Situated on historic St Alban’s Road just south of the M25 (and close to Trotters Bottom) is one of the area’s best pubs. The family owned Green Dragon attracts a mixed clientele from a broad area as it is only few minutes’ drive (or cycle ride) from Barnet and Potters Bar – but too far for us to walk, sadly.
The Green Dragon is a well run, comfortably furnished pub overlooking open countryside. Reassuringly, you can tell that the décor has evolved organically in the different parts of the pub – there are dining areas, as well as a more comfy lounge area with big leather sofas. It’s a contrast to the identikit gastro pub refits rolling out everywhere. The Green Dragon has some genuine character and soul. It’s also centuries old, located on the original road linking London with the northwest of England and Ireland, predating the Great North Road.
Since moving to Barnet in 2013 we’ve eaten here a couple of times. I do like their two for one steak night on a Tuesday when you really feel the benefit of their Josper grill – a seriously expensive bit of kit allowing you to cook at very high temperatures over charcoal, but because it’s enclosed you don’t loose any moisture or flavour. Tasty bar nibbles also include things cooked on the Josper such as chargrilled chorizo and the varied menu features seasonal produce, where possible locally sourced (although they could flag this up more on the menu).
Our most recent visit was midweek for the set lunch (two courses for £9.95) on a gloriously sunny autumn day and the pub was full of diners. We started with crispy baby squid and mint slaw with grape infused yoghurt, and dill and lemon crab cake with saffron aioli and beetroot salsa. Both were on the small side, but nicely done (however, I’m not sure how much grape flavour I detected – the mint slaw was very dominant). My main course of mussels steamed with tomato, chorizo and chilli sauce with toasted garlic bread was warming and satisfying and a bit more interesting than my husband’s beer battered cod with minted mushy peas and huge chunky chips. With a large bottle of sparkling mineral water and my refreshing glass of South African Chenin, our bill came to just less than £30.
Whether you go for the good value set lunch or dinner, a great steak or burger (two for one on Mondays) or just for drink, it’s a great local pub. Just a shame it’s not a bit closer to home. (However, living five minutes’ walk from the tube, it’s amazing to have this only a short drive away. No complaints.)