The Phoenix rises again

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This city centre pub offers fun, food and a warm welcome, writes Sammy Milton

The Phoenix has become something of an establishment in Bristol. Located in a perfect position just behind Cabot Circus, it provides the perfect place to stop in for a pint on a sunny afternoon, sat comfortably in their wonderful walled garden away from it all.

The pub is also famous for its link with Bristol’s LGBT community, and holds fantastic events such as ‘Don’t tell your mother’ on a regular basis, that get absolutely everyone in Bristol dancing the night away. Having attended many of these events myself, and with the infamous Bristol Pride fast approaching, I thought it was time I paid this lovely local another visit. 

What would be different about this stopover, however, is that I would be sampling their food, which, over the past six months has become something that The Phoenix has become known for. 

Myself and a friend arrived on a Friday evening and got chatting away to the friendly bar staff. Although we caught them slightly off-guard, they were immensely accommodating, and all too happy to pull us a couple of pints to get our evening started. Originally we had wanted to sit outside, their garden really is something – but, sadly, the weather had other ideas – so we settled comfortably at a table inside. 

The menu is huge. Not always a good thing, it certainly is here, simply showcasing the sheer amount of talent that this kitchen can produce. They have recently been holding pop-up eating events at the Phoenix, and some of the inspiration must have stuck because there’s a varied choice – anyone could find something they fancy here. 

Ranging from burgers, grilled meat and fish, platters, pizzas, salads and an extraordinary range of ‘street food’ that included gyros, there really is something for everyone. Naturally, it being two girls fancying a big feed on a Friday, we went for burgers. 

All extremely reasonably priced (there’s nothing over £11, rare these days for a burger in Bristol), I went straight in with a beef burger with cheese, all the trimmings and fries, mounted on a toasted brioche bun (£9). An absolute beast, the cocktail stick pressed through barely held it together. The beef was perfectly cooked, the cheese plentiful, and the burger was filled with just the right amount of salad. The fries were the preferred combination of crispy and fluffy, and came with sliced pickled onions and slaw. I was very satisfied with this, and devoured it immediately. 

My friend went with the vegetarian version of the 'feast' burger (£10), a fine bean and chickpea patty simply smothered in blue cheese, caramelised onion, tomato and lettuce. She was absolutely delighted, and said it trumped many of the vegetarian burgers she’s had in Bristol over the years. The vegetarian patty was expertly cooked and the rich blue cheese provided the perfect accompaniment – I was almost jealous. 

All in all, it was an excellent meal. Absolutely stuffed, we left very pleased to enjoy the rest of our Friday evening. So the next time you’re in town, pay the Phoenix a visit, not just for the fun, but for the food. 

The Phoenix

1 Wellington Buildings, Champion Square, Bristol BS2 9DB

0117 329 0076

www.phoenixbristol.com

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