The Cross Keys, 6-8 Lairgate, Beverley, HU17 8EE.
The Cross Keys is a J. D. Wetherspoon‘s pub on Lairgate in Beverley town centre on the one way system. There is parking nearby in Market Place, but this is only a short stay pay and display car park. There is also some on street parking in the area, which is a bit cheaper than the Market Place car park.
The pub itself is in a Grade II listed building that dates back to the mid 18th century. It gives the impression of being a bit more upmarket in its overall appearance than many pubs in the Wetherspoon’s chain. There is a beer garden to the rear side of the pub, but the pub itself is a bit on the dark side. There are windows at the front and at the back near to the bar, but the middle section has to have the lights on even during the day, as there are no windows in that area and not enough light reaches it.
The pub was visited late on a weekday lunch, and was very quiet when entered and even quieter when it was left. On different days Wetherspoon’s have different club food deals available; on a Thursday it’s the Curry Club, but the food ordered was from the main menu. As with all Wetherspoon’s pubs, on entering you find a table and then go to the bar to place and pay for your order. The food is brought out to you when it is ready, and if more food or drinks are required, another visit to the bar is required. Cutlery is brought out with the food, wrapped in a paper napkin, and bottled condiments are available in a tray. Wetherspoon’s pubs also have a range of craft and world beers available, some of them on tap.
Two drinks were ordered, a Diet Pepsi and a San Pellegrino Blood Orange. With the food order chosen, one non-alcoholic drink is included in the price and an alcoholic drink is available for an extra £1. The San Pellegrino comes in a can and is served in a World Beer glass with ice and a slice of orange. The Diet Pepsi is draught, but could be upgraded to a pint in size if required. The San Pellegrino was nice and the Diet Pepsi was as good as can be expected from a draught drink.
The main course ordered was the Fried Buttermilk Chicken Burger. This is a whole escalope of chicken breast that has been breaded and is served in a bun with crispy lettuce, slices of red onion and slices of tomato, with a portion of chips. An extra chicken escalope could have been had for an additional £1.25, but this was declined.
The chicken was a decent piece and it had been cooked perfectly, not too much, with the breadcrumbs just right. The salad and bun were both fresh too. If there was a problem it was with the chips, as they were not quite hot enough. They weren’t cold, but weren’t piping hot either.
This was a slice of Eli’s Salted Caramel Cheesecake. This could be had with an optional scoop of vanilla ice cream for £0.65, which was purchased. A decent cheesecake and nicely filling.
The total price of the meal, including the two drinks and dessert, came to £8.78, which is quite reasonable. The food was all brought over very quickly; it may have been off peak when it was ordered, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into quick service. Both courses were brought out within a few minutes of ordering them, and the used plates were also cleared away quickly, a level of service that is better than the usual at this chain.
Very unusually, the server took the dessert order from the table, and would have actually taken the money as well, but this wasn’t possible as a non-contactless card was used. One of the biggest disadvantages when dining alone at Wetherspoon’s is the need to leave your table to order anything, due to the lack of table service. This would have been very helpful, and is a definite first. There was a problem with the table, which was quite wobbly, and gave the danger of spilling the drinks.
The Cross Keys did serve a decent quality lunch meal for a very competitive price, and is definitely recommended if you’re in the area for an affordable lunch that’s a step up from fast food.