A friend commented recently that since I started this blog I've written very few negative reviews. I think the primary reason for this is that I tend to research where I'm going to eat in advance, so I generally have a fair idea that I'll be going somewhere that's to my taste. The secondary reason is that I can't always be bothered writing up negative experiences, particularly if I never expected them to be good in the first place (bad experiences when I was expecting good are a different matter). Here are a couple of examples from this week:
Sainsbury's Café, Sale
Things didn't bode well as soon as I walked in here. The guy behind the counter looked more than a bit dishevelled and had something fairly large stuck on his face. It was either a food remnant (pastry?) stuck in the stubble, or a colossal yellowheaded spot. Nice. Trying to banish unpleasant thoughts from my mind I ordered a cappuccino and an iced cinnamon bun.
The cinnamon bun wasn't. There was definitely no cinnamon in it and it tasted weirdly of artificial lemon flavouring (like a Mr Kipling lemon slice or somesuch). It was also very stale. The coffee wasn't actively offensive but didn't really taste of anything.
I tried to read the paper but my mind kept wandering back to the pastry/yellowhead. What if it ended up in my coffee? I left the rest untouched and scarpered.
Plus points: inexpensive
Minus points: see above
The Copper Pot, Knowsley
The Copper Pot is one of those inexplicably popular new build dining pubs often found squatting next to roundabouts, usually somewhere near a Premier Inn. This one is on the edge of Knowsley Industrial Park, a place I have to visit often with work. And so it was that I found myself in there for lunch the other day.
The menu is one of those lengthy affairs, the idea being that 'there's something for everyone'. It's also 'two for one' on all main courses, the main advantage of this being that if your meal is shit, at least it will also be cheap. Unless of course you are sad, lonely and dining alone, in which case it will be shit and expensive.
I ordered the fish and chips, which turned out to have one or two redeeming features. It was a good sized chunky piece of fish, not overcooked and the batter wasn't too thick. The skin had been left on though, which I'm not a fan of, and there were also bones running right through it. Someone wasn't paying attention in filleting class. So, narrowly avoiding the Heimlich maneouvre, on to the rest: the mushy peas were claggy and horrible, and the chips were limp and flabby. Service was indolent.
Plus points: inexpensive, I wasn't paying, the fish
Minus points: the fish, the chips, the peas, the service
So there we have it. I rather doubt that those reviews will be of use to anyone, but I rather enjoyed writing them. I might do it more often.