A criticism you often get about restaurant chains is that every outlet is the same.
I’ve been in a few Brewers Fayres in my time and that may be the case – but when the recipe for success is great food at competitive prices then what’s there to complain about?
My wife and I headed along to the Cadgers Brae version in Polmont with our three-year-old son in tow.
Despite being shown to one of the best tables in the restaurant, we were soon on the move after Calum spotted the impressive soft play area.
The staff were happy to relocate us nearer to the attraction, allowing Pauline and I to relax and enjoy our meal while the youngest member of the Hume clan explored every inch of the large arena, popping back every now and then for a bite of a burger or a drink of juice.
And enjoy it we certainly did!
Cadgers Brae has theme nights throughout the week, offering all-you-can-eat buffets for the recession-busting price of just £4.49 per person.
On our visit the spotlight fell on Mexico and the array of tacos, tortillas and chilli on display soon got my vote.
With an invitation warmly extended to visit the buffet as many times as you want - with a clean plate offered up on each occasion - it’s certainly a meal in itself.
But, purely for the purposes of this review, I opted to sample a starter (and dessert!) from the main menu.
To kick off, I went for the potato skins which came with an excellent spicy dip, one that Calum obviously enjoyed as well as he quickly commandeered it to dunk his garlic bread into.
At the other end of the table, the breaded Camembert bites, served with a cranberry sauce and a lightly dressed salad garnish, also went down well.
While I headed up to the buffet, Pauline chose the smothered chicken. Billed as a Brewers Fayre favourite it certainly hit the spot with the grilled chicken breast topped with bacon and melted cheese, accompanied by a BBQ sauce, chips, garlic bread, coleslaw and salad.
Calum had the kids’ burger and, while his frequent trips to the soft play meant he never really did it justice, I can vouch for the fact that it looked the part and came with a mountain of chips that any youngster would be delighted with.
I finished off with the caramel apple crumble. Deliciously gooey, the only deserving accompaniment in my book was custard, although cream or ice cream were offered as alternatives.
Pauline proclaimed her Belgian waffle topped with banana, ice cream and toffee sauce ‘‘excellent’’ but her empty plate had said that for her already.
Since our visit the Mexican night has been replaced by a TexMex version, with some extra choices - just one more reason for a return trip!
Cadgers Brae Brewers Fayre is at Beancross Road, Polmont. For bookings call (01324) 720726.