I recently visited my very local restaurant Harrys on Longbrook Street in Exeter. It is situated less than a five minute walk from my front door! How perfect is that?! We decided to visit as part of our “stay-cation” in Devon for our summer holiday.
We were greeted with a big “hello” and a smile from a lovely lady who showed us to our table. It was just after eight and packed to the rafters! A great atmosphere was already bubbling away with groups of friends, work colleagues and couples all chatting and deliberating over the menu or tucking into their plates of goodness.
We spent a while chatting amongst ourselves and talking through the menu. In the end we decided against starters and opted for a main course.. And possibly some dessert later! We ordered our drinks at this point. Alex and I chose a bottle of the house red wine and Steve had an Otter Brewery lager. A new thing for him as he is an ale man traditionally but he found it refreshing.. He liked it enough to order a second one later on! The house red was very good. Smooth and easy to drink. A nice Italian tipple from Puglia.
I chose the roasted salmon nicoise with a side of sweet potato fries, Alex had the pulled pork burrito with a side of refried beans and Steve had chicken fajitas.
Whilst we were waiting our lovely waitress came over with some complimentary beef bon bons and some mixed olives. Such a lovely touch and we were over the moon to receive them. I don’t eat meat but Steve and Alex tucked in to the bon bons that they dipped into a horseradish and sour cream dip.. The verdict from them was a big thumbs up.. I on the other hand had a few olives to whet my appetite. They were smokey with a hint of heat from some red chilli. Very good!
Our main courses arrived and the portions were huge.. Not that we were complaining. It’s nice to have a decent plate of food presented to you once in a while.
We tucked in and there were lots of yummy sounds made! The salad was full of tasty things.. Eggs, anchovies, capers, new potatoes and olives all mixed with some salad leaves and the moist roasted salmon loosely broken throughout. It was just what I needed. The sweet potato fries were good but could have been a little crispier. (Although being a fan of cooking myself I know how hard it is to get a sweet potato fry crispy! )
Steve’s fajitas arrived in spectacular fashion on a sizzling plate. He had four tortillas with guacamole, sour cream and salsa with some iceberg lettuce to build his wraps. The chicken fajita filling came with mixed vegetables which lifted the dish visually. Steve was impressed and managed well to devour them all even with two broken fingers in a splint!!
Alex’s burrito was giant! A soft tortilla stuffed with slow cooked pulled pork and green rice all rolled up with a big dollop of sour cream, guacamole and salsa. She had crunchy iceberg lettuce and grated cheddar cheese on the side that she sprinkled over the top to create a cheese crust! Again, good remarks were made and a big smile was created as she was eating it.
We were all full to the brim after our main courses but as it was “National cheesecake day” we felt the need to celebrate this! We asked if they would bring us one of their New York baked cheesecakes with berry compote and three spoons but give us ten to fifteen minutes to digest our main courses and enjoy our drinks.
When it arrived it was beautifully presented with a dusting of icing sugar. We all tried a little and agreed it was a winner. I much prefer a baked cheesecake. The texture was good and the tartness of the berries cut through the sweetness of the cake. A perfect end to a really lovely evening with friends and loved ones.
What I love about Harrys is that you know you are going to have good food in a lovely buzzing atmosphere. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is either. We went on a Thursday evening and there wasn’t a free table to be had. Always a good sign I think. The menu is full of hearty fare.. Burgers, Mexican dishes, steaks and pasta plus lots of other scrummy things. I would recommend Harrys to anyone who wants a unpretentious casual dining experience with a buzzing atmosphere. Go and check it out!