The Middleton Arms, near Pickering
I am always in search of good pub grub and after discovering recently that The Middleton Arms near Pickering had reopened last autumn after a period of closure, my interest was piqued. I had only dined at the pub once before many years ago for a family Sunday lunch, so I was looking forward to paying another visit. I wasn’t disappointed. The pub boasts a traditional cosy interior with a double-sided log burner, and there is ample seating for small and large parties, I would recommend booking as we appeared to snaffle one of the last available tables even at early doors. By the time we left at around 7pm it was bustling with diners.
Settling down we poured over the menu with its wide range of classics such as steak and ale pie, lasagne, ham and eggs, sirloin steak and scampi and chips.
To start with we ordered potato skins to share, this came with a sweet chilli dip. The potato skins were hand-cut and a good size, they had been deep fried to give a crisp texture and were lightly seasoned with Cajun spices. They were moreish and I could have eaten a whole portion to myself. The dip was thick and creamy - again it was home-made, which makes all the difference – and complimented the spice from the potato skins.
For my main course I opted for the moussaka from the specials board. This came with a side salad with dressing, coleslaw and a warm bread roll. The individual portion was a good size. The mince was light and I could taste a hint of cinnamon, the delicate layers of tender aubergine and sliced potato were nice and not too heavy. It was piping hot and the top layer of creamy white sauce was finished off with lovely melted cheese. My partner ordered the pan-fried pork medallions served with seasonal vegetables, mashed potato and a cider gravy. He wolfed it down and said it was like the wholesome comfort food his mum makes - a definite thumbs up! Just the kind of delicious food you want as we head into autumn. We couldn’t leave without sampling a dessert each. The waitress brought over the board displaying an array of tempting options. I fancied the lemon meringue. What arrived was the equivalent of an ocean-liner! It was huge! I dug in and lapped up the light meringue and the deep layer of tart lemon curd balancing on top of the shortcrust pastry base. It was awesome! My partner ordered a traditional fruit crumble with custard, which also looked lovely and which he said was very good; but I couldn’t help smiling to myself thinking that this time I had chosen wisely.
We found the staff very pleasant and approachable and all gave service with a smile. I would definitely return to this friendly and inviting pub – and for another slice of that lemon meringue pie.