If you are looking for a veggie burger that tastes great, doesn’t cost the earth, and is available easily, then it doesn’t get much better than the Wetherspoons veggie burger. Up until recently this was actually my very favourite veggie burger to have, though a recent change has meant that it has fallen a notch in my estimations – more on that later. It is still a meal that I very much enjoy, however, and so this is going to be a positive review from the outset.
When you order the burger, what you will find is a plate half filled with chips, which are nice and soft on the inside with a bit of crunch to them on the inside. You also get a drink with your meal included in the price, and the burger itself sits inside a soft seeded bun with lettuce, tomato, and red onion underneath. Normally the salad part will be quite underwhelming as they don’t seem to put much in, and on occasion you will find that the burger bun is burnt. It’s worth complaining on these occasions as normally the manager will be quite happy to offer you something free or a refund, once they take a look at the bun and see for themselves. This will of course depend on which particular Wetherspoons you go into, however.
Previously, there had also been a pot of burger relish which was served along with the meal, and this was the thing which really tied it all together. Through careful experimentation I had found that you can get the maximum deliciousness by spreading burger relish evenly over the top of the burger with your knife, and then putting a bit of mayonnaise on the bottom with the salad (though I always asked to have it without the tomato, as I’m not a fan). You then had enough relish left over to have some over the chips as well. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and delicious meal every single time, and stood me in good stead for lunch breaks from work, weekend shopping breaks, and many an evening spent with friends.
Now, however, they have simply removed the relish from the plate, without updating the menu or mentioning anything different. It was not mentioned on the menu as part of the meal before, so they have not technically done anything wrong here, but it still leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. By taking it off unannounced they have not changed the rest of the meal, so there is now just less food on the plate. I almost had a row with a very untrained waitress the first time it happened (she tried to tell me it had been off the menu for a long time and that the whole menu had been changed, after running to the kitchen several times to find out what to say, despite the fact that at first she agreed with me when I said the relish was missing).
Still, onto the burger as it is now, as I do still enjoy it. There are some really great flavours going on with every bite – things like lentils really come to the surface as well as plenty of vegetables, and the crunchy breadcrumbs on the outside have both a great taste and texture. It all fits beautifully with the taste and texture of the bun, and is also a good partner to the chips. It is a good filling meal for a low price, so even if it was just an alright burger it will still be a good option – but it is without a doubt the tastiest burger that I’ve found available in such an easy way. Just about every UK town has a Wetherspoons, so even when you’re visiting somewhere new it’s easy to find a veggie burger!
I could go on about this one all day, so I’ll give it a rest shortly. I’m still experimenting with how to make the burger tastier again now that the relish isn’t included; ketchup on the top of the burger is alright, but it’s still no substitute for the real thing. I’d be very interested in either a source or a recipe for the relish that they used to use, so if that’s something that anyone can point me in the direction of, I’d like to hear it (and will share results later, of course!). The Mexican Veggie Burger is also a way to get some exciting flavours back, but costs more and has more calories, as you can see in my review.
Finally, on the VegBurge scale, I give this…
Taste – 9.5/10 – Previous version 10/10
Price – 9/10
Rest of experience – 7/10