SW Essex Pub Quest: The Robin in Brentwood

This wasn’t planned, as we’ve already done our pub quest round this week, but we ended up in Brentwood and Z was hungry, so we popped into The Robin. Located in the North of the town, not far from A12, by a main street, this was an interesting change from chains to a local. Inside a small bar, regulars watching a football match, a few tables, most of the free ones were in the vicinity of a particularly noisy group of children. The garden outside with a view onto a busy street, we opted for a table inside. Only two ales on the tap, one of them inescapable Greene King IPA, but the other – yay! – Doombar. That’s a good start. No craft beer bottles or cans anywhere to be seen, but Doombar will do just fine.

The menu is “American”, i.e. it has mac’n’cheese and burgers named “Texan”, “New York” and “Mexican”. The burgers start at £11, pricey, but perhaps that’s commesurate with quality, so I order one. There is a dedicated vegan section of the menu with three options to choose from, shepherd’s pie is Z’s pick. The food is nicely presented and voluminous, the salad very good; sadly the burger does not live up to its hefty price – the patty looks like it’s made from heavily processed substance ground into a paste with bubbles of air, offering no discernible texture and cooked to the state where all moisture evaporated. At the end I feel bloated and not really satisfied with the quality. That might partially be my fault, as not being super hungry I could have chosen something lighter, but a burger is always tempting. Z’s impression of the vegan shepherd’s pie was not much different, so it is fair to say that we were not particularly impressed with the food.

Despite unattractive surroundings, and slightly disappointing first food impression (in particular considering the price), the Robin is pleasant enough inside, serves (one) proper ale, and while not really a place I would specifically travel to, if passing by, why not pop in for a pint of Doombar, and perhaps a light snack?

a blurry photo of the pub interior