We first visited The Beagle when it had just opened, and felt it didn't really have it's own identity. The food wasn't brilliant and the atmosphere was a bit non-existent. Russ Abbot would have hated it. That's a while ago now, so it was probably about time we gave it a second chance. The minute I walked through the door on Saturday, I knew things were different. It's a bit like the owners of the new house have lived there for a bit now, and stamped their personality on it. They've collected stuff, and it feels a little more lived in.
It was really hot, so we decided to sit in the pleasant glass orangery at the front of the building, which was also an excellent people watching spot! Menus were brought swiftly, closely followed by the lovely Anneka with drinks.
I had a good old Fentiman's ginger beer, whilst my husband opted for two of his faves; a Beavertown Bloody 'El and a Squawk IPA.Nachos with nacho cheese: I'd battled the seventh circle of hell which was Manchester packed with drunk pre-Parklifers, so decided to treat myself to some liquid cheese. Don't judge me, you didn't get accosted by a boy in a straw hat wanting to know the quickest route to Wetherspoon's.
Homeslice chicken bucket - three pieces of buttermilk fried chicken, four wings, fries, slaw and BBQ and chilli sauces: My husband declared this chicken better than the stuff he had at Pies n Thighs in New York. In fact, he could not recall better fried chicken. This is very high praise indeed from someone who is rarely this impressed by anything! That spicy coating was inducted into my 'what could you just have' bank.
Big beef chilli - beef brisket and black bean chilli, finished with spiced butter and Mexican rice, served in a nacho bowl served with salsa, sour cream, refried beans and cheese: This was so smokey and rich, with big chunks of tender brisket. If you like a flavoursome chilli, I urge you to try this. I'm cursing myself now for being such an incredible lightweight and only eating about half. Look at it... it's shiny and bright and delectable. It made me very happy.
Churros with chocolate sauce: If I see them, I have to have them. Churros are one of my favourite desserts ever. Who doesn't love a doughnut stick covered in cinnamon? Perhaps someone who is dead inside. The only thing that could have improved these would have been a shedload of golden caster sugar when they're fresh from the fryer... That's a true pig talking right there.