Mine and my flatmate’s favourite food-serving pub in Reading was refurbished at the beginning of this month, so we took advantage of the weekend and went to check it out. The food there has always been great quality and the prices are student friendly. Despite their good burgers, before the refurb, Pavlov’s Dog was dark and gloomy, the furniture seemed old and outdated, the bar was too high, and there was never enough sunlight.
We were so surprised walking up to the pub today. The outside has been repainted in different shades of blue, so much more appealing than the old black, and the windows were full length and beautiful!
We were pleased to see that the interior had been entirely transformed, too. A gorgeous floor, brand new, comfortable furniture and light coloured walls covered in cool, framed art work made for a much more inviting environment. The bar sported neon signs, retaining some of the old darkness, but with a new, less gloomy, vibe. The place was packed, not surprising for a Saturday afternoon, but the energy was different. The crowd included a lot more young people than usual, and we actually struggled to find a table.
We found a small table for two in the small ‘upstairs’ room (it’s actually only about five steps higher than the rest of the pub), which was flooded with sunlight – exactly what we wanted.
We were disappointed to see that the old beer and burger deal had disappeared from the menu, but the prices were still cheap overall, and you could get a soft or alcoholic drink for cheaper than the usual price when you bought a burger.
The service was fast and the staff were very friendly. I ordered the classic hot dog which might actually be the best hot dog I’ve ever had. A frankfurter in a classic hot dog bun (I hate the sweet buns you sometimes get with hot dogs) and a smothered in a traditional combo of English mustard and ketchup. Neither Abi nor I had strong feelings about the battered onions, which weren’t crispy enough to be satisfactory – I ended up picking most of mine off. The chilli fries were nice, but not hot enough, but Abi proclaimed that the sweet potato fries (her favourite side order) were some of the best she had ever had.
All in all, Pavlov’s Dog is a much nicer place to grab lunch, dinner or a drink than it ever was. The food is as great as it always has been, and even though the new refurbishment will undoubtedly bring in a much larger crowd than before, it is still an affordable and friendly environment.