Monday, December 5, 2011

J & A Cafe, 30th November

So far my unemployment hadn't been as relaxing as I had hoped - I spent the first two days applying for jobs, preparing for interviews, and getting stressed out about whether or not I was making the correct decision regarding a job offer. But Wednesday - ahhh Wednesday - my first proper day of respite. I had a lie in and then met my boyfriend for lunch. I consulted my List (not physically but mentally, actually it may well have been physically) and suggested J & A. This place had in turn been suggested to me by one of my friends from work. I particularly liked the sound of their brunches on the weekend but the sound of their sandwiches also appealed - nothing fancy, but I quite like the simple touch when it comes to sandwiches.

We met early, at noon. This was a good thing. People clearly know about this place and by 1 pm  the place was full and people were having to 'bunk up' on tables - a practice my boyfriend detests. I'm not too hot on it either considering I hate hearing other people eat. I find it even difficult to hear the mastication of my nearest and dearest, let alone strangers.  Anyway, so the place gets busy and it isn't even right in the middle of the thoroughfare - you have to go down a little alley to get to it. I almost thought I was in the wrong place. 

I had pretty much decided to have a sandwich but then at the last minute changed my mind to a baked potato. They have several sandwiches that they always serve and then they also have a soup or stew special, a pie special and several jacket potato specials on the day, written up on the board on the wall. I ordered the smoked cheddar, bacon, sundried tomato and apple potato. Stephen had the chicken roast chicken sandwich. 

I also had some orange juice with my meal which Stephen proclaimed 'lovely'. It had bits in it which was a plus for him, though I prefer my juice sans pulp. 

Our food arrived and I think I had food envy. Probably why I took two pictures of Stephen's dish and only one of mine. I didn't have any of the sandwich but I have it on good advice that it was an impressive sandwich. It must have been because ordinarily Stephen would moan that it was £5.50 for a sandwich but this time, he not only didn't moan but said he really liked the place and would be coming back soon! Judging from the looks of the 'wich, I could understand it - just look at those plump slices of bread. And they haven't skimped with the chicken - look at it all juicy and glistening. And they included some skin. Oh yes, they know what they're doing. It's like a proper sandwichy treat you'd make for yourself at home if you could be bothered to roast a whole chicken.



I'm really not great at this photography thing
Oh yeah - that's the good stuff

My baked potato was also pleasing. I worried when it came out that there wouldn't be enough topping for the size of the potato. But I managed to eke it out perfectly. I could taste the smokiness of the cheese and they hadn't gone over the top with the amount so it wasn't a greasy, claggy mess on the potato. and there was more bacon than it looks like there was from the picture. The only weird thing was the apple - I don't think it fit all that well with the rest of it, but I like apple so it was no biggie. I was more than happy to eat it. Even the token bit of salad on the side was pretty good. 



The food wasn't groundbreaking - it's what you'd expect from a place calling itself a cafe - but it was done really well. I can't wait to go back for the pancakes!




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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.