April 07, 2009
Hope and Anchor
Yesterday at work, Bruce comes over to me and shows me an ad for a new place in town, Hope and Anchor English Pub. It just opened and he wanted to go check it out, probably because the ad boasted ďthe girls wear the shortest kilts in town.Ē I thought, "hell why not!" He met me at my house after work and we headed off to the pub.
We got there and the atmosphere seemed really nice. It wasnít too loud, there was music, but it never interfered with conversation. They had pool tables, dart boards and TVs, but the sound on the TV wasnít even audible, at least not from where we were sitting.
The menu only had a about a dozen items, but they did have Bangers and Mash, Cottage Pie, Fish and Chips, Scotch Eggs, Cornish Pasties and other English, Irish and Scottish food. Sorry, no haggis! They even had real HP sauce for the pasties! I had the pasties and a Scotch egg. The pasties were good, I was pleasantly surprised. The Scotch egg wasnít quite right. First it was served cold. I feel they are the best at room temperature, but you could tell this was pulled out of a fridge. Then they quartered it. I know they did that so that the patrons would have an easier time eating it, so I can forgive that. However, I donít know what they rolled the egg in, but it wasnít oats. It was some kind of breading. It didnít taste bad, but it isnít a traditional style Scotch egg. Somebody around us got the Fish and Chips and they looked and smelled fantastic.
The beer selection left a lot to be desired. They had Guinness, Bass, Stella Artois, Newcastle, Bud Light, Miller Light and Wood Pecker hard cider on tap. They had a handful of bottled beers, but the selection wasnít much. At least they had some good beers on tap. I couldnít help but to recommend some beers they may want to try stocking to go with the theme. As long as they have Miller Lite, Stella Artois, Guinness and BassÖ Iíll be fine.
Unfortunately none of the staff was wearing kilts. Apparently the girls only wear those on the weekends. Before you ask, we are planning on going back to check it out this weekend. We also had a great bartender, Amy. She was nice, personable and really kept us happy. Even later in the evening when it was just Bruce and I in the place she sat there and chatted with us.
The prices were good too. The average entrťe was under $10.00 and the tap beer ran $2.50 for domestic to $4.00 for import. Thatís pretty standard for Rockford.
On a Monday night it wasnít very busy, but Iím interested to see how it is on a Friday or Saturday. I want to see if the music gets too loud or if it becomes impossible to have a conversation. Also they have a stage for bands to play on, so Iím interested to see what kind of bands they will get. If it keeps up the high impression itís given me, this could move into my top five favorite bars.
Even if I do have to sit under a sign that says "God Bless the Queen" and I'm a Jacobite!