Art’s Cafe, Leeds

Travelling back to God’s Own Country after the jaunt to Nottingham (see last entry, cucumber sceptics) it was agreed that sustenance was required. We’d previously had a day on the booze and there are times when getting back on it is the only sensible course of action.

Lubricated and energised (and merry) with refreshments from Friends of Ham, we trundled down to Art’s Cafe. We’d just got seated and were making inroads into a couple of glasses of Sicilian white when queues started forming outside. Popular place.

Fancying ‘bits of stuff’ than a ‘proper’ meal we ordered the Fish Plate and, to celebrate our repatriation with t’north, the Yorkshire Plate. Both were generous enough in size to idle over as people hustled and bustled around us. There was quality on the plates too, though; particularly the crispy outside/creamy inside of the haddock fishcake and the ever-pleasing prawn and crayfish cocktail.

Next to these spiky flavours the salmon and dill pate was a little lost but next time we’ll just have that before digging into the rest.

On the Yorkshire Plate, it was no surprise to find a pork pie. Taking into account how depressingly mediocre a pork pie can sometimes be, however, it was a surprise to find that this one tasted either lovingly made on site or bought in from somewhere who knows how to do it right.

The crisp pie pastry and the luxuriously gelatinous filling went well with the blue cheese and pickles, too. Wedges of granary bread from both plates started to soak up some of the weekend’s booze.

Each plate was £6.95 which is a genuine bargain when elsewhere we’ve paid a good deal more for a good deal less in terms of quality. But then we do like a bargain in Yorkshire, eh?

It’s also worth pointing out that you can get a Sunday roast for under a tenner here, too, and it isn’t just knocked together like it can be in some places who see it as an easy money-maker. Beef comes rare, Yorkshire puddings come crisp and broccoli comes with cheese.

It’s not showy at Art’s. Nor is it faddy, ‘on trend’ or overly pleased with itself which, at times, some places in Leeds can try to be.

Art’s Cafe is quietly confident, efficiently stylish and comfortable in its own skin. Rightly so.

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