We were kindly invited to visit River Bar in Washington which has just had a major refurbishment. However, as always, are thoughts are completely our own about the experience we had!
It was Easter Monday. The sun was shining, and we’d just finished a long walk from our home to Newcastle Quayside when we hopped into our car and drove to River Bar in Washington. I used to live in Washington when I was growing up, and it’s actually just five minutes away from my parent’s house – so it might be easier to find for us compared to people visiting from Newcastle/Durham areas, however, it’s pretty much just off the Washington Highway that takes you to Penshaw Monument (and close to The Galleries too!)
When we arrived, we found a space in the tight car park, and realised that it was packed inside. Of course, it was Easter Monday and sunny after all. We ventured inside and found a seat. There was plenty of seating choices, but I’m glad we found a sofa booth, as I didn’t fancy eating my food perched on a high bar stool, although they looked stylish, I feel like I’m always trying to balance myself on them – and I wanted this dining experience to be all about the food!
We ordered a mix of mocktails to start – blueberry mojito, raspberry mojito and two bubblegum ‘popping candy’ daiquiris which were very fun. The mojitos were our favourite, and I loved how much fresh fruit was piled on top. As we sipped on our drinks, we looked at the menu. I couldn’t choose between a hot dog, burger or sliders, but John went straight for Half Rack of Hickory Smoked BBQ Ribs, and I (eventually) chose the River Dog.
Our dishes arrived very quickly, which was great because I was hungry, but made me a little wary of how fast they had knocked it up in the kitchen. However, I can’t fault the food – it was delicious. John polished off his ribs in minutes, declared he should have ordered a full rack, found a flyer that says they do All You Can Eat Ribs on Mondays for only £11.95 and exclaimed that he was bringing his mate here ASAP. So, I’d say he enjoyed them! It also helped that they have TV screens broadcasting the football match – what guy wouldn’t want to sit and eat ribs and watch the football?
I loved my hot dog. Hot dogs have the tendency to either be delicious or just super lame when you order them in restaurants. However, this hot dog was tasty and smothered in mustard, ketchup and crispy onions, with a hidden layer of pulled pork under the hot dog, and the bun didn’t fall apart when I tried to eat it. Win – win.
The fries that came with the dishes tasted just like standard fries, not a bad thing, but I wish I had upgraded for the sweet potato fries. Nevertheless, our fries came in a large portion and we also had a house slaw, which was decent as well.
For dessert, we ordered the most chocolatey things on the menu – a cookie dough waffle, and a chocolate fudge brownie sundae. I was pleasantly surprised with the presentation of the cookie dough waffle. A warm waffle, with a bowl of cookie dough ice cream, and then additional little bowls of crushed up oreo cookies and whipped cream. John enjoyed it, although he said it was very sugary and that the waffle was good, but nothing special.
My chocolate brownie sundae was packed with soft chocolate brownie pieces, a rich chocolate sauce and creamy vanilla ice cream. It was lovely, and the perfect portion size.
Afterwards, we were feeling pretty stuffed, and were glad that we hadn’t ordered appetisers to begin with (we’ll try the Piggy Fries next time – a mix of sweet potato fries and cajun wedges topped with pulled pork).
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at River Bar. The service was good, the food was delicious, and because it’s so close to my parent’s home, I’m sure we’ll be back very soon, especially for one of their special nights. On Mondays it’s All You Can Eat Ribs, on Tuesday it’s Half Price Burgers, 25p Wings on Wednesdays, 50% off all food on Thursdays, and Fat Friday where you can double up your burger for 1p! So there’s always a great offer on for cheap food in pretty quirky and stylish surroundings.