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“Great food, great pub.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Grog & Gruel

The Grog & Gruel
Ranked #7 of 65 Restaurants in Fort William
Price range: US$ 7 - US$ 26
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub, Scottish, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Local cuisine, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats, Bar Scene
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Drinks, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: Great food, good beer and a relaxed atmosphere in our Traditional Alehouse & Restaurant located on Fort William's pedestrianised High Street.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Great food, great pub.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2012

My partner and I visited here last year while staying in Fort William and just had a quick snack and a drink, but loved it so much we stopped into Fort William on the way to Morayshire to go there again. You can find it on the main street and it looks fairly unassuming from the outside. When you go in though you will find a proper little tavern almost like something from a Terry Pratchett book. A benched area, with two or three tables, a beer barrel makes a further table and a couple of tiny booths are all that is to be found. But with natural wood and stone interior the Grog and Gruel is a really cosy and relaxing place to while away the time for a drink and some food. the food is really good too. A variety of things to be found on the menu including venison sausages to pizza with a range of sides means there there is something for everyone. My partner is a vegetarian and was delighted with the choice which is not often the case and thoroughly enjoyed the carrot and coriander homemade soup. As testament to the food on offer you couldn't help but have a good look at other meals that appeared for other tables and wished there was an all you can eat option! There is also an extensive whiskey/malt selction and numerous ales on offer. Pricewise there were no complaints either which for a touristy place like Fort William - a pleasant surprise. This is a rustic, warm and friendly place with great food and if you are in Fort William or just passing - pop in. We did on the return journey back to Glasgow and will do again should we be in the area.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank john e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
neilcdennison, Manager at The Grog & Gruel, responded to this review, 6 June 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review of The Grog and Gruel

Really happy that what we provide really seemed to fit with what you were looking for. We have often thought of opening a premises on the streets of Ankh-Morpork, serving members of the Assassin Guild and Wizards Circle to the sound of customers singing ''a wizard's staff has a knob on the end''.

Once again very nice to receive such detailed praise from a customer who seems to have enjoyed all that we have to offer. I hope you will visit us again.

Cheers !
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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York
Level Contributor
150 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“beer oasis”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2012

I lived in scotland for a few years in the 70's and ,if you were a beer drinker,it was a desert.In 2012 , it is a delight to see microbreweries bringing the real taste of proper beer back to the british isles.
This pub is absoloutly great.The staff are knowledgable and very friendly.The food was the top end of pubgrub and realistcally priced.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this for just a few jars or a place to spend the evening and eat

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank molarnator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Real Ale Pub!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2012 via mobile

Nice selection of ales and local whiskey. Free wifi. Good craic!

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank lobster2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
neilcdennison, Manager at The Grog & Gruel, responded to this review, 28 May 2012
Thanks for taking the time to write a review of The Grog and Gruel.

In the Summer months when trade is brisk we can have a full range of up to 10 ales on dispense every day. We hand pick our ales from local breweries and try to balance the range to give a good choice of flavours. Our staff do taste as much beer as tey can to enable them to be able to converse on the subject fluently and we can even offer a small taste. It can be hard to pick from a range of 10 beers when you have never heard of any of them before.

Nice to be able to sit in pleasant surroundings sipping a nice ale and get internet connection for free. Slowly but surely most establishments are getting WIFI installed but in this day and age free WIFI should be available everywhere. I had some Japanese customers chatting with their family back home using our free WIFI and a webcam last week and able to say cheers with a nice Ben Nevis malt whsky.

Anyhoo, cheers for the nice review and hope you will return again to see what's brewing in The Grog and Gruel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redcar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Pub with a Personality”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2012

Our group decided to eat here on the last night of our West Highland Way week.
After finishing the walk a couple of us took our WHW passports to the pub to exchange for our certificate, having a pint here whilst we waited, it would have been rude not too!
The staff were lovely, it was relatively quiet when we arrived (4.30pm) and they were more than willing to chat and answer any questions. The gentleman completing the certificate took his time and there was no evidence of rushing as if we were a nuisance.
There was a very good range of real ales on offer and whilst we were there we took the opportunity to review the menu in readiness for our return later that evening. The menu appeared to be a proper bar menu suitable for lunchtime and snacks but we wanted something more later that evening. We were advised that the restaurant was so popular they couldn't accept advance bookings but if we put our name on the list when we arrived a member of staff would come and let us know when our table was ready.
We returned at 7pm to find the bar choc-a-bloc. We ordered a pint and went upstairs to book a table. We were back downstairs and only half way through our pint before our name was called and we were back upstairs to eat, the wait was perfectly acceptable. The dining area was cool and bright, the total opposite to downstairs. We had a large table for two, waitress service for the bar as well food and really enjoyed the experience.
The haggis starter was delicious but huge, perfect for sharing, I think we would have struggled if we'd ordered one each. Our main meals, fajitas and enchiladas, were just as good. Very large and a struggle to do them justice.
Great place, good atmosphere.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Redcar69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
neilcdennison, Manager at The Grog & Gruel, responded to this review, 28 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice revierw of The Grog and Gruel.

We really love being involved with our West Highland Way passport scheme. Every customer that arrives after completing the walk is always very happy to have arrived at our little watering hole and also usually has some good stories to tell. Nice we can offer walkers a range of local ales and whisky to top of such a great achievement.

As a High Street business we try to prioritise customers who are out and about in Fort William at night and not fill ourselves with bookings. We have operated this way since our opening and our waiting list system seems to work pretty well. Folk don't seem to mind waiting a few minutes for a table as it gives them a chance to see the ales available in our bar and maybe have a taster or two.

Always nice to get such a well written and in depth review regardless if it's good or bad. It means that we can use the review when come to evaluate how we do things at the Grog and Gruel and means we have a much clearer understanding of the customer experience.

Thanks again for the review, one of my favourites for a while, and I hope you will come back and visit us again at The Grog & Gruel for wee dram or a pint.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Not that great”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2012 via mobile

We visited this place because of the other recommendations on tripadvisor, but were somewhat disappointed. We ordered a regular hamburger and a wild boar burger and found both to be mediocre. The burgers were rather plain, no pickles or tomatoes were provided. There was so little of the chutney on the side that it could have been omitted altogether. Some other details were also annoying (no sugar or teaspoons provided with the tea we ordered). Overall it was okay to go once, but would not come back.

Helpful?
Thank Pr_review
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
neilcdennison, Manager at The Grog & Gruel, responded to this review, 19 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your trip to The Grog and Gruel.

Our Aberdeen Angus Cheese Burgers and Scottish Wild Boar Burgers are made from top quality locally sourced meat, hand made by local butchers and cooked to order to encapsulate the wonderful flavour of these prime meats. All we add is a sprinkling of top grade orkney medium cheddar and a bun for ease of consumption. We do have various local dips and chutneys on the side of our burgers for those who wish to add some, if you wanted some more we would gladly have got some free of charge. A lot of people who can taste the quality of the meat never use the sauces and chutneys, and most find the portion size quite adequate. On the side of the burger meals we also supply what we like to call a ''garnish salad' consisting of some lettuce, tomato and few pieces of cucumber and even a pinch of cress. Some clever customers add this to the burger, if they find it enhances the flavour or experience.

I can only apologize for the lack of sugar and teaspoons with your order of tea. I'm keen to know how this issue was dealt with. Did you sit in silence with no sugar or teaspoons? or was it as easy as pointing the mistake out and it quickly being resolved? I am sure this is information trip advisor users will want to know as mistakes will always happen but it's how they are dealt with that makes the difference.

I am glad we had the pleasure of your company at The Grog and Gruel. Shame it was only once. If it helps I can gladly suggest a number of establishments where you can get a 'ham'burger with plenty of relish, pickles and other nonsense to hide the flavour of a generic burger, some of these establishments also offer a drive thru option.

Cheers for now

Neil C Dennison
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