Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Green Grocers - Norwich

Earlham House Shops
Earlham Road

Free parking available on-site

The Green Grocers can be found in Earlham House Shopping Centre which is currently being refurbished.

Half of it is a cafe.

The other half is a shop.

There is seating around the edge too and the menu on the blackboard can be seen in the mirror reflection.  The only way to find out what is available to eat is to look on the blackboard which appeared to make the people sitting underneath it trying to enjoy their meal feel a tad uncomfortable.

I had no idea how or where to order food until I spotted this.

 Newspapers are available to read by the window as you walk in.

The cappuccino cost £2 and was excellent.

Tea was served in a pot for £1.60

The organic ketchup was delicious.

When the breakfast arrived my initial feeling was disappointment, it looked incomplete, overcooked and based heavily around toast. 

 The eggs looked great but egg white seeped out once I cut into them.

The bacon was quite dry and the sausage situation shocking.

 A good quality sausage that had been overcooked was such a shame and a bit of a surprise on a breakfast costing £6.95

The toast was excellent and extra was bought over free of charge as there had been a mix up with the wrong toast being served on the breakfasts when they arrived.

The Green Grocers is somewhere I had been meaning to visit for breakfast for a long time. I first spotted it when I visited Litebite Sandwich Bar back in 2011 that has sadly closed down since. I was visiting a craft fair with my wife on Earlham Road so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally try the breakfast at The Green Grocers..

Upon entering - The Green Grocers is half cafe and half shop, the cafe section has  a good number of tables with further seating in front of the window on bar stools and a few tables outside. The interior is nice with newspapers available to read and it seemed like a pleasant place to spend some time in however I was feeling far from relaxed before long due to the frustrating process of deciding what you want and working out how to order it. I eventually realised that the only menu was listed on blackboards directly above where people were eating, whilst looking at the menu I could tell that the people sitting below it were feeling uncomfortable. It reminded me of when you sit down in a pub only to realise there is a TV directly above you and everyone is starring in your direction. I am just glad that we didn't sit beneath the menu as people staring just over my head would have driven me nuts. Anyway, having decided to go for the cooked breakfast I wondered where to place my order or whether a waitress would take my order, there seemed to be no direction or flow in the ordering process. I took a seat by the window thinking somebody might come over and take my order when I noticed the small note saying "please order at the till". I headed to the till inside the shop and we placed our order and paid, we ordered a tea and a coffee with the food but had no idea how much drinks actually cost before ordering as I couldn't see a drinks menu anywhere. The cutlery could be found in a tin, we grabbed some and waited for everything to arrive. I do like to study a menu, know what I'm spending and know how to order it when I arrive somewhere for breakfast but the ordering process here was frustrating leaving me feeling like I was on the Krypton Factor. 3/10

Service - The service here is good, the person on the till was really friendly bringing our drinks over quite quickly. The chef bought our food over but the white toast I had ordered on my breakfast was on my wife's veggie breakfast and her brown toast on mine. We mentioned this and we were immediately offered more free of charge which arrived a bit later.  We asked for some ketchup and a delicious organic ketchup was bought over. 8/10

Contents -  1 sausage, 2 bacon, 2 fried eggs, mushrooms, 2 halves of tomato and 2 slices of buttered toast. 5/10

Presentation - Layers of thick buttered toast dominated the plate with a pair of nice looking fried eggs perched on top. A small and overcooked sausage lay sadly on top of some very dry looking bacon, the mushrooms and tomatoes sat closely together looking quite nice. My first thought was that something was missing but it could just have been that nothing was placed in the centre of the plate. The bonus plate of toast and butter that arrived did look stunning. 6/10

The food - I will start positively with the excellent thick cut toast served with butter, excellent and delicious! The fried eggs looked great but did release some runny egg white when I cut into them. The mushrooms were rather nice but very oily and the seasoned tomatoes quite nice too. The bacon was really quite tough and very dry and the sausage made me feel quite sorry for it. I imagine what had started of as a quality sausage had been cooked for way too long with one end almost rock hard and the other end really chewy. 4/10

Value for money - £6.95 for this breakfast seemed a lot of money considering it contained just 1 very small sausage and some things were overcooked. 4/10

Veggie option - 2 veggie sausages, 2 fried eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and buttered toast for £5.95

Overall - I had been looking forward to eating breakfast here for a long time but the awkward ordering process and overcooked food left me feeling disappointed especially when so many places in Norwich are offering such excellence at the same price or less. On the plus side the coffee and buttered toast was great and the staff were friendly. 5/10 

1 comment:

  1. visited The Green Grocers today (26 July 2014) & was a little disappointed.
    First, the system has changed & orders are taken from the tables, that's good.
    The café has been refurbished & the new tables which are in a bit of a state really. It would appear the wood has not been seasoned and the tops are either badly split or distorted & not flat.
    The toast did not arrive with our breakfast, but was later delivered in the hands (no plate) of a staff member & placed on our breakfast, not very professional.
    The worst bit for me was the cost at £7.95 for the Norfolk Breakfast. Although the food was okay, I don't think it's value for money, at eight quid it's over priced.
    Having said that, the place & staff are pleasant, they just need a little time to sort things out.