If I had one regret from the festive season last year, it was that I didn’t get to try all the seasonal food. I’ll never get to try all of it, to be honest – every year, more and more places bring out Christmas sandwiches and burgers and other fantastic festive fancies, and I feel both excited and saddened that it’s not possible to try everything. The one that stung the most last year was The Snug Christmas menu, because not only did their Christmas burger sound pretty mindblowing, it was LOCAL. But we just couldn’t fit it in. Devastating.
I’ve reviewed The Snug before – it’s a pub in St Albans that does excellent burgers and hot dogs, and the only reason it didn’t make it onto this list was because I’m planning to do a similar one at some point on the best foodie pubs in St A (there are just SO many places to eat, you have to put them into categories sooner or later). Anyway, I’m happy to say that I was invited to try out their Christmas menu, and I got to try EVERYTHING.
First off were the festive platters – there are meat and veggie options. The meat option includes potato skins with pulled pork and cheddar, mozzarella sticks, Cajun chicken wings, jalapeno poppers, buffalo chicken wings, fries, Bloody Mary nachos and mini sausages in a honey and mustard glaze.
Onto the mains – a slightly daunting task as we’d all stuffed ourselves with the platters. Thoughtfully though, the team bought out one of each main and chopped them up so we could try everything without exploding.
Here’s the Snug Christmas burger – a homemade beef burger topped with turkey, cheddar, bacon, pickles and a bourbon and cherry sauce. All held together with a sausage-on-a-stick – so cute! It was tasty, but I felt like I didn’t get to experience all the flavours as I only got a segment.
I also felt like it could have been Christmassier, too – it just tasted like a burger, really, and my expectations were SO high. I would add some cranberries to that sauce, swap the sliced turkey for pulled turkey and the cheddar for brie. And then I would eat the heck out of that. It’s served with a side of pulled pork, and I really feel that should be ON the burger rather than beside it. Also, pork isn’t that Christmassy.
Now, the Santa’s Dog was way more like it, topped with pulled pork, mustard, chipotle and cranberry sauce, served with a side of loaded bacon and cheese skinny fries. This was delicious, and I really want to go back and have a whole one.
Brie is so Christmassy to me, so I was a fan of the Chicken, Bacon and Brie Burger. Does what it says on the tin, jammed into a brioche bun. Very tasty – I think there was some cranberry involved, too.
The veggie offering is not quite a burger, but it was a tasty combo of roasted veg, grilled halloumi with chipotle & cranberry sauce. I was pretty full at this point so only had a tiny bite!
Also on offer are steak frites, a bacon cheeseburger and BBQ ribs. If you want to order the Christmas menu, you do have to book ahead as it’s their party menu, but you can book a party with as few as four people, so get some friends together. I would also recommend to The Snug that they just add the seasonal items to their Specials for December – plonk that photo of the Santa’s Dog on a billboard outside and people will be flocking in to try! People LOVE a seasonal special, trust me. Limited edition just makes them want it more.
We also tried some of the seasonal cocktails – a Mince Pie martini (cinnamonny and alcoholic and delicious), a Polar Bear (sweet and very blue), a Candy Cane (minty and sugary) and a Hot Snug (basically just flaming Grand Marnier and booze soaked raspberries, and basically just heaven in a glass). My cocktail making skills are a little rusty, but I did what I could.
Thanks for a great evening, guys! Do head to the Snug if you’re up my way – their menu is excellent, and their cocktails are even better. And they’ve got a beer garden, so it’s great for summer fun, too.
The Snug is at 1 French Row, St Albans AL3 5DU. We received our food and drink for free in exchange for this honest review.