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BITE user comments - tauntonbob

Comments by tauntonbob

The Half Moon Inn, Stoke St Mary

You will see that I posted about this establishment in January 2012. In the knowledge that the pub had changed hands I went there again today with the naïve belief that things must be better. Got that wrong then. Could it possibly be that the same chef is in residence. Ironically, 'Fifty Shades of Grey', has been in the limelight over the last twelve months, but the same would aptly describe my plate to day. Having been told that the steak and mushroom pie had expired overnight I went for the chicken, mushroom and stuffing version, to be served with mash and vegetables. The pie contents was clearly recycled as had been 'nuked' as per food hygiene temperature regs. The shortcrust top had been flashbaked and was consequently uncooked, the mash had been overworked causing a bathing cap style film to form and the vegetables, the bain marie'd stuff from a previous life, perhaps even January 2012! Interestingly, there was a poster for the recruitment of two new chefs for the busy kitchen. 'Must have experience of a fresh food kitchen' the advert stated. Presumably they'll be working elsewhere, or the current chef doesn't know that they are leaving yet. The food being as equally shoddy as 18 months ago, there must be a common factor! Believe me when I say that I don't have a personal issue with this pub. It's still great in a great village but, come on, put some effort in where the food is concerned.

27 Jun 2013 14:26

The Moat House, Taunton

Been here a couple of times since the re-launch as the Apple and Parrot (or vice versa). Has had the guts ripped and been re-designed. Pretty good effort with a bar upstairs aswell. Has been opened by the 'Mambos' group in anticipation of the Castle Green development affording the establishment some nice summer outside space (as opposed to sitting staring at fag smoking taxi drivers at the front of the building). Live entertainment on my last visit - a couple of lads with electric acoustic guitars. Has one real ale on the go. Cotleigh Tawny on the night I visited, if I remeber correctly. Well kept - no complaints. Best of luck to them. I hope the schedule of the developers allows them to exploit the summer of 2012, rather 2013. They do seem to be dragging their heels a bit!

14 Feb 2012 12:17

The Half Moon Inn, Stoke St Mary

Having been many times for lunch and never dissappointed did so again yesterday. On arrival the pub seemed immediately different but couldn't put my finger on it. I was looking forward to the steak and Abbot pie (which could take 40 mins to eat owing to generous portion control) but not to be, sadly. Appear to have stopped selling Abbot also. Ordered the pie of the day......steak and vegetable, served with vegetables?? and mash. Then the penny dropped. Appears to be a new Landlord at the inn, detectable by the fact that he very much to say about the pub's condition on handover. Was heard at one point to question why the previous hosts had such a good business...................well, i'll give you a clue! They didn't use Sunday lunchtimes left over repeatedly 'bain marie'd', and therefore stewed, vegetables 24 hours later at Monday lunchtime. Grey, bitter, tasteless and waterlogged presentation doesn't do much for the rep of the humble brussel sprout. Broccolli much the same and the carrots and 'tinned' peas in the pie probably had the same provenance. In terms of customer relations.........when we left via the back door and walked within three feet of the Landlord he didn't feel it necessary to take a break in his conversation on our exit. A 'thanks very much, please come again' would have been nice. I don't know what type of soulless place the Landlord has overseen before, but a village pub, in a lovely village, needs a bit of 'mine host' interaction. A complete lack of customer care. Bar lady/waitress, who has been there for sometime was very attentive, but she's got an uphill struggle.

24 Jan 2012 12:25

The Master Thatcher, Taunton

Went last Friday for an early xmas get together. Booked for 13 on the back of a carvery advert the meals appeared in a plated form, minus yorkshire puddings, because it was easier for the staff. My meal ok except for the soggy biscuit with my cheese. Wife's startrd still frozen but thankfully she was warmed up by the gravy stained knife that was dropped down her back by the bargirl collecting plates. There's clearly a reason why she's not a waitress! It was dissappointing to witness the staff's inability to say 'no' to two morons who were consuming Jagerbombs at 7 and 4 minute intervals. Neither could stand with confidence, and one, clearly the village idiot, was rendered horizontal on the floor of the gents. If their licence is valued they need someone with b****cks behind the bar. All that said, the Palmers 200 and Gold was in fine shape.

4 Dec 2011 18:51

Ring of Bells, Taunton

Popped in very briefly today. If its about the beer................the Exmoor was magic. Pub clean and tidy as usual. Music very loud but bareable, even for me, but found that I'd been shouting at the end of every track. Didn't turn heads though, no one else in there.

8 Nov 2011 21:03

The Grove, Exmouth

Visited yesterday when met friends with the wife and kids. Log fire, first seen by me this year, very welcoming. Normal Young's bitters on offer with the addition Bath Gem, which had more body and was in great condition. Must be Winter Warmer time soon. If someone tells me when it is I'll get a train ticket! I had beef and mushroom stroganoff to eat, which could have been warmer, but very tasty and quite rich. Others had fish and chips, swordfish with dressed noodles and 'The Grove Burger', the mastery here being to deliver it to the table without the presence of scaffolding to keep it upright - sort of a mixed grill in a bun!! All very well turned out. Staff very pleasant and attentive. Dog and child friendly but in a laid back way because all behaved impeccibly, perhaps demonstrating clientelle personal standards. Have been here many times before and it will remain on my 'awayday' list. Get that Winter Warmer in - please!!!!!

6 Nov 2011 10:53

The Square and Compass, Ashill

Went for lunch today, by default, owing to another village pub apparently being closed, and on the back of many an advert seen in suited and booted. Never been before. All those wasted years!! Same beers as in 2009 but Exmoor, a staple local, great quality. A proper pub with mix and match wooden furniture and an atmosphere that grows and grows with the entrance of the next party of punters. I, predictably enough, went for the beer battered cod. What I received was anything but predictable. It was huge, bigger than my feet yet smaller than another of my features - I wish!! If this was line caught only someone with forearms like popeye could have landed this monster. Accompanied by chips, very flexible staff allowed horseradish mayo which I 'nicked' off the menu from a chef's special (fish cakes). To say that it beat me is an understatement. My better half went for a rump steak, delivered medium as requested on a hot skillet allowing further cooking if required. Other apparent newcomers were equally shocked by the generous portion control, even one who looked as if she particularly liked her food! Kids also accommodated and I noted that the chicken nuggets are 'nice ones', which is great 'cos there's an awful lot of garbage out there. I can imagine this place having a fantastic sunday lunch ambience. I'll be back!

4 Nov 2011 15:14

The Volunteer Riflemans Arms, Bath

This is more than a proper pub - this is pure theatre with host Paul using his bar as a stage drawing regulars and first timers alike to play their part in the drama of the show. Nobody, even large Geordie blokes, are spared the attention and relentless mickey taking of the Landlord, all in the best possible taste! Paul's knowledge of regional beers is second to none. No food available on the day owing to a rare phenomonon, that being gravity which caused the spontaneous absence of chef - hope all is well. Great music, sporting and military memorabilia add to the mix. Should also mention the beer which was in perfect condition. Only strong will power allowed me to win the battle against empty glass chinking with pump as Paul used his masterstroke of temptation. Can't remember much about the train journey home, but I obviously got here!! Back soon.

3 Nov 2011 10:00

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