Doughbo have left The Hobgoblin. For a couple of years they were in residence at one of my nearest and dearest boozers and despite my having initially been heartbroken that they were replacing The Troll’s Pantry, they quickly won me over with their delicious balls. Therefore, I wasted no time in following them to their new home at The Windmill a bit further into town – and found a new favourite early Friday drinking spot in the process..
Last Friday we found ourselves in town during a miraculously sunny window on a late September afternoon and it felt like the perfect moment to scope out Doughbo’s new place. Head up the road to the left of Argos and you should see it straight ahead, tucked away behind Western Road.
When we wandered up to the bar, my eyes landed immediately on the sign pictured above and I knew we were among friends. £3 for a glass of Prosecco in a Brighton pub? On a Friday? Sign me up. The lady behind the bar asked us if we were there for food and began to enthuse about Dougho, the people who had just that day officially taken over the kitchen. Vibes were good. We took our glasses out to the front garden with one of the brand spanking new menus to see how much had changed..
I’ve pinched the PDF of the menu from their Facebook page (hope that’s OK, Doughbo!) because I want those of you who remember the early days of mixing and matching individual balls from the ever rotating menu to see how different things are now. You can choose from two omnivorous set menus and one veggie one – they also now do calzones, apparently, let me know if you try one of those – and of course, dessert. Each set now automatically comes with a dip so you don’t have to pay extra if you want to try one of those.
I was relieved to see a few of my favourites still there and intrigued to see one or two newbies, in the intererst of trying as many as possible we ordered the classic and the gourmet to share between us.
This is the Classic. It’ll set you back £9.50 and remains my favourite. The Absolute Porker is the absolute boy. It’s perfect. Gorgeous pulled pork, plenty of sweet BBQ sauce and all of the melty cheese. Coming in at a close second is Parma Royle, a beautiful hit of salty cured meat paired with mozzarella – you can’t go far wrong with that, really, can you? The Italian – mushroom, tomato and more mozzarella – I can take or leave if I’m honest, it just doesn’t compare to the other two. I eat it first and fast so that I can get on with savouring the other two.
The Gourmet (£11) was a little more hit and miss for me. The olive hit in the Kalamata Tapenade was a little overpowering for me, I missed the melty cheese element in the Curried Cauli (though appreciate the fact that vegan options are available and presented among others), but loved both the Nduja and the Lamb Sausage.
I recommend going as a pair or group as Tom and I do and ordering everything so that you find what it is you like in a doughball. For me? I’m all about the sweeter, saltier, saucier, cheesier ones – so I’ll be sticking with my beloved classic platter from now on. Those more inclined towards more sophisticated and exciting flavours might lean towards the gourmet. There’s only one way to find out.
The Windmill Pub
69 Upper North Street
Brighton, BN1 3FL