Arlo Bistro & Café, Newcastle Upon Tyne
A gem in Jesmond!
Every now and again, when I find myself in the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, I make it my business to alight from the Metro at West Jesmond Station and call in to Arlo on Brentwood Avenue for breakfast. On this occasion we visited on a Friday at 11.30am so were still able to partake of the breakfast menu which is available until midday.
Upon arrival, there is a comfortable waiting area with all sorts of interesting knick-knacks to look at and books to browse through. Unless I was in a hurry I’d quite happily wait here until a table became available! However, on this occasion we were quickly ushered through to a table as there were a few vacant seats.
The scrubbed wooden tables and school type chairs are comfortable and suit the setting, which is bustling and vibrant, if a little noisy! In this part of Jesmond you would expect a large number of student customers but in fact the customer base was varied, with mums and babies rubbing shoulders with students, shoppers and businessmen, which together created a good friendly atmosphere.
From a great menu selection we chose a pot of breakfast tea and an Americano coffee. These were promptly delivered, accompanied by an unusual little churn of milk.
I also ordered a cheese scone, which is an especial favourite of mine, and my companion chose the vegetarian breakfast. Now, I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on scones and this was a good one! If I had to make a criticism I’d say perhaps it could have done with a bit more cheese. The vegetarian breakfast was something a little different and included grilled halloumi and a pot of particularly good spicy guacamole.
The display of cakes was so magnificent that we felt obliged to try one of them. There was a fine array of sponge cakes, two different kinds of brownies and also some blondies, all of which looked great! From previous visits I already knew that the sponge cakes were very good, so we decided to share a bourbon brownie. Whoever makes these needs to stand up and take a bow – it was simply delicious, with a soft and squidgy centre and a crispy chocolate crust, just how a brownie should be. It’s worth visiting this place just for the cakes!
Food: 4.5/5 – the brownie deserved top marks and more but the slightly undercooked eggs on the vegetarian breakfast reduced the score
Prices: 4/5 – considering the setting, we felt we had value for money
Atmosphere: 4/5 – bustling and vibrant
Service: 3/5 – apart from one young notable exception, friendliness and a few smiles from the waiting staff wouldn’t go amiss!
Star of The Show: definitely the bourbon brownie!