Wimpy – Wembley
I finished a meeting in North London, North, North London. Zone 9 territory. I know this because the Metropolitan Line whirled me higher and higher and above and beyond Camden, which is as North as I venture these days.
After this meeting I walked along a busy highroad trying to recall my steps back to the tube station. It was one of those roads sparcly populated except for a few useless stores that can surely never attract enough business stranded all the way out there? In the middle, between a “Cash for Cheques” store and an empty dry-cleaners, was the only place I could see that offered anything close to food. Restaurant is an exaggeration.
In Wimpy, everything is about £1.50 too expensive. None of the final presentations resemble anything like their menu photograph and the seating doubles as small tables and chairs for a child’s party, just like at every little obese child’s fav check-in, McDonalds.
There are 19 Wimpy’s in RoadChef’s up-and-down British motorways (even the Dundee Megabowl), and several hundred others dotted on broken highstreets, largely in destitute areas where they can gain custom through purely being the only option available, hence my impromptu visit. I was however pleasantly surprised.
The Wimpy Club & Chips (£5.59) is a twist on the classic club sandwich; with bacon, egg, cheese and a patti, served on ‘toasted bread’ (isn’t that called just ‘toast’?). The bacon and egg were cooked fine, the bacon long and crunchy and the egg runny. Chips were nothing special, your standard long and oily creations, and I’ve never really been a fan of chips anyway.
Food is served quickly and arrives hot and straight from the open kitchen where I can view a single chef preparing it all. Then again, I was the only person in the chain so was privileged to one-to-one cooking at the Chef’s Table. A bottle of Appletiser is £1.69 and served in a tall glass with ice.
The Wimpy brand was created in the 1950s. The name was inspired by the character of J. Wellington Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons. Their most renowned burger is the Bender (* snigger *), which is actually a frankfurter sausage and not a hamburger patty. But why is this their most popular dish, it’s not even a bloody burger?! It’s a German hotdog in a burger shell, a fastfood fusion from the East and West of the British Isles and apparently sells like hot cakes. Give me the hot cakes instead.
Dessert was called Steamy Temptations. Not the greatest dessert name ever. “Steamy” sounds like someone describing steaming dog’s poop, or it sounds like a Bangkok sex club. There was no ‘temptation’ to jump in when it finally arrived; vanilla and chocolate ice-cream bouldering sweet toffee sauce and a flimsy wafer. Why didn’t I go for the hot sponge or Belgian waffle?