We seem to start most of our Friday nights in Town with a pint or two at the Vat and Fiddle which has been our ‘local’ or one of our ‘locals’ for many a year. Surprisingly I had only written three blog posts about the place, I hadn’t realised that until recently when I finally added an A-Z index to the blog.
Anyway, over the last month or so I have slowly scoffed my way through a large part of the menu, so this basically a post all about turning up at the Vat between 4.30 and 7 and having some food before consuming multiple pints of real ale at various watering holes around the city.
Lets check some of this grub out 🙂
Sausage & Mash
The “Sausage & Mash” for £8.50 was listed right at the top of the menu as a ‘trio of locally sourced Sheriff’s Tipple with creamy mashed potato, garden peas and gravy’.
Let face it everyone, this really is a total Pub Food classic offering, and one that as a punter is so hard to resist. It can be really simple with just some cheap bangers and a bit of mash with some bisto gravy, or it can be well prepared with quality local sausages, proper gravy and some properly made mashed potatoes like they do here at the Vat and Fiddle
Both can be winners when its a chilly day and you are in need of comfort but I kind of like it when the sausages are quality. I would love to know who makes those sausages and to be able to get some to cook at home.
The Mash is really good here at the Vat too, and the gravy? well that is decent, its brown and thick and ok possibly isn’t made from the pan juices, but I don’t want to know the truth cos it makes me happy and I kind of like it anyway so leave me in gravy suspense whatever.
All in all I know it’s not that pretty on the plate (can it be made pretty, perhaps like a Desperate Dan pie?) , and yes the peas come from a bag (don’t they everywhere), but who cares when you get sausages this good? Just eat the fecking dish already, it sticks to your ribs and makes you happy inside 🙂
Pie and Mash
The Homemade Pie for £8.50 comes as a choice of “beef in Preservation ale“, “ham & leek“, or “mixed mushroom & spinach” all ‘served with creamy mashed potato, garden or mushy peas in a rich gravy‘
I had the one with the beef in the Preservation Ale as I love a meaty beefy pie. To be honest (one of the phrases I need to use less on these posts) I quite fancied one with Chicken and Mushroom, but that was not an option, neither was one with Steak and Kidney, but most importantly we were getting a Pie and that was all that was going to matter anyway today
Pie and Mash with ‘all the gravy’
I might have gone a little bit overboard with the gravy but it was worth it and I scooped it all up alongside the mash and the pie.! The pie casing was spot on and even better when it soaked up the gravy, there was a nice filling and plenty of chunky meat inside, no mince gravy pies here at the Vat. I would happily eat another one of these pies again.
Giant Yorkshire Pudding
The Giant Yorkshire Pudding for £7.50 was described as ‘a giant Yorkie filled with creamy mashed potato and topped with minced beef, peas and onions in a rich gravy’
Ok so yes we know that this is basically one of those huge Yorkshire pudding out of a packet filled up with stuff, and that to many people it is a joke Yorkshire. But you know what? somedays I like these ones, it’s kind of like a bowl that you can fill up with all the good stuff, and that is all I care about really when I am having a pint on a Friday night. Good stuff to scoff and fill me up.
The joy of this dish is that you get a load of really good mince beef in gravy, a pile of actually quite decent mash potato which did fill the description of ‘creamy‘ plus another dollop or two of the nice gravy that they offer with many dishes here at the Vat and Fiddle.
As decent(ish) home cook who can cook a proper Yorkshire pudding I know that I should turn my nose up at an Aunt Bessie style Yorkshire pudding, so hopefully you will laugh when I admit that secretly, I quite like getting one down the pub and I actually have eaten this one at the Vat and Fiddle more than once cos it is like so comforting you just have to love it.
The Curry dishes here at the Vat and Fiddle are basic looking but always tasty and always well cooked. If I am honest the Madras was nowhere near as spicy as one would expect for that dish, but to be fair probably hot enough for the average pub punter and so fits the moment for more people.
There is plenty of beef mixed into a curry gravy, a small pile of rice and a small naan come with the bowl so you can spoon and mix mouthfuls as you so choose.
Indian Snack Trio
Now I didn’t actually order the ‘Indian snack trio’ as I am not one for having to upgrade my meal to make it better by paying more. My mate did one evening so I snagged a photo as I laughed at his misfortune somewhat unkindly. Ok yeh so I get that it is just supposed to be a few little snacks and that it is only £1.50 more, but why did it have to be on such a big white plate? It was like he had been on a trip to the buffet.
Scampi and Chips
At some point we seem to have also managed to get a plate of Scampi and Chips. It was pretty much the closest thing I could get on them for a Fish and Chip Friday meal. Well it was that or a Fish Finger sandwich, which for the record would also work and fit the brief.
They do have a light bites bit of the menu that you could put a small meal together from like Chicken and Chips I suppose or just some scampi bites maybe that was how we got scampi and chips
That was exactly what I have done a few times, this occasion was the Southern Fried Chicken bites with some of their homemade chips. Two plates for £6 which isn’t too bad pricewise and certainly works if you just wanted a little nibble and wanted a bit more that just a bag of nuts.
As I said up at the top, this post was really all about some of the classic pub grub that we or well mostly I have eaten on a Friday night after work down the pub.
I do however always look forlornly at the Breakfast menu that they have on the tables and imagine that one day I might actually get up early enough on a weekend to drag my ass up over the bridge from West Bridgford to scoff one.
The Full English with ‘sausage, bacon, hash browns, fried egg, baked beans and toast with butter‘ for just £6.95 has my name written all over it and is probably what I will be getting one day.
This post was mostly inspired by the recent campaign by Castle Rock #MyLocalis and as the Vat and Fiddle is basically our local it was fitting to bang a load of words down to talk all about the decent and filling pub grub that they have available and that we eat on a pretty regular basis.
I am pretty sure that this is not our last visit and certain that some more posts will appear again at some point. Most likely when they change the menu or when it gets sunny and they have one of their Yard Parties as I have so far failed to blog about one of those events, or we might even treat ourselves on day to one of the Brewery Tour days!, now that is an idea for sure 🙂
The Vat and Fiddle is located adjacent to the excellent Castle Rock Brewery and you can check them both out on their websites, and also the pub on their Facebook page, Twitter Feed, and Instagram profile.