Pub meals can often be barometers to measure the quality of the pubs themselves. There’s nothing like sitting down to a good pub meal. There are a selection of them that every pub worth their salt should be able to make well, if not nail. Here are 10 of the best pub meals you can have.
The good old parmi. Truly a classic in the annals of pub meals. Chicken schnitzel with cheese and tomato sauce melted over it may sound repulsive to some. And when done badly, yeah, it is. To make such a simple yet brilliant idea into something awful is truly a crime. People have schnitzels with sauce already. Someone just had the idea of creating a true union between chicken and sauce. And all that lovely cheese. Till death do they part.
An oldie but a goodie. The steak is foundational. And you can talk about different cuts of meat, about seasoning, about gravy, but ultimately the deciding factor in a steak’s quality is how it’s cooked. Did they give you what you asked for? Is it too chewy? Too raw? Some of us like it a bit crisp. Others like to have a bit of blood pour out when we’re cutting it. A steak is a basic pub meal but a lot goes into delivering one of a quality standard.
Fish and Chips
If chicken parmigiana is an acquired taste, then fish and chips are the big kahuna of pub meals. Because they’re so often dependable. A lot of people go for this one because they may not want to take a risk on the quality of the steak. Fish and chips can go wrong, certainly, but a bad plate of fish and chips is better than a bad steak, which may be inedible.
There a few greater pleasures than eating fish and chips at a pub. The golden, fluffy beer batter. The fresh, moist fish inside. The crispy chips. The tartare sauce that comes in those sachets (if the pub makes their own tartare, even better). And the salad that hardly anyone finishes. It’s a quintessential pub experience.
Perhaps one of the greatest food inventions, maybe ever. And more and more places are treating them with class, including pubs. This is due to a sort of renaissance that burgers have undergone in the last several years. Public perception-wise, they’ve been taken back from the clutches of fast food and brought back to the realm of slightly higher food.
They’re often really fancy. From the preparation to the serving, people expect a higher standard of burger now. And some pubs may give it to them.
Many of us have fallen into a burning ring of fire for calamari rings. Much more than just a side to fish and chips or any other pub meals, they almost always appear on the menu as a single item. Because they deserve it. Would anyone eat calamari if they weren’t covered in deep fried bread crumbs and then deep fried? It certainly wouldn’t be as enjoyable.
When is a chip not a chip? When it’s a great big fat wedge. Wedges are chips for champions. Chips cannot sustain a meal on their own. Wedges can. Who can say no to big chunks of baked or fried potato? And the accompanying sour cream? To die for. They can rarely go wrong with that because the cream used is usually store-bought. They’re also good to share. A big part of experiencing pub meals is the company you’re with. It’s a big part of the overall pub experience.
Like with the parmigiana, discretion is advised. Not all pub nachos were created equal. But when they get it right, boy do they get it right. I’m not talking about an authentic taste of Mexico or even Texas. For that, go to a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant. I’m talking about the nachos that you were raised on if you were a child in Australia. Say what you will about them, but that’s what every pub has to try to recapture. It’s the idea of what nachos should be in our head.
Many of us go into a pub looking to eat something hearty. A good pie can be like embracing an old friend. It’s comforting. It’s warm. And it brings a smile to your face.
Bangers and Mash
Speaking of hearty and comforting, this is another beaut. Sausages with mash potatoes. Add on to that peas, fried onion, and gravy, and you’ve got a reliable pub meal.
Your pub may make wood-fired pizza. Another food trend that’s grown increasingly popular lately. If a pub has a wood-fired oven, they’ll let you know about it. “Try our wood-fired pizza”. If they’re that proud of it, it should be pretty good.