Tasty meals at a price that’s right

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Eating Out -

TEA-TIME is fast ap­proach­ing, the relatives have dropped in and stom­achs around the room are rum­bling so loud they could be mis­taken for claps of thun­der.

Hunger is reach­ing high-risk lev­els but the only per­son ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing the cooker is more “Cor­don ur­rgh” than Cor­don Bleu. She has been known to cre­mate chips in her time and can also lay claim to serv­ing the world’s only Tar­mac toad-in-the-hole.

So with no one wish­ing to de­vour an­other road sur­face, we opted to head out in search of sus­te­nance. We needed some­where that could sat­isfy all pal­ettes rang­ing from still-in-nap­pies to OAPs with­out snap­ping the purse strings.

That place was the Har­vester – an es­tab­lish­ment where those who like to eat early are roy­ally re­warded in the shape of gen­er­ous por­tions and even more gen­er­ous prices.

Things didn’t start too well as the two mem­bers of our party who ar­rived ear­lier than the rest were told the could not be seated.

A party ap­par­ently has to be com­plete be­fore they can be given a ta­ble which hardly rep­re­sents a warm wel­come on a midweek af­ter­noon when the place was pretty much de­serted.

Credit where it is due though, and the chain’s su­perb Early­bird pro­mo­tion (which at the time of­fered dis­counted din­ing un­til 6.30pm, seven days-a-week, but has since been ex­tended to 10pm) cer­tainly pulls in the pun­ters.

By the time we left there was not an empty ta­ble in sight and the com­pli­men­tary salad cart was barely vis­i­ble through the gath­ered hordes all at­tempt­ing a Guin­ness Book of Records en­try for the most moun­tain­ous por­tion pos­si­ble with­out spillage.

We our­selves had been there ear­lier af­ter opt­ing to skip starters and tuck straight in to main cour­ses, but we had hardly had time to set­tle back down be­fore our se­lec­tions ar­rived.

There is a fine line be­tween speedy, ef­fi­cient ser­vice and be­ing rushed out of the door. Our party felt what started as the for­mer turned into the lat­ter when a bill was slapped onto our ta­ble with­out request, barely a cou­ple of bites into dessert.

Back to the main cour­ses though, and we were all pretty pleased with our choices which fea­tured melt-inthe-mouth Scot­tish breaded scampi and chips (£5.99), a siz­able and suc­cu­lent gam­mon steak (served with egg, £4.99), a Har­vester burger (£4.99) and a ba­con and cheese burger (£5.99) which were both tasty and fill­ing if a tad on the dry side.

The two lit­tle ones sam­pled the sim­ply pasta and chunky bat­tered fish dishes from the Young Guest op­tions. The pasta came with a large slab of gar­lic bread and the fish, chips and beans went down our youngest child’s neck quicker than Usain Bolt bursts out of the blocks.

Both set us back £3.99, which also in­cluded vis­its to the salad cart.

They were fol­lowed by desserts of sun­dae best (£1) and rasp­berry jelly (50p) which were clearly sat­is­fy­ing but cho­sen from a rather dull and healthy list of just three op­tions.

As for the adults, the Rocky Hor­rors (that’s the desserts not the el­derly mem­bers of our troupe) were ter­rific with cream and soft vanilla ice cream melt­ing over a warm bed of choco­late fudge cake. They were well worth their £2.99 price tag.

Good re­ports were also re­ceived on the le­mon bliz­zard sun­dae (£2.99) which was ba­si­cally a

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