From students to pensioners, everyone loves the bargain booze and food at Wetherspoon pubs, don’t they?
It’s certainly the only place I’ve been asked directions to twice in one week.
It’s been a few years since I frequented ‘Spoons’ for a beer and burger deal during my uni’ days, so I was intrigued to find out just how good its offering is these days.
Along with my dining buddy David, I paid a lunchtime visit to one of the chain’s three Leicester pubs – The High Cross – to see if we could get a lunch that’s both cheap and cheerful.
The High Cross (named after the High Cross which once stood outside) is a big pub in High Street, and looks and feels very much like a traditional British boozer.
There’s the (slightly sticky) dark wood tables and chairs, dark red patterned carpet, plus fruit machines and TV screens dotted around.
It’s comfortable, and clearly very popular.
We went along at about 12.30pm on a Tuesday, and it was packed.
The menu is huge, and has a really good range of food – including pub classics like all-day brunch, Whitby breaded scampi and chips, and bangers and mash.
There’s steaks, burgers, pizzas, and lighter bites including a quinoa salad or grilled halloumi and sweet chilli wrap.
These are both vegetarian, and other veggie choices include a five-bean chilli, teriyaki noodles, and Mediterranean vegetable lasagne.
I could only spot one vegan meal – which was a sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry.
Many of the meals are available as a package with a drink included.
Plus, there’s daily ‘club deals’ such as Fish Friday and Curry Club on a Thursday.
And, happily, on the day of our visit it was Steak Club. That meant that for £7.75, we could get a steak meal and a drink.
It sounded good to me, so I decided to go for the 10oz gammon and eggs. Other options include an 8oz sirloin, 14oz rump, or a chicken and rib combo.
David, meanwhile, was drawn to the ‘pub classics’ section of the menu, and chose the bangers and mash (£5.99).
What’s handy for those watching their weight (and slightly off-putting for those of us who aren’t but probably should!) is the fact that calories are displayed next to all of the dishes on the menu.
You order food at the bar, or, if you don’t want to leave your seat, you can use the Wetherspoon Order and Pay app to order your dinner straight to your table.
As there was only a couple of other people waiting at the bar, I did it the traditional way – and it wasn’t long until our plates brimming with food arrived.
Mine was a particularly big meal, and included two 5oz gammon steaks, two fried eggs, peas, tomato, mushroom and chips (jacket potato is also available, but you’ve got to have chips with gammon, haven’t you?!)
Well, the gammon hit the spot, and there was certainly plenty of it.
The fried eggs were cooked just how I like them, so that the runny yolk oozed out as I cut into them.
The mushrooms, tomato and peas were decent, and the chips tasted good – although they would have been better if they were a bit crispier.
David’s bangers and mash – comprising three large sausages, a generous dollop of mash, plus peas and gravy – soon disappeared, and he reckoned he was very happy with his choice.
With options including British Bramley apple crumble, warm chocolate brownie with ice cream, and American-style pancakes with ice cream, the dessert menu sounded very tempting, but unfortunately we were both just too full.
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There’s a vast selection of drinks to choose from, including lagers, real ales, world beers, ciders, wines and spirits.
A variety of alcoholic drinks (selected pints, bottles, craft cans, spirits and wines) are available as part of the food and drink packages, along with a selection of soft drinks and hot drinks.
It being a working day, I stuck with a good old R White’s lemonade, and David, being equally adventurous, went for a San Pellegrino Orange (£1.09 as the bangers and mash doesn’t come as a food and drink package).
It’s not hard to see why Wetherspoon pubs are so popular. There’s a great selection of food, and it’s good food, served quickly, in generous portions.
Our bill came to just £14.83, which, for two large meals and two drinks, is incredibly good value.
What Wetherspoons do, they do very well indeed.
The High Cross is at 103-105 High Street, Leicester.
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Review: How good is the food at Wetherspoons? have 1000 words, post on www.leicestermercury.co.uk at July 1, 2018. This is cached page on Konitono.News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.