It was a sad, sad day a few months back when B and I planned to meet and have lunch at Berits and Browns near the top of Leith walk and discovered that it was no longer open. I had heard such great things about it from friends who absolutely loved the coffee and food. It was with heavy hearts and empty stomachs that we trudged up the walk and ended up eating at a lovely Thai place that I was supposed to review and have subsequently forgotten to.
Imagine my joy when I was running my general morning route (since I am training for the 100K challenge to raise money for a charity close to B’s heart) and I saw that the name had changed, but that the blind were open and there were people inside the café! It was now called ‘I <3 Café’ and I knew I had to go.
When my lovely friend Helen was in town, we wandered out to the Modern Art Galleries, and on the way I directed us to this new café to see what it was about. At first glance, it looked the same, but was missing the wine shelves. The menu was simple and delicious and since it was a bit chilly, I couldn’t ignore my need for soup (or maybe B is just rubbing off on me). I ordered the Sweet potato and chilli soup and a side of 3 salads (a small salad plate). Helen went for the special soup of the day which was a Spanish chorizo and white bean stew.
When the food arrived I was really pleased. My perfectly sized bowl of sweet potato soup looked thick and hearty and was steamingly perfect, served with slices of bread. Helen’s was freshly made and had a nice zing from the chorizo and was fully flavoured and very well executed. My soup had that lovely creamy texture of the potato with the rich sweetness of a good, fresh batch of sweet potatoes, and the chilli hit at the end gave it an extra element that made me savor the dish.
My salads were fresh and delicious. I picked them out of the deli counter and opted for a carrot salad, roasted veggies and a small garden salad. Each was delicious and I appreciate being able to mix and match my 3.
As we were paying, (they do table service and takeaway and have a great area in the further room for sitting and relaxing) I discovered that the same people were owning and running it, and they had simply parted ways with the chain Berits and Brown. Good for them, I say. As an independent café that knows what they are doing in the kitchen, I had a rather enjoyable lunch there. And I plan to go back again, and again. Next time, perhaps, I’ll even take my laptop or book and try to get some work done too.
So go and have lunch at I <3 Café, you won’t be disappointed.
MJ scores I <3 Cafe:
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 16/20
Today’s questers were: Miriam & Helen
We ate: Sweet potato and chili soup, trio of salads, Spanish chorizo and white bean stew
We drank: water, coffees
We wore: Simple black top, a new tattoo
Total Bill: c.£15.00
I <3 Cafe
26A Haddington Pl,