On what felt like the hottest day of the year so far, myself and nearly 7000 fellow runners stomped around Chester two weekends ago. It was the perfect weather for so many good things; a BBQ, day out, picnic or drinks in a beer garden somewhere, not so much for a half marathon!! Many of us suffered in the heat that was approximately 20 degrees in bright sunshine. Oh my, it was difficult, it felt so much harder than running the full marathon! Having drenched myself in bottles of water for most of the race, all with the aim of keeping myself cool I looked pretty saturated when I crossed the finish line. Myself and an old Uni mate had entered, being an elite runner he was twenty minutes ahead of me so once I’d finished it was time to refuel to replenish lost nutrients. The heat and blazing sun had really taken it out of me this time, so I literally just followed and wasn’t really bothered where we went, all I craved was a cold drink and something to eat in the shade, as by now I was ravenous.
We strolled into the Blackhouse Grill, turning up at 11:30am and were luckily able to sit and have drinks, our food orders would be taken at 12pm. The menu is much the same as the Leeds branch, with steaks, burgers, salads, fajitas, fish and chips. Traditional Sunday roast was on offer too.
Myself and the other half went for the Steak frites, Pete the burger with additional mushroom and his girlfriend the Chicken Fajitas.
Both steaks were cooked perfectly, lovely and pink, it is a grill restaurant so it should be. Plenty of really good skin on chips were given, with a crisp outside and fluffy inside. They did get a little soggy though from the residual oil on the plate though, I think that would have been my only complaint. The steak itself was juicy and flavourful, the restaurant happily proclaims using premium quality beef that’s aged for 28 days ensuring flavour and tenderness, it definitely showed.
Oh yes, also the fact that myself and our friend both had loads of little bits of chips which made up the portion, especially Pete, when he tipped out the gimmicky frying basket full of chips, about half were really small off cuts, Pete was a little miffed!
Pete admitted himself that he’s not the most discernible of diners, but when asked about his burger, he said it was cooked as requested and had good flavour to it. He did find the over-sized piece of lettuce and tomato a bit pointless, so removed them immediately leaving in the additional toppings of mushrooms and onion he’d ordered instead.
The chicken fajita looked and smelled great as it was brought over, still sizzling away on its griddle. It was an all-in-one cooking/preparation dish. Lots of additional bits like guacamole, cheese and pica de gallo on the side, a few warm tortillas wrapped in a napkin. One thing that was commented on straight away was the difficulty in constructing the fajitas, as they’d only left a knife and fork to use, no spoon so constructing the Fajitas was a task in itself.
The chicken was cooked well, still moist and the sauce underneath had tonnes of flavour and I must admit it smelled fantastic. But there was nowhere near enough chicken or cheese to fill the tortilla so some wrappers were left unfilled.
Overall we had a lovely celebratory lunch at The Blackhouse, The total cost for four people was £84, without tip. It sounds a tad steep considering we had just one course each but the wine was £19.75.
To be honest, I would have eaten probably anything after the race I was that hungry, but it was a decent choice. Considering Blackhouse is part of a chain and probably not somewhere I choose myself, it definitely has its merits and I would recommend it. It’s good for celebratory meals, family gatherings and the like.
Food: A good choice, especially for meat lovers.
Atmosphere: It was quiet when we first arrived, but while we were there it became much busier and the atmosphere improved.
Service: Pleasant staff, very welcoming and service throughout was good.Blackhouse Grill Newgate House Newgate Street Chester CH1 1DE