Brits Pub & Eatery: Traditional British food, beer in authentic surroundings
Who can resist the mouth-watering combination of moist, flaky, white fish in a crispy golden batter, nestling atop a generous portion of hot, fluffy chips?
Judging by the crowds feasting on the combo at the British Pub & Eatery on Little Road in Hudson this past week, it’s not necessary to be from the British Isles to appreciate this classic dish.
“We offer a large selection of British food dishes here,” says owner Alan Gold, who hails from Chelsea in London, England. “But it’s the fish and chips and the pub ambience that everyone comes for,” he said.
OK, we’re in America and we know that what the British call ”chips” are called French fries here and what Americans call potato chips, the British call “crisp.” Regardless, nothing can beat the quintessential British dish of piping hot, battered cod with a side of chips on a Friday or any other day of the week for that matter.
Brits Pub & Eatery makes its own “crisps” and serves a bowl of the deliciously crunchy morsels for diners to munch on whilst ponder ing the menu.
The Golds have been at their location on Fairway Oaks Plaza for more than 3 years. Previously, they owned The Cricketers Pub on State Road 52, as well as other restaurants in Dunedin and on State Road 54.
Gold explained that it took them 7 months to modify their current premises to imbue a real British pub atmosphere. The pub has two fireplaces and boasts British memorabilia over its walls — most of which feature the Royal family. The Ladies loo (restroom) is a sight to behold with walls covered in memorabilia of Princess Diana.
“My customers love bringing in items from the U.K. for me to display,” he said. “Every so often, I have to rearrange everything to make room.”
Gold, a radio and tv personality, came to the U.S. some 30 odd years ago when offered a DJ job in Chattanooga. It was there that his wife, Maizie, started their restaurant named Alan Gold’s.
“Although we sold the business, the restaurant is still going strong and it is stilled called Alan Gold’s,” he said.
Gold, who worked for the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) and Radio Brighton, is still much in demand for radio and tv personal appearances and he can be seen playing the turntables at the pub occasionally.
Alan Gold is Pasco County’s finest host. He’s a permanent fixture in the pub and welcomes everyone in the door with his huge smile and typical London personality. He’ll come sit with you, chat and make you feel right at home.
You won’t find newspaper-wrapped fish and chips at this pub though — that’s long been banned by the European Union as being unhealthy because of the ink. Instead, they usually arrive accompanied by lemon wedges — and for local preference, with tartar sauce.
For a true British experience, mushy peas are the classic accompaniment. They’re dried marrowfat peas, soaked overnight in water with a little baking soda. Then they’re simmered with sugar and salt and until they go thick, creamy and lumpy green.
“Atlantic cod is the No. 1 choice of fish used (along with hake, haddock and pollock), because it’s moist, flaky and sturdy enough for the deep-fryer,” said Gold. “Cod also has a mild flavor.”
Traditionally, UK chip shops use a simple flour and water mix to make batter, perhaps adding a little baking soda to make it bubble and maybe some vinegar. Other favorite recipes include beer or milk to create a tastier batter. But Gold says his pub uses secret, family recipes.
“Those recipes have been handed down by my wife Maizie’s family in Ireland for generations,” he added.
And to wash it all down, the pub has an extensive beer cellar to choose from. There’s have a great assortment of beers, including on tap and of course, Guinness. No other bar in the area fills the missing niche of fairly priced European beers that most residents have probably never heard of or drank before.
Regular customers, Malcolm and Linda Appleby said they eat at the pub regularly and today will be trying the steak pie and chips.
“We come from Oxford in England,” said Linda Appleby. “So having the pub nearby is wonderful.” It’s like having a little bit of home here in the U.S.,” she said.
Although fish and chips is definitely the main attraction at Brits Pub & Eatery, Gold says, customers can choose from among nine fish dinners. Yorkshire pudding is very popular and that’s served with our traditional Sunday roast beef dinner.
“We use authentic British ingredients like Bisto gravy, Worcestershire Sauce and Oxo cubes,” said Gold.
Gold says that for a true experience, the pub always has malt vinegar on the table – its lemony flavor a good contrast to the crispy fish. And, for the connoisseurs, HP brown sauce is available.
Menu items include bangers and mash, (big, fat sausages with homemade mashed potatoes), Shepherd’s Pie, crab cakes, pasties, Colcannon Balls, Scotch Eggs and meat pies, including steak and ale pies. View the complete menu at www.britspubandeatery.com.
Brits Pub & Eatery is open daily and features regular events each evening. Mondays is trivia night, Tuesday for Texas Hold’Em Poker and Wednesday is for darts players. Thursdays and Sundays feature Karaoke and Friday and Saturdays are reserved for live entertainment.
Also, St.Patrick’s Day is celebrated at the pub not only on March 17, but on the 17th of every month, serving corned beef and cabbage and drinks specials.
IF YOU GO
Brits Pub and Eatery is located at 13706 Little Road in Hudson. in the Fairway Oaks Shopping Plaza.
Open daily 11am - 10pm
Bar open Late
Good for groups or parties