Why is it that you seem more likely to get a below par meal if you are on a restricted diet? Finding a great local and reliable eatery for a gluten and dairy free diet can be a bit of nightmare. Sweeping generalisation, I know, but I have experienced some absolute corkers … in a bad way. That said we have also come across some magnificent places. One of my all time favourites …. although a cheeky 10 hour drive away… is the Polgooth Inn, near St Austell in Cornwall. They proudly brought out their extensive gluten and lactose free menu and showed us how it could be adapted. It was very customer friendly.
With our local pub winning everything from AA Pub of the Year Scotland 2014 to Best Pub Food for Scotland, NE England & Yorkshire at the Great British Pub Awards, I thought it was time to review their gluten free offerings. I call it a pub, but to be fair it is a lot more than this. The Bridge Inn is a bistro restaurant, B&B and pub, all with an outdoor terrace & beer garden that look onto the canal. In fact they even have two canal barges that you can hire for private charter or go on a restaurant cruise on.
This privately owned establishment has a lot to offer it’s local and visiting patrons, but how did it fair for those on gluten free diets? They have obviously put some effort into their gluten free menu….. there is a dedicated one to begin with (including gluten free children’s meals). After careful selection we went for the Fish & Chips in regular and children’s size.
The adults portion was accompanied by hand cut chips and a dressed salad and the kids portion came just with chips. My initial impression if I am being honest was that the food/both plates did look a bit beige in colour. I understand that this might have a large amount to do with the colour the gluten free flour takes when cooking. That said it, would have been nice to see some colour/vegetables also…. even fresh mushy peas. Particularly on the kids plate which had no salad to accompany it.
Aesthetics aside, the fish was excellent and tasted amazing. We initially thought we were in for a disappointment, but the beige looking batter was actually wonderfully crisp, light and moreish. Perfect tasting batter!! The hand cut fries are to die for, particularly with lashings of tartare sauce.
Overall a great meal. The serving staff could not have done anything more to help us. Mr Fifi Friendly enjoyed the monster of the Fleming Burger (with bacon, cheese, haggis and black pudding) and wolfed it down very happily. It is a shame the burgers even without a bun could not be an option for the GF menu too. The rest of the regular menu had some tasty sounding options and daily specials.
The Bridge Inn is a great place to visit with family, friends and even with your dog. The beer garden also has an awesome custom made barge for children play on. Picture above was taken on a particularly nice day.
Have you found a good local gluten free eatery?