By James Bird
For me, brunch is the best meal of the day, mainly because I’m never up for breakfast. There’s no set menu for it, you can treat yourself to anything you like, whether it’s a full English breakfast, a carvery dinner or simply porridge.
After trundling around Sheffield city centre, I stumbled upon Albie’s café, on Snig Hill, to fuel me up before my long day of work ahead. It’s hidden away with nothing indicating its whereabouts apart from a propped-up sign that just states ‘coffee’ in large writing, almost like a secret concealed gem.
Due to coronavirus, there was no sit-in option, but there was ample seating with stairs leading downwards, which I could only presume was a route to more space or a secondary entrance to Narnia. The décor was swanky and that of a trendy establishment that holds itself in high regard, the paintings were modern – well to my untrained eye – and the magnolia walls added to the atmosphere of a contemporary, bright shop.
The menu was intriguing, straight away it was obvious that they were bagel specialists, due to their large range. The ‘almighty breakkie bagel’ stood out like a sore thumb, it consisted of streaky bacon, grilled cheese, avocado, fried egg and sriracha. All of this for £5. Pricey for a student, but it’s an independent business and boy did they not disappoint.
I turned to my friend Jamie puzzled and posed the question… “What’s sriracha?” She stared back in a disappointed frown; I know I’m not cultured. To the left of me was a selection of brownies and pastries, which looked mouth-watering and ranged between the £2 to £3 mark.
When eating the bagel, there was a taste-explosion in my mouth. Instantly, the flavours of both the egg and cheese combined and my first experience of sriracha sauce was incredibly pleasant. An easy 9/10. It was a hefty bagel, a good handful.
Now I’m not a coffee expert by any stretch of imagination. However, for under £3 they had such a selection it was hard to ignore. I’ll name some: Cortado, long black, Americano, capp, flat white, chai latte and mocha. The appearance of a matcha coffee made Jamie happy, because it isn’t usually present in other cafes. Furthermore, there was a variety of local coffee blends on offer to buy in the shop.
Their takeaway system runs like a well-oiled machine, which coincides with their strict stance on Covid-19, which offers hand sanitizer on the door, as well as enforcing social distancing.
There is little room for criticism, especially as you cannot moan at price with Albie’s being an independent establishment. Hell, even the staff were friendly and after some background research, it became apparent that the shop is run by a brother and sister duo.
If you’re looking for a tasty brunch snack served with a smile, Albie’s comes with a high recommendation from me. Let’s just say I’ve already been back for seconds.