No Wonder the Nation is Obese
From time to time we take the family for a cheap lunch at a local pub and The Reservoir is one such eatery that we visit. The Reservoir is one of 159 Fayre and Square pubs in the UK, operated by the Spirit Pub Company and offering good value pub meals. However, when we visited last week we were surprised to see that Fayre and Square has a new menu for the Spring (and maybe the Summer) and it has gone all BIG! Big Breakfasts, Big Pizzas, Big Hot Dogs, Bigger Burgers - everything is BIG and everything is American. The new menu will certainly appeal to those that are BIG, want to be BIG or have given up their diet because they are BIG. You can start with the Onion Ring Stacker, followed by The Devil Dog - featuring a 12inch long sausage or maybe the 16oz Horseshoe Gammon Steak. If that is not for you, how about the Giant Rack of BBQ Ribs or Chicken New Yorker and they all come with piles of fries! Gone are the calorie controlled meals like the Thai Chicken Curry, a particular favourite of mine. There are now only three dishes that are advertised on the menu as being 'under 600 calories' - American Salad with Beef, the same with Chicken or the same with Prawns.
Are we becoming an off shore island of the USA as far as our food is concerned? I hope not, but perusing the new menu was reminiscent of my last trip to Florida - big portions of fast fried food everywhere. Even the desserts are gigantic mounds of piped cream, brownies and waffles - the Millionaires Shortcake Sundae, or the All Time Fun of the Fayre Sundae at only £9.99. What about the Mega Cookie Dough Pizza? I do think that these chains like Fayre & Square, have a responsibility to offer a wider choice of calorie controlled food to give customers a genuine choice and adopt a responsible attitude to the growth in obesity in the UK particularly amongst our young people.
My wife and I had no choice last week but to go for the American Chopped Salads and I must say they were just okay - lots of fresh chopped lettuce and a few slices of tomato with well cooked chicken and tasty prawns. But we wont want a salad on every visit and there is no other healthy dishes, so we will not be visiting for sometime to come and we wont be taking our children and grandchildren again as we do not want them exposed to such massive portions of fried food. We care about them more than that. Sadly, the Reservoir is also a 'Wacky Warehouse' pub, like another 73 of the Fayre and Square establishments, so you would expect a onslaught of children during the summer months. I hope parents will think again before putting such large portions of fatty food at their kids temptation.
There is little doubt from what I saw arriving from the kitchen, that Fayre and Square pubs will need to strengthen their tables and chairs over the coming months, as the weight of food on the new menu and the weight of the clients consuming them will certainly increase!