I’m going to have to up my work rate after what I said in the last post. This is therefore going to be the first of two posts today.
We have not had a good time at Sainsbury’s at Arnold recently. Twice before Christmas we went in and ordered Beef Baguettes. The first time we tried, we were told there there were no baguettes. I pointed out that they had a shop full of baguettes. It seems that they aren’t allowed to use them.
The second time it was a lack of beef that interfered with the plan. We had festive toasties instead, which allegedly contained turkey and stuffing, but tasted of cotton wool and ketchup.
When we found that the place was crowded at 11.30 I nearly didn’t bother stopping, but I’d promised Julia a day out, which, in my view, means that she doesn’t have to make breakfast.
The cafe was full, many of the tables for four being monopolised by a solitary coffin dodger who was on first name terms with the staff. Say what you like about quality of a service (and I will cover that fully in a later paragraph) , they know how to treat the elderly and I may well move in when I’m a few years older.
i got a table for two while Julia ordered the food. It needed clearing and wiping down. So did many of the others. A member of kitchen staff emerged at one point, cleared the pots off one table, left the crumbs and went back into the kitchen, never to be seen again.
One lady went as far as to get the table wiping equipment from the staff and wipe her own table down, also wiping the table for a lady in a wheelchair. To be fair, we are supposed to take our own pots away, and it must add more work when people are too lazy, or too arrogant, to clear the table after eating. On the other hand the staff should keep the place clean – I’m paying enough and should have a clean place to eat.
When Julia arrived with the tea I noted the milk was in a coffee cup, rather than a receptacle designed for pouring milk. Again, we paid enough for them to provide a small jug.
It’s just minor details, but it’s annoying that people can’t get the simple things right. For an echo of these thoughts seethis post, though I note there are one or two typos in it – sorry for that.
The food arrived quite quickly, and a member of staff took it on a tour of the cafe before finding us, so we were never in danger of burning our mouths.
The breakfast report –
Portion size – good
Sausages – excellent and herby
Hash Browns – crispy and delicious
Beans – average, after all opening a can and heating beans is not a skilled job
Mushroom – excellent
Toast – average, another unskilled job that is difficult to do badly
Eggs – borderline – a hint of snottiness to the white means they were slightly undercooked
Bacon – this could take some time. There is a division of opinion on whether bacon should be crispy or pink and juicy. I favour pink and juicy myself but if the cook does it crispy I’ll eat that too. However, I’m not aware that there is a school of thought that says bacon should be cooked until hard, tied in a knot and basted with grease before being dumped on the plate. If there is such a school of thought I can recommend the cook at Sainbury’s in Arnold.
The bacon actually looks quite nice in the photo. But trust me, it wasn’t. And it was salty too.
So, despite the lack of cleanliness, mediocre efficiency and patchy breakfast, how was it?
Pretty good, to be honest. The good bits of the breakfast were very good, the staff are always friendly and cheerful, even if they do get behind with the cleaning and, judgingh by the way they get on with their regular ancient customers, they are providing a valuable community service.
I suspect the staff are great and the management is poor.
Would I recommend it despite my sarcasm and criticism?
Yes, though its constant failings with cleaning and detail are a bit wearing. On a good day it’s probably the best local breakfast, but the good days are, at the moment, in a minority.