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“Vegan option diabolical”

Samuel Jones Smoke & Ale House
Ranked #116 of 581 Restaurants in Exeter
Price range: US$8 - US$25
Cuisines: Barbecue, Steakhouse, British, Bar, Grill
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Restaurant details
Good for: View
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Based in the heart of Exeter's bustling quayside development, Samuel Jones offers comfortable casual dining and drinking with a fresh and contemporary urban feel. Our exclusive robata grill is a hive of activity for our extensive smokehouse menu. We offer a range of craft ales, lagers, ciders and stouts from around the world, served in a 1/3, 2/3 schooner or a pint!
Reviewed 22 June 2018

Lovely venue because of the location so did expect it to be expensive but....Well this is what was offered today for the vegan Pulled Burger £12.(See pictures below) Admittedly this is half, the bun did have another side and a large slice of tomato and there were fries in that little bucket. I could not recognize anything that looked like it was a 'disassembled' burger. Anyone??? Well apparently I'm stupid because I was told "it's a 'pulled' burger." Not just a plate of lentils and grated carrots then? Would not recommend. My two meat eating fellow eaters, not so fond of what they received either but couldn't believe what I was offered.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank claretdevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SamuelJonesExeter, General Manager at Samuel Jones Smoke & Ale House, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2018

Thank you for this feedback. We currently have a new vegan burger on option, which is a pulled jack fruit burger in BBQ sauce

Kind regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 - 43 of 808 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2018 via mobile

The beer and cider selection was good and the staff where very friendly. However the food was average at best (I had the smoke burger) as the burger patty was over worked and the chips were very fatty. I would return for drinks but not food.

Thank KelseyF212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SamuelJonesExeter, General Manager at Samuel Jones Smoke & Ale House, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2018

Thank you for your review.
We will bring this issue to the Head Chef's attention, along with speaking to our meat supplier to ensure that such an issue will not arise again.
We hope you will give us another try.
Kind Regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2018 via mobile

Starters (halloumi chips particularly) good and largeish portions, arrived quickly, pleasant service. Mains: 2 chilli burgers so-so but the chilli wasn't tasteable and was only on the kidney beans which were an odd addition to the burger and added nothing, the "pulled" veggi-burger was just a mass of lentils in a thick sauce that fell apart on the plate - chips were nothing special and half the potato salad was raw. For £70 without drinks (ordered separately) there are many better places to eat in Exeter, though it was nice sitting out watching the dragon boat racing. People also voted with their feet - Samuel Jones half-full outside, Puerto Lounge next door packed outside.

Thank LovelyDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2018 via mobile

I myself have worked in the hospitality & catering business for 6 years, and know what is and isn’t good quality food & service.

We had booked a table at 7:30 for my partners 20th birthday meal, and were rather looking forward to it. Samuel Jones is known for having a very up market reputation. Upon arrival we were ignored at the door, so walked further into the restaurant until a manager stopped and queried about our booking. We were shown to our table, a low, small picnic bench. Now, I am quite visibly pregnant, and was astonished when we weren’t offered alternative seating as it was nearly impossible for me to sit down and swing my legs over the bench with my bump in the way. The restaurant was less than half full so it wouldn’t have been an issue. But no, I was watched as I struggled the manoeuvre, but eventually sat down.

We were left for a good 15 minutes, so my partner and his father decided to get their own drinks at the bar due to the wait. Not good.

Starters ordered, went to order the mains but the waiter told us he wanted to order our starters, then just before they came out order the mains? Bit strange as we just wanted to order and have some private chat amongst ourselves, but we obliged. Partner ordered the soup, partners father ordered the brisket mac and cheese & for myself I asked for the squid, but for it to be a little more cooked through than usual. I explained I knew this would result in it being of a lower quality but I wanted the peace of mind due to me being pregnant. The waiter walked off to talk to the chef. Upon his return he mentioned the head chef wanted me to be aware that the squid would be of a lower quality if they were to overlook it, which I had already made him aware that I was fine with that. So off the waiter went off to put our starter order through.

10 minutes later, waiter comes back and takes our mains order. I order the beef brisket, partner orders one of the burgers, partners father orders one of the steaks with an added peppercorn sauce & we also opted for one of the pig sides of chips with cheese and gravy.

10 minutes later, food comes out, looks amazing, tastes amazing, only gripe was my squid wasn’t cooked through like I had asked but it was tasty and everyone else was happy so didn’t want to be picky and complain. Brilliant.

Here’s where it all goes downhill.

Waiter comes over 15 minutes after we’ve finished our starters to say the kitchen is backed up and we won’t be receiving our mains for another 20 minutes. Strange, as the place wasn’t even half full.

No more than 10 minutes later our food arrived, looked amazing, smelt amazing. My beef brisket was cut into gorgeous thick strips, my partners burger was huge, partners fathers steak looked juicy.

The “pig” side of chips with cheese and gravy, was minuscule. Smaller than your average side portion. With less than a sprinkle of cheese and the most watery gravy. For £8 I was gobsmacked.

Partners burger was so dry, it crumbled into pieces as he ate it.

Partners fathers steak was meant to be medium and came out still mooing, pink and raw as anything. The peppercorn sauce was just as watery as the gravy. Repulsive.

My beef brisket was stone cold. It was as if they’d taken it out of the fridge. I was astonished as everything else on the plate was warm.

My partner is not the type to complain, so he just ate his meal as he was starving and we had booked especially and would not be able to get a table anywhere else on a Friday evening without a reservation. My partners father the same, ate his meal due to being so hungry.

I however, refused to pay £15/£16 for a meal that was stone cold. I explained this to what I presumed was a manager, who told me it would only take 3/4 minutes for a fresh meal to be prepared. 3/4 meals to cook meat from fresh? Are you sure about that? I made it clear I would like a FRESH meal, and not a REHEATED meal.

7/8 minutes later, and I had a plate placed infront of me. My mouth opened wide in shock as I looked at my plate.

The beef brisket, which had originally come out in beautiful thick strips, was now comparable to tuna chunks, it was honestly laughable, I wouldn’t have even fed it to my dog. Everything was piping hot, and had clearly been placed in the microwave. Reheated meat for a pregnant woman, are you serious?!

So my “fresh” meal, was my first meal, blasted in the microwave and my brisket had been torn apart and microwaved to the point of it having no flavour at all. It was incredibly dry, I refused to eat it. I was fuming.

I call over our waiter, and relay all the issues. He was so sympathetic and fetched the manager. This is again where things take a worse route.

Interrupted whilst complaining, I was told I was wrong, that the peppercorn sauce wasn’t specified as “creamy” on the menu so I couldn’t complain it was watery, that the size of the portion of chips with cheese & gravy was standard size, that my partner and his fathers plates were mostly empty so he refused to let me complain about the quality because they had eaten their meals? I didn’t want a refund I simply wanted him to be aware that they were simply not good enough and were of terrible quality for the price point? They were starving of course they were going to eat most of their meals as they were, barely, edible?

I was getting rather agitated at being told I was wrong and made to feel like an idiot for complaining about terrible quality of food and could feel other tables turning to stare so resulted in very adamantly refusing to pay for my atrocious meal or the side of chips.

After removing my meal and the side of chips from the bill, I must admit they did apply a discount due to our complaints. However, I’m still shocked I was made to pay for anything at all if I’m honest. It completely ruined my partners birthday and we will certainly never return. If I could give a 0 star rating I would.


4  Thank Katie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2018

Waitress with pink hair served us. She was very friendly and helpful. Large choice of beers. Very expensive food for what you recieve. "Juicy pulled pork" was the worst, driest pulled pork I've tasted. Battered fish and chips..rubbish uncrispy batter, flavourless, dry mushy peas.

Lower the price and cook better food..then its a decent place :)

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank oliver s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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