Sunday 9 January 2011

A Wetherspoons Fry Up...

...could save your life.

For £3.99 you can get a large fry up which consists of two sausages, two rashers of bacon, three hash browns, two fried eggs, mushrooms/black pudding, beans, half a tomato and two slices of toast. Pay an extra pound and you get a pot of tea. That’s a lot of bite for your buck. Wetherspoons aren’t alone in offering massive breakfasts but they do stand ahead of many others, and why? Quality.

The beans are Heinz. The eggs are free range. The sausages are clearly pretty good, meaty and actually tasty (not just pink-brown tubes of porcine pulp). It’d be easy for a chain of over 700 pubs, serving 400,000 breakfasts a week, to skimp on the quality, but they don’t. Sure, it’s not gourmet and it’s still piled high and dropped on the plate, but it’s a real feast for under a fiver and it’s good.

It’s also saved me on many occasions. Leaving the flat with red eyes, unsettled gut and a hazy head, it’s a three-minute walk to get to my local ‘Spoons where I can guarantee a stomach liner and a helping hand of recovery. Ordering without looking, less than 10-minutes later I’m splaying yolk and bean juice over the table as I dig in.

I’ve had breakfasts in other places nearby and nowhere compares. The sausages are terrible, the yolks aren’t runny (runny yolk is an essential part of a fry up) and the hash browns are as greasy as the people serving it. It also costs more than £3.99, which in turn is as cheap as you could make for yourself as home, but everyone knows that making your own fry up is nowhere near as good as buying one somewhere (I think this is because your house smells of ‘fried’ for hours after, plus I always feel dirty cooking it myself as if I should’ve resisted and had the cereal instead, but going out is altogether different and more acceptable).

A lot of people have bad things to say about Wetherspoons in general but I’m not one of them. In fact, I’ll say this proudly: I love Wetherspoons. And their large breakfast is a life saver for those occasions when the only thing that will do is a massive fry up.

NOTE: I've just looked on the Wetherspoons website and seen that the large fry up consists of over 1500 calories. If you are interested in counting the kcals then this represents a substantial chunk of your day's eating. Maybe next time I'll just order the regular...


  1. "Small print."

    Otherwise known as "red rag to a bull."

    I wasn't remotely sold on the concept of showering, shaving, dressing, leaping into the car and heading for the Grantham Wetherspoons...

    ...until I read that damned small print.

    Government Guidelines - I shall overcome!

    (Or at the very least - I shall overeat!)

  2. I have also been saved by the power of pork. Praise the lard!

  3. I think Wetherspoons get a lot of things right - their pricing is really reasonable, especially in London, where I live.

    And service is always friendly and helpful.

    I don't particularly love their food, though it's better than many chains but then again I'm pretty demanding on the food front.

    I'm lucky to have a number of really good independent cafe restaurants nearby including a couple almost opposite our local Wetherspoons and these offer fantastic cooked breakfasts for similar prices.

    But the quality of the breakfast is good to know if on the road and looking for a good and inexpensive option!

  4. I like Wetherspoons (most of them). Pub food is usually under-rated, and yes runny eggs are an essential part of a fry up.

  5. I normally go for the Regular Breakfast Mark, but with tea and toast as an added extra.

    Excellent value for money as well!

  6. "...everyone knows that making your own fry up is nowhere near as good as buying one somewhere"
    I disagree. And the place needn't stink (try grilling those rashers and sausages instead of frying, you'll fool yourself into thinking it's good for you too). Plus, there's always seconds :)

  7. As a regular consumer of the Large Breakfast, I rather wish you hadn't informed me of the calorific value:)

  8. One criticism of Spoons is the "McPub", forgetting Mcdonalds is the most successful franchise in the world. If you have all the overheads and fixed costs of a building why not figure a way of getting punters in for breakfast aswell as lunch & dinner?

    I've been put off by the presence of boozers necking pints at 9am, which scares me. This might be a weakness of the offer. You can enjoy breakfast in a cafe and not be surrounded by alcoholics.

  9. all manner of wrong, just ask chunk.

  10. The 'Spoons breakfast I had with Glyn in Tonbridge took about 3 days off my life expectancy!

    Filthy gorgeous.

  11. woof! thats a real meal deal, can you get a pack of bacon nowerdays for under £3.99??

  12. I love to hate the breakfast at Spoons.

    The toast can be as hard as a shard of flint, the tomato has only had a passing introduction to a grill and, even if you're the only person in the building to order food, they still can't microwave a baked bean til it's warm.

    But... I know I can find a Spoons in most towns and cities and enjoy a slap-up plate of life-shortening cholesterol even on a Sunday. And in the case of the Babington in Derby, I can eat whilst using Wifi and perusing their beer board to see which of their 17 beers I'm going to have first.

  13. Kavey - I tried a local cafe and it was awful so 'Spoons is my best bet. I'd love to have other places to go for breakfast (for the rare occasion that I go out) but 'Spoons will do for me :)

    Paul - for an extra £1 (or so) to upgrade to large it's irresistible!!

    Barry - I just don't enjoy cooking a fry up. I guess it's the guilt factor for me and I feel like I shouldn't have it. Plus having a pile of washing up afterwards is just not cool!

    Cookie - Very true and it is a weakness if you don't overlook it or don't mind it. Last time I went I was weirded out by just how many people were drinking beer and wine in the morning. Saying that, we ordered a half because Thornbridge was on and we couldn't resist. We managed about four mouthfuls between two of us before going on to the cup!

    Simon - I've never managed to eat the tomato. I'm not a huge fan of it anyway - I'd sooner have ketchup. And if you can get wifi and 17 beers then you've got a good one there!

  14. Guilt? I try to think about cutting edge research like this when digging in :)

    And if I cook, someone else usually has to wash up. Usually...

  15. The problem with Wetherspoons is service - not for want of trying, as their people generally are not slackers, but because there typically are just not enough staff.
    If you're going to the bar, it's worth packing a sandwich, you'll be there long enough to overrun the next mealtime.
    It was this that made us give up on their breakfasts in our local W - they started out well but, sure enough, the staffing issue soon spoiled it.