Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Playing the Waiting Game

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Playing the Waiting Game

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

PICKING the lads up after Saturday's match, and them having had a few beers commiserating on the result with Chelsea, they informed me their bellies were rumbling.

But where to eat? I had planned on giving Gaz a lift home to Cramlington and suggested the Snowy Owl, which is not far from his home.

We all agreed that seemed a good idea, and we made a phone call to another Cramlington friend, Maggie, who, although unwell, did say to us had we realised the Snowy Owl was a Vintage Inn? What difference does that make, you may wonder? Well, I reviewed another Vintage Inn, The Badger in Ponteland, last week and found it mediocre. Should I really review two in as many weeks? We came to the consensus it would be good to compare and contrast - particularly on Callum's selection, which is where last week's meal really failed.

As expected, the Snowy Owl has the same menu as The Badger, and Callum once again went for the breaded mushrooms followed by the chicken forestiere.

First up, though, a little bit about the pub. It is vast, and on the evening we visited, absolutely heaving - so much so I heard three separate members of staff saying they had seldom seen it so busy.

We found a table by a roaring log fire, which was lovely, and indulged in an enjoyable bottle of Penfolds wine (pounds 11.25) as we perused the menu.

For starters I chose the grilled chicken and chorizo skewers (pounds 4.25), which came served with cos lettuce, smoked paprika mayonnaise and lime.

I thought my plate was rather bare for the price I paid - just two small skewers with the meat on them, and the chicken and chorizo in one of the skewers was burnt to a cinder. Gaz and Callum said I should send it back but, to be honest, I quite enjoyed the frazzled meat - even though I nearly lost a tooth biting into one of the chunks of chorizo.

The breaded mushrooms (pounds 3.95) were a big improvement on the previous week, with a segment of lemon on the top and the salad boasting a light dressing - something which helped lift the dish. Those little things make all the difference.

Gaz had the soup of the day (pounds 2. …

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