REVIEW: Trackside Restaurant, Newcastle Road, Sunderland

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FORGET pie and peas, Sunderland Greyhound Stadium is serving up tastier treats to dog racing fans.

Visiting on a Friday night, three friends and I were welcomed into the Trackside restaurant by the friendly staff with a complimentary drink – included in the dining package which costs £21.95 on Fridays and Saturdays, and £14.95 on Wednesdays – and seated at a table overlooking the race track.

After taking a look at the varied menu, which changes seasonally and now includes summer items such as BBQ ribs, we quickly decided on our meals.

Two of our party chose breaded mozzarella sticks with a tomato sauce, while I and another diner picked the house salad.

The piping hot, gooey mozzarella sticks and sauce were praised for the tangy, creamy flavours.

The salad was crunchy and fresh, came with morsels of salty ham and was topped off with a rich blue cheese sauce.

Having been pleased with the steak at the Greyhound Stadium in the past I was keen to try it again and see if it was as good as I remembered. I wasn’t disappointed.

The kitchen served up char-grilled 225g sirloin steak – two medium, one very well done and one rare – cooked to perfection.

Served with fluffy chips, mushrooms, grilled tomato and a creamy peppercorn sauce, there were no complaints about the main course.

The only query was the appearance of a big tray of vegetables which comes as standard with any main course. While the sweet parsnips and carrots were a tasty addition to the meal, there was a lot left over.

The main affair left us feeling full, but as dessert is included in the price, we didn’t turn it down.

Three diners chose the cheesecake, and I opted for the selection of cheese. There were appreciative “mmmmm” noises from those who picked the sweet option, and I was disappointed I couldn’t finish off the dairy treats which comprised blue cheese, brie and Cheddar.

With good food on offer at such a reasonable price – and a free drink and race card included in the dining package – why stick to pie and peas?