“ Address: Newton Road / Great Barr / Birmingham / West Midlands / B43 6QU / Telephone: 0121 3574777 „
A great place to have a meal, or just a drink, in Great Barr is the Asbury Tavern. I love it because the both the food and atmosphere are fantastic, and my fella loves it because here he can see all the Pay Per View football matches on the umpteen TV sets dotted around the pub.
The pub itself is very open plan inside with tables and chairs seemingly arranged to give the best view of the TV's, it works nicely though because the tables are set out at an angle to the screens meaning there's plenty of room around each table. The aisles are nice and wide too with so there's no elbowing other diners/drinkers as you make your way to the bar.
The menu is typically pub food, all very reasonably priced and usually absolutely delicious. The Asbury Tavern has a long running food promotion where you can buy any two main meals for just £5.95, and as most main meals in the pub cost £4.50 this is brilliant value.
My favourite dish here is the Surf 'N' Turf which is an absolute mountain of a meal and consists of a thick steak, scampi, chips, peas, onion rings and grilled tomatoes. The steak is always cooked to my 'medium rare' specification and retains its natural moistness, without being rubbery at all. The scampi and chips are, without fail, gorgeously cooked; crunchy in all the right places with very little excess grease being deposited on my plate from the food. This meal is served with the nicest tartare sauce I've ever tasted, it's rich and creamy with a delicious tangy aftertaste - a brilliant accompaniment to not only the scampi but also gorgeous when spread thinly onto the steak.
My partner usually orders the Steak & Cajun Combo which is the same as the meal described above, except with a lovely Cajun chicken breast instead of the scampi. I've had this meal a couple of times and the chicken is deliciously spicy with an authentic Cajun peppery flavour. Mark likes his steak well done and it always arrives at the table perfectly cooked and not dry or brittle as steak sometimes is when well cooked. We'll share a couple of portions of garlic bread with our meals; the freshly made garlic baguettes are wonderfully garlicky with a delicious salty aftertaste.
While children are welcomed until 7pm in the Asbury Tavern, there isn't a specific kids menu. When visiting with our daughters' we get around this by letting them choose a meal from the extensive 'Burger Menu'; prices for the burgers start at just £2.95 and they're all served with a pile of chips, salad and a dip of your choice. The burgers are always great; they're large and meaty, served in a sesame seed bun which is as fresh as you could imagine. The kids' love eating here because they know they'll be able to enjoy their favourite junk food without me moaning at them!
For pudding you have to try the North Pole Burger. This is large scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two donut halves and drizzled with chocolate and strawberry sauce - pure sugary heaven! This costs £1.95 so is cheap enough for all of us to be able to sample this delicious dessert.
After eating all this wonderful food, you'll need a drink to wash it down. The Asbury Tavern sells all the big name lagers, spirits and alcopops and has a very good wine menu. Prices are all extremely reasonable, cheaper than the majority of pubs in the area and the 'special price promotions' make for a particularly cheap drinking session. Carlsberg is just £1.54 a pint and selected spirits will set you back £1.55 for a double. Excellent value. The fabulous red House Wine costs £5.10 a bottle, and it compliments any meat dishes perfectly.
The atmosphere in this pub is, in my opinion, quite male oriented which is probably down to the overdose of sports you get whenever you're in eye contact of one of the TV's. We watched most of the World Cup in the Asbury Tavern because despite the fact that it can get extremely busy on match nights, the atmosphere is always friendly in a rowdy kinda way. It's not so loud that children will feel intimidated, but then it's probably not the kind of pub I'd take the family for a celebration.
There's a nicely maintained patio area outside which is lovely during the summer evenings. There are plenty of tables outside and because this is one of the very few places where you can't see a TV, most of the tables are usually either vacant or taken by people with absolutely no interest in football!
The Asbury Tavern is 100% accessible to both disabled visitors and families with pushchairs. Ramped doorways and ultra wide aisle make it easy for anyone with mobility problems to eat or drink here, and there are plenty of designated disabled parking spaces in the large car park.
The Asbury Tavern is located on the main Newton Road in Great Barr directly opposite another fabulous pub restaurant, The Malt Shovel. The two pubs aren't in competition with each other however as The Malt Shovel is primarily a carvery, while the Asbury Tavern specialises in good old fashioned pub grub.
To find the pub, follow the signs for North Birmingham from the City Centre and get yourself onto the A4041 Queslett Road, heading towards a massive Asda store. As you pass Asda the road will change to Newton Road and the Asbury Tavern is located a couple of miles down the road on your left. The 451 West Midlands bus will drop you on the opposite side of the road and there are several private bus companies which run routes along Newton Road.
Tel: 0121 3574777