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FOOD MONSTER: Homestead, St John's Park, Bracebridge Heath

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: August 11, 2011

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THE fight for cheap food is building up in our area.

There are plenty of pub chains all looking to try and bring you in with good deals and cut down prices.

And I'm glad. After eating out at a couple of places I'm really concerned that people are paying over the odds for their food.

There has been some questionable pricing of meals at various pubs and you come away wondering if you got any value for money.

Some argue you do get what you pay for, and I agree with that at the top end. In a good restaurant I think you cough up the cash which is right for the skill of the chef and the standards of the ingredients used in your dishes.

But there is a lot of cash and carry cobblers out there being peddled for too high a price.

So I do welcome with open arms places like the Homestead on Bracebridge Heath.

Until recently part of the Two-For-One chain, it has now had a very nice refit and is labelled as a Fayre & Square.

The refit at the Homestead is a long time coming.

Contact details and location map for the Homestead in Bracebridge Heath

I had eaten there last year and it was a bit dark and dingy to say the least.

The new layout of the restaurant and the soft furnishings have brought more light and warmth into the place.

The set up also allows for plenty of little nooks to eat in so you're not out on display to the entire restaurant floor.

I went along with my Far Better Half (FBH) and our friend Little Richard to try and get a good idea of the meals on offer.

The menu is all the traditional favourites you would expect.

There are a range of meals like lasagne, scampi and chips, fish and chips, pies, pasta and a grill section.

There is enough variety for everyone and it all does what it says on the tin – simple down to earth descriptions of your meals.

Ordering at the bar, Little Richard went for the soup of the day to start while FBH and myself shared a combo for two.

The starters were not long in the waiting and were not disappointing when they came.

Little Richard's choice was a vegetable soup with plenty of diced veg mixed in there and served with a good couple of slices of bread.

However, I was wondering if he should have bothered ordering a starter when the combo for two was slapped down in front of FBH and myself.

It was a beast of a platter. Onion rings, scampi, chicken wings, chicken breast bites, wedges and garlic bread plus a big dollop of barbecue sauce to knock it all back with – oh and there was a small offering of salad.

Little Richard could have easily have dipped in to this and it was more than a good workout for our jaw muscles prior to our mains.

Little Richard had ordered a steak and ale pie. Again, this was another massive portion. The pie was presented out of the dish and had a big serving of peas and chips with it plus some gravy.

It might not have been a perfectly crafted piece of cooking, but it was satisfactory and the same could be said for FBH's lasagne.

FBH's lasagne came with garlic bread and salad and with both meals in the two for £10 this seemed a decent price.

I shelled out a bit more for the barbecue bucket which cost £9.79.

Out of everyone, I was probably the most disappointed. On the menu, this behemoth of a bucket of meat looked really tempting – half a rack of ribs, chicken skewer, two sausages, chicken wings, onion rings, chips and garlic bread.

It was a meaty meal and if done perfectly had the chance to be brilliant.

Sadly, different elements were off the pace.

The chicken skewer was a bit dry and the ribs were nothing short of cremated.

That said, the chicken wings were nice and juicy with a fair bit of flavour and the sausages were done well with a good herb taste to them.

Again, there was a massive dollop of barbecue sauce to work this down, but some of the meat was a bit too dry and I needed a good swig of my drink to work it through.

By the end of this we were all stuffed and the dessert menu made me queasy just looking at it, which is a shame, because they looked like some gut-busting sweet options.

The service throughout was friendly and efficient and the place was clean and tidy. My only gripe was someone did not keep a good eye on a couple of elements of my dish.

Apart from that it was good value for money and an ideal place to go if you want something cheerful and you want to have a meal which is not going to cripple your wallet.

THE DAMAGE: Combo for two £7.59, Soup of the day £3.29, BBQ Bucket £9.79, Steak and Ale Pie and Lasagne £10, two Pepsi Colas £3.60, Still mineral water £1.65.

TOTAL: £35.91.

FINAL VERDICT: The food is filling, but the value could not be ignored. Also a very nice refit for a pub in need of a bit of a scrub.

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  • GusterLinc  |  August 13 2011, 10:33AM

    Why does every sentence have it's own paragraph in this report?

  • Nodroggy  |  August 13 2011, 9:41AM

    I only went there once, not so long after it opened a few years ago. Never again. Plastic vegetables did not impress my taste buds. Judging by the above comments I can only assume that it must have improved a bit but while there are other options I will continue to give it a miss.

  • lincolnbilly  |  August 13 2011, 8:37AM

    why arnt the criticisms publoished

  • Lincoln_Biker  |  August 12 2011, 5:03PM

    My wife and I are regulars at the Homestead... Usually when it's my turn to cook, but none the less we're repeat offenders to this establishment. I've nothing but good things to say about the place :)

  • AliceDay  |  August 11 2011, 11:53PM

    In my opinion, it's just run-of-the-mill chain pub grub. Nothing wrong with it and you know what you're going to get. It's good for an easy meal if you happen to be passing and can't be bothered to cook when you get home. It's just never going to be as good as so many of the independent village pubs, which offer much better quality food at equally reasonable prices.

  • bonnie28  |  August 11 2011, 11:37AM

    Have been to the Homestead twice since it opened. Staff friendly and courteous. Meals (now have had four different main courses) plentiful, tasty and hot. Especially the hot crispy chips! So can recommend firecracker chicken, fish and chips, new york chicken and all day breakfast. Value for money? Absolutely!

  • Mr_Sneer  |  August 11 2011, 9:51AM

    Thanks for that, lynnlincoln. I've been reading these reviews for some time and I've always found that not only is there far too much detail, the pubs are all too close to where I live. Now that I know that the chips served in an un-named pub over 150 miles away are 'a bit dry' I'm far more well-informed when it comes to organising an evening of dining out.

  • lynnlincoln  |  August 11 2011, 9:16AM

    Normally I wouldn't even think about venturing into Wetherspoons. Last weekend I had reason to be in Clacton, sun beating down, hungry and thirsty, decided to have a snack meal and drink outside on the decking of Wetherspoons. Two cheeseburgers, chips (a little dry), small side salad, pint of Guinness and a small glass of pinot = £12

  • onthescrapile  |  August 11 2011, 8:51AM

    Good, simple cheap snacks at the Source in Sleaford. £1 for sandwiches and toasties, and had a beautiful macaroni cheese last week for £2.50. Best buy is their huge ploughmans for £1.50. I go there when ever I'm in town.

  • Bill_Door  |  August 11 2011, 8:38AM

    Little Richard is better than Short Dirk, I suppose...