After hours: The Slug and Lettuce
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a "jug" of cocktails or just a place to cozy up with a coffee and the newspaper, The Slug and Lettuce has it covered.
The casual pub-restaurant chain has been around 20-plus years and has 83 locations throughout the United Kingdom, including Cambridge, Norwich and London.
It’s the kind of place that’s worth checking out online before you go. Popping with colorful graphics that tout its specials — from "Win Your Height in Pints of Guinness" to "Fine Wine Wednesdays" — the Web site has some pretty good deals.
Both family-friendly and hip, The Slug and Lettuce morphs from a cafe in the morning to a restaurant later in the day to a lounge after 9 p.m. Its glowing orange bar and acid jazz tunes create a cool atmosphere, a place where you can have a meal and drinks and just relax. And with a well-stocked bar, those after a libation or two will be happy to know they pour more than just pints at the Slug.
And if you’re heading out on the town with a few friends, order a pitcher of booze. Bloody Marys, martinis, mojitos, Long Island iced teas and more are served by the pitcher. There’s about four drinks in a jug, according to the friendly faced bartender at the Cambridge location.
The "Rocktail" — a potent combination of Red Bull, vodka and fruit purée — is a local favorite, he said, adding that the clientele varies from college students and tourists to families.
Morning meals include the basic full English breakfast, which the Slug also serves up vegetarian-style for those herbivores out there. Snacks range from olives to tempura prawns. If you’re in a group that’s drinking by the pitcher, opt for the "sharing" platters. From the duck pancakes to the giant nachos, the platters are a nice way to nibble while you knock back a few with friends.
The menu offers traditional pub grub such as fish pie, burgers, and sausage and mash. Where The Slug and Lettuce goes wrong is with its international selections. For example, the goat-cheese-and-roasted-vegetable tostada was a total disaster on a recent visit. The tortilla was soaked in olive oil, turning the once-crispy shell into anything but. The vegetables were decent and the cheese fresh, but overall, it was a sloppy, mushy mess.
Still, the service was good and the joint is spacious, clean and moderately priced, with meals hovering around 8 pounds.
So even though the tostada was just plain wrong, the Slug is worth a try.
Location: throughout the U.K. including London, Cambridge and Norwich
Hours: Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (Food served until 9 p.m.)