Exactly what is the Criterion? What, for a good pub in Leicester? I’m not sure, but this isn’t one of them. The exterior is interesting in that late 1950’s, very early 60’s? Sort of pseudo Art Deco style that was briefly in vogue before architects and developers realised what they could actually get away with.
Inside, there’s two rooms, what appeared to be a cold, redundant, empty concert room and the main bar where I was sat. The interior decor is straight out of the nineties, and at best, a bit dowdy with it’s turquoise seating and dreary lighting. My Mother would politely say, ‘it’s a bit spartan inside.’ The original steel window frames don’t help to give it any feeling of warmth or cosiness either.
They had plenty of beers on, six cask and four keg on my visit. Unfortunately the beer didn’t redeem anything. I went for a half of Torrside Brewing, I’m Spartacus (6.8%) at £3.60 a pint. I’m not going to comment on it’s Inevitable US IPA billing, because the beer was too warm to do a proper tasting. I sort of wished I’d gone for the Blackjack beer they had on, but then again that might have been a waste as Martin Taylor also commented on the beer temperature, conversely Pucurmudgeon thought his ale was fine.
On the plus side, there were half a dozen in at 6.00pm. Several of them were enjoying what looked like very well presented pizzas, at very reasonable prices. There was also a decent ‘craft’ can list and a host of bottles, again at reasonable money. It was clean and dry, and the toilets were just about okay. I did at one point think that the complimentary bowls of Bombay mix were a nice touch, but apparently I was helping myself to someone else’s!
Verdict: crummy back street city centre boozer that needs some money spending on it which, for me, failed to live up to it’s ‘been in GBG for last fourteen years billing’.