The Greyhound Inn Pub & Restaurant offers brealfast, lunch and dinner.T he food is very good and the main dining room is very warm and homey. There is also seating at the bar and picnic tables outside.
I've passed this little place many times over the years and always fancied dropping in for a bite to eat. Usually though either it has been busy-busy or I've been short of time and so it's taken a few years for me to finally catch it on a suitably proprietous occassion.
Finally managing to arrive early lunchtime (out of university term-time) and with a relaxed agenda for the day I thoroughly enjoyed a simple lunch here.
This is definitely a cafe, rather than a restaurant, but none the worse for that. The cuisine is mainly Turkish with a few standard "Greasy Joe" style options (such as English breakfasts) but Turkish home-cooking rather than anything attempting to be clever. The writtten menu is, oddly enough, for illustration purposes only as not all the dishes are available during any given shift. The menu tells you to refer to the blackboards to find out what is actually available!
Hmmm...seems a bit superfluous having a menu in the first place...but I suppose some people need to see one as a sort of "comfort balanket". Me, I'm quite happy to just see blackboards and ideally ones that are in constant flux - always a sign that the food is fresh in my book.
Menu oddities aside tho' this is a very friendly establishment. Even as a first time customer I was greeted by all the various staff who seemed to pop out of the back kitchen at random intervals. I noted that no-one seemed to have a specific role, but rather everyone did whatever needed to be done as and when - another thing I like to see in an eatery.
The decor is cafe-basic but neat, clean and eclectically characterful with pastel-painted chairs and glazed tiled tables (some of which match) giving the dining area a homely welcoming feel. A few pot plants and handwritten notices add to the casualness and the crowded pinboard and bluetacked posters announcing local events gives the impression that the Dinosaur is part of its community.
Favorite Dish: I was after a light lunch (there being a day of beer-drinking to follow) and the Turkish meatballs with spicy tomato sauce, rice and salad fitted the bill admirably - meaty meatballs, not too spicy a sauce but tasty, fluffy rice and a simple salad garnish. Excellent Turkish coffee almost completed my meal and went nicely with my cigarette on the little terrace overlooking the Clock Tower.
For about 8 quid this was spot on.
An unseasonably warm spring lunchtime brought me down to the quay in search of lunch. I was after something lightish, maybe pasta or something, and an in-the-sun riverside location.
On The Waterfront, a converted dockside warehouse, promised both. Unfortunately they had also been caught out by the unseasonably sunny day, service was dire (no table service) and the pasta dishes that I fancied weren't available.
Well at least the sun was still out and so, having queued for about ten minutes, I ordered the "Fiery Inferno (Hot!)" pizza and a glass of wine and sat out on the terrace.
The pizza actually arrived quite swiftly. It looked good, smelled good and was quite tasty - not particularly fiery though.
Anyway I ate most of it, had another glass of wine and paid my £17 quid bill (a bit pricey for what I'd had).
Over the course of the day I had a few beers here and there and a sandwich from the buffet at St David's on my train home. Then a few more beers at my local.
An average sort of a day out for me.
Until that is about 3 am in the morning. Stomach cramps, nausea and a terrible dose of Montezuma's revenge woke me up. The next three days I spent pretty much full-time on the loo.
It had to be the pizza meats, that's all I could narrow it down to, and I reckon because the previous week had been miserably damp and cold then the ingredients had been hanging around a little longer than they should have. The spices obviously masked the smell but they didn't kill the germs.
Just one of those things and I'm sure that once they get in full flow during the summer they'll be fully staffed and able to turn their food over.
It is a great location but I'll give it a miss in future.
The Prospect Inn is situated in the wonderfully vibrant quayside area of Exeter. After driving at a maximum speed of 10 mph for miles on end along the M5 motorway we arrived at Exeter in a ravenous state. Luckily I had checked VT for a suitable place to eat and made a bee-line for the Quay. Outside the Prospect Inn you will find a large outside seating area overlooking the Quay - perfect for those rare warm sunny evenings we have in the UK!! The interior is nicely decorated with plenty of room giving it a nice spacious feel. The food here is really fresh, homemade and delicious. I had the Lasagne which was served with Salad and Garlic Bread. It was the nicest I'd tasted in a long while. The other main course was homemade pie and chips which was also really nice. I would definitely eat here again and for its' waterside position it would be nice just to call in for some drinks.
It was the smells wafting into the neighbouring beer garden of the Black Horse pub on Longbrook Street that provided my introduction to The Gourmet. I must have passed its front many times during my visits to Exeter but the “Fish and Chips” signage had always put me off giving it a try - generally speaking Chinese restaurants which market themselves as Chip Shops” tend to disappoint.
The aromas being expelled out the back however told a very different story - the onions, the garlic, the fresh ginger, a hint of chilli and the pervading pungency of 5-spice all combined to inform me that there was some proper cooking going on here.
I wasn’t even hungry, simply having dropped into the pub for a quick beer on a mild spring evening whilst waiting for my bus and had taken advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to relax and enjoy it in the garden.
This is a welcoming little takeaway which also has a couple of tables and a window-front counter for those who want to eat in (at no extra cost - plastic fork and napkin provided). On a Monday evening the place was relatively quiet but trade seemed steady with about half of the custom comprising members of the local Asian community - which is always a good sign.
Favorite Dish: For me the benchmark of a Chinese takeaway is its Singapore Noodles and here that benchmark was set high. Perfectly cooked egg noodles, with just a hint of bite, plenty of veggie bits, a good handful of prawns along with slivers of pork, chicken and duck, and seasoned with a definitive fresh spice mix whose chillies added kick without dominating the other flavours and completed with a splash of good soy sauce and a dribble of sesame oil.
Yep a pretty much ideal Singapore Noodles and being able to sit inside at the window was an added bonus as the dusk chill descended.
Even though I cook for a living, or perhaps especially because I cook for a living, I like good simple fast food. I'm not a fan of MacDonalds (tho' I DO llike Burger King) but I am a fan of Subway.
OK It's a chain place, nothing fancy, but it is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and is cheap.
Here in Exeter there's three branches - Queen Street (between the High Street and Central Station), Sidwell Street (on the road heading out of town at the top end of the High Street) and on Cowick Street (just down from St Thomas railway station).
It's quite a simple system. You choose your bread, choose whether you want a six inch or twelve sandwich, choose your filling and whether you want it toasted. Then you can have it packed with as much salad as you want and dressed with a choice from about half-a-dozen dressings.
You'll find Subways all over the place and in general I always find the staff friendly and helpful and here in Exeter particularly so.
Favorite Dish: I like the "Italian BMT" (big, meaty and tasty) which is filled with pepperoni, salami and ham. I always opt for the Italian Herb and Cheese bread (freshly baked on the premises) and add the optional pepperjack cheese and have it toasted. Then a touch of lettuce, tomato, red onion, black olives, jalapenos, gherkins and dressed with whatever I'm in the mood for - sometimes the garlicky "Caesar", othertimes the "Hot Chilli".
I usually have a coffee too and get a freebie cookie (once again baked on the premises) and for about four and a half quid get a perfectly substantial, non-alcoholic, snack between pubs ;)
After years of being a building site Princesshay became Exeter's brand new shopping centre in late 2007. The area was originally rebuilt in the 1950's as a pedestrianised shopping centre having been severly damaged during the Second World War blitzing of the city. The 50's architecture came under severe criticism then due to its obvious clashing with the historic buildings around the Cathedral and its side streets and the modern reincarnation too has come under contemporary critical fire.
Love it or hate it, the developers have at least attempted to blend the concrete, steel and glass of the buildings into the area by liberal use of wooden pannelling and by highlighting the remains of the old city walls.
One thing that they have succeeded in doing though, is that the centre of the mall is now home to a collection of continental-style cafes which, as soon as the sun comes out, burst out colourfully onto the square.
One such is Strada. This is part of a national chain, but none the worse for that. Those in charge have obviously researched their ingredients and the restaurants offer something that little bit different to the bog-standard. The menu covers the whole range of Italian offerings with sections for antipasti (starters), meat and fish, risotto, pizza and pasta, along with various sides and salads. Some of the dishes are the internationally familiar whilst others are regional local specialities and if it wasn't for the fact that the place is immediately recognisable as a chain, I would have been fooled by the menu into thinking I was eating proper Italian!
Service, certainly here in Exeter, was friendly and informal and my delish little waitress even even made a point of asking whether I would prefer to sit indoors as the early-June weather looked like taking a turn for the worse. Instead I opted for the ashtray!
Favorite Dish: I was looking for a nice simple lunch and the idea of pasta had stuck in my head and then I found this place. Perusing the menu the pasta choices definitely piqued the mental taste buds and so pasta it was. I went for the Orecchiette Salsicca e Broccoli, despite the fact that I had no idea what "Orecchiette" were, nor no idea how to pronounce it. The waitress (obviously well-trained) gave me the correct pronunciation and explained that the type of pasta meant "little ears".
So my "little ears" duly arrived tosssed through with very tasty Mantovana sausage, pancetta and broccoli, all dressed in a chilli butter sauce and finished with good fresh Parmesan. A glass of nicely crisp Pinot Grigot and that was my my nice simple lunch well-sorted!
Exactly what I was looking for and at about 12 quid (including tip) not too pricey either - well recommended!
UPDATE April 2011 Also worth looking out for is the £6.95 Lunch Menu. This is served Monday to Friday 12-5 and offers a well-balanced selection of main course dishes. On my last visit I opted for the "Stufato di Pesce" (pic #4) which is an Italian fish stew with clams, red mullet and baby octupus in a tomato sauce with fregola pasta grains. This was tasty and with a chunk of ciabatta made for another satisfying light lunch.
PS If you are being budget conscious the filtered water offered is a freebie.
This is a busy, buzzy restaurant in an interesting old building just off the city centre. All the Italian restaurant stereotypes are here from the red-checked tablecloths to the wicker Chianti bottles and the menu has all the staples from Pizza and Pasta through the usual culprits of Pollo ala Milanese, Veal al Marsala, Steak Diane and etc., but none the worse for that. There is also an excellent selection of fresh fish and seafood which changes according to the day's deliveries.
Staff are friendly, service informal and prices reasonable - most main courses around the 7 to 8 quid mark. I haven't gotten round to it myself but the 4.99 lunch buffet looks worth a try especially if you can grab an outside table on a sunny afternoon.
Favorite Dish: On my last visit I opted for the Veal Marsala which was excellent, good sauce and vegetables, and whilst slightly on the expensive side was still pretty good value and washed down with a glass or two of the house vino the less than 20 quid bill perfectly acceptable.
Yep, well worth a visit.
We didn't eat in the restaurant, but rather got pizza to take away and gorge ourselves whilst watching TV!
It was delicious. They have pizza that is slightly different than the usuals.
Favorite Dish: I had the Pollo Al Rosamarino pizza - marinated chicken, field mushrooms, rosemary, mozarella and tomato.
It was delicious. And not too greasy
This is a chain restaurant - you can find Walkabouts all over England.
It's more of a pub, and is an Australian/Kiwi/South African themed one at that. It plays live sport, all the major rugby matches. I've been told that the manager of this branch is South African and whenever a SA game comes on all the screens get turned over to it!
The food is really good - and very cheap. There are £3.50 meals! They also serve some genuine Aussie "tucka" as is kangaroo!
At night it turns into a club/pub
Favorite Dish: The Crayfish salad with seafood salad and a side order of garlic bread was delicious for lunch. And only £6 with a drink!
Opposite the Cathedral, over looking the green, is a great little pub. For years whenever I went here for lunch I had the Cheddar Ploughmans lunch, which consists of pickle, cheese, chunk of bread, salad, coleslaw...... mmmmm, it was excellent although I have not been recently. The pub is part of the Royal Clarance Hotel, situated next door, which is a very upmarket establisment. Get a window table & watch the world go by people watching, in the summer the Cathedral Green is a very popular place for picnics with both office workers & visitors alike.
Apparently there are the remains of a Black Death Victim you can visit in the basement.........Nice!
I just love Pizza Express (ok, I just love pizza! lol) I always have the Veneziana
which consists of onions, capers, olives, sultanas and pine kernels, It is heavenly, vegetarian of course & one of the cheapest on the menu too. 25 pence of the price goes towards the The Veneziana Fund , if you order this particular pizza. So the fact you are eating pizza AND saving Venice from sinking, what more of an excuse do you need.
Cafe Rouge is another of the chain restaurants which have taken up space in the new Princesshay shopping centre but even though it is part of a national chain I personally like its style.
The restaurant here seems to employ predominantly French staff (or maybe very good actors) and the menu, written in French and English, covers a sort of "Grand Cafe"-style set of offerings and so, along with the obviously themed decor and furnishings you can, with a little imagination, pretend you're sitting with a view of the Eiffel Tower instead of overlooking the square with the Italian-themed "Strada", the Portugeuse-themed Nandos and others of their ilk for neighbours.
However even though it is a chain most dishes are prepared in-house and the ingredients are sourced from French suppliers which gives the food a degree of authenticity. The wine and beer list too has a major French prescence (with a few Belgians on the beer side) and so the themeing is neither naff nor bland.
Service is laid-back and the dining room always has a pleasant buzzy atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: I'm a big fan of the Toulouse Sausages - these are substantially meaty, with a hint of smokiness, a distinct spiciness and the accompanying mash and onion gravy are usually excellent.
Not a big fan though of having to pay £2 for the bread - that kinda spoils the theming!!
This is a nice restaurant, stylish and classy with excellent professional and attentive service. At the time of writing (2006) there were three dining options: the 25 GBP set menu, the tasting menu at about 56 or the a-la-carte. The food is modern with an emphasis on local produce and the menu reads well with plenty of variety.
I'm not a particularly critical person normally but there were however a couple of minor niggles. When the bill comes to about 85 quid for my solo meal these really shouldn't exist.
The scallop starter with pea puree, crispy bacon and shallot veloute was an excellent balance of flavours and textures and beautifully, and simply, presented, but, and here's the big but, with QUEEN scallops rather than the expected meaty local Devon king scallops which I had expected for the 11.75 I was paying.
My main course of cod with chorizo, baby squid and gazpacho was once again beautifully presented but the cod, sitting on a bed of spinach, was overseasoned and thus negating what should have been the contrast between the perfectly cooked, flaky, fish, the saltiness of the chorizo and the balancing texture provided by the (perfectly seasoned) spinach.
Having had my main course I opted for the cheese selection and asked for it to be served in the bar, which allowed me to nibble at leisure whilst finishing my wine and ending with coffee and a 10 year old Somerset cider brandy. The selection of cheeses was excellent, served at perfect temperature and accompanied by crackers and home-made fig bread - though once again there was a minor fault. The bread had been microwaved, perhaps to freshen it up or to defrost it, and once it had lost its initial warmth it ended up chewy.
These though were minor niggles and overall this was a good meal, just not perfect.
Favorite Dish: The wine list is fairly extensive and for this type of establishment very reasonably priced, my bottle of Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, NZ, was really crisp and fruity and only 22.50.
If you are passing through Exeter St Davids railway station in the evening and fancy a bite to eat there's always the station buffet. The station buffet offers the usual range of bland pre-packed, factory-made traveller's fare, some of which is actually quite tasty and healthy (ish).
If however you fancy something more substantial, cooked fresh to order and with loads of taste then look across the car park for Peeps Burger Van. Peeps is usually in operation from about 6 pm until late offering a range of burgers, kebabs and fried stuff catering for both transients and the local student population.
I don't know whether the van is actually owned by the guy that runs it but he's always cheery and chatty and prices are more than reasonable.
UPDATE March 2011 - The burger van is no longer called Peeps but the burgers and service are just as good.
Favorite Dish: It has to be the 8oz beefburger with cheese. Slathered with freshly cooked onions and zinged wih a good dollop of chilli sauce this is just the thing on a chilly November evening between trains. Not only that but the bun it comes sandwiched between is well up to the task of containment, as opposed to the soggy excuses offered by the chain places. Yep for the protien and calorie counters a few of these wouldn't be out of place in your rucksack for your next trip to the North Pole!
For about three and a half quid it's also great value for money. Take it onto the train with you and you'll be the envy of your carriage ;)