The Northern Quarter favourites have given their menu a big spruce up this week.
For somewhere that’s been open for just over 4 years now, The Pen & Pencil in the NQ have managed to weather all manner of food trends and fads, instead keeping things simple and offering up high-quality pub food that’s perfect alongside a few pints or as a quick treat on a lunch time.
This week has seen the team over there finally released an update of their menu, offering up a large selection of brunch classics, burgers, main courses, sandwiches and new to the table – light bites and hotdogs.
First up, literally and chronologically is the Brunch offering. One of the best things about The Pen & Pencil is that they offer brunch from 10am to 4pm so it’s always a great shout if you’re looking for some breakfast foods later on in the day.
Joining their classic Eggs Pen & Pencil and their Full English are a few brand-new dishes which are certainly well worth a trip down to try. There’s the Californian Breakfast (£9.00); a dish of streaky bacon, guacamole, grilled tomatoes and poached eggs, all served on a large hash brown with melted cheese on top.
Another new addition is the Hangover Hash (£8.00) a couple of fried eggs on a breakfast hash of BBQ beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, sausage and sautéed potatoes.
They’ve also added a Vegetarian Full English (£10.50) and even a Vegan Full English (£10.50) both of which offer up something a bit different than your usual meat-filled breakfast. In particular the Veggie Breakfast is a winner – with falafel sausages, lashings of halloumi cheese, beans, poached eggs, hash brown and mushrooms.
Moving on to the Mains now and this part of the menu has had a considerable re-jig – introducing a range of dishes inspired by world cuisine. There’s the always reliable Honey Mustard Steak (£10.50), a Chicken & Chorizo Risotto (£11.00) and a superb Wild Rice Salad with Garlic Chilli Prawns (£10.50).
As mentioned earlier, The Pen & Pencil have added hotdogs to their menu and with 3 on offer – no matter what mood you’re in – there’ll be one for you. There’s the Classic dog (£9.00), a Bacon Wrapped dog (£10.50) and a Chilli Cheese dog (£11.00) – which was my personal favourite by far.
With their sandwiches there are a couple of new additions in the form of the Californian Club (£8.50); a triple stacked butty with grilled chicken, streaky bacon, omelette, avocado and tomatoes, and the Spanish Chicken (£8.50) with chicken, chorizo, roasted red peppers, red onions and a delicious smoked paprika aioli.
Finally, The Pen & Pencil have also added a selection of ‘Light Bites’ to the menu, smaller dishes that are perfect for sharing or for when you’re having a few drinks and need some grub to soak up the ales. There are some fantastic Homemade Nachos, Crispy Shell Tacos, Deep Fried Halloumi and some outstanding Chilli Cheese Fries. All are around the £5/6 mark and all of them are banging.
So there’s a lot there to be getting on with. There’s no denying that the new menu is huge – and there’s tonnes to try. In fact, there’s SO much here that I’m certainly going to have to get down and give them all a try. I’m going to starve myself for a week or so and then head down for a review. Watch this space.
The Pen & Pencil New Menu – Available now.