Eating out: The Chequers, Eriswell

PUBLISHED: 12:49 21 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:54 20 February 2013

Eating out: The Chequers, Eriswell

Eating out: The Chequers, Eriswell

John Seery finds food to spice up your life at the Chequers, Eriswell

John Seery finds food to spice up your life at the Chequers, Eriswell




To hopefully provide a cross section of what Suffolk has to offer for diners this review column has been known to flit from haute cuisine to quick and easy pub food.
Of course, there is a place for the latter, particularly at this time of year, when finances are even more restricted after the festive season and the cold might make you think twice about going out after dark.
You hope too that enterprising places like the Chilli Bar and Grill at the Chequers, Eriswell, survive and face down the threat of closure that seems to befall so many village pubs these days.
Im told the Chequers was once a real community pub; good ales, darts, basic but nourishing food, and the buzz of lively conversation. It seems its still lively but many of the customers (or at least on the weekend night we visited) now come from the nearby American airbases at Lakenheath and Mildenhall.
The interior is bright and new with the option to eat in the cosy main part of the pub, or a well-lit conservatory area at the side.
Whether by coincidence or design there is a Tex/Mex feel to the menu and, according to the pubs new manager Blair Wilson, his speciality chilli has already earned plaudits from local customers.
Beef burgers, Southern fried chicken (the pubs own recipe), baby back ribs (with Chequers spice rub and homemade barbecue sauce), steak, blackened fish, salads, vegetarian options and specials, are also dotted about a menu of simple but appealing dishes.
Blair points out that his ribs, beef and chicken are Red Tractor Farm assured and fish is from well managed fisheries. He should also mention that his pricing is very reasonable with mains around 7 or 8, rising to 12-14 for steaks.
We had to try the chilli (which arrived with basmati rice, corn tortilla chips, grated cheese and sour cream and chives) and sure enough it was just right for a wintery January night rich, meaty and with just enough spicy fire.
Just as good were the juicy beefburgers and chicken burgers enjoyed by our children.
Puddings also received a thumbs up, although my traditional banana split came buried under a mountain of squirty cream and tasted as though it had only just been defrosted.
My slight criticism soon got shouted down by the rest of the table who polished off their banoffee pies and ice cream sundae with satisfied smiles. All desserts are under 5.
Our bill for five people eating two courses each (and supplemented by a Peroni beer, several cokes and two glasses of the house Merlot) came to around 75.
Another plus for the Chequers is the young and enthusiastic staff, determined to make your visit a good one.


The Chilli Bar and Grill at the Chequers, 20 The Street, Eriswell, Suffolk, IP27 9BH. Tel: 01638 533000, www.chillibargrill.com

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