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The Family Restaurant (Motherwell)

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1 Review

Address: Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell, Scotland ML1 3RT

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      19.10.2011 14:58
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      a decent family restaurant

      M&Ds is a theme park in Motherwell, Scotland. It is set within Strathclyde Country Park and can be accessed from Motherwell, Bellshill and Hamilton. It is just off the M74 at junction 5 and 6.

      M&Ds isn't short of places to eat. Whether you fancy some fish and chips, a hot dog, burger or fancy sandwich, there is always somewhere to buy food. If you want a proper, sit down meal, The Family Bar is the place to be. Formally known as Bizarre Bar, it has been renamed fairly recently. It is the ideal place to relax with a meal or drink.

      *~*Family Restaurant*~*

      The Family Restaurant is located inside the M&Ds complex. It can be accessed by passing through doors at the food court, from outside and also up a set of stairs from the Cosmic Bowl. It is set across two floors with the access to the upper floor via a set of stairs. There is a ramp present on the main floor giving full disabled and buggy access to diners. Toilets are located just outside the main entrance to the restaurant and include disabled/baby changing facilities. There are a few fruit machines and a cash machine also in the restaurant.

      The Family Bar is suitable is of course suitable for families or couples. High chairs are available on request. The restaurant provides various seating options from high tables and stools, waltzer type seating , booths and regular tables. There isn't much natural lighting in the restaurant though there is the option to sit in near to a cluster on large windows looking out onto the loch. There is adequate seating for various sized parties and a performance area for tribute acts. The bar is located along one side of the restaurant with a food ordering section at the far end. You should select a table, have a browse at the menu and go up to order with your table number.

      During December, the restaurant offers party nights with various tribute singers. Tickets are around £27.95 and include a 3 course festive meal. Projection screens are dotted around the restaurant often showing music videos from the current UK charts. The décor is red and cream with various pictures and guitar silhouettes adorning the walls. It has been updated as it used to have a rocket swooping down from the ceiling!

      The restaurant is open mid morning to late at night (cannot locate specific details anywhere).


      *~*Menu*~*

      The Family Bar offers a huge range of dining options from snacks to main meals. I will not copy the full menu but give brief details of what you can purchase to eat. The menu is split into more than 10 sections but I have condensed them. Food and cutlery are brought to your table with your meal. Sauces and other condiments are available in a caddy. Drinks should be purchased at the bar and taken to your table.

      *Starters, Light Bites and Snacks

      Options here are homemade soup (£2.95), king prawns and bacon (£3.70), various bruschetta (£3.15). Ciabattas, baguettes and sandwiches are offered with various fillings and served with chips or crisps (£3.60-£5.40). Baked potatoes with fillings (additional at a cost) are £3.50. There is a choice of 4 sharing meals including nachos with various toppings (£3.50-£4.70), a Tex Mex platter (£10.95), oriental platter (£11.95) or a family platter with gourjons, nachos and more (£9.95). There are a few vegetarian options marked including bruschetta. There is also a salad section with various toppings (£5.50-£6.50).

      *Main Meals

      The choice here is extensive with a selection of classic meals, pastas, steaks/burgers and sides. Fish and chips can be purchased with sides (£5.90-£7.40), steak pie, sweet and sour pork, lasagne and lamb shank are also on the menu (from £6.45). Burgers and steaks are available in various forms (from £5.75 - £10.50 for the mixed grill). Pasta choices include the likes of spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni (from £5.95). Vegetarians have the choice of vegetable masala, lasagne and pasta dishes for similar prices.

      Sides offered include chips, salad, onion rings and a few other options from 95p.

      *For The Kids

      Children are well catered for a children's meals are offered for £3.95. This includes a soft drink or diluted drink and a drawing pack. Options include burger, chicken teddy bears, pizza, macaroni or sausage and mash. Most are served with chips with a choice of beans, peas or veg as a side.

      *Desserts

      There are 6 desserts on offer served with cream, ice cream or custard. Included at the typical chocolate fudge cake, apple pie, waffles, ice cream lemon meringue and sundaes (£2.95-£5.95).

      *Drinks

      Whilst the restaurant offers a wide range of drinks off with the menu, I will concentrate on the menu options. Tea, coffee and other hot drinks (from £1.70) are available. Slush puppy drinks, cans and draught juice can be purchased (from £1.40). The bar stocks a few different beers such as Budweiser, McEwans and Bulmers (from £1.50). Vodka and other drinks are available.

      *Sunday Menu

      On a Sunday, diners can opt for a Sunday roast meal on a 2 for £10.00 offer. This includes honey roast ham, roast beef, turkey or vegetarian sausages served with veg, roast potatoes, stuffing, Yorkshires and gravy.

      *~*Our Thoughts*~*

      We like to dine out when funds allow. We also like to visit M&Ds sometimes and usually we opt to dine at the Family Bar. I find the food to be of a high quality for the price they charge. We have dined here more than 10 times since I was around 10 and although the surroundings have changed a little over the years, the food is still good! Our latest visit was earlier this week as we were treating our son to a day out. After visiting Amazonia, we were ready for lunch at around 12midday.

      I will base my experience mainly on the most recent visit but will also make reference to previous visits. We have dined here as a couple, with our son, Mother in law and also with my sister and her kids. We have dined for lunch and dinner though it isn't somewhere I would go at night for a drink as we don't drive and I don't fancy being down there at night. The layout of the restaurant is great though I do feel a bit more lighting would be great as it is quite dark! When we used to visit with the buggy, we sat downstairs in one of the booths and there was always plenty of space for us. We now usually sit upstairs and can watch everything that is going on. We have never had to book and there has never been an issue with us getting a table.

      On this occasion we were the only diners on arrival and were joined with others a short while later. We took our seats in one of the waltzers and although the table was clean, the floor beside us could have done with a wash. We had a look at the menu and I went up to order our meals and drinks and paid in cash though card payments are accepted. Our food arrived to the table within 15mins which I consider reasonable considering we were the only people dining! The restaurant is currently decorated with fake cobwebs and skeletons to give it a Halloween theme which is rather cool!

      *~*Food Glorious Food!!*~*

      On this occasion, we skipped the starters and went straight for main course meals. Each meal was presented basically but neatly on the plate and cutlery was clean. The children's menu is decent enough and it was nice to see chicken teddy bears as opposed to normal chicken nuggets. Our son had this meal but skipped a side. He was presented with 2 teddy bears cooked through and some tasty chips. He also had a small cup with diluting juice. The portion is small considering the price and I do feel a small portion of ice cream would make it a better deal.

      My fiancé opted for the Multi Stacker Chicken Burger (double chicken burger with cheese, bacon, barbeque sauce, onion rings in a bun). This also came with a small side salad. The burger was huge and after consuming the pleasantly crispy chips, my fiancé could only manage half of it. I of course got to try it and noted that it was a proper chicken breast, tasty and not too sloppy with the sauce. This was £7.95 which isn't too bad as it is a filling portion.

      I had my heart set on the steak pie with chips and vegetables but I spotted the specials menu and noticed roast beef with the trimmings was on there. The waitress mentioned they were quiet the day before so wanted to use up the excess food but it was still fresh! I received a nice bundle of thin, tender beef with a well cooked yorkie pud, lots of roast potatoes, peas and I can only assume they were parsnips. I do prefer carrots though and the peas were quickly removed from my plate as they make me cringe! The parsnips were gorgeous and quite sweet like they had a glaze on them. Everything was hot and cooked well though some of the large roast potatoes were a little undercooked inside. The gravy was rich and flavoursome and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. My special meal was only £5.00.

      We ordered 2 half pints of Coca Cola which tasted rather flat being draught Coke. The total bill came to £19.90 which isn't the cheapest for 3 filling meals and drinks, it isn't too bad. We didn't have desserts on this occasion as we were heading for the sweetie shop in the park!

      *~*Other Visits*~*

      I have always enjoyed my food whenever we have visited the Family Restaurant. We have dined on a Sunday with the roast offers and always found the food to be fresh. My Mother in Law had a side of mashed potatoes once and it was well worth the additional £1. A few months ago my sister and I took the kids down one lunch time and we opted for the Tex Mex Platter at £10.95. This was huge and included tortilla wraps, chicken with a spicy sauce, spiced beef, chips and sauces. This is ideal for 4 people and full of flavour. The nachos aren't the best as I feel they skimp on toppings!

      The steak pie (£6.75) is always delicious with thick but not fatty bits of meat, a rich gravy and delicious chips. The baked potatoes are very filling and are served with your side toppings in separate dishes. Brilliant at £3.50. The only dessert I've tried is the chocolate fudge cake (£3.60) and you do get a decent sized portion. It is moist and sweet and served with fudge sauce as opposed to being mixed through the cake. Whilst we don't have any vegetarians in the family, they are well catered for in the Family Restaurant.

      *~*Service*~*

      The longest we have waited to have our food brought out is around 30mins but the restaurant was almost full that night. Service is usually quick and friendly and you never have anyone bugging you to leave or take your plates. We didn't receive our kids pack though but were too hungry to bother! Toilets aren't in the main restaurant but the ones outside leave a lot to be desired but are perfectly accessible.

      *~*Conclusion*~*

      Once again we have enjoyed a tasty meal at the Family Bar. The tables are spaced far enough apart to allow conversations to not be overhead but it isn't the ideal place for a relaxing dinner with your loved one. It is simply ideal for families due to the prices, location and lay out. I am happy to recommend this restaurant if you are visiting Strathclyde Park.

      Thanks for reading x

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