Bottle of Sauce
Bottle of Sauce Burger and Pizza-Based Pub
Bottle of Sauce in One Paragraph:
The opening of Bottle of Sauce brought some energy and hipstery fittings to what was a rather grim pub. It’s now a lively venue with good food, cocktails and beer. The pub rightly has a strong following locally. Look out for early evening deals midweek.
The Longer Read:
The Bottle of Sauce has quickly established itself as a popular Cheltenham restaurant and pub. There was a rather rather grim looking pub on the site before. It seems like this just off-centre area is on the up, with the nearby Chapel Arts raising the tone. Also, the Russell Brand-endorsed The Sober Parrot project is on the way. Don’t be put off by the rather gloomy exterior colour of the Bottle of Sauce… Relax, it’s a fun place and there’s also a bit of a Tardis-effect going on. There’s a lot going on within these walls.
First of all the layout. There’s a pretty standard hipster-tinged bar as you walk in. Clockwise from the entrance area there’s an open plan snug. There’s a games room with ping pong. There are loos with hipstery fittings. There’s a room with a long table which I didn’t feel very welcome in (come to think of it, by the surprised look on people’s faces, it might have been a private dining room). If you turn right on walking in, you go through to an open outdoor area, leading into a canteen-like area called, um, The Canteen. This includes includes maybe the world’s smallest DJ Booth. The Bottle Sauce is a well-laid out place this, interesting and worth checking out.
Bottle of Sauce food leads on pizzas and burgers (entry level is The Dodo burger at £8). They are usually well made and tasty. Gluten free buns are available. Pizzas start at £8 too and they do a ‘Simply Red’ cheeseless pizza. My pizza margarita had a very good dough but maybe hadn’t been cooked at a high enough temperature. It was nearly great and I’d say order with confidence here. We also had a well put together supergreen salad (£8) with courgette, quinoa, supersnaps, avocado and rocket, with a mint and basil dressing.
The Bottle of Sauce weekend brunch menu is good. Dishes are between £6.50 and £11 – available Saturdays and Sunday until 3pm: blueberry pancakes (£6.50), full breakfast etc. Chilli Avocado Smash (£7.50) was generous, served on sourdough. Eggs Benedict came with some ‘proper’ ham and a very good brioche bun.
Drinks at the Bottle of Sauce
Drinks are straightforward. On wines there’s a choice of 3 reds (Shiraz, Merlot, Cab Sauv), 3 whites (Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grige, Sauv. Blanc), 1 rosé (Grenache) )and 1 Prosecco. Cocktails and beers are a cut above. A Negroni was on point and they offer some cocktails for a fiver for after-work drinkers. House beer is called Dodo (that name keeps popping up on the menu, it’s the name of the company that own the place) and there are Brewdog, Brooklyn and Longhorn beers, all becoming mainstream now, but it’s a good effort. Beers are named, with abvs, on an attractive copper hoarding above the bar. Keep an eye on special offers, at the time of our visit they were offering £50% off house burgers on Mondays and £5 midweek lunchtime pizzas. Service is friendly, if slightly slow, but then again it’s a busy place and there are are worse crimes.
The Bottle of Sauce runs late night DJ sessions some weekends.
All in all, this is rock solid ‘new pub’ food in a lively atmosphere. It’s a great example of how to take a run-down boozer and make something good happen.