Sunday, 10 February 2013

Warwick Arts Centre Cafe, Warwick University

A university cafe is a destination fraught with nostalgia for me. Once these places were the hotbed of conflict, resounding with the clash of intellectual steel, a contention from which your rapacious blogger would emerge, replete both academically and gastronomically. Nothing left now but a heap of battle scarred bones and ignominious burial.

Access is fine, there is ample room for wheels or any kind of mobility problem. I went for an egg and cress sandwich which was certainly tasty. Despite it being pre-packaged the bread was thick-sliced and the filling a decent heft of chunky, fresh egg. Not too much cress either, which is usually a means of filling out a sandwich on the cheap. I deliberately avoided the 'egg salad' choice and was pleased to note that, in this egg-and-cress, there was no resort to sneaked-in slices of lettuce to make you think you are eating a little bit extra than you paid for. I was slightly disconcerted by the branding. The print design declares itself to be 'urban eat' and the lettering the kind of cod-street style so enamoured of organizations keen to show that they are 'down' with the kids. It is an interesting way of advertising that your ingredients are fresh and organic to describe them as 'real'; and an equally interesting slant to describe such artisan fare as, not 'hand made' but 'hand crafted'.

Drew opted for the soup, a thick lentil and bacon broth. Possibly a little overfilled with lentils, with portions of actual bacon somewhat minimal. I am instructed to convey that Drew did not mind in the least, as the bacon was 'just for taste'. The portion was generous and there was an choice of accompaniment. Drew rejected the traditional bread roll in favour of a pretzel. This was an oversized plait of bread, very dense in texture, almost smooth on the upper palate. Not the most absorbent composition, very much a dunk-and-drip arrangement; if you prefer to soak-and-sup, opt for the bread roll.

The coffee is, frankly, magnificent. I had a large latte which came adorned with a kind of starburst etched in chocolate on the foam, a variation on the traditional rosette. The flavour was rich, but not too strong with a smooth, if somewhat thin texture and chocolate aftertaste. Served in a large mug with saucer it was an excellent antidote for tiredness and made me feel fit to carry on - bloody but (unlike Richard) unbowed.

Here also, faithful bloggee, is the reason why there are so few photographs of food on this site. It rarely lasts long enough.
Access: *****
Latte: *****

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