Best Part: The Value!
It was probably for the best when Karl Howman decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps in ushering souls from this world onto the next after failing to kill Geraldine McEwan and instead opened up a modest but cheerful café on the London Road. He was always too cheerful a chap to be a grim reaper and serving out breakfasts and large sandwiches seems much more up his street.
(Apologies to anyone confused by the preceding paragraph, read here for more information).
Mulberry’s screams local, the staff are very welcoming and seem to know most of the people (and there were a lot in the time we were there). I can understand why people would keep coming back, as you know what you’re getting here. A lot of food for not very much money. It took us a long time to decide what we would order given the extensive all day breakfast and light bites menu. Then we noticed the very long take away sandwich menu, which is allowable for people who refuse to leave. As we were beginning to digest all the possible choices we noticed there was also a specials board and a panini board. You are not short of choices at Mulberry’s, though luckily for the indecisive a lot of them seem to involve bacon.
I went for the confusingly titled BBB sandwich, featuring Bacon (naturally), Sausage and Egg (BSE probably wouldn’t be a good thing to name a sandwich). It came sandwiched between two very hefty slices of bread and whilst the sausages were not of the gourmet artisanal persuasion the whole think collated well into a fatty gooey mess. Being both a gourmet and a sophisticate I washed it down with a can of Vimto. Mrs Midweek lunch is more mainstream and ordered tea which she was pleased to have served in a dear little pot.
Wife #1 had a craving for brie that she tackled with a panini that wasn’t a panini. Well it depends how you define a panini of course. When she did GCSE Italian she was taught the word “panini” to mean “sandwich.” Now of course it has come to mean a particular type of toasted sandwich in a particular plasticky type of roll. We are keen on them we’ll admit. Mulberry’s panini was made in the accepted way but with a ciabatta roll which always pleases my wife as she believes it provides more crunch and flavour. If she has one criticism of this particular one it was simply that it could have done with a little more Brie. The cranberry serving was spot on. It was a very good panini, not the best but not the worst and the filling was not one frequently offered on cafe menus for which we applaud it.
We also shared some cheesy chips, of which I ate the cheesy level and my wife dug below for standard chips like an inverse Mr & Mrs Jack Spratt. They tasted probably exactly as you would (and maybe are now) imagine chips from a café that specialises in breakfasts would taste.
The food came quickly, and we were well within our allotted midweek lunch time. Most pleasing of all was the bill, with all the above (and it was enough to make me feel sleepily full for most of the afternoon) coming to but £13.50. If you are on London Road and want a superbly good value meal then head to Mulberry’s. It will probably not be challenging Thompson’s for the fine dining crown, but you can eat like an unhealthy and weirdly low rent king for less than the cost of a Boudin of Norfolk Quail.