What?: The Brunch Burger - One of their Gourmet Burgers, with which you get a free drink
How much?: £6.99 with an alcoholic drink, a bit cheaper if you have a soft drink
For the price, this is one seriously good burger. They might not be the first name for 'posh nosh' but there are two things that Wetherspoons do well (Real Ale and Cheap Good Burgers) and it comes together in this 1000+ calorie crippling burger that not only hits the spot, but vaporizes it too.
The Imperial was originally built in 1809 and was called Elmfields given the plot of land that had existed before it was built had been covered in Elm Trees. The Orangery had orignally been attached to Streatham House, just up the hill and was installed in the 1920s. It was said to have been designed by Brunel.
It is my local geographically speaking, so as a result I end up here most Fridays and some other days too if I am feeling sneaky and it was today that I was feeling sneaky and just had to give in to the ultimate temptation. They had Hunters Brewery's amazing Crispy Pig, a light session ale that has been at the top of my all time favourite Ales for a while and will be BBB Beer of the week at some point soon.
Get on with it!...
The burger itself was a sight to behold. Although it seemed strange to arrange the onion rings as they were arranged, I couldn't complain. Two thick rashers of bacon, cheese, a fried egg on a 6oz beef pattie with a thick cut tomato and some salad. The burger was cooked well, not incinerated but definitely done a la BBQ.
The chips in Wetherspoons are generally very nice for the price. A few years ago they changed their recipe which added an extra crispy coating to the chips, so I have been quite a fan of their new variety since this change but 'spoons are not immune from a pet hate of mine. 'Not Enough Chips' syndrome which can ruin a good meal, especially when the other side of the table has more chips than me.
Unfortunately on this occasion the chips felt that they'd been served but the meal had waited for service to get to it, and as a result it wasn't quite as hot as you would expect it to be, but not inedible and the ones that were hot were quite nice. "Normally they're hotter than this?" I thought. Ah well never mind.
Tori had a BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich which came with infinitely bigger onion rings and many more chips (portion sizes?) but I resisted the urge to steal half of hers as I have learnt from previous cases of Spousal Chip Theft that it doesn't pay and often leads to Chip Wars, which never work out well for me.
So big thumbs up for the drinks and real ales. Thumbs up for the burger and thumbs up for the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. Thumbs down for the not quite hot chips, and the weird portions.
But ultimately the value of the meal shines through. And without going on about Real Ales too much, there is a lot to be said for Wetherspoons and the encouragement and growth in popularity in the work of Microbreweries. I've banged on about this over at Eating Exeter, but for all their flaws, 'spoons have certainly proven themselves.