One of Matt and Cat’s previous experiences of supermarket cafes was not favourable. In fact, it was this particularly rubbishy experience that inspired them to start their Isle of Wight eating out guide. So, when they visited Tesco’s in-store cafe, their expectations were not high.
Looking forward to giving the place a good kicking, Matt and Cat gleefully entered the area of Tesco set aside for all-day breakfasts, incredibly cheap cream teas and hot meals (according to the hand-written signage). Despite it being tea time, they were pretty much the only customers and, looking at the ‘choice’ of food, it was easy to see why. Apparently, the lunchtime selection is quite comprehensive, however early evening patrons will find a much-restricted menu.
The very friendly lady behind the servery kindly went through the dishes available which were as follows: sausage roll and chips, pasty and chips, omelette (plain or cheese) and chips, baked potato and cheese. Bit of a carbohydrate theme. Matt and Cat decided to play safe and have omelette cooked to order rather than one of the illuminated pastries relaxing under the hot-lamps. On enquiring about vegetables, Cat was given the option of beans; or nothing. Beans it was. Water was freely available on request.
Having gathered cutlery and sauces from the trolley, Matt and Cat sat in the window seat overlooking the kiddie rides and the car park; a good spot for people watching. Meanwhile, inside the cafe, the servery lady metaphorically put on her chef’s hat and cooked their meals.
Before long, their dinners arrived. The crinkle cut chips looked nice and brown but not burnt, the omelette appeared perfectly cooked and fluffy with cheese oozing out from its lips and the beans were, well, beans. And it was all delicious! And, the very best bit was the price – £4.05 for two plates of freshly-cooked omelette and chips (one with beans). You couldn’t buy the ingredients for that. However, the choice of meals was pitifully limited.
Tesco is the supermarket giant, its third-world debt sized profits garnered from its healthy eating campaigns, five-a-day labelling and er… financial products. Goodness knows the Tesco cafe is cheap, and actually not half as bad as Matt and Cat expected. But why, oh why, can’t its cafe contribute to the firm’s own nutritional marketing? Although, a bit of research on the interweb reveals that baked beans do count towards your five-a-day!