EATING OUT: Burgers and Bard

Stephanie Bishop, general Manager (front) with staff from the left, Ryan Torr, Shaun Goddard, Tom Law and Charlie Gill.

Stephanie Bishop, general Manager (front) with staff from the left, Ryan Torr, Shaun Goddard, Tom Law and Charlie Gill.

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The agreeable prospect of a night out at the Crucible Theatre beckoned, so why not eat out in the city centre?

There’s plenty of places to go at and West Street has a cluster of bars and restaurants about a 10-minute walk away. We decided to try the new-look Cavendish, a cavernous pub about half way along.

It’s owned by Stonegate, who have big pub brands like Yates’s and Slug and Lettuce. The Cavendish is one of its Scream pubs, aimed at students and young people.

Prices are competitive, there’s free wifi and they have a loyalty card. Customers earn extra points by mentioning it on social media.

There’s a stage area and snooker tables at one end of the pub and sport showing on big screens.

Now technically I’m a student – I study with the University of Sheffield’s Institute of Lifelong Learning, an institution of which the city should be proud, but I’m hardly the target age group.

My friend Linda and I were the oldest customers by decades but didn’t feel out of place as we took our seats in an airy dining area. There’s long refectory tables for groups but we settled into banquette seating.

The menu covers everything from breakfast and cakes to trays of snacks for sharing and main meals.

There is a good range of wine by the glass or bottle and they had four guest beers when we visited, alongside interesting bottled beers and the inevitable cocktail pitchers and Jaeger bombs. I tried a refreshing pint of Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted blonde beer.

Our food order was taken at the bar by one of the pleasant young members of staff. The main course choice is burgers or hot dogs or ‘the classics’, which in this case means steak and chips or mac and cheese, fish and chips, fried chicken or chilli. Prices are £5 to £7.

Our food arrived after a short wait. I went for the beef meets pork burger (£6.95) and upgraded to sweet potato fries for £1. This arrived on a a little tin tray with the fries in an enamel mug.

Linda had a tin plate of sweet chilli chicken noodles (£5.25), advertised as being under 500 calories – then decided the portion was too modest, so ordered more sweet potato fries (£1.95).

My burger was excellent, a shiny bun filled with a 6oz burger topped with pulled pork, cheese, crispy onions and barbecue sauce.

The combination of burger and falling-apart pulled pork was inspired and the smoky-sweet sauce added another layer of flavour. The three spicy sauces on the table packed plenty of heat.

The chips were sweet and crispy and the only letdown was the coleslaw, which was standard supermarket stuff.

Linda liked her noodles with chicken, peppers and onions in the sweet, gently spicy sauce but says the same dish at Lloyd’s bar up the road is more generous with its ingredients.

The puddings looked interesting so we gave them a go. Sadly, they’d run out of the brownie tower but the big slab of chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream was lovely, moist and tasty.

Linda’s cookie cup, a biscuit with marshmallow, brownie and chunks of honeycomb, was good and a more manageable size.

Puddings are £2.25. Skip the coffees, though, unless you’re a fan of weakish machine cappuccinos.

Our bill came to £30.

The Cavendish, 238a West Street. 0114 252 5781. www.thecavendishsheffield.co.uk