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Meat & Barrel, Southsea

Pub added by E TA
112 Palmerston Road

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Meat & Barrel

In need of a quick bite to eat before heading back to the station for our train home, we decided to give this relatively new craft beer bar a try in the hope to get some decent beer into the bargain. In true craft beer bar style, this is a fairly contrived set-up, with a large open plan interior focussed around a long servery on the rear wall. A series of formally arranged rows of canteen style seating run through the main bulk of the room, with a surprising number reserved on our Saturday evening visit. Some slightly comfier seating can be found along the right hand wall, as well as smaller, more intimate table and chair arrangements. The walls are bare brick for the most part and have been decorated with a mix of modern art pieces, neon signs and breweriana. We sat under the large front windows, which allowed us to do a bit of people watching, but customers were scattered to al four corners of the room, which made the place feel fairly empty. The menu is based around a range of burgers and assorted sides, which we ate from. The food was pretty good and I was full and content afterwards, but found things a bit on the expensive side.
I only noticed two ales on handpull - Saltaire Triple Chocoholic and Raspberry Blonde - but may well have missed further options having had my eye caught by the Triple Chocoholic which is one of my favourite beers and in good nick here. The other half sampled the Raspberry Blonde, which also went down well. The bar has one of those huge, chunky keg dispense units that also appear in the 'Craft Beer Co' chain's pubs, making eye-contact with the bar staff particularly difficult. This font had a good number of obscure and more familiar brews available and I noted a decent bottled beer selection as well. Beer is available in thirds and two-third schooners and tasting paddles are also advertised. I found the staff very friendly and attentive albeit some of them were a bit slow and seemed to still be learning the ropes.
As craft beer bars go, this was a pretty good effort, opting for a smarter look than some of the industrial, gun-metal grey bars you might find in other cities. This was a good place for a decent bite to eat and well kept pint and I think it fills a niche not necessarily catered for elsewhere in the area.

On 16th March 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2494 recommendations about 2494 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Meat & Barrel

Large open plan outlet with a nice galleried wood and windowed exterior running almost the full length of the roadside. Interior is full of the oh-so-now hipster stylings - exposed brick, glazed white tiles, school furniture, RSJ with brewing process stencilled on. The attractive (and original?) herringbone flooring gave a little light relief, as did the cow cuts illustration on the tiles behind the bar. Food is offered and interestingly, the menus are not on the tables but are hung off a wall for patrons to collect at their leisure. At the bar is a huge continuous keg font of the type seen in the States, which contained 18 lines and a combination of safe kegs and a few more newer craft/import beers. Six pumps (two banks of three either side of the monstrous keg font, so take your time before you leap) dispensing four ales on my visit from Weltons, Dark Star (Rockhead) and 2x Saltaire (Raspberry and Triple Chocaholic). My Choc was in decent nick though I usually expect better natural carbonation from a Saltiare pump. 2 quid a half, proving that Southsea is attempting to style itself as some sort of hipster hangout by charging inflated prices. Also noted a large collection of craft cans. All-in-all it’s too clinical for me. I’d rather drink in the nearby Spoons which, on a criteria of being open-plan and selling beer and food, is much cheaper for a similar output.

On 20th February 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about Meat and Barrel

Recently opened in what used to be a Chinese restaurant, this single story corner building is open, airy and has the feel of a school canteen, with its parquet floors and tubular canteen dining tables. The image ends there, though. The décor is centred around exposed brickwork and iron columns, glazed tiles and painted render, while a couple of Chesterfields allow a more relaxed seating style. To obtain food, you order from a clipboarded menu collected from the entrance – a bit naff, and doesn’t really add to the experience. The fare is trendy, over-priced burgers. The real strength of this place is its beer, which is superb. I counted thirteen beers available on tap, a mix of real ales and quality imported beers – no rubbish. There were more choices in bottles but I lost count of how many. The best beer of the evening was Vibrant’s Nova Forresta which really was in excellent condition, while none of the beers we sampled disappointed in any way. Music was a sedate background hum, quite relaxing in a way. The clientele was a mixture of humans, students and bearded trolls, and the overall atmosphere was pleasant, nostalgic and amiable. This novel, lively business is well worth revisiting, and it’s a must for a town crawl.

On 7th September 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2570 recommendations about 2546 pubs]