Today was not my first visit to Caffe Espresso. It had been recommended to me by my friend Hannah (of Performing London fame) during the Festival, last year. In a curious wheels-within-wheels situation, I think Hannah had been pointed in its direction by Cressi, who is now the Yelp CM for Edinburgh, when they were working together on the Fringe. Edinburgh can be a wee village like that.
On my first visit, I really didn’t get the place. The service was chaotic and the much vaunted sandwiches were fine, but nothing special. Cressi had urged me to give it another shot and pressed the case for something called a “smoky number 9”. Today was the day to put this advice into action.
Again, I found things a little chaotic. The owner was full of diamond banter, but service felt like a bit of circus. This was entertaining up to a point, but it wasn’t very efficient. Along with the smoky number 9, which comprised chicken grilled to order, jalapenos, taco sauce and manchego, I had some broccoli soup, which was solidly good.
The sandwich was which I was assured would be a “life-changing experience” was fine, with a good balance of flavours and nicely melted tangy cheese. It wasn’t in the same class as the truly excellent chicken sandwich I’d had a Patisserie Jacob, earlier that week, though.
So overall, I’m glad to have revisited Caffe Espresso. It has a loyal and devoted following most of whom will now be decidedly grumpy with me, but that’s OK. I’m glad the place brings such joy, but it didn’t really wow me in the same way. Do visit and see what you think.
Blythe scores Caffe Espresso
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: smoky number 9 (grilled chicken, jalapeno, taco sauce and manchego); broccoli soup
I wore: action footwear
Total bill: £6.80