Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Quality Café, Merstham, Surrey

A nice caff. Opens early and closes early too.
Here's a caff with some tough competition from local competitor Hunger's End on Merstham High Street. In fact, there's a big difference between the two establishments: one is on the main high street (which doubles as the busy A23) and the other is on a road leading down to the railway station.

The Quality Café is the underdog as it closes early, at 3.30pm, and it's side street location means it's not the first choice for the impulse buyer – unless it catches people coming off the train. Although in this case, Merstham residents would probably want something a little more upmarket, like the new art gallery on the corner of the same road with one foot on the high street.

A big breakfast: mushroom omelette and chips.
Merstham has three caffs: Hunger's End, the Quality Café and the new (ish) art gallery caff, but the two big players are Hunger's End and the Quality Café, which I'm guessing picks up the early birds on their way to work in the morning. Why does it close at 3.30pm? Probably because it's not worth staying open unless you're sitting pretty on the A23.

Big, gaudy menu and small servery, but this ain't a bad caff.
The caff itself is a bit gaudy in decor terms. Unlike Hunger's End, which has gone for that more rustic, local look (even though it is a proper 'caff') the Quality Café adopts a fast food stance, with a gaudy menu situated over a small servery and a bright easyJet orange decor. The green chairs are plastic and secured to the floor.

But in caff fayre terms, it's all you would expect to find: bacon and sausage rolls, chips, beans, omelettes and Full English breakfasts. They pile on the chips too. I ordered a mushroom omelette and was given mountains of chips and a decent-sized pile of baked beans. Just what the doctor ordered after strenuous exercise, but in others, just a bit over-the-top. I felt I needed more strenuous exercise to work it off.

A mug of tea is 90p, which ain't bad considering it costs £1.75 in a Costa Coffee.

All-in-all, a good caff, but remember to get there before it closes mid-afternoon. It should get rid of its fast food appearance, ie ditch the furniture screwed to the floor, and possibly consider getting rid of the gaudy orange paint job too.

On the prices front it was fine. My big breakfast and a mug of tea was under a fiver.

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