Iain Lynn goes on the hunt for a new local before he moves to Euxton and is pleasantly surprised with the Railway Tavern.
We’re moving house and, I have to say, the whole experience is a bit stressful.
Firstly, I’ve lived in my current house for almost 20 years.
This means 20 years of the same neighbours, 20 years of the same takeaway, but, most importantly, 20 years of the same local.
I’m not afraid of change, but it is nice to know what to expect sometimes. So when the future Mrs Lynn decided we were moving as her commute was getting a bit out of hand, I was struck with a mild feeling of panic.
And while she researched train lines and motorway junctions, I decided to calm my fears and did a bit of research myself – into a new local. I was relieved to discover I was within walking distance of a number of new sources of amusement and mild diversion, the nearest of which being The Railway in Euxton.
There were cosy booths with individual TVs for the footy, signs of real ale at the bar, and a gentle railway theme, including fully functioning overhead train set.
If only it could be adapted to bring the condiments....
With an eye on my future drinking arrangements, I clocked a pleasant looking beer garden on the way in, and made a mental note for upcoming summer evenings.
So one Saturday evening, after choosing kitchen units, we called in for a meal.
The pub was quiet, but there were a few diners.
The Railway had recently been reviewed in this very newspaper’s pub guide, and my learned colleague found some of the real ales unavailable, and some not to his tastes.
On this occasion, too, the barman warded me off my initial choice as it might be a little cloudy. Top marks for honesty.
Food-wise, the starters were generally conventional – king prawns and breaded mushrooms, but there was one anomaly – Brachos (£5.95).
These are tortilla chips, with Welsh rarebit and baked beans for dipping. The topping, peculiarly, was ham, cheese and tomato. With a little apprehension on our part, the giant plate arrived, with an equally sizeable dish of cheese sauce – the Welsh rarebit. My girlfriend dived in and took a big scoop of the cheese sauce on a salty tortilla chip. The strange concoction was actually delicious, and she decided to try and get a vat of the sauce on the way out to make a tasty mac and cheese with at home.
Fine dining it isn’t, more student fare, but very good, and sure to be a big hit in the vaults to accompany the footy.
While waiting for our mains a few more diners arrived, making a bit more background noise in what is essentially a snug and comfortable dining room.
For the main course I chose a slow-cooked lamb shank (£11.50), served in a rich ale and onion sauce, with mash and veg.
I wasn’t sure if the shank would be slow cooked as stated, but when I tasted it the meat fell off the bone, the gravy was delicious and the mash quickly polished off.
My dining partner chose the wild boar and chorizo burger (£8.95), topped with cheese and Pedigree horseradish sauce. It came with chips, onion rings and coleslaw.
The sauce was incredibly moreish and, after pouring it on top of the tasty burger and a few dips of the onion rings, it was gone, so we asked for more – it was that tasty.
The burger was juicy, the bun fresh and the coleslaw tasty, and again, ideal pub food. Although we were totally stuffed by this point, the desert menu did look appealing. We decided to share an apple crumble with ice cream (£3.95).
The crumble was crunchy and the apples sweet and tinged with cinnamon – a great pudding and a big portion.
So with rounder stomachs and wallet lightened to the tune of £42, we alighted The Railway, reassured of a tasty meal choice and decent sport-watching venue near our new home.