Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Booth's, Ilkley

Supermarket cafés, canteens, restaurants, whatever you want to call them. They're generally pretty dire. The food is cheap, but it usually shows.

I was having a conversation with my Dad a few weeks ago, during which he suggested that I ought to write a blog post comparing supermarket cafés. I did consider it, I'd be lying if I claimed never to eat anything in them. Sometimes they're convenient and I'm hungry. Sometimes I might eat something there that I actually like (Morrison's red salmon sandwich on brown bread. Always wins. Reminds me of sandwiches my Grandma used to make).

If I was going to compare like with like I'd have to eat the same meal in all of them though. The obvious choice would be breakfast. I thought about it but just couldn't subject myself to all the snotty fried eggs, rubbery scrambled eggs, underdone bacon, overdone bacon, floor-scraping sausages, greasy fried bread, watery tinned tomatoes, pointless grilled tomatoes, mushy hash browns and limp toast that would inevitably ensue.

The declaration of 'Champion supermarket fry-up' would have to wait. And then on Saturday I breakfasted at Booth's in Ilkley and can confidently proclaim them the winner without bothering to try all the rest.

This was a damn fine breakfast. Not the finest I've ever eaten, but by far the best I've ever eaten in a supermarket. Clockwise from the top we have beans, then bacon. There's more bacon here than is immediately apparent. One rasher is hidden beneath the egg, the other positioned at an oblique angle making it appear insubstantial. In essence, there is plenty of bacon. And it's good too, with a deep porcine flavour.

Next, forming the centrepiece, we have the egg. The yolk is runny and the white is not. Two sausages, small chipolatas, but most importantly they are good quality small chipolatas. A bit of texture and bounce to the meat and nicely seasoned. Mushy filth tubes these certainly are not.

The black pudding is also of a very high standard, robust and oaty just how I like it. And finally, hash browns. Sometimes a controversial addition to the full English (possibly a bit too American? What next, maple syrup?), but I enjoy them when they're fried properly, that's to say crispy and greaseless, which these were. The toast, not pictured, arrived hot and with numerous pats of butter.

It's a fair bit more expensive than breakfast at any other supermarket (except perhaps Waitrose), but that's reflected in both the quality and the execution. They operate a flexible choose your own items approach, at a fiver for five, six pounds for seven or seven pounds for nine. I opted for the seven item breakfast, which is why there are no vegetables on the plate. By the time I'd picked every available meat and stocked up on carbs there were no choices remaining for tomatoes or mushrooms. Oh well.

So without further ado I declare that Booth's have the finest supermarket cafeteria in the land. This is scientifically proven fact.


Leeds Road
LS29 8EE


Mr Noodles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Noodles said...

I'd much rather have a fried slice of bread than the American blow-in that is the Hash Brown with my full English!

PS: Obviously Booth's is going to be the best! It does, after all, come from Lancashire!

Dave said...

I'm inclined to agree, but the Booth's brekkie doesn't have a fried bread option.

p.s. bet they would if they were from Yorkshire ;)

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