FOOD MONSTER: The Tower Hotel in Westgate, Lincoln
The Tower Hotel has always been a popular venue for a Friday and Saturday night, with its spacious, comfortable bar and outside seating area.
And seeing diners in both the bar and restaurant on previous visits throughout the week I decided to try it out for myself.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't quite up to dining al fresco, which was a shame as it's a perfect venue for soaking up the sun's rays.
Having compared the two menus online I decided to eat in the bar, preferring the options on offer that particular day.
With friend in tow, we were greeted by a friendly member of staff who served our drinks and offered us some menus to peruse.
Although the choice was fairly limited, what was on offer sounded extremely appealing.
On a board I saw the homemade soup of the day - butternut squash with stem ginger oil and coriander cress.
I just had to give it a try.
Contact details and location map for The Tower Hotel in Westgate, Lincoln...
My pal went for a dish of Mediterranean marinated olives - saving room for the 6oz handmade minced Lincolnshire beef burger she had her eye on for mains!
I've got to say the soup was one of the best I've tasted, creamy, packed full of flavour and a really nice edge thanks to the coriander cress.
I am a bit of a fan of butternut squash and I'd recommend it to those who've never tried it.
The soup came with warmed, homemade bread and selection of butters, including garlic and balsamic vinegar.
The friendly waitress cleared our empty dishes and a short wait later we were brought the main event.
As my pal had hoped, her burger arrived towering in a toasted muffin, with chunky chips artistically stacked and celeriac remoulade.
Her particular favourite component of the meal was the chilli jam, which she said gave a nice 'zing' to the juicy burger.
The chips were perfectly cooked - crispy on the outside, soft on the in.
I would have been jealous had it not been that my food looked just as good.
Both dishes arrived perfectly presented on slate boards.
My Batemans battered haddock laid the length of it, again served with stacked chunky chips, plus crushed peas and homemade tartar sauce.
I always think you can never get the same quality fish and chips from a restaurant or bar, as you would from a fish and chip shop.
But I have to say this was a close call.
The batter was crispy and the fish was a good quality. But it was the crushed peas and tartar sauce that really stole the show.
The crunch of the gherkins alongside the sweet pea flavour complemented the dish perfectly.
It was nice to see the same quality of food coming out to the bar, as must be served to restaurant diners.
I really like the fact The Tower Hotel uses a huge amount of local produce and the word 'homemade' appears far more frequently on its menu than I usually find.
For this head chef Darren Rogan and his team should be commended.
And never fear if you have special dietary requirements as there are vegan, coeliac and lactose intolerant menus at the ready.
The team are also more than happy to cater for any specific needs if they are contacted in advance.
The Tower Hotel proves that restaurant-standard, reasonably priced food can be served within a bar environment.
THE FOOD: Selection of olives £2; Soup of the day £4.25; 6oz Lincolnshire beef burger £8.50; fish and chips £9; two cokes £3.
TOTAL: £26.75. /p>
FINAL VERDICT: Great, homemade food highlighting fantastic local produce; comfortable and relaxed dining environment offering different options of a more informal, bar setting or restaurant for those wanting a special meal.
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