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Toby Carvery at The George - West Worthing
Member Name: madeindevon
Date: 23/04/13, updated on 23/04/13 (180 review reads)
Advantages: Eat as much as you want
Disadvantages: Eat as much as you want, as long as it is not meat
On Good Friday this year we decided to go out for a family meal. Like many other families it can be so awkward choosing what to have and where to go as everyone has different ideas and preferences.
My "children" are now in their twenties, so I am pleased to say that the days are gone where to go out for a meal automatically means a Burger or a Pizza - these are tasty and nice, but when you want to sit down together and not eat junk food, but eat something sensible, filling and tasty - quite an easy criteria to fill, but when you want to take the price into account too and have something that is within a budget that will not break the bank then my personal opinion is that you cannot beat a carvery meal.
We have been to Toby Carveries in the past, but unfortunately where we live we do not have one nice and local to us, in fact I didn't have a clue as to where one was, so we went online and looked it up.
The website is www.tobycarvery.co.uk/ and when you go onto their web site you can click on the location finder, where you put your own postcode in and it tells you where your nearest Toby Carvery is, it also has a link to a map where you can get directions to the restaurant.
Our nearest one was The George in West Worthing. The web site showed us exactly where the restaurant was and that there was parking available.
I don't know about you, but when I go out for a meal I like to try to plan what time I get there and how busy it is likely to be. We aimed to arrive at about 2pm, thinking that as it was a bank holiday the lunch time would probably be very busy, but to go when the lunchtime rush had died down a bit we hoped that there would still be plenty of fresh, hot food being put onto the carvery.
When we arrived, we first thought that the parking area was very small and we would not be able to park, but fortunately as well as parking at the front of the restaurant, if you turn to the side of the building there is also parking at the rear. Perfect, no problem, we were able to park. I did notice that the car park was nearly full and when I looked around the area you could see that the restaurant was situated in the middle of a large local shopping area, (Not high street shops but plenty of local shops) and the roads alongside had plenty of cars parked all round - now bearing in mind that the day we visited was a bank holiday - this meant that most of the local shops were closed. I would imagine that on a normal week day, if the car park was full up then it could be a problem trying to park near the restaurant.
The car park is flat and there are two different doors to get into the restaurant, I did notice that there were not any steps, so it would be safe to say that you wouldn't have any problems in getting a wheelchair or pushchair in and out of the building.
The George obviously used to be a large, local pub that has been converted into a public bar and a restaurant, when you arrive you stand at the entrance to the restaurant to wait to be seated. At the area where you wait there were menu's, so we had a quick glimpse to see what was on offer, (not sure why really though, as we were all thoroughly looking forward to our Roast dinner - I have to admit though that I do like to read a menu - just in case I think I am missing something!)
We didn't have to wait more than a minute or two when a nice young lady came and took up to our table, we were guided up a few stairs to a raised seating area, although there were only a few steps, this would not be suitable for disabled guests, although to be fair there was plenty of seating available that was not up the steps.
We were shown to a table for four people by the window. My impression of the restaurant at that point was that it was clean and pleasant, although the decor was looking somewhat tired and a little shabby, I would say that The George could probably do with a bit of a makeover/refurbishment.
The waitress left us with the menus and took our orders for drinks. My hubby and I each ordered fresh orange juice and our "children" ordered Cokes.
We toyed with the idea of having a starter, the prices were very reasonable and ranged from £1.89 to £3.59 - the choices being Cheesy Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad, BBQ Chicken Wings, Prawn Cocktail, Soup of the Day or Caramelised Red Onion and Goat's Cheese Tart. I have to say I was very tempted, particularly as someone on a nearby table was eating the Goats Cheese Tart, but we all decided not to - as we wanted to do justice to the roast.
Of course, if you did not fancy the carvery, there were other options to chose from, "handmade" Toby Pies - Turkey and Gammon in white wine sauce pie, Beef and Theakstons Ale Pie or Pork and Honeymustard sauce Pie. (I do find the "handmade" title misleading though, as I am happy to stand corrected, but do not think that the chef in the kitchen of The George has made these pies!
The standard price for the Carvery is £5.99, which gives you a choice of Honey and Mustard Glazed Gammon, British or Irish Beef, Turkey of Apple, Honey and Cider glazed Pork. For £5.99 this is a perfect price, the menu tells us that for an extra £1.50 you can upgrade to "king size" and have extra meat, extra Yorkshire pud and two chipolata sausages - I did wonder if my hubby and son would be tempted to upgrade, but they didn't! For vegetarians you can order a met free carvery, an Aubergine Lasagne, Broccoli and Brie parcel, Nut roast, Sage Roasted Squash bake - also available on the menu was a Chicken Caesar Salad or a Salmon fillet.
We ordered the Carvery from the waitress and was told that we could go up to the serving counter as soon as we were ready. It was a little busy there at that time, and as we were sat in a spot where we could see the server perfectly we sat back for a little while.
It was whilst waiting for the queue to go down that we became more aware of the seating arrangements. Around the edge of this area were the larger tables and in the middle were the smaller tables, suitable for two people.
Because this restaurant chain is "family friendly" there were quite a few young families taking up the tables around the edge - now this isn't a criticism of the restaurant, although obviously the seating plan could be a bit more sympathetic, but young children are not always known to be the most careful or considerate... the family sat next to us had two young boys who were up and down from the table constantly for one reason or another, they were not badly behaved, just excited really I think - but I did feel very sorry for the two couples sat at the smaller tables in the middle, as everytime these young lads went past they knocked into their chairs. One of these tables was right by the top of the stairs and as the boys went up and down the poor lady sat there had to move her self to sit at the side of the table. Yes, the parents of these children should have taken a little more control most certainly - but also there is defiantly a problem here in that squeezing in that extra couple tables, to make maximum amount of money is detrimental to the comfort of the guests. I would certainly say that there are about five more tables that should be taken away to give space for people moving around.
We joined the queue for our carvery and noted that all the meat looked very fresh, if timing is everything then we had done ourselves proud here! The joints all looked large and hardly cut into, they cannot have been out of the oven for long. I chose Beef, I had Yorkshire Pudding, Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Cauliflour Cheese and some dish that consisted of cooked onions. My husband had the Pork, My son and daughter both chose the Gammon. After helping yourself to all the vegetables you then move over to the other area where there are various sauces, Horseraddish, Mint and Cranberry - and also Gravy, with one of the gravies marked suitable for vegetarians.
We had one grumble, and that was the amount of meat that each one of us was served with - it was tiny frankly - and the same sized portions for each of us, so it wasn't relative as to what meat you chose. A gentlemen in the queue ahead of me asked if that was the standard size portion, as he was obviously disappointed too, and he was politely told yes. I can only assume that since the King Size meal has been introduced then the regular size amount of meat has gone down considerably - which is a shame. Other than that I cannot find any fault in the meal whatsoever, everything was piping hot and obviously fresh. The roast was the nicest roast I have eaten out in a very long time, the rest of my family agreed with me too.
The pork had nice crackling, the beef was slightly rare and the gammon had a beautiful sticky caramelised edge to it - all were cooked to perfection.
The waitress was perfectly charming, the service was great. She offered us the dessert menu and coffee or tea, but to be honest we were full to capacity, which is a shame!
The dessert menu looked wonderful, Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream sensation, Honeycomb Sundae, Mint Choc-Chip Sundae, Berry Yoghurt Sundae, just Ice Cream and sharing puddings, apparently enough for four to share, of Chocolate Sponge or Fruit and Lemon Sponge Pudding, the sharing puddings were £7.99 and the Sundaes ranged from £3.79 - I have promised myself one of these next time!
We left the waitress a tip, as she was very charming and helpful.
In summary - would I go again? Yes I would, but I would always be very aware of where I was to be sat - As long as we can be sat, tucked away in the corner, then we will be happy. The food was lovely - even if a little stingy with the meat.
We paid our bill and practically "rolled" our way to the car!
Summary: Very nice meal.