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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
@ site name

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Edited by Susan Nowak
CAMRA Books, through www.camra.org

Sniffed the travel editor of the NEW YORK TIMES in a column advising a woman where to dine in London, "Choose a wine bar over a pub, where the food is generally not distinctive and a lone woman might attract unwelcome attention."

Too bad the editor didn't steer the curious reader to GOOD PUB FOOD, written by Susan Nowak.

The guide will help the weary traveler throughout the U.K. find a pub where it is possible to find good food, relaxing ambiance -- and even if a woman alone, a table both comfortable and well-stocked with comestibles.

Nowak, a veteran newspaper editor and consultant on food and beer (she helped Sainsbury's develop a series of beer and food recipes for their store magazine), writes on pub fare for the CAMRA newspaper, WHAT'S BREWING. Over time, it became clear that a guide to pubs with great food was needed to augment the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Nowak took on the task with style, showcasing pub food beyond bangers and mash and microwave frozen foods.

"Pub operators often try to compete for business by offering food," says Nowak, "but many pubs are in danger of losing their identity as they fight for a slice of the eating out market."

The ambiance of a traditional pub, both friendly yet respectful of an individual's privacy, can be undermined by adding fast food service and cafeterias.

"Above all, listen for the warning signs of poor cuisine: if all you hear out of the kitchen is the gentle "ping, ping" of the microwave, the food probably will not be hand-prepared, but just the bulk factory foodservice dishes," cautions Nowak.

Fortunately, Nowak's guide lists hundreds of pubs with hand-made, fresh food, with specials from favorites such as ale and Stilton soup, to stout-marinated lamb chops and mixed grill platters, to salads and vegetarian dishes, pastas and casseroles.

For example, the Eagle in Central London offers Tuscany vegetable soup, pasta with grilled eggplant and basil, char-grilled garlicky sausages with fresh fennel, and lots of robust Italian sandwiches with prosciotto, capicola, salamis and Italian-seasoned roast beef. "Chef David Eyre has such a reputation for this Mediterranean style of food, interpreted for a pub, that he attracts many food writers and media people to the pub," notes Nowak.

Other pubs, such as the White Horse on Parson's Green, garner recognition for the more traditional fare, such as Sunday breakfasts with sausages spiked with Bass Ale, eggs, grilled tomatoes, toasts and granary bread, assorted farmhouse cheeses, and other specialties.

"But all the pubs I profile are committed to serving real ale and fresh, delicious food," says Nowak. A guide worth investing in, should you plan a trip to the U.K. soon.

www.beercook.com, Copyright © 2012-2002, by Lucy Saunders. All rights reserved. Note copyright of authors and recipe contributors in bylines and prefaces. Fee required for reprints in any commercial media.

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