Best Part: The Art!
The Courtyard Cafe’s style is retro kitchen; a look that I rate highly. I also like eateries such as this that display local art work for sale. It marks them out as a member of the big St. Albans creative family. However this was not the only reason I felt at home immediately. You see as well as art, they sell some of that awful “vintage” 1970s crockery that my parents got rid of when I was a toddler. Ergh! Retro is not always chic, especially when it is brown.
The single toilet was acceptable without being great but then so is our downstairs loo at home.
Quite varied for a small place. It is displayed on blackboards which I find a bit stressful to read but most people like this approach. It is a sort of up market café menu with good (probably) local ingredients. The open kitchen fills me with confidence too. I had a caramelised onion and goats cheese tartlet which was perfect in every way. The onions were sweet and juicy and the cheese pleasing counter balance of creaminess. The tartlet was presented on an attractive dark green salad. I do not like salad, losing patience with it on many occasions but Mr Midweek lunch was surprised to see me eat the whole thing and enjoy it.
My husband’s love of spiciness and sombreros overcame his natural distaste for omelettes and ordered the Mexican omelette. He was generally happy that he did. The jalapenos and spicy sauce (or salsa, as our amigos might have it) were very nice, and the eggy section tasted of eggs, but not fried eggs, which are better. Still, overall I would recommend it to a hungry ranch hand. The salad once again succeeded, but better still was the bread. It was dense and dark and warm and filled out that bit of stomach that was untouched by omelettes.
We didn’t have any cake even though they looked amazing because I don’t like my husband to enjoy himself too much, but I did let him have some botanical cola.
Ordering and paying at the counter at the start is an efficient way of doing things. This meant that we weren’t waiting ages for a member of the waiting staff. One quirky issue is that the Courtyard Cafe do not accept credit/debit cards. We knew and came prepared but surely they must lose a few customers this way. They aren’t even very close to a cash point. I am an old fashioned, one might say “retro” sort of lady but even to me this seems a bit daft. Debit cards are a convenient and not so modern invention. Why, I remember my parents having them in the eighties and I am pretty sure at least one of the was brown!
This was a jolly good lunch. It can be hard to get a table here at busy times because it is friendly and serves great food. However, I would highly recommend chancing your luck, getting some cash out of a cash point (the nearest is Santander but watch your aged fingers on this snappy modern machine) and paying a visit soon.