Lunch isn't for wimps: City Picnic, Castle Street, Belfast
Published 16/08/2011 | 08:00
Situated on the corner of Castle Street and Fountain Street, this new opening is a mix of deli, grocery and hot food bar and is more akin to something you might see on a busy street in New York's financial district - for those city slickers who need to grab lunch fast.
Keeping that theme, the 'shop' side of the spacious, airy premises is chock full of imported goods including A1 steak sauce, Hersheys' cookies and cream and Pop Tarts.
However, they sit cheek by jowl with home made Ulster traybakes, jams and marmalades and olive oil imported from Italy.
There's also an ice cream bar, rather optimistic when you consider the "summer" we're currently enjoying, featuring belly-busting flavours including Creme Egg and Rolo - yes, that is indeed vanilla ice-cream peppered with slabs of the aforementioned confectionery.
On to business, lunch offerings include a menu of sandwiches, salads and burritos or the option to make your own.
I chose a chilli steak salad, laden with blue cheese, sundried tomatoes and lots of leaves. The portion was huge and I didn't 'really' need to order that side of twice-cooked chips and garlic butter in hindsight but it meant that the huge variety of cookies and cupcakes went untouched.
As the name suggests, diners chow from their environmentally-friendly cardboard containers at a row of picnic tables or breakfast bar alongside a huge picture window.
With an imported drink, hence the slightly higher price tag, the bill came to just over seven pounds, but well worth it for the food, ambience and setting.