Meal at the Bieldside Inn

So I went out for a company meal on Friday, for Christmas. We ordered our food three days ahead of time, because the meal was in the middle of the day, and we would need to get back to work, we thought this would speed up the process.

No, in fact one of the stand out features of the service at the Bielder is that they take their time. I heard the excuse from the wait staff that they were busy, but there were only two tables, granted our table had 10 people and so did the other table, but the place was far from packed. Plus we had ordered our food days in advance.

We were seated at 12:30, the starters arrived at about ten to one. Now that in itself isn’t too bad, but remember they didn’t have to take anyone’s order, and only three of us ordered a started anyways. Personally I think it is not too much to eat a meal in an hour and a half, but maybe I am unreasonable.

Maybe it’s standard that lunch should take at least two hours, and three days to cook.

So the majority of us got our food at about 1:15, roughly 45 minutes after we sat down. Now I cannot speak for everyone that i sat with, most of their food looked fine. I ordered stovies, oxtail and bone marrow, and it looked as if someone had thrown up on my plate, and then proceeded to cover it with an undressed beetroot salad.

So first impressions were a little less than desired. I didn’t want to complain, because everyone else’s meals looked fine, and people were enjoying themselves. However what I ate was a travesty. Oxtail needs to be cooked for a long time, and it needs to be cooked slowly, you have to get all that cartilage to melt away and leave this wonderfully tender, flavourful meat. What I ate was tough and chewy, the marrow was like chewing on raw fat, it just never dissolved. It was as if I had a giant slimy booger that wouldn’t break down into something I could swallow. Now I’ve not had marrow very often, but this wasn’t right and made me feel a little queasy. So I ate the bits that were okay, which were mostly un-identifiable. Generally you would expect to find some potatoes, but I think they added left over mash, and if they didn’t I don’t want to know what I ate.

Either way, I finished eating by 1:30 and had a nice time chatting with my colleagues around the table. By 1:45 I was worried that I wasn’t going to get my sticky toffee pudding, something I love. I had to go at 2 sharp due to some appointments for work. I asked if it would be possible to get my pudding right away or get it in a box to go, after all I had ordered three days ago, and it was sticky toffee pudding, all you need to do is cut a piece out and put it in a box, it should take all of 45 seconds, tops.

The waitress didn’t seem to understand at first when I said I have to leave, so I told her to just cancel the order, but than she panicked and said she would talk to the chef. Not that this helped. Apparently it takes longer than 10 minutes to put a piece of sticky toffee pudding in a box.

So I left, and after sitting here for a day, I am shocked at just how bad the service and food are in the Bieldside Inn. It is a bit of a shame, it no longer has a pub, it’s a bar, like the kind that plays music too loud and people order fruity drinks instead of pints. It has a dining area as before, but the food is no better, it costs a good 20% more and you might die of old age waiting for your bill.

The one plus is that the bar staff is friendly. I just wish I could get a decent meal, in decent time and not need to remortgage my home. And I want a pub, a place that has a nice selection of lagers and ales and I can feel comfortable in. Why is that so hard?

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