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“Nice nuggett”
Review of The Public House

The Public House
Ranked #63 of 721 Restaurants in Norfolk
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: American, Gastropub
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed August 26, 2012

We went here on a whim and we thought the place was pretty good. They had a decent selection of Irish whiskey and some tasty beer selections. The pub burger was outstanding. It was very low key but the service was good as well.

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Thank Eastcoast1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (115)
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104 - 108 of 115 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 2012

I live in the town of Ghent and remember when this used to be Magnolia's Steakhouse so it had been a while but i finally decided to go down and try The Public House. It is a dim light pub which i liked, and i know they have a great selection of beers. I went for dinner with a friend and the service was very slow with hardly anyone in there. I must have asked our Waiter 3 times for water and didnt get it, then when i finally did i was so thirsty i drank in like 5 seconds.
I then asked the waiter later to refill my water - he forgot. I went to the bar, there's two bartneders at the other end not even looking for new customers to tend to, and i stood there for about 7 minutes. I was just like whatever, then my girl friend finally went up there and got some after i sat back down. Now the White Collar Mac and Cheese was delicious and so was hers, i know their food is good and so is their presentation so I couldve gone on a bad night, but it definitely did not make me want to come back.

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Thank Timothy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

We hadn't been to this restaurant since it was no longer Magnolia and became The Public House about a year ago, and decided to combine a dinner visit with a movie last Saturday night. We walked in to what turned out to be a rockin' good celebration of the restaurant's first year anniversary, complete with an 80's band (Three Sheets to the Wind), special drinks ("Try Each Band Member's Specialty Drink"), and just a whole lot of activity. Being party people, but also hungry, we were escorted to the dining room off the main floor, where we could still hear the band but could also (mostly) hear ourselves talk.

The Public House bills itself as a Gastropub, which I'm finding out means many different things to different people. Here, the emphasis seems to be on the pub/bar end of the business, and with maybe a little less emphasis on the gastro/food part. There's a large and impressive offering of specialty drinks and craft beers, and a somewhat less exciting winelist. The beverage of choice among most of the customers that were there with us was a beer of some sort --- lots of fruity drinks, too (my wife has something with fresh blueberries), but I don't think I saw anyone with a wine bottle on the table. Food choices are varied and attractively presented, but mostly seem to be variations on other small plate/pub-type menus we've seen in other places. No particular cuisine seems to dominate the offerings --- although a light touch of the deep fryer is present in many of them --- and the restaurant would never be confused for one of the more eclectic fusion gastropubs we've run into now and again over the last few months. We had their deep-fried bacon-wrapped TaterTots as an appetizer, the barbecued beef ribs, and the mac and cheese (White Collar variety) with fried shrimp, and all were good, but uninspiring. The only real food disappointments were their remoulade sauce (too oily for my taste) and the coconut cake my wife took home for her dessert (dry cake, and no flaked coconut anywhere!).

So the party was fun, the drinks were creative and varied, and the food was pleasant but uninspired. Yep --- sounds like a pub to me.

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Thank RickSchlegel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Surprised by the previous reviews. We're big fans of The Public House, especially for lunch and brunch. As a "mixed" couple (one veg, one omnivore), we have a hard time finding menus that don't make one of us settle for one or two options. This menu is heaven. Favorite is the fried green tomato sandwich, but also highly recommend the chick pea veggie burger (HUGE), the fried pickles and the white collar mac&cheese. They serve sliced apples and pickles as side instead of fries--love that. (Yes, you can get fries, and yes, it'll cost you more. So it's cheaper to eat healthier--what a concept!) For brunch, we're fans of the fried grit cakes and the scramble. And do leave room for dessert. Service is what we'd expect from a pub: friendly and laid back. Servers are very knowledgeable about the beer and spirits. Pub decor, so it's dark, but roomy and comfortable.

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Thank donnadwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

We went based on a review in the Virginian-Pilot. Great veggie burgers.

We arrive and ask for a table. We were offered a very high table and chairs. Two of us are under 5 feet, did not make sense to us. We asked for a table and were put in a middle dining room with very poor lighting.

Waitress gives us menus and leaves. Takes drink orders and we ask for more light. Eventually 2 warm ice teas show up, no sweetner and no more light.

The orders are taken but two people need to change their orders since they are out of
chick pea burgers and club sandwiches. People make another choice. Then the waitress comes out and says there is no romaine lettuce, when we suggest a substitute, we are informed the sous chef was feisty and we did not want to take it up with him.

By now, no one was able to have their first choice for lunch, we had been there for too long with no food.

We left and went to Doumar's. The staff was friendly, the food was in stock and the price could not be beat.

We thought the "House Rules" were a joke, but they express the attitude of the place.

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3  Thank CatsT_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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