Restaurant Takeaway review by Jono Oates
There is nothing better than having a perfectly cooked Full English breakfast as a Friday morning treat and I certainly enjoyed my fabulous fry-up from Damn Fine Café today!
Having closed their doors since lockdown, Sophia and the team re-opened the café today to provide a takeaway collection only service. They have a limited menu choice of breakfasts and sandwiches available at the moment and they are trialling the operation initially to see how they get on – customer and staff safety and satisfaction is of top priority currently during the lockdown obviously.
My choice was an easy one to make however and I did not need a long list of items to choose from…it just had to be the full English Breakfast with toast for me! I made my order through the Damn Fine Café Facebook page and received an instant response, they are also taking bookings through Instagram or by ringing them on: 01543 268934. I was given a specific time to collect, they are serving food from 9am to 1pm on Friday and Saturday only during this trial period. It is a takeaway collection service only at the moment, no deliveries, and orders must be placed in advance. Sophia told me that people can call in at the shop, place their order and then return to collect it at the designated time later if they wish.
So, with a blue sky overhead and with a happy heart, I walked down on Friday morning to collect my order. I could smell the gorgeous aroma of a cooked breakfast wafting down Bird Street as I walked towards the café, and I must admit I instinctively quickened my pace, so eager I was to get started! I was pleased to see that the shop front was clear and empty, due to the staggered collection times, and I was the only person in the shop during my order – as I left the next customer was just approaching.
Once home (I chose to walk as I am so close to the centre, but please use the designated car parks if you drive in, to avoid blocking the road), I set my meal out. I decided to plate it, but it was perfectly laid out in the delivery tray so could easily have been eaten straight from the pack.
The Full English consisted of: two sausages; two rashers of bacon; two hash browns; baked beans; mushrooms and a fried egg. It looked so inviting once plated, and the aroma just filled the air around me, so it was with great enthusiasm and anticipation that I got stuck in without any hesitation or encouragement! Everything was very well cooked and just how I like it – cooked well through with the bacon crispy – but not burned to a crisp. The sausages had a lovely moreish taste and bite, not too spicy but with plenty of flavour and had a lovely dark brown colouring to them, without, again, being burned. The mushrooms were juicy and not overcooked (I don’t like ‘mushy’ food!), the hash browns were lightly cooked and not greasy, as I sometimes find them to be. I’ve loved baked beans ever since I was a nipper, they are still my favourite go-to comfort food even now, and they added a bit of moisture to the breakfast – and, of course, I mopped the plate up, beans juice and all, with my slice of brown toast (I’m a granary and not white bread kind of chap!).
To wash this heavenly treat down I had a glass of breakfast orange juice, sourced from my local convenience store on Chapel Lane, and a lovely large cup of cafetiere coffee. Having broken my original cafetiere the day before (doh!) I managed to replace it very quickly with a sparkly new one from the guys at the Kitchen Shop on Market Street – I ordered it online and contactless collected it an hour later – so it arrived just in time to make the perfect addition to my breakfast!
The Damn Fine Café Full English breakfast was a real delight, a fantastic way to set myself for the day (no lunch was needed today!), it was full of flavour, well cooked and well presented – and at £5.50 it was great value too. Safe distancing and contactless service was well observed and it was easy to order and collect, with friendly and welcoming staff. I hope that their trial service works out and that local people support them, as they deserve to succeed with thsi venture – we all need to support local businesses currently, now more than ever.
This will definitely not be my last visit to them and I will be popping down again to see them next weekend…I might just go for a bacon sandwich next time though…hold on…who am I kidding – it’s going to be another Full English again!
Damn Fine Café are at 16 Bird Street, Lichfield, food orders for Friday and Saturday mornings only currently can be made by direct message on their Facebook page, via their Instagram account or by ringing: 01543 268934
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DamnFineCafe Instagram: Instagram.com/damnfinecafe_lichfield