Thursday, August 06, 2009
Bonjour mon vieux ami.
Just back from France, where even the smallest of village cafe’s can rustle up a fresh croissant and a good cup of coffee in seconds. Not wishing to end the holiday atmosphere too soon, we fancied a leisurely petit dejeneur a la Queens Road. First stop was the recently opened Salvador Deli run by John Husain. The Husain brothers have made their mark on Queen’s Road with the hugely successful Bar Dos Hermanos and Barceloneta, both of which offer superb places to eat and drink. For those unfamiliar with the Deli it is half shop and half cafe, with tables outside that catch the sun in the afternoon. We fancied a couple of Cappuccino’s, croissants and pain au chocolate. Surprisingly these were not on the cafe menu, but clearly visible in the shop so I ordered them there and returned to my seat in the cafe bit. The coffee arrived quickly and was hot and good, but then we waited, and waited, and waited. I asked the girl what the problem was - they only had to travel 10 feet and we were two of four customers. She said they would be ready in a minute. This became 5 minutes so I went back in the shop to see them being put in a microwave. ‘No!’ I cried. ‘I’ll take them as they are’. (Microwaved croissants are soggy). Finally, coffee finished, we got them and they were stale. Yesterdays probably. We never did get to see the pain au chocolate. A fiver down on the deal we pottered across to Fingerprints opposite, in the interests of research, and ordered two Cappuccino’s and two pain au chocolate. The pastries went in a real oven and were served a few minutes later, hot, crispy and delicious, the coffee’s were a little smaller, but fine and the whole experience was less fraught. A tad more expensive though, at £5.80. Anyway. It is good to have a bit of competition between deli’s and I shall try and frequent both of them more regularly. In the meantime I shall continue to get my deli foods at the long established Christopher James Deli that doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a very good deli.