Baffled Coffee, Southsea | Restaurant Review
There is nothing better on a rainy day than finding a nook in a cosy cafe and cuddling up with a good book.On this occasion Dish Detective’s hungry companion was in tow so no chance of a book but as Storm Dennis was blowing a hooley, we decided to venture out in search of coffee and a spot of lunch.
We are blown into Baffled Coffee in Southsea and, dear reader, we struck gold.
It feels cosy and we like the industrial décor, with tables made out of old piping and wooden pallets mixed with orange cushions and blankets.
For a week day it is very busy and we show ourselves to the second room at the back of the cafe, past the till and cake counter (which I have my beady eye on for later).
A menu that starts with ‘brunch served all day’ is a menu I can get onboard with – especially when the next menu column reads ‘brunch cocktails' … well, it’s 5pm somewhere.
My dining partner quickly dissuades me of that notion and instead I get a large hot chocolate (£3.40).
The desire for a Bloody Caesar with vodka and a rasher of bacon (£6) fades as I take my first sip of the sweet beverage. It’s the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted.
My partner-in-crime is equally happy with an iced latte.
We turn our attention to the food and we already know we have to come back.
In Southsea you would be hard-pressed to walk 10 steps without coming across a brunch cafe, so sometimes there isn’t much variation between menus, but this Fawcett Road establishment is unique .
Salt beef hash with sauerkraut, baked eggs and breakfast gravy (£7.50), and charcoal buckwheat crepe filled with bacon, fried eggs and smoked cheese (£7.50) are just two of the options that leap out.
On this particular rainy day we opt for sandwiches, getting a triple- stacked smoked chicken, bacon and avocado club on charcoal rye bread with sun- dried tomato mayo and roasted new potatoes (£9.50) and a rapid Reuben with home- made salt beef, Thousand Island dressing, Gouda and pink pickled onions (£6.50) with the plan to swap a sandwich half each.
The food comes quickly for which we are grateful.
Now Dish Detective reckons to be a bit of a club sandwich connoisseur and this is top-notch .
I have never had charcoal bread before but it marries beautifully with the tomato mayo and crispy bacon. Smoked chicken is my new favourite thing and unlike other eating places that skimp on the avocado, this is bordering on too much and means every mouthful of chicken is accompanied by what bearded hipsters call ‘the millennial fruit’.
The bread of the Reuben seems fried in butter and smothered in cheese: heaven. It is stuffed with meat and the pickled onions cut through the heavy dairy.
If I had had room I would have ordered garlic bread with bacon, jam and cheese (£4.50) but that carb fest lives for another day.
As promised to myself when I walked in, I walk out with a rocky road and peanut butter and banana loaf fresh from the cake counter – utterly moreish and worth every calorie.
As we leave the cafe and head back out to see the chaos Storm Dennis has caused while we have been stuffing our faces, I notice the different types of people who have come into the cafe. A business woman and a student type away on laptops as they sip their coffee and a group of friends catch up in the window seat table.
It strikes me as the type of place where I could snuggle up with a good book on a future rainy day. Storm Ellen, where you at?