Sunday, November 29, 2009

Arcadia, Headingley - Redux


Market Town Tavern's Arcadia in Headingley underwent an expansion in the last couple of months, taking over the unit next door to it. As the best place to drink in Headingley by a country mile, this was welcome news. It's also heartening to see quality being rewarded - pubs may be closing all the time but when things like this happen you realise that some decent pubs, owned by companies with attention to detail and respect for the trade, are doing ok. Plus, it may be controversial but I'm all for a dead-wood clearing exercise.
Anyway, onto the pub. We chose yesterday lunchtime to pay a visit and see what was going on. The usual friendly, relaxed atmosphere and staff remain, as do the tin beer posters and assorted other breweriana (including a gorgeous plate for Goose Island's Matilda that I simply have to have) that adorn the walls. The extension means that both the ground floor and upper mezzanine area have more or less doubled in size, and it's a tasteful job.
Feeling peckish, we noticed that the food menu had been slightly scaled back, and also in price - which was a nice surprise. Given that I rate the Hamburger as one of my top five beer foods, I decided to give the guys a chance to impress with a Blue Cheeseburger. Excellent it was too, a big, rough, meatball-esque burger and a great cheese that started off buttery and then hit you with that sharpness that you need in a blue cheese. A chewy bun, and slices of tomato rounded it off well. My partner's felafels were also given the thumbs up - as were my other friend's Bean Chili.
From a range that included Saltaire's Winter Warmer, TT Landlord and Copper Dragon's Golden Pippin, I gave Vale Breweries' Vale Pale a go; a very much no-nonsense Pale with a decent floral aroma. A nice alternative to Landlord, I thought. Their Wychert Ale had much more depth, with a fruity nose, a tight, creamy head and a treacle/bonfire toffee vibe in the body which aptly fitted the freezing temperatures outside.
We left happy in the knowledge that Arcadia remains improved, and putting the rest of the Drinking - Pits in Headingley to shame.

1 comment:

Alex said...

It's good to hear that the extension hasn't ruined what was my old local (and, in fact, that my absence hasn't affected its bottom line!).

I love Arcadia!