Y’know how brunch is between breakfast and lunch, right? There should be an equivalent for between lunch and dinner. Like Lunner, or something. Why? because I’m struggling to describe the dish I had at Roots in Norwich this Saturday, because it wasn’t at a proper meal time.
Having headed out on an early afternoon shopping trip, with every intention of stopping for lunch, I failed in that mission and ended up seeking restorative victuals after 2pm, when most places were gearing up for afternoon tea – which meant that I was unable to patronise regular haunts Biddys and Strangers.
But not one to be deterred, it gave me the perfect opportunity to try Roots.
Even though they were due to stop serving in 20 minutes, the lovely waiting staff welcomed us inside, laid a table and promised that they would indeed feed us.
Although it doesn’t look like much from outside, it’s actually remarkably large and goes way back from the street. We were shown to a table upstairs, which was beautifully decorated and had a great view out onto the Belgian Monk and the MadderMarket Theatre. And while I wouldn’t necessarily paint my living room battleship grey, it suited the room, with its beautiful fireplace, rather nicely.
The lunch menu was quite extensive, with a good range of sandwiches, salads and even main meals. In fact, there is even an all-day breakfast selection, which is perfect if you’re actually looking for brunch (instead of lunner)!
Because it was gone 2pm (and I have no self-control), I couldn’t resist a Philadelphia cheese steak sandwich on ciabatta – I mean who can say no to red meat and cheese on a Saturday afternoon? (Although the mushroom gnocchi sounded incredible – if a little heavy in the middle of the day.)
Presented with crisps and a side salad, the steak sandwich was amazing. There was so much meat that there seemed to be a whole steak between the bread, with lots of super rich, strong cheese. It is actually making my mouth water just thinking about it!
The beef was perfectly cooked – medium rare and melted in the mouth – with the juices running into the fresh, doughy bread. It tasted incredible, with a strong, distinctive flavour. According to the menu it was from Swannington Farm and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
My only gripe was that although the food came out quickly, the English breakfast tea we had ordered didn’t appear until after the sandwich arrived – in fact we had to request it. It was, however, dealt with incredibly efficiently, with our drinks being brought to us just a few moments later.
Not only that, but when the bill arrived our waitress explained that she had removed the tea from our bill, which was a pleasant surprise. It was such good customer service, that I just had to mention it – so many eateries wouldn’t have bothered, but it makes such a difference to the whole experience.
Considering there was so much food that I didn’t really need to eat for the rest of the day, it was great value for money – at £6.95 it might be more that I normally spend on lunch, but with so much meat, excellent customer service and a beautiful environment, I shall be returning.
Check out Roots’ menu online now.