REVIEW: The Chesters, Chester Road, Sunderland

The Chesters on Chester Road, Sunderland.
The Chesters on Chester Road, Sunderland.
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“Dishes you want at prices you love” is the motto on the menu at The Chesters.

If what you want is un-fussy filling pub grub that won’t break the bank, then it’s a claim that rings true.

Last year, the popular landmark pub was under threat when its former operators plunged into administration.

Stonegate Pub Company stepped in to buy the watering hole – along with the Blue Bell in Fulwell and Varsity in Durham – and brought with it their own drinks and food menu.

We tried them out on a sunny Friday afternoon and managed to get a table in the beer garden, a large expanse of grass, which is one of the pub’s plus points.

Picnic-esque tables are well spaced out, so you don’t feel on top of other diners, and there’s plenty of space for buggies to be stored and little legs to run around. Inside, the pub’s festooned with World Cup flags amidst its regular interiors, which are a traditional local pub affair.

Football fans distraught by England’s performance can drown their sorrows in pints of cask ales from a specials board such as Black Sheep (£2.55) and Rivet Catcher (£2.60).

For those who like their drinks less hearty, and more laden with sugar, there’s a whole section of the drinks menu devoted to Jager Bomb-type shots, priced £2.95 each or four ‘bombs’ for a tenner.

Wine starts at the fairly reasonable £3.40 a glass to £50 for a bottle of Laurent-Perrier champagne for those who are feeling more flush.

Food-wise, there’s plenty of stodgy choices for you tuck into, such as fish and chips (£6.75), 8oz rump steak (£8.95), all day breakfast (£6.75).

You can even order chip shop curry sauce as a side for £1.25.

For those watching their waistline, there’s also a low calorie section. The choices are healthy for your bank balance too, you can pick up a burger and a drink for £6.95 and two selected meals for £8.45.

We stuck with sandwiches, which start from £4.50.

After ordering at the bar, our meals arrived swiftly, but incorrectly.

But, despite my sandwich having the wrong filling, the waitress apologised and quickly had a fresh one made. You don’t mind mistakes when they’re dealt with so efficiently.

Mine was just a regular cheese and ham wrap, it did the trick.

But my friend really extolled the virtues of her New York-style steak ciabatta. Though the bread was a little overly tough, she said the steak itself was top notch: tender and loaded with flavour.