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THE GOLDEN BEE (A JD WETHERSPOON PUB), STRATFORD-UPON-AVON: QUICK TAKE

As an American, it's hard not to cringe every time that I pass a McDonald's or a Burger King or a KFC along the highway in France. But it makes sense that these joints are highly visible here. McDonald's derives almost 40% of it's worldwide revenue in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Coca Cola nearly one-quarter. Worldwide branding is a serious thing.

In the Colonies, places like Applebee's and Olive Garden might be considered one step up from fast food as represented by McDonald's. Call it quick food if you have to call it at all. There are more than a dozen Applebee's in Saudi Arabia, none in Europe...or the UK. (Best to start getting used to keeping those two separate.) Check out Applebee's menu (such as it is) HERE.

I discovered what may just be the equivalent of American quick food restaurants while in the UK for our Shakespeare pilgrimage this past winter. We'd arrived in Stratford-upon-Avon close to noon, we had tickets for the matinee, and we were hungry. We needed quick eats. Enter The Honey Bee, a JD Wetherspoon pub.Wetherspoon's website lists 881 Wetherspoon pubs in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. I had no idea.

Long story short, the place was clean and neat, glitzy at the front with electronic games and other come-ons near the bar but relatively more calm back among the tables. Service was attentive. Our food arrived in a timely fashion and was as we had ordered. And the price was reasonable - under 
20€ for Cathey's Ultimate Burger and chips, my Buttermilk Chicken Burger and chips, and an ale apiece.

Recommended for what it is, a quick and predictable meal.

I couldn't resist lining up the condiments for a pic. They certainly appeared comfortably familiar to this American but they are not formulated the same as they are in the Colonies. The catsup, for instance, is much, much sweeter. So is the ketchup.

Check out the more of my restaurant reviews HERE.








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