Advantages Superb food and drinks, excellent value.
Disadvantages Sometimes gets busy.
Losing my mobile phone had positive consequences which far outweighed the negative. You see, when returning from the Police Station in Reading having reported my phone missing, I chanced upon Sweeney and Todd's Pie Shop and Restaurant.The array of pies gracing the window of this fairly traditional-looking shop was too much to resist. I bought a couple of the pies to take away, warmed them up in the small Baby Belling oven (I was in halls of residence at the time), and I was amazed with the discovery that I had just made.
The pies are made of fresh pastry, packed with a succulent filling. In the past, I have sampled fillings ranging from steak and kidney to pigeon and peach, tasting the likes of ham and stilton en route. All are oozing with flavour, and only the best ingredients go into the fillings.If you were to glance through the window, you would be forgiven for not realising that there is also a restaurant. This area, along with the bar, is reached by walking through the shop, then up two or three steps. More about the restaurant later.
A Sweeney and Todd pie makes an excellent meal at any time of day. When you buy pies from the shop to take away, there is the option of having them heated up. At roughly £1.80 for a pie, this makes Sweeney's the perfect choice for a quick bite of lunch while you're on the go, even if you don't fancy the extra effort of a full, sit-down meal. The prices are low, and the service is quick - just what you need on that long shopping expedition.The restaurant is, I suppose, as much a pub as it is a restaurant. The first thing you will see upon entering the restaurant area is a traditional bar, often with a few regulars scattered around, and the atmosphere is informal. Plenty of seating space is available; the restaurant extends back a long way, yet neither this nor a spacious downstairs seating area prevent the place from filling up with customers. Indeed, I recommend booking at certain times.
The range of pies on offer at any given time never matches exactly with the list in the menu, so you will be provided with a verbal listing of the selection of available pies, at your table. The menu has been read to me by the same lady on most, if not all, of my numerous visits, and she is always polite, friendly, and helpful, as are the rest of the staff.Pies do not make up the entire menu. It is a while since my last visit, although I remember a cooked breakfast being an option, as well as a selection of quiches and Ploughman's lunches. The desserts menu has old favourites such as pudding with custard, the likes of cheesecake adding a bit of variety.
At Sweeney and Todd's, the drinks are just as impressive as the food. You will not be fobbed off with the usual range of beers. Instead, you will be able to sample one or more of a fine choice of high-quality ales, including a guest beer. Wines, spirits, and soft drinks are on offer, too.Sweeney and Todd's is ideal for those who like their food to be unpretentious yet delicious. The prices are very low, but don't let this deceive you. A good quality, hearty meal will be served up by a friendly bunch of people. If you're looking for somewhere to eat out in Reading, this establishment is number one on my list.
The best recommendation for Sweeney's, however, has to be that when my parents drive down from Nottingham to visit me here in Reading, they invariably bring a cool-box, in order to take some pies back with them.(Sweeney and Todd's can be found on Castle Street, just around the corner from the Reading market place.)
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