It’s a Monday and a restaurant review needs doing for Friday so what do you do.
Oh, and the wife is away so you’re on your own with the kids.
Something of a conundrum but then that eureka moment – what about a pub where you can help yourself so everyone’s happy.
I’d not been to the Toby Carvery at Ainley Top for a few years but remembered it being fine so thought we’d give it another go.
The three of us turned up without booking. No problem. Although there were plenty of seats it was also busy for a Monday.
It’s certainly a popular spot and we were soon to find out why.
The pub itself is comfortable, spacious and well laid out. Plenty of room for wheelchairs.
It’s not somewhere you need to spend long reading the menu.
The choices are simple. There is one question you need to ask yourself. “Can I fit in anything more than a carvery meal?”
In short, probably not.
But for the sake of the review we had some starters and that was three ‘tasting’ dishes for a fiver. Kind of tapas, Toby style.
These were pork and beef meatballs in gravy, chicken wings and pigs in blankets. Now the wrapped up pigs are normally just festive fayre in our house so these were quite a treat with small sausages tucked up in bacon. They quickly vanished. So too did the meatballs in gravy – they’re quite big meatballs and, if memory serves me right, there were six of them.
And the chicken wings didn’t hang around long either.
Good value for money but not really needed.
And then on to the carvery. Every day is Sunday roast day at the Toby Carvery.
For £6.49 you can have any or all of the roasts which are gammon with a pomegranate glaze, British turkey, British or Irish beef with a beef dripping glaze or pork with an apple and sage glaze.
Then there are giant Yorkshire puddings – that one’s obviously a no brainer for Huddersfield folk. Choosing them should be compulsory.
Once the chef has carved your roast away you go down the potato and vegetable self service line. Roast potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes with mustard, plain mashed potato, peas, carrots, cauliflowers, onions – plenty of choice.
And then when the plate’s full and you wonder if you’ll need help carrying it to the table it’s off to another serving table where you’ve a choice of gravy – Toby’s beef gravy or onion, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, horseradish – I could go on, but won’t. It’s great as you can have as much gravy as you want. My dinner was swimming in it – I love gravy, me.
In short, a massive Sunday lunch at 8pm on a Monday. What’s not to like?
Everything was fine – only slight gripes are they could do with sharper knives for the beef, the roast potatoes had been a tad overdone and then probably hung around a bit too long under the heated serving counter and the stuffing was dry.
But that’s being pedantic as the vegetables were all well cooked – not too short, not overdone – and my youthful dining companions thought it was “well good.” Ah, the exuberance of youth!
For another £1.50 you could go kingsize with extra meat, an extra Yorkshire pud and two chipolata sausages. It makes me queasy just thinking how full those plates would be. It’d probably take two people to carry them to the table.
And for an extra pound – yes, just one shiny new coin – you can have either soup as a starter or an ice-cream to finish. We had one ice-cream between us that was soft and creamy.
And the bill for all this came to ... £33.37 and that includes bottomless drinks of coke (including strawberry or vanilla coke), Fanta, lemonade etc for £2.70.
If you’re vegetarian fear not as they have quite a few alternatives including a meat free carvery whatever that is.
Here’s just one alternative, Spiced Carrot & Chickpea Wellington (£6.49), a blend of chickpeas, carrots and lentils spiced with crushed chillies, delicately hand wrapped in wholegrain mustard puff pastry.
And for the super health conscious they do dishes like their ‘Superfood Salad’ featuring potassium which supports the normal functioning of the nervous system and the salad includes a combination of crisp cos lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion. It’s then topped with a mix of bulgar wheat, chickpeas, grilled courgette and sultanas and a hint of mint drizzled with a reduced calorie french dressing.
We worked out you can have a carvery, an ice-cream and a bottomless drink for £10.19. It’s not worth buying it and making it at home.
We left feeling like we’d robbed them but intend to become serial offenders there.
Brighouse Road, Huddersfield, HD2 2LB
Phone: 01422 374360
Opening hours: Carvery serving times are Monday to Saturday 11.30am to
10pm and Sunday 11am to 10pm. They open for breakfasts from 8am.
Children: Absolutely and there is also a children’s menu for 10s and under.
Disabled access: Very good. It’s a spacious place with a disabled toilet
The bill: £33.37
Would you go back? Definitely