Lunch isn't for wimps: Cargoes, Lisburn Road, Belfast
The Lisburn Road seems to have enjoyed a resurgence of late as empty units are united with new tenants on an almost weekly basis.
With the exception of boutiques Please Don't Tell and MaxMara Weekend - and bizarrely, a tattoo parlour - many have been cafes or restaurants, adding to an already bewilderingly broad choice for hungry BT9ers. Cafe Mauds (where did they put the apostrophe?) has been welcomed with open arms by residents and visitors, as the long queues for crepes, ice-creams and savouries demonstrate. But on a recent trip to the Lisburn Road for a lunch meeting, we decided to investigate how one of the road's older eating establishments is faring since it changed hands on the retirement of its owners. Cargoes had many admirers, and for good reason Saturday just wasn't complete without a visit there for some luscious and filling salads, sandwiches or sausage rolls - and tray-bakes, if you'd been good. Thankfully its new owner, who is fresh to the hospitality game, seems aware of the heritage of the cafe he has bought. Our coffees arrived promptly and overall, the service, by the new proprietor himself, was impeccable. We got stuck into soup and bread and a big mixed salad including generous servings of couscous and coleslaw for me. Cargoes' new guardian is just in the early stages of taking charge of this well-loved spot and it may just take a while for a new identity to bed in. But he should manage to keep the regulars on-side, and attract some new custom, too.