By Cassie Waters
Anyone who knows my flat from first year knows how much we loved Gonzo’s Tea Room. Being a flat who frequently turned our noses up at the idea of a club night (unless it was our beloved Damn Good LCR), we had some truly brilliant bar crawls and our favourite place to end up was always Gonzo’s. We now know all the bar staff by name. But Gonzo’s isn’t just the place to go for drinks, during the day it turns from a trippy hipster bar, complete with a disco ball and subtitled films projected on the walls (the only time I have ever got round to watching Pulp Fiction was sprawled across the bed style seats, cocktail in hand), into an eccentric and eclectic tea room that serves possibly the best chicken burgers and wings in Norwich.
A huge draw of Gonzo’s is its amazing interior. Don’t be fooled by the tiny bleak entrance, once you walk down that hall and enter the main bar/tearoom you are met with an artfully decorated hoarder’s paradise. Any knickknack or curiosity you could imagine can be found in that small space; from board games to Chucky figurines to a modern image of the last supper to a picture of Heisenberg in military uniform. The decor of Gonzo’s has the same fascinating effect whether you go night or day, there’s always something new to look at and talk about.
The main reason why we would go was that as well as being occasional club snobs, my flatmates were cocktail snobs. Two of them knew how to make cocktails, having previously worked in bars and we all begrudged paying such a lot of money for a drink that wasn’t that good. As many bars as we have tried we have not yet been able to find a match for Gonzo’s cocktails. They truly are the best. They do everything from classics like the Negroni to their own creations like my personal favourite, the Queen and Country which comes served in a mug. If you’re a coffee drinker, I’m told they do a really fantastic Espresso Martini. Make no mistake, Gonzo’s cocktails aren’t cheap, usually costing between £8 and £9, but if you want a well made cocktail that’s different to the bog standard ones you can get almost anywhere else then this is your place.
After we’d been a few times at night, we expanded into trying the food in the day, adding a new dimension to our favourite place. If you’re on a health kick, Gonzo’s is probably not the best place but for burgers, chips and chicken wings you just can’t beat it. All interestingly named (the “Dead Elvis” anyone?), the burgers come in a wide variety that’s bound to appeal to everyone. My favourite is quite tame, “The Camilla” is a house fried chicken burger with Cajun chips but you could be a bit more adventurous and go for the “3 Little Pigs”, a pulled pork burger with pork scratching, cola soaked bacon and apple sauce. If you go between 3 and 6pm you can get chicken wings for 25p each and there are over 20 flavours to choose. The bacon and maple syrup wings are to die for!
But be warned, Gonzo’s can have an addictive effect. My flat and I realised we had a problem when we were in there 4 days in a row. And if I haven’t been able to persuade you to try it out then perhaps their tag line can: “Saving Norwich from Prince of Wales Road since 2008”.