Situated on the Yardley Wood Road, The Covered Wagon is not the easiest to get to, it is approx 20 mins from the city center via A38 and Edgbaston cricket round is about 15 minutes away, once you arrive at the Covered Wagon, you do have a nice clean and well lit car park.
The Covered Wagon looks very appealing at night, it is lit up well and is very easy on the eye, this place is busy, very busy, we have pre-booked a table of 4 as we had been pre warned about how busy this place gets, good job we did, as it really is full.
The screens are showing sport, so we have people watching that and we seem to have a birthday party in too, either way the place is hectic, and feels hectic, staff are rushing around and I’m glad we pre booked.
Not sure if this is independently owned now, but it feels like a Marstons pub, the decor, colour scheme and just the layout, that is not a bad thing, just lacks character, but many pubs do these days. What it lacks in character it certainly makes up for in bodies!
Drinks and Ordering:
The bar has plenty of options from ales to lager, the choice is impressive, and the Guinness goes down a treat, and it seems to be popular, the prices are pretty much standard for Birmingham. The spirits on offer are varied and plentiful , great selection of flavoured Gins/Vodka’s and a good a selection of rum too.
We order our food at the bar, and are shown to our tables, we are informed the food will be 30-35 mins, yes it is busy but we have pre-booked, ah well let’s see. 40 minutes after ordering we go back to the bar and ask for our food, we eventually get our food after nearly 50 minutes.
The fresh waft of sizzling onions is refreshing and the fact it is not just the onions you can smell but a combination of flavours really does impress. The size of the grill is good we ordered the special and for 4 people it looks like it may do the job.
Chicken tikka, we are not short of this, good size chunks and cooked well, you can really taste the various flavours, the spice is just right, this is a good start, a good quality of meat seems to have been used here.
On so many occasions the shish fails to deliver and is a part of the grill because others do it, not the case here, it is cooked really well, it has a good spice kick and is not over cooked, well done on making the shish feel special.
The chicken wings, these tasted good, and nothing more, the flavours failed to live up to the tikka and shish, not a great amount of spice and just felt a bit mehhh.
The fish pakora, these like the wings just lacked that something special, they were decent, but failed to live up to the first two bits of the grill.
The lamb chops are the final thing we tackle, these are impressive, the spice is good, hardly any fat, and the meat is cooked well, it breaks off easy and it does satisfy the taste buds, a good end to the grill.
Chicken Curry (Homemade), the sauce in the chicken is impressive, the dish has remained hot whilst we eat our starter, which is a good sign of, it not just being re-heated. The chunks are a good size and are cooked well, does it feel like homemade, no, is it a good dish, yes.
Lamb Curry, the sauce was a bit to runny on this, and the salt levels were quite high, so that really impacted on the dish,unfortunately the salt content meant we left most of this dish.
The Covered Wagon is a really impressive establishment, it is clean and welcoming, despite us being non regulars we felt comfortable as soon as we walked in, so that was a winner straight away for us. The Covered Wagon is a very very busy pub, remember to book early if you are going.
The food, the mixed grill did not really have any low points, parts of it were very good and some just a bit “take it or leave” it, the portion size is good, it was just the 50 minute wait that took it’s toll on us, the staff never seemed to stop, so communication was an issue, and having to keep going to the bar to ask how long the food would be was an issue.
The curries, the lamb for some reason was very salty, hoping this is a one off, the chicken was good and tasted fresh.
We enjoyed our trip to the Covered Wagon, it is not a place for a quite drink, and remember to pre- book. Will we go back, most likely, but next time we will leave longer as the wait for food was a bit to excessive.