…And I tell thee, it’s not bad at all.
Hi! I’m Will, Twitter’s @willmill82, and I’m here to, well, lose the writer’s block that has blighted me since I lost my job back in December. This may not be the most refined review you’ll ever read, but it’s important that I do this. I need to force myself to put stuff on paper (or interweb in this instance), in order to get the neurones firing. I shalln’t bore you with the details today, a further post on that will follow as and when.
So walking home on Tuesday night, I saw this: a photo inviting me to go in and sample what could be a game changer:
Now, pizzas in pubs aren’t new exactly; the fancy bars about town do them, alongside fancy beers from overseas what are sold in bottles with labels written in languages that bamboozle the monoglot, this we know. What we didn’t know was, given the popularity of pizzas in fancy bars, why didn’t Wetherspoons sell them?
I asked a friend of mine who used to work at Spoons this some time ago, who explained the difficulty laid with the fact that many outlets would need to acquire an oven, and even then, be assuming that the cooking would be from frozen, they would not be able to get them to your table within x minutes, unlike the curry, chips, sandwiches etc.
Well, now they do sell pizzas. Sort of. To be accurate, some Wetherspoons do, but most don’t. This is a trial, I’m told, that had been going on since October or thereabouts, that no-one seems to have noticed. If one did a cursory Google (or Bing) for Wetherspoons pizza, you’ll note that this addition to the menu has made the Exeter local press, but made little impact elsewhere. If you search Twitter, you’ll see a picture of a man looking horrified at a pizza that he got at Heathrow a couple of years back; however, airport Spoons are a law onto themselves.
But now that they’ve got their arse in gear, what’s it like? How much is it? How long’s the wait? Do they do my favourite toppings? Is it microwaved?
Let’s find out.
In price terms, it was ok. In the Crystal Palace, Glasgow, my pizza came to a reasonable £7.29, given they are going after the Pizza Express / Ask! / Gourmet Pizza market.
Not bad that – a 12-inch pizza plus a real ale for less than a tenner in Glasgow city centre. It is worth pointing out that I was dining alone, however; many restaurants/bars in the area offer two for one pizzas as a permanent promotion, so may well work out cheaper for couples and groups. It is only a trial, though – should it be successful, I suppose they could always offer an inclusive drink as they do with their steaks and pastas, or possibly a 2 for £10 deal?
The menu is a little basic at the pub I visited – I’m told other Wetherspoons offer a choose your own option. I’d have welcomed black olives and anchovies myself, but the menu is perfunctory in that you’ve got a couple of vegetarian options, two meaty ones, and they can always expand the range.
So, the pizza then. Behold! It doesn’t show all that well in the photo (beware cheap android phones with cheap android cameras, kids), but it was very good. The base was nice and thin, but not too crisp. The sauce was top notch, a rich tomato that didn’t overpower the toppings, just enough mozzarella, as well as chopped up ham, pepperoni, chicken, and garnished with rocket, chargrilled chillis (hot ones, it turns out), and chilli oil.
More importantly, the pizza was served on a plate. A rarity these days, one expects these to be delivered on a bit of wood, or a street sign, or in a bucket, or on a painting – Spoons are old fashioned, and this is to be welcomed. It came with a pizza wheel as opposed to a knife and fork, which is sensible, though one wonders how many of those will get nicked before they revert to normal cutlery or just slice it in the kitchen.
One thing it didn’t come with was a napkin – looking round it looked like other diners had them, so maybe it was just me. Maybe I didn’t look like a napkin guy. Trust me, I need as much help as I can get, especially after having shovelled eight slices of cheese, tomato and dead things into my face.
Notwithstanding, a welcome addition to the menu – hopefully, the trial will pass and more Spoons will sell pizzas. Unfortunately, I have no idea what Wetherspoons are selling what so it is a lottery – am happy to update this post with further information as it’s received – if your local Wetherspoons is doing the trial, why not tweet me or hashtag it #wetherspoonspizza ?
Price (for one): 9/10
Wait: 15 minutes (moderately busy Friday, not long at all)