Lunch isn't for wimps: Cloth Ear, Waring Street, Belfast
The Cloth Ear is a great spot for lunch in Belfast city centre.
When our party of seven arrived at 1.30pm for a pre-booked lunch date at the Merchant Hotel's public bar, we were greeted by one of the friendliest waiters I have ever met.
The mature, sparkly-eyed fellow is welcoming, attentive and an asset to the business.
I'd been on a no junk food, no sweets, no crisps, no everything-I-enjoy, calorie-controlled detox since January 1, so I felt that I deserved a treat.
While my friends tucked into French onion soup with wheaten, cheeseburger and chips and other yummy offerings, I devoured lasagne, with side salad, coleslaw and garlic bread.
It was a good-sized portion of tasty, well-presented food and arrived swiftly from the bar's busy kitchen.
The six lovely ladies I was with are a tough crowd to please, but they all said they enjoyed their meals, made from locally-sourced seasonal produce.
Vegetarians are pretty well catered for on the menu and with prices starting at £3.95 for soup of the day, a visit won't break the bank.
My only gripe with the Cloth Ear is the springy cream sofa style seating that is too low for the tables, but my fellow diners on stand-alone upright chairs on the other side of the table were fine.
I left the Cathedral Quarter eatery feeling well fed and watered and hope to head back soon to sample the Cloth Ear classic of a filled Belfast bap.