“ Address: 4 Thorniewood Road / Uddingston / Glasgow / G71 5QQ „
(Review originally posted to Ciao 04/03/13 - unedited for dooyoo)
My fiance and son wanted to treat me to lunch on my recent birthday. After having a look around the internet for a suitable restaurant, I came across the Windmill Tavern. I was pleased to discover that the Windmill Tavern is actually part of the Sizzling Pubs chain. I was complaining to my fiance that we didn't have any Sizzling Pubs in Scotland as I assumed it was an English chain (we visited when in Birmingham last year), so was pleased to discover one not too far from our home.
4 Thorniewood Road
Opening times : midday to 23.00 daily.
The Windmill Tavern is classed as being in Uddingston (just outside of Glasgow). I was a little confused by this as when I looked it up on the Google maps, it is actually quite a bit a way from Uddingston. It is actually located in Tannochside. It is located on a main road next to a Co-Op and other little shops. We arrived by bus (First Bus 240) and the bus stops across the road. There is a small car park and from the outside, the building looks quite big and rather new looking.
The Windmill Tavern is both a pub and a restaurant. There is an outside area with picnic benches but this area is quite small and cramped. As we entered the Windmill Tavern, I found it to be smaller than I imagined. There is a small amount of natural lighting but it is quite dark if not sitting next to the window area. There is a range of seating options available but the tables are located quite close together and there isn't a great deal of room to move around. There is a few amusement machines and a teddy grabbing machine too. The pub has a quiz night on a Thursday.
The Windmill Tavern has a typical pub feel and atmosphere and whilst the decor is quite nice, the chairs could be doing with being replaced as some were badly stained and torn. The menus weren't very nice either as they were covered in food stains. They could be doing with replacing them and laminating them for easy cleaning. The Windmill Tavern caters for families and high chairs are available but there is limited space for placing them next to a table. I wouldn't say there was much room for wheelchairs to navigate the pub either. There are toilet, disabled and changing facilities within the pub. The toilets didn't smell particular pleasant and could do with a revamp. To be fair, I feel the full pub would benefit from a refit and paint but that is my own personal opinion.
I actually visited the website the evening before our visit and signed up to the newsletter. In turn, I received a 25% discount voucher which my fiances aunt printed off for us. This was valid midweek all day. I also received an email when we were on the way to the pub offering us four free starters as it was my birthday. I found this to be generous but I had no way of printing it off and they wouldn't accept me just showing them the email from my mobile.
When we arrived at the Windmill Tavern, it was around 1pm on a Friday afternoon. As it was around 7 months since the last time I had visited a Sizzling Pub, I couldn't remember if we had to wait to be seated or just found a table ourself. The latter was the right choice and we opted for a table near the window as I prefer to see what I am eating. The pub was very busy with families, couples and a few small groups of people enjoying a drink and a chat.
The service was quite slow but friendly enough. I waited quite a while to be served as there was only one person behind the bar. You need to place your order and pay at the bar as well as ordering drinks so more staff would be ideal. Tables weren't cleared as quickly as I would have expected considering how busy the pub actually was. Our cutlery and sauce tray was brought out promptly. There were a few people bringing food out but the time between the starter we ordered and the main course was a little longer than I appreciated. I would have expected them to bring my sons meal out with the starter and we was impatient. Our desserts seemed to go amiss and we had to ask for them twice before they were brought to us.
~Food On Offer~
The main menu is a typical Sizzling Pub menu. There is something for everyone and the food is very reasonably priced. In most cases, the food is even cheaper than Wetherspoons. They run special promotions through the week including a curry night, beer and burger night and also a grill night. This arrangement is similar to what Wetherspoons and Brewers Fayres offer. There is options to upgrade your meal to a kingsize meal for a few pounds - ideal for those with bigger appetites. I will give a brief run down of the main menu and childrens menu. Most meals include sides but these can be changed.
*Starters : nachos, prawn cocktail, cream cheese jalapenos - priced from £1.50
*Pub favourites : tikka masala, ribs, pies and sausage and mash - priced from £3.39
*Sizzling Skillets : mixed grills, steaks, surf and turf, bbq smothered chicken and piri piri chicken skewers - priced from £3.39
*Burgers : reggae reggae, chicken and gourmet burgers - priced from £3.99
*Season and shake : a bit like KFC. Different chicken combos - priced from £6.99
*Pasta/Salads : beef lasagne, mozzarella sald - priced from £4.79
*Lighter choices : baked potatoes and baguettes - priced from £2.69
*Extras : onion rings, sauces, prawns etc - priced from £1.50
*Desserts : lots of sundae options, Millionaires shortbread cake, crumble and treacle pudding - priced from 99p
Vegetarians are catered for at the Windmill Tavern. They have the option of a few starters including breaded mushrooms and soup. Suitable main courses include a veggie korma curry, Quorn chilli, Quorn fillets, a veggie burger and also a mushroom and goats cheese pasta. They also offer suitable baguette and baked potato fillings for vegetarians. Whilst meat eaters can appreciate a roast beef meal on a Sunday, a nut roast is offered for those who do not favour meat.
The childrens menu offers main meals for £2.99 or you can upgrade to a meal, dessert and drink for £4.50. Meals include fish fingers, nuggets, bbq chicken with sides of chips, mash or baked potato. Price also includes salad, beans or veg and there is the option to change the meal to a lasagne or roast dinner. Dessert options include chocolate chip cookie, ice cream, jelly or custard with chocolate buttons. Children are also given colouring sheets and a choice of (rather crappy and cheap) colouring pens.
There is a varied range of drinks available including soft drinks, beer and also wine.
Okay, so we didn't go here expecting a spectacular meal. We were on a limited budget and simply wanted a nice meal and something that would suit our incredibly fussy son. We got that at the Windmill Tavern. We ordered some drinks - a large pint of Cola and an apple juice. My son received a Fruit Shoot in with his meal. We ordered a starter to share - a portion of nachos. They were presented well and the portion was quite large so we were glad we had ordered a regular portion instead of a sharing portion. There was plenty of melted cheese on the nachos which some pubs/restaurants often skimp on. There was also a generous serving of sour cream, salsa and jalapenos. We enjoyed grazing on the nachos and found that this starter represented decent value for money (£2.89).
When our main course finally arrived, I had mixed opinions. My son is a very fussy eater and wanted simple chips and sausage. I requested no gravy for him. I found that whilst the portion of chips was adequate, there was only two, rather stingy and small sausages provided. The last Sizzling Pub we dined at offered two, large and meaty sausages. I wouldn't expect an older child to be pleased with the size of this meal so this is worth keeping in mind. He did enjoy it though.
I was spoiled for choice with main courses as there was so much on offer than I felt I would like. I ended up ordered the big steak and chicken combo which included a 6oz rump steak, a chicken breast, chips, onion and tomato as well as a sauce of my choice (I opted for Jack Daniels sauce). My meal arrived on a skillet on top of a wooden board - piping hot and neatly presented. I requested that my steak be medium-well cooked but found it was a little overcooked on the top. The steak wasn't massive but the chicken breast was quite big.
My food was nice enough and very filling. There was no fat on the steak and it was pleasant to eat. The chicken breast was cooked to perfection and was very tender. The chips were delicious - crispy on the outside and beautifully fluffy inside. The Jack Daniels sauce is divine and I would recommend it to all as it complimented the steak and chicken perfectly. It was ideal for dipping my chips in too. I ordered a side portion of onion rings and they were delicious. My meal cost £7.49 which I consider excellent value for money.
My fiance has a habit of ordering the same type of meal no matter where we go. He ordered a gourmet ultimate burger (£6.99) which included grilled bacon, melted cheese, bbq sauce, onion rings and a bowl of chips. His burger was huge and cooked to perfection. The burger was well garnished and proved to be nice enough but not the best burger he has had to date (his words, not mine). I am hoping he decides to try something different the next time we go out. We ordered a can of diet Irn Bru after our meal to share and I was shocked at the £1.20 price tag - cheap food, expensive drinks it would seem!
It was my birthday and I was determined to have a dessert! My son received his quite quickly and enjoyed his large ice cream (even it was the cheap yellow ice cream). When our desserts finally surfaced, I enjoyed mine. I ordered a luscious lemon meringue sundae (£3.49) and received a huge sundae glass topped with lots of squirty cream. Mmmm my dessert was a little different to what I usually have and was a different take on lemon meringue pie. Whilst I'm not a fan of the yellow ice cream (I prefer decent quality ice cream), I found it to be edible when mixed in with meringue pieces and tangy lemon sauce. It was delicious and I finished every last spoonful!
My fiance ordered a chocolate fudge sundae (£3.49) which included warm fudge cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and Dairy Milk pieces. I didn't get to try this as the greedy sod didn't leave my any of it. It did look nice and perfect for a chocolate love to have after their meal. He enjoyed it but said he would have preferred the apple pie. The dessert selection is mainly focussed around ice cream sundaes but there are a few other choices.
We paid by cash and used our 25% off voucher. I think our entire meal which included one starter, two main courses, two desserts, a childrens meal deal and three drinks came to around £28.00. This wasn't a bad price at at all as the portion sizes are generous.
I wouldn't say that this is high up in my favourite, local places to eat out. I found the food to be nice but nothing particularly special. After discovering this pub online, I asked Facebook friends if they recommended it and got a mixed response which is about right. The food is cheap enough and it is ideal if you are on a budget or dining with young children but I wouldn't recommend the Windmill Tavern for special occasions as there are other, much better pubs/restaurants nearby.
4 stars (just..) We may go back one day if we are passing by but I wouldn't make a special trip to eat here.
Thanks for reading :)