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Friday lunch times are always kind of a big deal here at It’s Just Nice HQ. So, when pay day coincides with Friday lunch time it’s basically the Daddy of all lunch times, where we all turn into pay day millionaires and behave like something out of the Wolf of Wall Street, throwing money around like it’s going out of fashion. Ok… maybe I’m exaggerating a little (there aren’t any drugs or hookers involved – not at lunch time, anyway!) but being able to go out for an extended lunch, and not having to worry about what you’re spending is one of life’s little pleasures as far as I’m concerned.
For some reason the decision of where to go for Friday lunch always tends to fall to me, and having had Small Bar Bristol on my radar since I read Charlie’s review, it was agreed that we’d give it a bash – after all, it’s just round the corner from us, and it was somewhere new!
Small Bar lives on King Street, just a few doors down from The Old Vic, but don’t be fooled by their name – they’re not particularly small, and occupy two spacious floors, which have been decked out very simply with lots of stone and lots of wood – we all agreed it was very ‘Viking-esque’. On their website their mission statement is ‘to provide the Bristol public the very best beers that the UK has to offer, and provide a bar team who are passionate, approachable and engaging’. Well congratulations Small Bar – you’ve smashed that!
The range of beers is a little daunting if, like me, you’re not cool enough to know much about craft beer. But the team are so flipping lovely that all you need to do is ask, and they’ll give you an in-depth run down of everything on the menu, their personal preferences, and of course , some tasters! All beers are served in 2/3 pint glass mugs, which only adds to the feeling of being a Viking, but there’s a good selection of wine and bottled drinks too. Winning so far…
So the food. OH. MY. DAYS. I can safely say that this was the best lunch I’ve had in Bristol since I first had Meat ad Bread (we miss you Ben!) and it was totally unexpected. I mean, I expected it to be good, but I didn’t know it was going to be quite so mind-blowingly amazing!
I opted for The French Dip sandwich – a big old doorstop style sarnie packed with shredded beef, crispy shallots, and served with a side of Veal Jus (or gravy, to us peasants) which you’re actively encouraged to dunk your sandwich in! Not knowing how massive my sandwich was going to be, I also ordered a side of deep fried pickles and jalapeños, which came with a side of fry sauce. I have no words for the sandwich other than absolutely epic, and fried pickles and jalapeños have now become top of my ‘things I fantasise about when I’m starving’ list.
Other orders on out table included The Coney Island chill dog, the Pulled Pork sandwich, chilli fries and a couple of Veggie Burgers, all of which were raved about.
I won’t pretend to know anything about beer, but I can vouch for the fact that it was delicious – so much so that we all ended up going back after work for more! Rumour has it Small Bar are also going to start brewing their own Bristol brew, so beer aficionados – keep your eyes peeled! These guys clearly know their stuff, so you can guarantee it’s going to be great – much like everything they’re doing already.
So to conclude? Small Bar Bristol – go, go go!