Perched on the end of an unassuming street in the depths of residential Jericho, sits The Gardeners Arms, a pub that looks, from the outside at least, to be your average friendly local.
However, with claims to be one of the very few veggie/vegan-only pubs in Oxfordshire, we dropped in to see if it could MEAT our expectations.
“if you want a break from salads while sticking to your morals, then this is the place to go”
Escaping a cold winters night, we welcomed the cosy, relaxed atmosphere and found ourselves a quiet corner in the busy pub, bustling with locals and students alike, even on a Monday night.
Offering an ever changing range of local beers and ciders served by smiling staff, and a friendly hubbub, the establishment ticked all the boxes for a great local pub.
With some quickly-served pints on the table, we studied the menu, where the more carnivorous among us would be forgiven for thinking they were in their own meaty domain.
With countless meat substitutes, there is something to satisfy even the most ferocious meat cravings
With countless meat substitutes, there is something to satisfy even the most ferocious meat cravings. And while it may not be the freshest or most innovative menu around, its hearty menu is the perfect accompaniment to a few pints on a chilly evening.
We first tucked into the daily special – the daunting sounding Philly cheesesteak (£12.95); a footlong sub with scarily realistic burger pieces, peppers, onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup and, if that wasn’t enough, all sat on a bed of fries.
We also went for the kebab bowl (£12.95) consisting of more fries loaded with spicy chicken-style pieces (alternatively one could choose falafel or shawarma), hummus, salad, hot sauce and vegan mayo – as messy as it sounds.
We can safely say The Gardeners Arms doesn’t skimp on its portions!
The side of vegan cheesy garlic bread with hot sauce might have been a step too far but we ordered it anyway!
Not long afterwards our tiny table was piled high with food. We can safely say The Gardeners Arms doesn’t skimp on their portions!
The cheesesteak was very ‘meaty’ and juicy, and the spicy Cajun fries (instead of plain) were hot, crisp, and deliciously well seasoned, although the rather stiff baguette left something to be desired.
The gyros-style kebab bowl also went down the hatch nicely, although not even Houdini could have fitted it into the accompanying wrap.
The cheesy garlic flatbread was OK, we sat back content to let it all settle (and give us a chance to fit back out the door).
With 20 years under their belt, the Gardeners Arms kitchen must be doing something right.
Serving classic diner style food, you can happily fuel up regardless of dietary tendencies, while the generous portions and reasonable prices are an added bonus for the student population in the area.
The meat (substitute) based menu may not cater for all the veggies/vegans among us, but if you want a break from salads while sticking to your morals, then this is the place to go.
Anna Seal and Alister Henderson
The Gardeners Arms is at 39 Plantation Road, Jericho https://www.thegardenersarms.com