on February 11, 2012
After visiting the Tate, we were ready for lunch. As part of our rather 'cheapskate' day out in Liverpool, we decided to take up a great offer at the Pumphouse, one of the heritage buildings in the Albert Dock. It was built in 1870 and the building was – as the name suggests – the pump house for the docks. Its most striking feature is the tall round chimney which rises high above the rest of the building. The inside of the pub has been very nicely renovated. It's spacious and airy with a lot of exposed brick work, old stone floors and wooden furniture. The place was nearly empty when we went in but we were quite late for lunch service so that wasn't surprising. We took a table near the window and had a good look at the menu. We'd seen the sign outside the pub offering sandwich, chips and a drink for £5 which seemed like a very good deal. I expected nothing too fancy – just a bog-standard two slices of bread with a slice of something in between. Consequently when we saw the list of rather exotic sandwiches on the menu, we were confused about whether these were included in the deal. My husband went off to confirm and then we set to the task of picking from the options.My first instinct had been to go for the fish finger sandwich. Truly there can be few things better than an FLT (fish finger, lettuce and tomato sandwich) but it's something I can easily knock up at home. I don't eat meat so a few of the sandwiches were not possible for me but surprisingly there were some really got vegetarian offers. It was a tough choice between a grilled halloumi ciabatta and a hummus, pesto, red pepper and rocket flatbread. I'd been expecting something rather more down to earth – cheese or egg – so I was really delighted with these. I eventually chose the halloumi chiabatta and my husband went for the fish finger sandwich. We both ordered large diet cokes.The food arrived after about 15 minutes and we were both really surprised at the quality. I'd assumed that the fish fingers would be frozen ones but instead they were hand cut and battered and served with lemon mayonnaise and a heap of freshly cooked chips. My halloumi ciabatta had pesto on the bread, sliced tomato and red onion as well as a very large amount of gorgeous salty grilled cheese. The were more chips than I'd expected and a small side-salad.Halloumi is a wonderful squeaky cheese but the portion was a bit too generous for me. Perhaps the gap between my expectation of something dull and rather mean and the actual generosity of my enormous sandwich meant I had rather more than I needed and I wasn't able to finish it, even though it was excellent. My husband liked his fish fingers so much that he took care to polish them off before I could attempt a 'swap' which was probably very wise.Ten pounds for two generous sandwiches with fries and two large cokes was a real bargain. If we go back to the Albert Dock we'd eat here again.
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