Monday, 25 March 2013

Supermarket Cafés

You may have occasionally popped into the café of your local supermarket when doing your weekly shop, but we often use these handy eating-places at other times too.

When making a long journey, we often look up an out-of-town supermarket restaurant to stop for a meal break as opposed to using a service station, or eat in them when staying at a Travelodge or on a self-catering holiday.

Here’s a rundown of the main supermarket cafés.

Morrisons Definitely the best for value and choice in my opinion. A great menu covering breakfasts, snacks, sandwiches, salads and hot meals – all very reasonably priced. What I really like about Morrisons cafés is that you can order light meals such as egg on toast (£1.69 for two eggs and two slices of toast) all day, whereas some of its competitors stop selling these items at the end of breakfast (11-11.30). Opening hours are convenient with branches staying open until 7-8pm making it possible to go there for an evening meal. The cold food section is one of the best on offer, with sandwich trays including a little side salad and mini bag of crisps, and cream teas consisting of two small sandwiches, a cream scone or egg custard tarts and a pot of tea for a little over £2. And what else do Morrisons have that other restaurants don’t? A tray rack. A handy device fitted under the table to deposit your tray, instead of wandering around aimlessly deciding what to do with it.

Sainsburys I’ve had some very mixed experiences of Sainsburys restaurants, ranging from dire (Stanway, Colchester) to really great (Milton Keynes), but then I’ve visited a fair few. Most branches seem to close about 7pm, so you can have an early evening meal, with some tasty hot dishes on offer, my favourite being their Tikka Masala. I also love their cheese scones (when available) but find their sandwiches and toasties somewhat dearer than in other supermarket cafés, although their hot drinks are quite reasonable.

Tesco Great for breakfasts, (you can order individual items very cheaply) and light lunches (delicious, hearty soups with roll and croutons for around £2.25), but not an option for an evening meal as most branches seem to close by 6pm. I find their hot food menu a little boring anyway, so tend to pop in just for lighter meals and snacks.

Asda I’ve had very limited experience of Asda cafés, with the couple of odd occasions that I’ve visited not being very memorable. Fair selection, reasonable prices, but nothing that makes me want to go back.

What are your experiences of supermarket cafés?

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