Food | Gastronaut – The Pit, Harrogate

gastronautWith laid back urban dining space, complete with table tennis and football, and an innovative take on American food, The Pit is the perfect student eatery. From the meatiest of burgers to fish finger sandwiches, their menu serves up a selection of substantially filling dishes which although not perfectly suited to a student budget, provide good value for money.

Arc Inspirations have secured great success in Leeds with a variety of bars including Headingley’s The Box and The Arc. After the popularity of their American-style grill and bar, The Pit in Leeds city centre, the company have decided to launch a fellow restaurant in nearby Harrogate.

Pulled pork lollipops were an unusual starter; delicious pulled pork coated in a light batter placed helpfully on wooden sticks to make for easy dipping into tangy BBQ sauce provided a mouth-watering taste of what was to come. There is no pretentiousness to the dishes at The Pit – just simple, tasty food.

The main course can be as meatily mammoth as you want it to be. My choice was the Pit Master Burger; a chunky tower of streaky bacon, pulled pork, chargrilled chicken and beef burger, sandwiched between a bread bun with fries on the side. It was a typical man versus food battle. However, for something a bit lighter, the roasted half-chicken in seasoning with piri-piri dip is tender and flavoursome, causing slightly less pressure on the stomach.

If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to resist the urge to splurge on the meaty first courses, and save some room for the delicious desserts. The selection of sweets boasts quality rather than quantity, and our choice of the chocolate and salted caramel popcorn cake was sublime.

Another area where The Pit certainly excels in innovation is its drinks menu. With a whole host of unusual and intriguing cocktails and drinks there’s something for everyone to enjoy and dare to try. The prohibition inspired Gigglejuice was a definite favourite – served out of a bottle wrapped in brown paper, it combined a mix of white grain spirit, vanilla liqueur, Cocchi Americano, honey water and lemon juice for a sweet, yet warming, taste.

If you don’t get a chance to visit the newly opened The Pit in Harrogate over the summer, make sure to pop in to their branch on Merrion Street when you head back to uni – a meat feast is the perfect boost to the student diet.

Jessica Murray

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