4240 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Monday to Friday | 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday | 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
If you pass by George & Dragon English Restaurant & Pub, it is clear from the Union Jacks waving in the breeze that a foreign dining experience awaits inside.
George & Dragon is located on Central and Glenrosa avenues near the Indian School Road and Central Avenue light rail stop. I never understood why people chose this location as an after-work meeting place, especially given the lackluster curb appeal (aside from the flags). The hanging flower pots in the patio do give it a bit more of that English charm.
I approached George & Dragon with eagerness for an out-of-America experience. That was, until I ordered the classic American breakfast.
George & Dragon recently released a new brunch menu. The dishes are becoming my favorite meals of the day. The new menu items were affordable. I left the establishment having spent $7.50 plus tip. This midmorning menu has plenty to choose from, but if you’d rather have lunch or regular English entrées like liver and onions or traditional fish and chips, they are still available.
I ordered the classic American breakfast at an English pub. I know. Who do I think I am?
The dish came with sausage links, potato cuts, choice of biscuit or toast –- I opted for the biscuit -– and eggs. The eggs alone were a masterpiece. I ordered mine over easy, which can fail a dish if it’s not done right. The yolk ran at just the right consistency and, paired with the biscuit, melted in my mouth. Sausage and eggs are often greasy, and I was pleasantly surprised there weren’t many fatty oils on my food. The potatoes were a little dry and a tad too crispy for my taste, and the biscuit had to be softened with the egg yolk in order to create the light, soft consistency I prefer. All in all, though it was an American breakfast, it was absolutely delightful. I can only imagine how great the English breakfast must be.
On a second visit I tried one of their $5 lunches, which actually turned out to be more like $5-and-up lunches. I ordered the classic English dish “bangers and mash,” which consisted of two large peppery English pork sausages, buttery mashed potatoes and peas. My two dining companions ordered mozzarella sticks, a $5 burger and fish and chips. Nothing was bad, but nothing stood out either. However, for the relatively low prices, the portions were generous, and I did not even come close to cleaning my plate.
One item on the menu did catch my interest, and we refused to leave without trying it: a little dessert called spotted dick. The sweet raisin cake was smothered in a steamy, creamy custard, but despite the hype we had created, this dish followed suit with the rest of the meal and was so-so.
At my first visit on Sunday morning at 11, I had the place almost completely to myself. I thought the staff would have been a little warmer and more welcoming. As I walked in, I was not given a salutation nor was I asked to be seated. I made my way to a comfortable-looking booth, and after a couple of minutes, the waitress made her way over to me with a menu in hand. While the rest of the dining service was nice, I was a little confused at the lack of immediate attention, especially in a nearly empty restaurant. My water glass stayed full, which was a feat considering I drank five glasses, so I suppose that’s all I really need from my service. However, another customer may find this sub-par.
I want more than anything to be in this pub when a game of soccer -– or should I say football -– is happening. The ceiling is covered with English flags, jerseys, beer ads and other paraphernalia. There are plenty of TVs, cozy indoor and outdoor seating, and patterned curtains that look like they could have come right from grandma’s house, had my grandma lived in the British countryside.
If you are looking for a drink or a way to very slowly burn off the calories from a Cornish pasty, I suggest you make your way over to the two billiards tables next to the bar. The décor has a local English pool hall vibe. There is seating and plenty of space, so grab a partner or practice your bank shot on your lonesome.
Final Score: 70/100
Evie Carpenter contributed to this report.
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