The chips can be excellent, though I gather this depends on the moment you order them - if you're in luck, they're fat, golden-brown, succulent, crisp on the outside and juicy in the middle. If you miss the right batch they can be disappointingly soggy.
The salad coming with the steak sandwich and burger is basic (curly lettuce and cold tomatoes with a dressing) but pleasingly fresh - unlike the normal limp pub garnish, it's a pleasure to eat it. Our companions wished their ham, egg and chips ("hearty, very delicious, totally unhealthy") had come with some.
The beer is well-kept. Pity about Young's stolid offerings; redemption is achieved by the Tribute, which is super-drinkable. They have Bombay Sapphire gin as well as Gordon's, and a pleasing range of whiskies.
A sprawling interior (and nice garden area at the back) creates a feeling of more space than is usual in a crowded pub with such a traditional ambience. It's chock-full of solid wooden tables and most surfaces are just the least bit sticky, letting you know you're in a no-nonsense pub. The toilets are up a narrow flight of stairs and can be a bit of a mission if you've over-indulged. I've always found the service competent and friendly. It's one of the only two places I know (The Gardener's Arms in Plantation Road is the other) with a bar billiards table (more fun, for amateurs, than pool; £1/play; £5 deposit at the bar for cues). Definitely one of Oxford's better pubs.