Review of The Courtyard Wigan Pizza Burger
What they say:
Cheese and pulled pork burger topped with Nando’s sauce, served in a burger bun with a pepperoni pizza lid.
Back at The Courtyard in Wigan – I’ve covered the venue before when I had one of the regular menu items, but this time it’s a special. Inside, it’s cold and lacks atmosphere. It’s only partly to do with the 90s cafe-style decor (think lots of light wood), it’s mainly due to it being a weekday morning. I bet it’s a lot more fun in the evenings and at weekends.
Anyway, the burger. There’s definitely innovation here, certainly – it’s a Pizza Burger after all. We’ll just have to see if it’s more pizza than burger or vice versa.
To be honest, the description does seem to suggest that the patty is made of cheese and pulled pork, rather than beef, but after checking, it was explained to me that it’s actually a beef patty with cheese and pulled pork on top.
I wasn’t offered a choice of cooking on the beef but I asked for it medium and after a quick check in the kitchen, it didn’t seem to be a problem.
I also discovered that this is the last week of this (and other current specials) with a new menu starting next week. In terms of feedback, I’d suggest having the menu more discoverable. It may just be me, but as far as I can see, there’s no website, only a Facebook page, and the regular and specials menu aren’t listed. Of course that’s how we used to do things, but these days an online menu is more or less a must. I’d seen the pizza burger mentioned on Twitter but until going in, had no idea if it was still on, or when it was finishing.
But it was still on, hooray, and it arrived on my table with a smile. It looked more like a pizza AND a burger, than a pizza burger, because the two halves were presented separately. The pulled pork-topped burger was crownless and what looked like a mini pepperoni pizza was on the side. I’m going to have to splat these two together to get my pizza burger.
Smell-wise it was the pizza half that won, specifically the pepperoni. I did put the two halves together and enjoyed it as a proper burger for a very short time.
I say “very short” because it was at this point that one of this burger’s flaws became evident. That was the bun. It was a very soft roll and both halves began to crumble after just a few bites. I don’t think it’s robust enough for this volume of toppings. So, before I was even halfway into the eating, I had to bring out the cutlery.
And being able to prise things open with knife and fork allowed me to discover another flaw – no pink in the patty. Remember I asked for it to be done medium, and wasn’t told No.
Ah well, back to the eating. I loved the innovation here, and the element of fun, and the flavours in this were a bit like a pimped up and improved version of the McPizza Pepperoni that graced McDonald’s menu last year. Very bold.
But boldest of all was was the Nando’s sauce. Now, I don’t know which of Nando’s sauces it was, or even where sauce from a chicken chain belongs on a pizza or a burger, but it certainly made its presence known. It was quite hot – Burger Lad would probably say “meh” but the spiciness was what came through the whole thing, for better or for worse.
It also prevented the sweet-ish pulled pork from ruining the beef, as it often does, and that’s a good thing. The pulled pork itself, and the cheese to a certain extent, gave the lovely soft bounce to each bite, not at all dissimilar to a pizza experience, while the pepperoni performed the role that bacon often has in a burger.
The beef patty is decent – a “handmade” 4oz patty. I’d like to know if it is handmade here or handmade elsewhere and bought in. It isn’t clear.
In addition to the main ingredients, there was lettuce, tomato and onion in here, all of which were visibly plentiful but largely due to the sauce, pretty insignificant on the palate.
This burger isn’t flawless, but it was actually very enjoyable. Despite the dull decor, that’s twice now I’ve had tasty and fun dishes here, so will definitely be back.
As for the pizza burger, it definitely hits the right notes and lives up to its name, so get it while you can.