The Grill Pit, Wakefield – Restaurant Review
The Grill Pit, Wakefield
by Steve Crabtree / @stevecrab
After a busy day of Christmas shopping; it’s now a quiet, chilly Sunday evening in Wakefield. So, what could be better than dropping in somewhere for food and drink, a few hours before heading to a gig in the town?
Tonight, it’s The Grill Pit, situated on Bull Ring that’s calling our name.
We head through the door to get out of the cold, and we’re welcomed in with a warm smile by Gemma, who seats us and hands us a couple of large menus. She explains, with much apology, that after a busy daytime service, there are a small number of dishes that aren’t available tonight, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem – we’ve still got a substantial choice.
“A rustic American meat-fest of a place”
The Grill Pit in Wakefield is like a rustic American meat-fest of a place. Wooden-top tables, exposed brick, brushed steel fixtures… and the American soft rock that’s on in the back ground gives you that feel that you get when you see US meat lovers eating in diners in films.
We order two beers, and study the options on the menu.
It’s a meat lovers’ paradise, but I noticed there’s a seafood starter. So I decide to go slightly against the grain and plump for the Seafood Bites to start (£5.95). These consist of Popcorn Shrimp, Salt and Pepper Squid & Cod Goujons with a tartar sauce. My friend opts for the Mini Hot Rods (£4.95), which are three chicken skewers, marinated in piri-piri sauce and served with rocket salad and soured cream.
There are a few other diners in here tonight, some couples and the odd group of four. It’s a good, fuss-free and friendly atmosphere.
Our starters arrive and they’re hot. The fish choice is cooked very well, and there’s lots of it. The Salt and Pepper squid is particularly nice. My friend mentions how tasty his starter is too, and they’re as tender as they look on the plate. So far, we’ve been nicely fed.
Looking around the room there are lots of offers and specials available; including a ‘Man vs Food’ challenge. For £25 there’s a hell of a lot of meaty stuff for you to try and consume, with Yorkshire puddings on the side and half a litre of gravy to consume! A picture board shows that many people have tried and failed the test, but there are a few who’ve completed it and got their food for free.
When the main courses arrive, our eyes nearly pop out. The huge, messy burger that I’m a big fan of has landed in front of me and I’m in my element.
My friend has picked The Boston (£ 9.95), the House burger with cheese, smokey bacon, BBQ sauce and fried onions. The Little Piggy (£ 12.95) took my fancy, which is similar to the Boston, but with the added attraction of Pulled Pork.
But as always… does the taste live up to the look?
We cut our dishes in half and take a quick peek. A perfectly cooked, fresh patty; a well-constructed burger, and a brioche bun as its top and tail. Grease free too, which is great.
And from the first bite it’s perfect. The succulent meat makes it, and the balance of the bacon and cheese is spot on. But the pulled pork… what a touch! A perfect topping, that combines well with the bbq sauce.
The chips are presented in a miniature chip pan, and the accompanying sauces provide a tasty dip.
“A huge compliment”
It’s a substantial meal of epic proportions, and my friend finishes his with much delight. Me? I’m defeated! I just can’t manage the final little bit of it, and I’m replete. Or stuffed. Whatever term you prefer. I think that’s a for me as well when it comes to a fantastic burger. That’s a huge complement to The Grill Pit.
We rest our stomachs for a good quarter of an hour or so, and finish our drinks. We politely decline a desert for the obvious reasons, but I’ll be making a journey here again to sample some of that.
Before we leave, we steal a few minutes with the lovely Assistant Manager Emily. We’d hoped to pop downstairs for a drink in their Bar Jocks Cavern bar, but unfortunately it isn’t open tonight. Her knowledge on the place, and the surrounding area is fantastic though; she’s told us enough to make sure we go back there for a drink another time. She points us in the direction of a couple of other bars to try this evening before our gig though.
We’ve had a great evening here at The Grill Pit. We’ve had great food, in a lovely environment, and the service from the staff here has been absolutely perfect.
If you’re hungry – REALLY hungry – give this place a try.
The Grill Pit, 5-7 The Bull Ring, Wakefield, WF1 1HB
Mon – Fri 12pm-2pm & 5pm-9.45pm
01924 360 476