Here is our verdict on the new 'smokehouse' menu at Sheffield pub

A pub in a popular Sheffield suburb has just launched a brand new ‘smokehouse’ menu in time for Autumn, and we went along to sample it.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:56 pm

Located at 3 Crookes, The Old Grindstone came under new management in the form of Will McMahon and Adam Nur in June this year.

As they prepared to welcome customers back to the pub, Will described how the team wanted to make the Old Grindstone as ‘accessible as possible’.

Since reopening the pub, the team have held quizzes, live music events and shown sports; and have now launched a smokehouse menu, which includes a range of vegan dishes.

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Adam Mur and Will McMahon are co-managers of the Old Grindstone in Crookes

My dining companion and I went to sample the menu on a quiet Tuesday evening, when there was a sprinkling of other diners visiting the venue.

We selected our own table, sat down and spotted a QR code present on the table, which when opened, directed you to the True North website and invited you to select a venue.

However, when we attempted to do just that, The Old Grindstone appeared to be the only True North venue that was not present on the list; making me wonder why the QR codes had been added to the Old Grindstone’s tables, given it was not possible to use them to order food or drinks.

Paper menus were not placed on the tables but we found some opposite the bar.

The seitan 'chicken' dish

The ‘smokehouse’ menu features ribs and wings; brisket; half roast chicken; burgers; a range of small plates and sides, as well as a vegan section.

Being vegetarian, I opted for the seitan half roast chicken while my dining companion, initially hoping to order the 24 hour beef brisket, plumped for a similar dish of the 24 pulled pork after being informed the brisket had sold out.

From the small plates and sides section, we ordered some battered frickles (fried pickles) to share.

The food arrived quickly and was served in plastic baskets covered with patterned grease-proof paper.

The side portion of frickles

Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and in my opinion, has the closest texture to meat you can find, which is appealing to me, as someone whose vegetarianism does not stem from a dislike of the taste of meat.

And the Old Grindstone’s seitan chicken certainly delivered in that regard, and had been shaped to look like chicken. It was topped with South Carolina sauce, finely chopped spring onions, red peppers and shredded lettuce and was hearty and delicious. It came with a generous portion of perfectly cooked and well-seasoned fries and was accompanied by small, paper pots of coleslaw and South Carolina sauce.

My dining companion found the pulled pork in a barbecue cherry coke glaze to be ‘well-executed, sweet and smoky with a hint of acidity’ but felt the portion provided was on the small side.

The frickles’ vinegary kick worked really well with the subtle flavour and the texture of the batter, and were served with garlic mayonnaise. A tasty, decadent addition to the meal.

The interior of the Old Grindstone

With an eclectic selection of art and signs on the wall, candles on each table and Brit pop classics playing in the background, the Old Grindstone has a relaxing feel.

The staff seemed friendly and the service was fine.

The cost of the meal for two, with two drinks from the bar, came to £30.50.

The food was simple but pleasing, and while the meat portion could have been bigger, the meal as a whole was good value.

The 24 hour pulled pork
The Old Grindstone has a relaxing feel to it