I've lived in Swindon for many years, but have not eaten in the Crown before.
I and my girlfriend were starving hungry for something to eat today and we'd passed the Crown & its appetizing food menu boards outside many times, so finally we were lured inside to taste the delights on offer!
Drinks & food ordered, table chosen we sat down. I'd pumped for the roast lamb £6.95, my girlfriend... 3 sausages, 2 eggs, chips & beans £6.95 also (yum, can’t go wrong there, apart from having it hot and requesting a clean knife without food residue on it lol)
I, while waiting for the food to arrive was having thoughts of nice succulent slices of prime delicious melt in the mouth carved Lamb & mint sauce, nice big home cooked roast potatoes with some freshly cooked veg & lush thick gravy to make it perfect, maybe a Yorkshire pud too... mmmmm.
About 20 mins later, a young chap arrived to deliver my disappointment, he plonked down a nice clean white plate with an interesting small brown mass in the middle which consisted of... 2 small Aunt Bessie's frozen roast potatoes (luke warm), two small 2mm thin slices of boil-in-the bag so say lamb (luke warm), believe me I know what B-I- the Bag meat tastes like as I've had it many times in my terminally skint days! Topped off with dollop of mash potato & a ball of stuffing?
We had to prompt him for the veg part & mint sauce sachets which arrived some mins later.
My heart sank as I prodded the veg, this consisted of a brightly coloured orange gloop of Swede & carrot/cheap margarine liquidized mix, a few bits of cabbage and 2 ears of broccoli on the side to add colour.
At this point I was angry but very hungry too, so I dived in hoping it would be ok.
It wasn’t, the veg was lost in the swede gloop which was starting to make me feel ill, the lamb was devoid of all taste & texture, the insufficient gravy was probably all it came with in the bag no doubt.
Luckily my girlfriend’s luke warm meal was nice, but too much for her so I gained an extra sausage!
Well, by now having finished, I couldn’t wait for someone to take our plates and ask us how it was. (God I was so ready for this moment!)
The poor unsuspecting waitress asked us how our meal was… I explained how it was in a very colourful manner that made the pub go quiet & her call the manager to our table!
I explained my thoughts and problems with the meal to the manager, the fact that the meat was boil in the bag rubbish and the reason for saying so was because it had NO lamb flavour, tasted like cardboard & was the worst Sunday lunch I’d ever eaten.
She denied my accusations of course, stating that the (chef) uses a machine to slice a cooked lamb joint?? (I thought a Stanley knife was the usual tool for slicing cardboard!)
Then, to top it all she said, “Well, what do you expect me to do about it?” The answer I gave obviously was … “You can give me my money back” This, she promptly did.
It’s important to complain if you’re not happy, as so few people do nowadays; we shouldn’t have to pay good money for bad food, I have noticed this is becoming a trend in these difficult economic times, I wont put up with it & nor should anyone else.
It’s so easy… Give us great food and we’ll tell others & come back for more, so increasing profits duuhhh!
And, if the Crown Inn & Arkells brewery get to read this, “Please buy some proper Lamb/Beef joints, carve them yourselves, ditch the ding machine & liquidizer and make your own roast potatoes!!, this will cost you more money but will generate double the takings!
Thank you & good luck to all those hungry hapless motorists that are passing this place on a Sunday around lunch time.
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