Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eataly, England by Bureaucrat

Despite working in the city, there aren't that many interesting cafes and restaurants. Depressingly, most of your options are the franchise sandwich "cafes" (eg Pret a Manger, Eat, etc) that serve them ubiquitous boring English pre-made, over-mayonnaised sandwiches at rip-off prices. There are some independent cafes that offer salads, but being presented with chopped tomatoes, cold potatoes, cucumber and tinned corn (with a selection of rank-looking olive oils) is not what I consider to be a salad.

Top marks to Eataly for being different. The food is fresh, zingy and well-priced. Eataly is one of about five places that I deign to spend my money for the days I need to buy lunch.

The most expensive item is just under six pounds. I tend to opt for the chicken thighs plus four salads. There are about 8 types of wonderful salads to choose from. My favourites are the fresh beetroot salad, basil pasta salad and the broccoli and string bean salad. I especially like the fact that they use good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Chicken thighs with four salads

Eataly also has focaccias, lasagne, hot pastas and, of course, coffee. It has a range of Italian home-baked treats, including chocolate mousse. I've yet to try any of the sweet stuff as I'm always too full from lunch but they look very good.

Four salads

On this day, Ms B and I opted for takeaway, but you can dine in. If you do, I recommend eating inside the cafe rather than sitting outside on the pavement (as the streets are quite noisy and polluted).

Great food, generous serves at great prices. Great service and great coffee - what more can you ask for? Eataly is easy to find as it's right next to Holborn tube station.

86 Kingsway
London WC2B 6AQ
Telephone: 020 7242 5376

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