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Restaurant Review: Cafe Bar, Preston

Posted on - 30th April, 2009 - 6:59pm | Author - | Posted in - Restaurants

There might be a recession going on, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat out every now and again. Before heading off for a night of cocktail filled adventures, myself and a couple of friends decided to grab a bite to eat in town. We plumped for the Cafe Bar down Winckley Street (it’s the little cobbled street that leads to Winckley Square).

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You enter into a little courtyard and into the main restaurant. You’re confronted by the bar and the kitchen next to it, it’s opened up so you can see what’s going on. All looked clean to me, and a quick search on the Preston City Council website confirmed a three star rating for food safety.

We were seated at a table in the centre of the downstairs of the restaurant and we’d arrived in time for the early bird menu. You could have any of the first three starters (mushroom, bruschetta or soup) and any pizza or pasta for the main, for a credit crunch busting £8.95. It’s valid from 3 PM – 6 PM.

The place was reasonably busy considering what time it was and we orded a bottle of Argentinian red, which went down far too easily. The starters arrived in good time and we tucked in. I’d gone for the bruschetta and it was cooked right and the portion size was average. My friends had gone for the mushrooms but these were a bit overcooked and the sauce was a bit too thick.

One of my friends had ordered a spicy tomato garlic bread that came with his starter. It was massive, one of those big round garlic breads rather than slices. We tucked in with gusto.

After the starters were cleared we relaxed with our wine before the mains arrived. The gap between starters and mains was a bit short, but I was starving so my ‘Chef’s Special’ was much needed. The chef had done his best to put everything on a pizza, there was a bit of everything although he’d gone a bit heavy on the bacon. The pizza bases were just right, not too thick and not ridiculously thin either. None of that stuffed crust nonsense here.

The restaurant was starting to fill up a bit as we tucked in to our main course, and the staff were struggling to keep up with the numbers. It’s clear that staff have been cut to the bare minimum until later in the evening when the place must be bustling. One of my friends had gone for a vegetarian lasagne and was not overly impressed with it, feeling it wasn’t cooked very well. On the other side of the table, another pizza was gobbled down with ease. The pizza sizes were good, this place does good pizza – however the pasta dishes seem a bit iffy.

We finished up with a coffee each and then settled up with the bill, just over £30 and not bad considering we’d had a starter, main and coffee each, with a side order of garlic bread and shared a bottle of red wine. Good value.

Rating: Food: 3.5/5, Drink: 4/5, Service: 3.5/5, Atmosphere/decor: 3/5, Value for money: 4/5

Overall: 18/25

Need to book? Weekends are busy, they do a lunchtime offer as well that looks as though it’d be busy.

Phone/email: 01772 558989 / [email protected]

Address: 11b Winckley Street, off Winckley Square, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2AA (map)

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