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Bob and Berts Falkirk
New Review
Bob and Berts
124-126 High Street,
Falkirk,
Stirlingshire

Prue Leith, doyenne of GBBO, once said that when eating dessert she tends to ask herself ‘is it worth the calories’. That would be a definite YES when it comes to bakes at this Northern Irish chain of coffee shops. 

The lemon cake had four layers of moist sponge with just the right amount of butter cream between them; citrus flavour was fresh and zesty. I took a bite of Lea’s peanut butter stack which was totally different, crunchy and chocolaty, but equally good. I would order both again. 

The coffee lives up to its prominence on the strap line of the café which reads ‘proper coffee, great grub’. 

I ask some passing waitresses about the provenance of the freshly ground beans and they enthusiastically explain that they hail from Columbia, Guatemala and Honduras and are exclusive to Bob and Berts. For the nerds they are 100% Arabica slow roasted in small batches in Lisburn, County Antrim. My cappuccino is flavoursome, sweet, devoid of any bitterness and three non-dairy milks are available on the day we visit. Note you can buy the beans to take home at £18 a kilo. Tea is from Belfast company Suki. 

One of the waitresses Rachel is working the floor on her own and doing it very well. Everything is spic and span and organised. What’s more all the staff are friendly and cheerful beyond the call of duty. 

I had previously looked at the menu online and was disappointed that it was very meat based. Three out of the five hot dishes are chicken and there is huge focus on meat be it in the form of breakfast, burger, steak, goujon or ‘dog’. I am not vegetarian but am careful about the sourcing of the meat I do eat. Meat and eggs merit no mention of specific provenance (just ‘local’) unlike the coffee beans. Fish options are limited to smoked salmon and veggies and vegans would have to pick and mix from the other dishes on the menu. 

I order the Chilli Chickpea, Brie, Onion, Peppers & Mixed Salad which sounded uninspiring but is actually a tasty if a slightly pedestrian plate of food. Legumes have been  cooked soft, ditto the peppers and salad is fresh. Lea has the Froggy Dog, handmade jumbo sausage topped with French brie, crispy bacon & sweet chilli jam and sweet potato fries on the side which are crisp and well-seasoned. I note that many of the meat options are handmade’ so I may have jumped the gun a bit with my anti-carnist ‘tude.

This is not  ‘knock-your-socks-off’ cooking but it's not meant to be. Bob and Berts offer decent plates of food which are well- presented, well- priced and served in clean, bright, cheerful environments. 

The Falkirk branch has been open a month, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy are set to open soon and these stores join the 16 franchises across Northern Ireland. 

 Would we go back we asked ourselves? Hell yes was the verdict especially for coffee and cake. 


 

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