Best Part: The Independence
There are times when a midweek luncher just wants to go to a café. An independent café that doesn’t claim to be something it isn’t, a café that doesn’t look intimidating. Well if you are shopping in town and feel the same way we would encourage you to gander up the side street that houses Panda cards (another marvellous St. Albans business) and a few shops down you will find Waddington Road café. Interestingly this road is called Waddington Road, which speaks to the imagination of the café owner.
A few years ago these premises were the site of a greasy spoon café which has now come under different management. It is now a clean, modern, smart café with an excellent lunch menu and lovely décor. However it has not got above itself – the staff and cliental are friendly and the delicious menu reasonably priced. It is the perfect spot for restorative tea and cake or a lunch (either a simple or imaginative.) My vegetarian options were almost overwhelming. If the old greasy spoon seeker had returned after a few years, possibly forgetting he had sold his café in a drunken haze, he would still be able to buy a cheese omelette. But the owner assured me these are now made with free range eggs and they have halloumi in. I have had one here on another occasion and was very pleased. Even my children, one vegan and one fussatarian were happy to eat here.
This time I had a halloumi and tomato ciabatta which had a good balance of flavours and textures. Although they serve tea in a pot (as everyone should), I was tempted by the homemade fruit smoothies. I opted for a banana and blueberry one and it certainly perked me up after an unpleasant morning.
Mr Midweek lunch was new to Waddington road and was in a festive mood. This was perhaps premature as we were not far into December, but he does get over-excited about these things. One of the reasons he gets so excited is the Christmas sandwich, as long time reader may remember from his series of vignettes on different Christmas sandwiches a few years ago. He therefore went for a Turkey and Stuffing panini, and it was pretty good. Nowhere near the majesty of an actual Christmas Sandwich made from leftovers from an actual Christmas Dinner, put pretty good. There were a few crisps on the side, but they weren’t real crisps so we won’t discuss them.
Luckily we had brought some proper crisps as a starter, as we were very hungry on arrival, so the fake multi-coloured non-potato crisps were less egregious.
Waddington Road is one of a small group of great independent St. Albans cafes where you can be sure of good food and service that doesn’t break the bank. There aren’t many of them and you have to look hard but I now consider this one to be my friend and will be there again soon. Why not give it a try too?