Pub review: The Railway, Drighlington, Leeds

ALL ABOARD: The Railway Pub, Drighlington, which has an extensive menu and good range of ales/drinks.
ALL ABOARD: The Railway Pub, Drighlington, which has an extensive menu and good range of ales/drinks.
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THE Railway at Drighlington is one of the most versatile pubs around.

To some, it’s a decent dining establishment with an interesting menu which ensures it’s busy at meal times, especially on a Sunday.

To others, it’s a Friday night karaoke bar, while Monday is usually busy because it’s quiz night. And then there’s the Wednesday grill menu (5pm-9pm), where you can tuck into delights such as 8oz sirloin, half a roast chicken or grilled salmon with creamy mushroom and prawn sauce, plus two pints/glasses of wine for £28.95.

But to others, it’s simply a good old-fashioned pub.

I don’t think I’ve been in many places which combine all those qualities quite so well.

Many food pubs frankly don’t want visitors who simply want a drink. This isn’t the case here. The Railway is always a happy place to visit.

It was a Monday night when our group visited and the pub quiz was in full swing, with free food afterwards (sandwiches on this occasion, but sometimes hot dogs, chips and the like are served).

Guest beers are all the rage here – and they range from the familiar to the less well-known and from local brews to others from far-flung places. This evening it was Hanlon’s Summer Breeze, a beer from Exeter. It’s a 3.7 per cent session ale described by someone more knowledgeable than I as a crisp, amber and fruity beer with biscuity maltiness. I’m no real-ale expert but this went down very well indeed at £3.70.

Our party also had a couple of Strongbows (£3.90 each) and an Alfredini Pinot, again described by experts as having a bright floral nose and as an good ‘enjoyable’ wine.

We certainly enjoyed it. At £5.50 for a 250ml, it was a reasonable price.

Food is served every day from 11.30am to 9pm and it offers some interesting dishes which means it is something of a destination diner.

It’s home cooked food of a high quality. For example, there’s deep-fried black pudding in a crispy batter, which sounded good, as did the seafood pie; and a raft of traditional pub grub such as lasagne, chilli and meat and potato pie, plus steaks and burgers.

The specials seem to vary a lot but the menu is so extensive that you’re bound to find something to appeal. Now the Railway is an interesting pub which must have changed enormously over the years.

As the name suggests, it used to serve the station on the line, which sadly closed in 1960s, the track becoming the Drighlington bypass, which is a great shame in many respects, as now it’s just a track for cars to speed along. However, at least The Railway remains - part of the old station forms its car park - to remind us of what once was.

FACTFILE

Addres: The Railway, Birstall Lane, Drighlington

Scores: 4/5

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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