Welcome back, hungry students. It’s a new year of the same old stuff. I have a backlog of salads to review, so this is your caveat emptor that this review is of a two-month-old salad. That’s some stinky cheese. Some aged parmesan. I’ve had overdue assignments fresher than this review. But let’s not malign the salad; this is on your intrepid reporter’s shoulders.
The Black Horse Pub (the Friendliest Pub in Town!) is located in the historic Morrow building, and the back dining room features many historic black and white photos on the walls. A fun thing to do while waiting for your food, or waiting for your friend to decide what to order, is to let your eyes wander. You could even play I-Spy! (I spy… a black and white photo. No, not that one.) Speaking of history, according to an Arts and Activism walking tour I took once, before becoming the Black Horse, the location was venue to Friendlies, Peterborough’s (only?) gay bar. I can neither confirm nor deny that the slogan of “Friendliest Pub in Town” is a nod to that history. The typical client of the Black Horse is paunchy middle aged men, and I’m too intimidated to ask if they used to come here when it was a gay bar.
The dining room is cozy, with a blocky fireplace dividing the room into some privacy. The front of house has the bar and the stage, and the Black Horse is solid for almost always having live music. When you walk in the lovely French front doors, you might have to awkwardly walk in front of the musicians. One downfall of the restaurant is that the washrooms are located down a flight of stairs – that’s not exactly accessibility.
The food at the Black Horse is fairly traditional pub fare. You can get bangers and mash, or roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, Shepherd’s Pie, and of course fish and chips. A Caesar salad costs $8.99, or $5.99 for a side salad. Overall, the food prices at the Black Horse are inexpensive!
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Thank goodness I took a picture to refresh my memory.
Lettuce? real romaine, looks like it was good sized?
Dressing? Decent? A Goldilocks-approved amount. Neither too much nor too little.
Parmesan? Shreds of cheese, on the chunkier side of the Parmesan continuum of powder to block. Probably not freshly grated, but who would expect that of the Black Horse?
Croutons? isn’t it weird that we put little stale toasts in our salads? The Black Horse had alright croutons. I’ve been overthinking the concept of croutons and can’t say anything about them that doesn’t sound bizarre.
Bacon? Oh my heavens, real bacon! Sometimes, just a simple thing can take a salad from the realms of forgetability into the shining memories of Good Food. Such is the case for me, with the real! bacon! of the Black Horse. It was done just to my liking too: not over-crisped, just crunchy.
They also give you a lemon wedge with your salad. Neat! If you have dietary restrictions around wheat or pork, you can request a Caesar without croutons and/or bacon.
The final word on the Black Horse Pub is that it’s an undervalued gem of comfort food and live music.