The Spyglass has been a feature of the harbourside in Bristol for quite a few years now. When it first appeared it seemed to offer everything that had been lacking in the centre of town. Good value, tasty food in an interesting setting.
I remember long summer nights when me and a few friends would have some beers on King Street and then queue up for 30-40 minutes for a table. It was ridiculously popular, but there really wasn't a lot like it.
That it is still there says a lot about it's enduring popularity with Bristol diners. But the last couple of times I've been I have been disappointed. Relaxed seems to be edging towards lazy.
On Saturday I met up with a group of friends to celebrate moving back to Bristol after a misguided move to The North. Nice place, but no work.
So we met up and had a few beers and watched the England match in Hort's. Which, by the way, seems to have turned itself into exactly my kind of pub. Big, with a nice mix of people, decent house beers and good guest ales.
After the match we all wanted to eat, and I needed to choose a place that would suit all tastes and all wallets. Particularly mine as it's a few weeks until I get paid (but at least now I have a job!).
After sometime away from Bristol I struggled to think of somewhere which was within easy walking distance of the centre. One of our crowd was on crutches due to a squash injury so we could go to far, and Park Street didn't seem like a good option. We also wanted to stay close to town for a couple more beers after we'd eaten.
The Spyglass was about all I could think off. And, to be fair, it served a purpose. It also served a pretty tragic looking chicken breast to one of my mates. It's all very well putting the main of the main on a plate by itself with accompanying sides, but when that is a chicken breast with a dollop of red sauce on it, you can't help but feel a little bit let down.
I can't honestly say that any of the food was bad. It wasn't. But neither was it particularly good. Why can't anywhere do proper chips!? It's not difficult or expensive and they are so much better than oven chips. My 'Cubano' Burger had absolutely nothing in common in Cuba, but, you know, it wasn't bad.
It wasn't cheap either. Our bill came to about £130 for 5 of us. I think we ended up paying about £27 each, which is way too much for a burger and a beer. Ok, a couple of beers. Maybe three. We had some olives and bread to start as well. But it was far too much for what it was, which I think sums up The Spyglass.
Thinking of eating out in Bristol, read more reviews of Bristol Restaurants.