A local pub should be the centre of the community but in many places that community spirit is dying out and pubs are closing down. This can not be said about The Powder Monkey, Wallsend. It is a thriving bar, part of the Sizzling Pubs chain, and very much part of the local community. In total there are 217 Sizzling Pubs across the country, from Aberdeen to Plymouth, so there is probably one near you. You will find The Powder Monkey integrated into a housing estate, just off the main road. There is parking at the back and tables at the front so you can sit outside if it is sunny.
The Powder Monkey is also very family friendly, serving a good range of food at a reasonable price. It is a great place to take the family for a relaxed evening meal, enjoying a chat over your food. Recently the advent of Spring also brought the new Spring menu to The Powder Monkey and other Sizzling Pubs and I was invited to come along and try it. My son came along as well to give his expert opinion of the new menu.
Food is served between 12.00 and 21:00 and as well as starters, mains and desserts there is also a lunch deal of sandwiches, wraps or a jacket potato with a drink. We were there for our evening meal. It took us some time to decide what to have, there is so much on the menu. The first thing we noticed that there are different deals for different nights, we were there on Wednesday which was Chicken Club night. The place mat showed the different deals that were available. Thursday is Grill night and Friday is Fish Club, and on Mondays kids eat for £1 when you buy an adult main meal. There is a separate kids menu, but my son is now a bit old for this. If you like a dessert it is buy one get one free on Tuesdays.
The bar is pleasant inside, with plenty of seating. To order your meal you need to go up to the bar and you are given a number to place on your table. The table settings and a range of mustards, ketchup, salad creams and mayonnaise are then bought to your table in advance of the food.
I am a great fan of the Sizzling Skillets, where the food arrives on a cast iron dish placed on a wooden stand and it sizzles at the table. The Spring menu has lots of new Sizzling skillets added like Sizzling Fajitas, Sweet Chilli and Chicken skewers and Chicken and Black Bean, which is served with noodles. For my main meal I choose Mighty Mexican Fajitas. This also happens to be one of the Ultimate Plates, larger meals for the very hungry. It was a bit like a Man versus food challenge. As well as a mixture of rump steak and chicken breast, with onions and peppers there was also a side plate with the wraps and toppings. I love the way it sizzles on the way to your table so you know that your meal is coming.
The toppings were cheese, salsa, guacamole, jalapeño peppers and sour cream. I chose to add a bit of everything to a wrap and eat it. I have to say it was gorgeous and very filling. I did manage to eat most of it as I had not had much lunch.
I was expecting my son to go for the Triple Decker Deluxe Burger as he had been looking at it as it was served to others. The burgers are all served with a free drink as they are part of the drinks deal. He actually went for one of the Pub Favourites and chose a Steak and Bateman’s Ale Pie.
He said that the pie was delicious and he really enjoyed it. I noticed that you can get two pub favourites for £7 all day Monday to Friday which is really good value. It was also interesting to learn that all the staff try everything on the menu before the new menu goes live. This means if you are struggling to choose what to eat you can ask and will find out exactly what the meal is like.
The new Spring menu also includes a range of new desserts so we had to give these a try. My son chose a Rhubarb and Cherry Sponge Slice with custard which he said was delicious, but a little too small for him!
I opted for a Summer Berry Sundae, thinking this would be quite light after the large main course. A very large dish arrived at the table. It was lovely and the little bits of meringue in the dish worked really well with the berries.
We were very happy with our food and would definitely go back again. The atmosphere is relaxed and family friendly, the service was good and the food is excellent value for money. You can find your nearest Sizzling Pub at www.sizzlingpubs.co.uk
Tyne and Wear,
0191 234 3709
You may also be interested in our visit to the Brewers Fayre at Dunelm Ridge, Durham for Sunday lunch. If you would prefer eating out in the country then Twice Brewed Inn is a lovely pub situated near Hadrians’s Wall that is worth a visit.
Disclosure: We dined as guests of The Powder Monkey, Wallsend.