How are you doing on this lovely Saturday? It’s been a busy old week for this Derby foodie and the first one back after Christmas. I hope you’ve all settled into your old-new routines (you know, where you arise by 7am and not loll around in your jim-jams all day, just because you can).

This is my first foodie review and live-blog of the year. Yes, I’m eating, reviewing and writing as we speak (well, type, but you know what I mean).

The Good Green Café in Cathedral Quarter, Derby is my port of call. It’s quite cosy, warm and inviting, which must be down to the lovely twinkly lights adorning exposed brickwork reminiscent of 90s American loft styles (which I also happen to totally dig too).

I have been here before, and find the coffee to be good and strong. Coffee is a barometer on which I measure the likelihood of my return. I’ve been to the Good Green Café circa 15 times (and will continue to patronise), which gives you an inkling how gorgeous the coffee is here.

The owners and hosts are congenial and that, combined with the fab customer service and delicious food, makes this one of my favourite cafés in Derby. The café has around 15 tables with approximately 40 covers. I visited this place when it first opened and I’ve seen it grow into the must-visit place it is today. At the time of writing this, the place is chocca. The menu is eclectic with oriental and pan-European influences. From galettes (savoury buckwheat pancakes) to salads, omelettes and gluten-free baked goods, there is something for everyone here. The Good Green Café is all about healthy, wholesome fayre, catering to a diverse crowd including gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free aficionados.

I have ordered the Banh Mi Toasted Ciabatta (home-made pulled pork, Asian slaw, coriander, chillies soy dressing, on a continental style ciabatta served with side salad). And because I’ve got hunger pangs setting in, I’ve also ordered a side of Sweet Potato Fries (battered chip-thin fries).

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The sandwich itself is wonderfully presented and the filling spicy, tangy and with a kick of chillies on the swallow. The pulled pork filling is tender, generous and coupled with the cooling salad, makes for a veritable party in your mouth.

The fries are so fricking moreish, I demolish them in unladylike handfuls. They appear to be slightly battered, which make them all the more interesting. The side comes with ketchup, but I always prefer mayonnaise, so I’ve asked for a teeny tiny bit of this mayo too to which the smiley waitress happily obliges.

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It’s a lovely quaint place to while away a few hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon. It’s a fabulous place for a coffee pit-stop, or perfect for those creative bods who like to hole up somewhere cultural and connect with their inner Jack Kerouac, laptops clacking away as copious amounts of coffee is sipped.

Whilst chatting to the team, I have discovered that the fries I so dearly love, are the only foodstuff not made in-house. Everything else, from the sauces, to pulled pork is hand-cooked by the team at Good Green Café under the watchful  eye of James, Head Chef at the café. That’s a pretty mean feat, to have 99% of the food cooked in-house, don’t you think? Here is a close-up of that darn delicious sweet potato fry.

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Good Green Café is a place that is easy to be in. With its slatted blinds, it possesses all-season appeal, be it in wintry January, or a humid August afternoon (perfect for sipping their specialist soya milkshakes.)

Lunch costs the best part of £13, (£6.95 for a sandwich is a little steep), so this isn’t a place you can visit every day. Still, I love the food here so much, I’ll be speaking with James about his passion for food and influences in his cooking to date. If you like delicious healthy meals, firstly do hop along to the Good Green Café. Secondly, keep your eyes peeled for this Q&A with James coming soon!

Food order:

Banh Mi Toasted Ciabatta £6.95

Sweet Potato Fries £3.20

Soya Latte £2.50

Total £12.65

Star Rating 1-10 (1: “I hate it, I’d rather eat my own shoe” to 10: “I’d pillage for a meal here”.)

Food: 9.5

Value for money: 7

Ambience: 10

Rate or Slate? Rate

Address: 5-6 Strand Arcade, Cathedral Quarter, Derby DE1 1BQ

Tel: 01332 986410

Website: http://www.derbycathedralquarter.co.uk/GoodGreenCaf%C3%A9

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