The Ferret (used to be the Mad Ferret – new owners from the Continental binned the mad bit in September 2013) is a popular live music venue at the heart of the University Quarter in Preston. Just across from 53 Degrees, the place seems to have live bands on every night.
It’s not just music fans they cater for. The place has a growing reputation for one of the tastiest menus and best value eats in town.
Differing from normal 2-4-1 microwave, bog standard pub fare. The Ferret boasts slow-cooked, smoke-house, locally sourced, freshly prepared grub.
I can’t think of a menu anywhere like it in Preston. It’s the type of food popularised by Adam Richman out of Man v Food on telly. And believe me, the portions are a challenge. He’d like it here.
We visited the Ferret menu back in November and gave it a middling rating. It was early days for the new place. Now it has time to settle in we thought it time to pay another visit.
The atmosphere inside the Ferret is not pub like, although it did win the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch’s Pub of the Season award for Spring 2014. It’s an intimate music venue with bare wood tables, rough and ready, but smart and trendy. The ‘conservatory’ around the side is the place to eat (and see, as there is more light).
Didn’t come here for the sounds. I came for the food. And I was hungry.
Anyone who knows me knows I love a good burger so I had to go for the Burger of the Week – The Brazen Bourbon Burger (£8.95).
The new menu triumphantly announces a 8oz Beef Burger (minced steak patty) marinaded in Whiskey and Cola topped with Peppered Beef Strips. Further topped with Ogleshield Cheese and a Bourbon and Brown Sugar Barbeque Sauce. Served in a Brioche Bun.
This monster is served with Cajun Skinny Fries and Broccoli and Red Onion Slaw.
Now this is what I’m talking about. Proper burger. One inch thick, tender and juicy all the way through with full-on flavour. The marinade worked it’s stuff as the bourbony after-taste is there. Some may say it is strong but I liked it. Could have done with a bit more sauce.
Stacked with tomato and bits of green it was big, but I piled a few fries and chunk of slaw into the mix. I’m like that. A great mouthful. And in a Brioche Bun, yes. That’s how you do it. Come and try a Ferret burger Adam!
The sides with a burger have to be coleslaw and chips. The skinny fries are nothing to write home about but the slaw – wonderful! Homemade is always best and this creamy, crunchy pile of sliced veg was a delight. Really, really tasty. Love the tiny broccoli florets in there.
I also had the Coolaid Coleslaw (£1.95) as I had heard good things. Not slaw as you know it. Long stands of chopped veg (carrots, cabbage etc) in a tangy, pickle dressing. Sharp and cleansing. Really liked this too. Would go really well with ribs.
As if all that was not enough, I was tempted to another side to continue and enjoy the sweetsmoke, BBQ atmosphere. Cobbin Corn (£1.95) are fire roasted corn medallions. Sweetcorn on the cob, slightly charred on the barbie and smothered in butter. Deliciously juicy and very moreish. Gives the meal a bit more bite and a bargain at the price.
I like the way they experiment with differing flavour combos at the Ferret with new items/specials added to the menu every now and then to keep the place fresh.
Also on the new menu a terrific sounding Tuna Steak Nicoise Burger on an Olive Tapenade Laden French Stick. Really like the sound of that.
It’s always worth keeping an eye on their facebook page or website for wonderful new specials.
Brilliant burger, excellent coleslaw, great value for money considering the portion size and didn’t take long to arrive. Plenty of real ale on tap. What’s not to like.
No score here as we need to try out more of the menu but will update later.
Food served every day from12pm to11pm (except Sunday till 10pm)
Tel: 01772 200017
55 Fylde Road
Have you tried the food at The Ferret? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.