I have wanted to go to Harleys since it opened, I keep seeing photos of lovely food on facebook. However everyone seemed to say you needed to book and we are people who don't like to book and go out when we fancy it. So I decided we should organise ourselves and I rang up Tuesday and was told they could squeeze us in at 6pm on Wednesday, they were having cocktail tastings ready for their new bar opening and were really busy so we needed to book.We arrived and was told they hadn't got our booking but it was okay and they could fit us in, Mark looked over the waiter's shoulder and could see only four or five bookings! Anyway we were shown to our table and another waitress brought our menus, forgot one for Macy and went off and brought hers along with a children's pack of things to do. Inside were some cards with animals on to play snap or matching pairs, a colouring sheet, crayons and a mini board game too. All of this fit into a little cardboard carry case. Brilliant idea and it kept her entertained all evening.
There didn't seem to be any cocktail tasting going on but I could see a couple of cocktails on a tray which I thought must have been making their way to another table and they looked nice so I decided to have a mocktail (I was driving), they will do any of the cocktails in a non-alcoholic version which is great for those driving or youngsters. Unfortunately those two cocktails were still sat on the table when we left so were obviously a bit of a marketing ploy to get you to buy a cocktail!
We ordered the Grazing Board to start which included lamb sausages, chipotle dip, sweet potato pieces, chicken wings, feta & red onion tostada and salsa rose. We were a bit disappointed we didn't get a small plate each nor did we get any starter cutlery as we could have done with plates to cut the sausage up for example. We did get wet wipes each. Thinking back we did only get one dip also. The food was lovely though, the lamb sausage was a bit lumpy and could have done with being minced a bit better as it made it quite chewy as lamb is fatty but otherwise the rest was nice.
For mains I had the Berthas Burnt End Dip (slow cooked warm sliced beef served on white farmhouse bread with our smokey gravy and fries). I love slow cooked beef and this was the only item on the menu, I must admit I wasn’t overly enthralled at the idea of a sandwich for dinner but I wanted the beef so I ordered it. The beef was really tasty and for the most part was nice, however there was the odd big lump of fat, which if it has been slow cooked properly it should have all melted away. Also it being a sandwich there was just too much bread, they do need to think of another way to serve this, even a bun would be better.
Mark had the Bertha’s Best Burger (8oz beef burger, pulled pork, burnt ends, bacon, Monterey jack cheese, jalepenos, with BBQ relish and fries). His opinion? Not as good as TGI Fridays big burgers. Macy had a fish finger sandwich and they were nice big fillets of fish.
For dessert we decided to go for the sharing platter and had mini portions of Key Lime Pie, Oreo Cheesecake, Brownie, filled Churros, mini doughnuts and ice cream. What a fantastic idea, it came with three dips (strawberry, chocolate and peanut butter). All of the desserts were fab and a great way to taste what is on offer.
So to sum it up we had a nice meal, a bit of a con going on re: booking as there were probably only seven tables in there including us when we left. Perhaps at weekends it does get busy but during the week it was dead. I think we probably both would say the food at TGI Fridays is better and the atmosphere is always good, it felt a bit flat at Harleys and the venue is just very large and open with wooden tables and chairs, just isn't a lot to look at - a bit like a school dining room!