Dreadful experience

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AlexisShields's review of The Barn Owl, Exeter


“Dreadful experience”

Written on: 21/08/2015 by AlexisShields (1 review written)

My wife and I were staying overnight at the adjacent Holiday Inn Express and came here for an evening meal. To say we were disappointed is an understatement; as a vegetarian, I was faced with a choice of either a vegetarian burger or a vegetarian Sunday roast, which would have been a Ricotta, Spinach and Red Pepper tart with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, honey roast parsnips and a selection of seasonal vegetables. I ordered the latter, only to be told a few minutes later that they had no vegetarian option left. I requested a large plate of varied seasonal vegetables with the Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes, but this was not possible as it "wasn't on the menu". I was then offered a vegetarian burger with the usual roast dinner trimmings, which I grudgingly accepted. My wife ordered a roast pork dinner. We had our starters of baked mushrooms with bread, which was perfectly acceptable. After a wait of 45 minutes, during which time other people who had ordered after us had been served their meals, our roasts finally arrived. We then knew why there had been such a long wait; both roast dinners were burnt almost beyond recognition, and had quite obviously been standing in a warming oven for some considerable time. My wife's plate consisted of roast pork, very burnt parsnips, very burnt roast potatoes, two burnt carrots and a pile of watery cabbage with a few overcooked peas mixed in. My plate was similar, except that I had an extremely burnt burger wich had a texture more like a biscuit and I had no carrots at all. Neither of us had any Yorkshire puddings. When we queried this, we were told that "we have run out of Yorkshire puddings". Our response that these could be made simply and quickly using flour, eggs and milk by and cook of even average ability was met with a blank response. Given that we were hungry and tired we attempted to eat what was served, but this proved to be as inedible as it looked. We therefore left our food and refused to pay for the main meals, complaining to our waitress ( who I must say was excellent; she was doing her best in difficult circumstances (other people were complaing as well)). She referred our complaint to her Manager who didn't bother to come and see us but just knocked 25% off the price of our starters and drinks; I'd have been happier with a simple apology. Needless to say I will not be visiting again, and I will certainly be highly unlikely to visit another pub in the Vintage Inns chain. Their claim of a fabulous spread of fresh seasonal food is at the very least incorrect, and at worst downright untruthful. An appalling experience.

  • British

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  • £10-15

    Average cost per head

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