Tag Archives: wetherspoons

Wetherspoons do pizza now*…

17 Feb

…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 ?

In summary:

Food: 8/10

Price (for one): 9/10

Wait: 15 minutes (moderately busy Friday, not long at all)

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Food what I just ate.

30 Jul

Dave the Barman suggests I would make a good restaurant critic. Here goes…

I am in a pub. This should not come as a surprise, as it is one of the few things in my life that I do. I am generally either a) at work, b) at home, or c) in the pub. Occasionally there will be an exciting fourth option, such as going to the football, cinema, park or gun shop, but by and large I have a simple life. You can generally have a 33% chance of correctly predicting where I am at any given time, and, if you factor in the likely times at which I’m at home or work, you can increase your chances of correctly guessing where I am to a massive 100%. This is, of course, only if you have nothing to do.

Today, however, I am in the pub purely by mistake. Having been to get my hair cut, and being a very vain man indeed, I decided to stay out in order to fish for complements. I also decided to have lunch. So far, not one person has complemented me on my dapper snipped-up hair. No-one. Not Big Sam. Not Wee Eddie. Not Ray-mund-O!. Not Gary the South African. Not even Pete the Thief. Not even a derogatory remark from Insultin’ Jeff. The first part of the trip has been a waste.

Thankfully, the food fared much better. I went for the lasagne. Lasange is one of these dishes that is easy to make, but very difficult to make good. For my money, only two people get lasagne spot-on, my Dad (sorry Mum), and Tennents bar in Glasgow’s West End. This is almost certainly due to the ludicrous cheese-to-meat ratio that these goons employ.

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Here’s my meal. As you can see, the lasagne and ONE cherry tomato are to the left of the cutlery, with some ranched up leaves and THREE cherry tomatoes to the right.

The lasange itself wasn’t that bad. I appreciate the effort, despite it almost certainly being a microwave-me-do, but found it lacking. See, a lasagne is split into three parts: a) cow, b) tomatoey goodness, and c) cheesy pasta topping. There was no faulting the cow element of this dish; it was quality beef with a nice bit of spice to it. Perhaps a little too peppery, but worse things happen. The tomatoey goodness was a little bit bland, if I’m honest. Usually, you get complementary vegetables, such as carrots, mushrooms (not a vegetable) and ting, which boost the flavour and bring joy. Instead, this lasagne contained what I call “generic red sauce with herbs”. Not unpleasant, thus rather thin. Luckily, the white sauce/cheese/pasta combination made up for it, but as I lamented earlier, needs MOST CHEESES.

All in all, not bad. Me and Dave the barman (who served me my food) suggested that I should give restaurant reviews a go, so here it is Dave. Also, thank’s for this:

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That’s right, a lemony fresh wet-wipe. I didn’t know you still got them, such has been the length of time since I last ate out. I thought they were dead.

Furthermore, as I was writing this, Dave came up to me, asked how I was enjoying the meal, and gave me the weirdest backrub since the beginning of time, nearly ruining my meal. Nice one, Dave. Don’t worry, folks, he only does this to people he knows, don’t avoid it on his account, you’ll be fine!

The Society Room
Glasgow.
Wetherspoons (Lloyds Bar No1)
Lasagne: £5.50. 7/10.