FOOD MONSTER: The Prince of Wales, Bailgate, Lincoln
Who doesn't love a good pub lunch? I mean a proper pub lunch, none of your rubbish plastic food here.
I'm talking about a juicy burger, proper chips, a nice pie, a bit of sausage and mash.
You know the sort of food, that you crave when the weather is poor.
Well, my friend and I found ourselves in that mood this week.
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It had been a rough morning at work for both of us and we needed a middle of the day pick-me-up, so we decamped from our desks and began the trudge up the city's High Street.
As we strode on, working up a healthy appetite, we were struggling to find this haven of comfort food.
Then my friend hit upon an idea – we should climb to the top of Steep Hill, head through the Bailgate area and try the Prince of Wales.
I had not been there in a long time, let alone eaten there, but he promised me he had seen a tempting menu on offer.
The last time I was in the Prince of Wales was many moons ago.
I had been in there enjoying a drink, more than likely a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord, but back then I had never even noticed a menu.
It is quite a small pub, but there is adequate seating inside offering plenty of space and if the sun ever does shine there is a small beer garden out the back.
I was expecting a menu filled with a few pub favourites and they were all there, but what I was impressed with was the little bit of Lincolnshire love that had gone into it.
For example, sausage and mash involved Lincolnshire sausages, Poacher cheese was used on the cheese burger and the vegetarian lasagne was made with Cote Hill blue cheese.
My friend was tempted by the steak and ale pie, made with Black Sheep bitter while I went for the cheese burger.
The service was swift, but there was no sign of any microwave action in the quality of the produce that was served up to us.
My friend's pie was just what he was after.
Beyond the crisp puff pastry lid was a deep-filled pie full of juicy meat and gravy.
It was served up with vegetables and some thick chips which were freshly cut and certainly not frozen.
My cheese burger maintained that standard.
The meat was thick and filling with a nice bit of salad just to accompany it.
The Poacher cheese had that strength and weight to it I enjoy and it was served up in a nice granary bun too.
Both meals had that little bit of polish above a normal pub lunch and we both enjoyed it a lot.
The price is about right for what you get. I'm sure you can get a cheaper pie and burger from another pub but the quality would no doubt tell.
If I was being brutal, there were no specials on offer and the menu, while offering a selection of starters, mains and sandwiches, did not have a massive range.
That said, sometimes less is more and in a small place like the Prince of Wales it is good to focus on a few dishes and do them well, rather than trying to push it too far with a big selection.
The service was friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed. I would happily go up there again and explore what there is of the menu further.
So if you're seeking comfort food cooked with an extra bit of effort, give your thighs a workout and head up Steep Hill to the Prince of Wales.