menu as we have 5 children between us and we were wondering whether this might be a good venue to bring them to also. I was pleased to say that the children’s menu had a great selection of healthy and traditional pub food, including ‘make your own wraps’ and roast dinners. Children are able to select a main dish, a type of potato and a vegetable. The menu was appealing to children with its vegetable characters and joke selection on the back.
Next we looked at the drinks menu. I often find drink pricing in pubs to be very unclear and you often don’t know how much it is going to cost you until after you have already ordered! I was pleased to see that the pricing here was clear and reasonable. There was an excellent selection of drinks, including cocktails and mocktails, many ‘2 for £5’ offers and a decent wine list. We decided on a glass of Zinfandel Rose each and then moved on to the food menus.
Friday nights are the traditional ‘Fish nights’, where there were many offers and deals on the fish dishes. We could see from the menu that many nights were ‘themed’ with offers. We decided to select off the main menu and also from the additional ‘specials’ board which was pointed out to us on arrival.
I ordered at the bar and was served quickly and politely. We ordered two courses initially – Nachos for 1 and southern fried chicken goujons for starters, Vegetarian sausage fajitas (from the specials board) and the mixed grill for the main course.
The food was brought out in good time. The starters were delicious and there was so much there! We worried we wouldn’t fit in the main course, but the time left between courses was spot on so we were ready for our mains when they arrived. I was particularly impressed to see my vegetarian sausage fajitas were brought out on a sizzling platter! As a vegetarian, I’m not sure I have eaten off a sizzling platter before as they seem to be reserved for meat eaters, so this was a real plus point for me! My friend’s mixed grill was cooked to perfection and again, was plentiful! Although we managed to eat most of what we were given, there was just a little too much for us! Not ones to see food go to waste, we asked Caroline our waitress if we could take our leftovers so we could take them home and she kindly offered to wrap them up for us.
We thought we were done! The food had been perfect and we had had a lovely relaxing time. After our plates had been cleared Caroline came and asked if we were having dessert. Out of interest, we asked her what was ‘good’ and she told us about some of the different desserts on the menu. This convinced us that we perhaps ought to try something, so we ordered a lemon meringue pie and a chocolate fudge cake. Needless to say we were not disappointed!! The puddings were huge and delicious, and despite being full, we finished every bite!
We were left in peace to eat our meals, which we liked, but waitresses were always around if needed, and seemed to know when it was a good time to approach the table. The atmosphere in the pub remained lively, and we could see that as time went on it became less of an eating establishment and more of an evening pub/bar.
All things considered, the evening was fantastic from start to finish. The atmosphere was great, the menu was varied and good value, food was tasty, the portions were fantastic. The staff were polite and friendly but not overbearing in any way. My friend and I have already said we will meet there again next time, and hopefully bring our families too. Highly recommended.
For more information and to view menus visit www.sizzlingpubs.co.uk/thestagandthreehorseshoeshalesowen.