We drove up and down the appointed street, but it showed no promise of an eatery whatsoever. Eventually, however, we parked at a largish office block which had the correct street number, and doubtfully asked at the reception where the restaurant was, if there was one at all.
The lady at the desk looked puzzled at first, but then kindly informed us that we should go around the corner of the building and enter somewhere through a set of French doors and then we would probably find the “cafeteria”. That did not sound too good. We wandered around, entered some doors and eventually found at the end of an increasingly lonesome corridor, an abandoned kitchen and no food.
We were informed by the one person still in attendance that it had closed down the day before. We left and decided to try for another one of those interesting places on our list. Needless to say, we could not find it either, and when we asked around, we were informed once more that it had closed down recently. It seemed that we formed a lethal danger to small eating places; they died as soon as we had any kind of vague intention of going there!
When in doubt, go to Café Allegro, is our motto. No more fooling around with places in their death-throws: we were going to a secure place that would be certain to be alive and kicking. Seeing the funny side of it all, we laughed all the way there.
Café Allegro is a lovely little corner coffee shop in Sam Levy’s Village. It has a nice menu that offers sufficient choice for a breakfast or a nice lunch. There are lovely salads, nice sandwiches, as well as meat, fish and pasta dishes.
Our waiter, Para — short for Paradzai — was most kind and helpful, and we certainly were in need of some cosseting after the rather depressing start to our lunch exploits. Having lost quite a bit of time, we needed to make some phone calls but had no money on the phone. Para immediately offered to run to a nearby purveyor of Buddie prepaid cards, and soon we were telephonically mobile again.
Before his kind buddy run, Para had already provided us with some tall frosted glasses of fruit-juice, which went down a treat after our unsuccessful quest for eateries.
We studied the menu. Feeling quite hungry, I opted for the toasted sandwich with fillet of beef, while my wife went for the fish and chips. These were brought soon. The fish was pleasantly fried and with some squeezed lemon juice it tasted really good. Our chips were lovely and crisp, and the toasted beef sandwich had a rich filling of tomato, onions and a very tasty, creamy and rich sauce.
At last we were able to sit back and relax in the knowledge we would not quite yet starve to death. We took in the surroundings, commented favourably, or otherwise, on the people passing by — who doesn’t succumb to that wicked practice? We chatted and laughed, all the while thoroughly enjoying our plates of most welcome food.
Para was always ready to see to our every wish, bringing some more napkins as eating a sandwich is always something of a messy affair —of course I did not manage to keep the sauce from dripping all over the place; or bringing another drink; or any other little necessity. When we had finished our meal, I felt that I could cope with just that little bit of cake. I went inside, looked at the cakes on offer, and from the chocolate, carrot, lemon meringue and coffee cake, I chose the last.
The coffee cake was brought with our usual cappuccino for my wife and a double espresso for me. It was just the right finish to our meal.
Expect to spend US$10 to US$15 per head
19 Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale.