This coffee shop is tucked away in the once grand and gambling rooms of Bulawayo’s race course (for horses that is) at Ascot. On this day, the sun was blazing down and although the four-legged beasts we saw on driving in were not very much into careering down the track, it was nice to see something that reminded us of what used to be. We parked safely in the original member’s carpark under some big shady trees and made our way upstairs to lunch.
Although it may have been a bit early for lunch, there were already a number of tables occupied so we chose to sit outside on the balcony. A waiter came by very soon after we were settled and produced menus.
There was a number of “special” coffees, as well as teas, milkshakes, soft drinks and my favourite — smoothies. My partner decided on a mochochino and I ordered a banana smoothie. The selection of light meals was tantalising and varied. It catered for most tastes and eating styles, from vegetarian tramazinis to pies and chips.
The only thing I did not see was any fish dishes. My partner went for a homemade beef burger with chips and I decided on the spinach and feta tramazini with salad.
Our drinks came fairly swiftly and were most welcomed. The mochochino was festive with its dark-light-dark layers of espresso, milk and chocolate and the smoothie was almost a meal in itself. The banana came through strongly, and it wasn’t too smooth, which made it one of the better smoothies I have had. As these drinks went down grateful throats, I took a look around.
Thee Coffee Shoppe has no central décor theme except colour which lightened up the teak table and chairs and set off the stark white tableware.
The beef burger was sumptuous, thick and juicy — very definitely homemade and apparently the chips were just right — crisp and tasty. My tramazini was filled with a delectable spinach and feta sauce which did not make the nicely toasted pita bread soggy. My green salad had added avocado which just made the dish. Both meals were generous in portion but after the last mouthful, the “sweet tooth” started calling. So, we ordered our favourite — the chocolate cake with fudge icing — and the “sweet tooth” was pacified!
Coffee Shop, 3 Plates
Expect to spend between US$11 and US$20 per head
Ascot Race Course, Bulawayo.