As I walk around my home town of Derby in the UK, I get increasingly annoyed, nay angry, by the proliferation of food outlets that are either chains or franchises. It makes me so angry because they’re not giving the independents a chance, and in turn the consumers don’t get to give the independents a chance. In a town of approximately 250,000 people, I’m not entirely sure there’s a need for 5 Subways, 6 McDonalds and at least 5 Costa Coffees (at the last count – a new one seems to appear every week). I’m so fed up of the same thing everywhere. You can’t even guarantee that the quality will be consistent across each outlet. So I’ve made a bit of a vow – I’m avoiding big business like the plague. Independents will get my support from now on, when I actually get the chance to eat out, with or without the sprogs.
Take the food shown above from Cafe Levanta, a lovely little find in St Peter’s Churchyard in the city. The menu is full of Mediterranean inspired wonders such as this meze plate that I had on my first visit. It was delicious; the salads were varied and the dips we obviously homemade. You just had to watch out for the pickled vegetables, they almost took the roof of my mouth off! I was inspired to go home and start looking at interesting salads to serve with a piece of fish or meat. I’ve been back, with my mum (any excuse!) and she also had the meze plate, but on that occasion the salads served were completely different.
The best thing about the independents in the city is that the staff are so friendly. They love their business and they want you to as well.
Here’s to independent eateries. Where’s your favourite in your home town. Recommend it here and we might all just visit when we’re in town!