Newport is stuffed to bursting with eateries. Sit down venues, vertical eating places, chip shops, coffee shops, pubs, clubs, doughnut bars and pizza parlours.
And, judging by the longevity of some of these places, there is obviously good business to be had feeding the hungry of the Island’s capital. Town Choice is one of the longer-serving places; established in 1986 and extended throughout the subsequent years into the smart little eateries you see today.
On a drizzly day like the one Matt and Cat visited, you might want to sit in the clean and spacious interior. For sunnier times there is a cute little garden out back complete with olive tree. Or of course you could get a takeaway and sit in the pleasant rose garden at Church Litten.
As they were after just a quick bite, Matt and Cat decided not to have oven baked jacket potato (from £3.50), despite the astonishing array of over thirty types of filling, including the kitchen challenge of grated Stilton. There were also omelettes (from £3.75) and toasted sandwiches, with interesting and tempting fillings such as gammon ham and Stilton (£3.25) and that wartime favourite corned beef and tomato (£2.95). But, to be honest, Matt and Cat did not get past the first page of the menu as they saw what they wanted without the need for further perusal. Cat chose French Brie sandwich on white bread. Matthew, always ready for a cooked breakfast (or equivalent) salivated at the thought of a hot bacon, Cheddar and mushroom baguette. Cat made the order to the very pleasant and accommodating ladies at the counter who allowed her to have mayonnaise instead of margarine in her sandwich and who also were quite happy to source some grapes, despite there being none on the menu. Two teas finished off the order although Cat was very tempted by the many cakes in the cabinet.
There was just enough time for Cat to nose out of the window into the pretty patio before the freshly made order arrived. The Brie sandwich had room temperature cheese and fruit – which is how it should be. The Brie was perfect; just the right consistency, the grapes were sweet and the bread delightfully squidgy. The only thing that let the sarnie down was the mayonnaise which was rather too salad creamy for Cat’s liking – that’ll teach her for going off-menu!
Matt’s baguette was pretty average; the mushrooms were freshly cooked but the bacon was not quite hot enough to melt the cheese. None-the-less, he ate it all and both washed down their snacks with the very nice tea, whilst looking out on Town Lane’s bustling shoppers.
So, for friendliness of service and range of food, Town Choice would be hard to beat. It’s easy to see why this cafe has prevailed over two decades of feeding the Island’s hungry.