The Tipsy Cow, Poulton - dining out review: This is my new favourite place to eat - here's why?
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been all that comfortable with the restaurant experience, and I just can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it’s the formality of it all...or it could just be that I’m tight!
This reluctance to book formal restaurants always leaves me searching for quality and affordable alternatives – inevitably I always end up in a steak pub looking through the two-for-one deals.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with steak pubs, but if you’re looking for something between that and a top-notch restaurant, the search can prove difficult.
The good news is, I think I may have stumbled across my new favourite.
I say ‘stumbled’, but the truth is this wasn’t down to me at all.
Friends invited me and my family after they discovered The Tipsy Cow along Breck Road in Poulton last year.
They raved about the great food, modern look, relaxed atmosphere and decent prices – which unsurprisingly appealed to me.
After grabbing a couple of tables in the busy bar area and ordering a well earned round of drinks, our grumbling tummies quickly turned our attention to the menu.
The menu is full of burgers, hot dogs and ribs, which on the face of it all seems like fairly standard pub grub, but you’d be wrong.
Filled with creative titles such as the ‘Big Pig’, ‘Groundhog’ and ‘No Dogs Allowed’ the menu brings an alternative, light-hearted take on these traditional favourites.
The ‘Groundhog’ burger, complete with chorizo and grilled halloumi, caught my eye (£10.50). After all, what’s not to like there?
I expected a pretty standard burger, but was pleasantly surprised when a Tipsy Cow branded brioche bun was presented, containing a delicious beef burger and full chorizo sausage!
My wife, not renowned for her adventurous choices, stunned us all when she ordered the ‘Waffling Bird’ (£10.50).
The unusually named dish consisted of southern fried chicken and bacon, wedged between two baked waffles and smothered in maple syrup, and established itself as her new favourite dish. It may have sounded a bit left field, but she reckoned it was absolutely spot on.
And the kids, well, they went safe with the ‘Classic Dog’ (£7), which did exactly what it said on the tin – a large hot dog in a bun, served with coleslaw and some excellent skinny fries. Just the combination to keep those youngsters quiet for a while!
Those delicious dogs brought our final bill to around £50 – very reasonable for a family of four, plus drinks.
Each dish comes furnished with a pot of coleslaw, side salad, mini-bucket of chips (with the skin on) and if you are ordering a burger, a small pot of bacon jam... yes that’s right, BACON JAM!
Meanwhile, our vegetarian friends had no issue finding something on the menu to suit their tastes, with ‘Mac ’n’ Cheese’ and ‘No Cow’ just some of the many options available.
Aside from the great food, the place itself has been lovingly restored, while maintaining many of the original features of the original structure, including exposed brick walls and tile flooring.
Add to that the contemporary steelwork, real wood tables and chairs, and the sofas for those looking for a little comfort, the venue has an air of quality about it without being over the top or pretentious.
To the rear there is a vibrant outdoor area, which you can certainly make the most of in the warmer months.
During subsequent visits we have struggled to grab a table as it hasn’t always been possible to make a reservation, however, I’ve been reliably informed you can now book ahead on certain days.
What struck me about The Tipsy Cow on my first visit was the attention to detail.
The branded buns, stripped-back brickwork, quality bar and bacon jam, were just some of the touches that help separate this little gem from anywhere else I’d been to in recent years.
The Tipsy Cow bridges the gap between the local restaurants, cocktail bars and the pub chains, with its modern but friendly atmosphere, comfortable surroundings and good grub.
It’s the kind of place you could go for any occasion. It’s casual enough for family, but also good for an informal celebration – and we’ll certainly be getting tipsy there again soon.