Classic breakfast for two at Bridge Spar’s Bistro
AS food prices surge, and a galloping rate of inflation drags the country into a downward spiral of economic despair, I get very excited when I hear of occasional price reductions and special offers in the city. Currently the Bistro at The Bridge Spar in Groombridge is bucking the price increase trend, and is offering breakfast for two for Z$79. Called the Classic breakfast, it consists of two eggs, bacon,sausage, tomato, toast, butter and marmalade. Not only is the Classic well-cooked and tasty, it is also good value.
This special offer was due to end on 2 November, but having been so popular, it has been extended to 16 November. Deciding it sounded too good to miss, we arrived at the Bridge early last Monday morning. Several couples were seated on the veranda at the Bistro, enjoying what looked like a Classic breakfast. The car park opposite was quiet, and across the road, on either side of the entrance to Old Georgians Sports Club, plant sellers leaned against the wall, dozing peacefully behind their flowering shrubs and seedlings. It was too early to expect the usual rush of customers.
A pleasant waiter showed us to a table, and before long, we were served with a cappuccino (Z$20) and a hot chocolate (Z$34). There were still choices to be made in the Classic menu – eggs could be fried, scrambled or made into an omelette, and toast could be white or brown. Served directly from the skillet and omelette pan, the sausage was steaming hot, the bacon and tomato well-cooked, and the omelette crisp on the edges and tender within. There was also a notable lack of grease, and presentation looked attractive.
Butter and marmalade were served in small containers pre-packaged by Classic Style Branbury Crosse. Although slightly soft because of the heat, the butter tasted fine, but the so-called marmalade had no special texture, and tasted of an indeterminate fruit jam.
While the cappuccino looked impressive, it seemed watery and lacking in flavour. Our waiter said he would have a word with the barista, and returned a few minutes later with a replacement cup. Aroma and flavour had improved, but although the waiter confirmed that full-cream milk had been used, the richness that typifies a great cup of coffee was missing.
Breakfast is by no means the only well-priced meal available at the Bistro. Ham and tomato toasted sandwiches with crisps are priced at Z$45, bacon and egg at Z$50, and steak toasted sandwiches at Z$60. For a full-scale lunch, consider ordering chicken schnitzel (Z$92), a pork chop (Z$85) or a T bone steak (Z$100).
Later we walked through the supermarket, where staff wearing Father Christmas hats were stacking the shelves with enticing-looking goods. We stopped in the middle of the shop to admire a tall, beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and to greet a portly Father Christmas, standing next to a sack overflowing with gifts.
As the festive season approaches, people will be planning their Christmas parties. Restaurants and hotels will be refining their Christmas menus, and starting the search for plump turkeys and juicy hams, and for the mixed dry fruit needed to make plum puddings and brandy-soaked Christmas cake.
Whether any seasonal treats such as Christmas mince pies or shortbread will be added to the menu at the Bistro, remains to be seen. The big unknown, however, which is the fate of the country’s economy, remains in the lap of the gods. Whether it will show any signs of recovery, or plumb new depths, will certainly decide the way we spend Christmas, traditionally a time of praise, thanksgiving and celebration.
There’s little doubt, however, that the special offer of breakfast for two for Z$79 will end soon, so hurry on down to the Bistro at The Bridge for a Classic breakfast. – A Matter of Taste Charlotte Malakoff