Market Cross Pub, Carlisle, Pa

Our Sunday afternoon lunch was eaten at the Market Cross Pub, again, just ahead of restaurant week.

I let him order and we had the bruschetta appetizer, along with two shantys. I’d never had a shanty before, but it grew on me as we ate. The bruschetta looked great, see?

wpid-img_20140803_130941_097.jpgwpid-img_20140803_130915_218.jpg

It was different from any I’ve ever had, having mushrooms in it, and since I like mushrooms, I quite liked the addition. Also, the balsamic glaze was one of the best I’d had. This set the bar for the rest of the meal quite high.

He filled the table, though it was a small one, with a shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and a pub burger with Stilton cheese. Two of the three came with mashed potatoes, but they were thick and not my preference. The shepherd’s pie actually had lamb in it and a blend of savory spices, completely different from what I was expecting.

The Stilton cheese on the pub burger was a new experience for me, and I quickly learned that I don’t care for it on my burger. Once I removed it though, it was a pretty good burger, though we’ve made better ones at home. They do get credit for properly cooking it though, a lovely medium rare.

My favorite was the bangers and mash, two sweet sausages with a brown ale gravy, again, not the potatoes so much, but I do like a good sweet sausage.

All in all, a good experience, food could have been a little better, service wasn’t too bad and the atmosphere was unique, I’d not been in a pub before.

 

The Gas Light Grille, Carlisle, PA

Friday night, just before the official start of restaurant week, we went out for dinner and were attracted to the outside patio at the Gas Light Grille. The weather was lovely and we were excited to sit out in it and eat great food.

We ordered the special appetizer of the evening, a crab dip, along with a golden margarita. The drink arrived first and we found it to be excellent, with quite a range of flavors. This made us all the more excited.

We chatted with our waiter a little and he said they’ve a new chef, one of several lately. The owner is looking to move towards a whiskey rebellion style menu soon.

He ordered a pub burger and I the chicken margarita sandwich, and they arrived before the appetizer, which our server brought with apologies, saying he’d been unaware that the chef had needed to make a fresh batch. It was the first disappointment of the evening, having a very strong fish flavor to it. We sent it back and turned to our sandwiches, trying to stay optimistic. It looked tasty.

wpid-img_20140801_203101_488.jpg

However, even after liberally salting the chicken, I had a hard time finding it in my bites. His pub burger was slighty over done, more of a medium then the medium rare he’d requested, and he didn’t care for the texture.

Add to all this that, though no fault of the restaurant, there were other diners smoking on the patio, we couldn’t wait to leave and asked for our check. We were further disappointed to learn that the crab dip hadn’t been removed from the bill, the explanation being that since it was only our preference that disliked it, we would have to pay for it.

We paid and left, planning not to return anytime soon. Maybe we will be tempted to try the new menu when it comes out, but that’s a pretty big maybe.