We took my mother out for dinner at The Whip yesterday. It was a belated Mother's Day dinner, and we wanted to go somewhere different, somewhere we hadn't been before. We almost went here a couple months ago, when I was looking for someplace to meet Mum and my sister for lunch after brewing Perkuno's Hammer at Victory, but the schedule of the day fell apart. I got recommendations on The Whip from some of the folks on BeerAdvocate, and it sounded good; the menu on their website sounded very good.
I'm here to tell you: it is good, damned good. Wish I'd thought to take the camera, though, because the setting is great. The Whip sits on a corner out in horse country in Chester County, south of Coatesville, and looks like a country tavern, inside and out. It's quite informal, despite the high-end menu, and...the booze is beer-only. That's great, because it forces them to focus on their beer, and I liked it.
The taps are not incredible (I'll probably take crap from Stonch for this, but I had two pints of Tetley's, and it was good (and they were real imperial pints in nonick glasses, too)), but they're a notch above the usual and well-kept. The bottles are more impressive, and include a selection of seasonal bottle specials that change with the season; that's where Cathy's Sly Fox Royal Weisse was listed. The Grozet Gooseberry was there, too: someone's got a taste for the more adventurous.
The food is a mix of British pub classics -- bubble & squeak, bangers & mash, fish & chips, Scotch eggs (good, if not great, but served with Coleman's mustard (came with a small spoon and a warning: "Are you familiar with Coleman's, sir?" which was excellent; I groove on good mustard, and Coleman's is sharpish, the warning was well-taken and a good sign of intelligence)), shepherd's pie, mushy peas, and sticky toffee pudding.
Nora and Thomas each got the Elkins burger, an 8 oz. organically-raised beef burger that was delicious (Thomas ate his fries with malt vinegar ("alegar," actually, but I struggle against ignorance)); I got the bangers and mash (very nice, but the only thing the waiter fell down on was getting me info on where they got the sausage; he was real good). Cathy got some delicious broiled sea scallops, and my mother had bubble & squeak (delicious, full of leeks) and bangers & mash, my dad had the shepherd's pie. He also got the vanilla bean cheesecake, which I saw and had to try. I'm not big on cheesecake, but if they all tasted like that, I would be. Cathy got the sticky toffee, and it was good, but wow, was it sweet! Coffee for me: very good cup.
A very good time at The Whip. It's kind of out there in the sticks, but it was a pleasant ride, a relaxed dinner, and delicious beer. It wasn't cheap, but I've spent less and felt cheated; this was worth it.