Steak Night, Wetherspoons, Aberystwyth

In a slight change to procedure, this is a review of a meal I didn’t even have!

My husband Dafydd needed to have a “chat” with his friend Paul, who has been getting a bit too friendly with Bethan.
He needed to “have a word”, and thought the best way to do this would be over a well-priced piece of steak.

So the two of them went to Wetherspoon’s on a Tuesday night to take advantage of their “Steak Night” offer, and he’s currently shouting out his comments about the food, and a few choice remarks about Paul and Bethan, which I’m trying to untangle as I go along.

I was sad to see the old station close, but Wetherspoons have done a good job keeping the building smart.

Main RoomThe main room is a bit soul-less, but it’s a popular pub and they need a big room.
It was pretty quiet when they went (around 8) because the students tend to go out later since they’re not exactly up early the next day.
And surely everyone loves the romance of a pub in a railway station?
Little TableDafydd needed somewhere quiet, of course, so was pleased that this little table was free.
It’s quite cosy – he and I have sat there many times having a Sunday afternoon drink – and ideal if you need to have a full and frank man-to-man chat.

Most of Wetherspoon’s food is the cheap and cheerful sort that can be microwaved.
But they do have a proper grill, so anything cooked on that should be worth a try.

Their food isn’t dear anyway, but the Steak Night offer makes it hard to miss.

£8.49  gets you one of their normal grills and a drink (I think prices may vary a little round the country), and this price is correct at Spring 2016.
If you have the ribs or chicken/ribs combo, you’re not saving much as they’re only £8 anyway.
But their rump steak is £9 on the regular menu, the mixed grill is £9.50 and the sirloin  steak is normally £9.99, so with these you can get your meal cheaper AND have a free drink.

But the Big Daddy of their offer is the 14oz Aberdeen Angus rump steak.
This is normally £12 but you can pay an extra £2 and have that too.
That’s 25% more money for 75% more steak – a deal that Dafydd felt he couldn’t miss.

But the best part for him was the drinks choice. You can have pretty much any type of drink.
You can have – coffee/tea, red/white/rose wine, orange juice/J2O,  vodka, gin, whiskey (with mixers) any soft drink or Monster.
And pretty much any beer. The menu says Fosters, John Smiths, Carling, Strongbow or Thatchers Gold, but they were able to have proper real ales!
And decent real ales is something Wetherspoons does very well.
A great selection of Welsh beers included two Red Kite ales, Evan Evans’ Cwrw and fledgling Llanidloes brewery Waun’s excellent Landmark.

I was disappoiShipyard, nted they both had the same thing (and worried about those steak knives!) but they were both delighted.
Two SteaksA 14oz steak is a lot of red meat for a man in his 50s who struggles to put socks on, but Dafydd at least tries a bit by cutting the fat off.
That top part of the steak was mostly fat but once he’d trimmed that off, he was left with a lean, round 12oz steak that was full of flavour.
The grill left the pleasing seared lines and a hint of summer barbecue.
They had both gone for medium rare, and there was a little tension because Paul’s was more rare – rather than pink it was a deep, glowing red.
The chips were better than expected, though not up to the Pier’s the other week.
The mushroom was soft and earthy, and the peas were, he says. “definitely peas”
The hoppy ale went very well with them and they had a pint of Grainstore too.

Paul ate every bit of his, Dafydd only left the fatty bits, and they both felt full and happy.
So happy, that when Dafydd suggested Paul’s “friendship” with Bethan was causing problems, and her husband Elis is a ruffty-tuffty roofer with few social graces, he accepted it as best he could.
He still maintains that he’s not frightened of that Elis, but could see how things could be tricky  for Bethan.

08_DessertJust as the boys reached their agreement, the waitress put this card on their table.
Good sense prevailed, and not for the first time, Wetherspoon’s brave decision to put the calorie counts on their meals worked against them.
Learning that the chocolate cake and ice cream contained 820 calories made them both draw breath at the thought of a 2000+ calorie meal so they had another pint instead and I was very pleased with him.

Waiting staff were friendly and efficient. Ordering was easy, Dafydd was offered samples of the Kite beers, and the food came quickly.Aber WaiterArty WaiterStaff checked they were happy twice and the empty plates were cleared away speedily.

This antipodean chap is always there, and always very friendly, cheerful and efficient.

If I were more friendly I’d know if he were NZ or Oz, but if the natives of those countries don’t want to be mistaken for the other, they should make their accent more different.

Due to my unimaginative testers, this isn’t the most exhaustive or thorough overview of Wetherspoon’s Steak Night menu and I wish one of them had had a sirloin or mixed grill.
I’m not totally sure that men of their ages should be eating a pound of meat each – my Dafydd’s digestion works at glacial pace at the best of times and my poor nose has to pay the price for him being “a bit bunged up”
But then he says that everyone should have the big steak as life is a vale of tears and you should gather ye rosebuds while ye may (he hit the brandy when he got in and this can make him a bit “philosophical”)

Wetherspoons business model is based on keeping the place busy all the time, from 7 till 11.
Tuesday is normally a dead day of the week (all the nearby pubs were empty) and if Wetherspoons is so desperate to be full that they’ll offer food at half the price you’d pay elsewhere, then you might as well take advantage.

I attach normal menu and Steak Night menu below so you can see what you think.
http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/yr-hen-orsaf

** Edit
Paul has been in touch to claim that he was “only friends” with Bethan, and to point out that Wetherspoons call it their “Steak CLUB, not “Night”.
Dafydd replies that it can’t be a club since no one asked to see his membership card, plus they don’t just serve steak so it should be “Grill Night”
When I went, I had the chicken & ribs combo, which was excellent.
Especially where the BBQ sauce goes all reduced on the meat.
Wetherspoons Ribs Combo


 


04_MenuLast time I went, the price had crept up to £8.49, the “Two Steaks and Wine” had gone up to £20.49, and the desserts up to £2.30.
05_SteakCLub

7 thoughts on “Steak Night, Wetherspoons, Aberystwyth”

  1. Went into The Central Bar in Cardiff (also a chain of ‘spoons), with a bit of luck they had the 14oz aberdeen angus as a “managers special”. Normally 13.39 a steak they were 5.99. Not the normal price, its just a one off offer, may come back again but who knows. A cracking piece of steak, had it cooked rare which in my oppinion is the best way. I joked with my partner that for that price i was going for another, she laughed as if i wouldnt dare… Went to the loo, and came back with a reciept for steak number 2 :)… very pleased, service in there was fantastic too.

    1. Fair point, Christian
      I was influenced by the Aber Wetherspoons, in particular, not being in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide entry for Ceredigion, despite being one of the best pubs in the area.
      Whereas it does include (for example) the Penrhiwgaled Arms (no real ale, charm, or atmosphere) and the Queens (one horrible, vinegar-y real ale and a smell of unloved books and unwanted chips)
      My opinion is predicated more on the local CAMRA than the national, although the CAMRA “Beer” magazine often criticises Wetherspoons (and I have felt compelled to complain, via their Letters’ page, about the snobbish attitudes of some CAMRA members)

  2. I don’t think CAMRA ignore Wetherspoons, Spoons run regular real ale festivals and moreover when you join CAMRA you’re given Wetherspoon’s vouchers as a gift due to their good relations with the pub chain.

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