Evelyn's, Manchester


Being so spoilt for choice by in-the-city options, it's easy to get a little overwhelmed and stick to places known ('well, I've been there once and it was good - why go anywhere else again EVER?') when heading out one's door for a stomach-lead adventure, more often than not the decision made to wander over to familiar spots in (mostly, as us find-cake-to-eat seekers do) the Northern Quarter, oft passing by the can't-see-straight-in numbers - that don't offer up that 'what am I getting?' gaze-at opportunity - in favour of at-eye-level peek-er-in-ers.

Evelyn's had become one such scooted-on-by neighbourhood number for lil' ol' moi, the menu every so often glanced across with interest - finger/thumb pressed against chin in a kind of 'hmmmm' deliberation - but door not pushed through, tales of the restaurant's (grammable) good-ness tucked into back pocked for t'other time.

That is, until I decided said back pocket was rather too full of reccys to ignore, and it was time to stop just saying I was going to visit ('I really must go one of these days!'!) and put food where my mouth was!

There is no sincerer love than the love of food ~ George Bernard Shaw

Pushing through the large door, and making my way up bare-brick-wall-accompanied stairs (anyone else feel slightly uneasy when having to make your way up, or down, to a space? I always feel it takes that extra push of self to get myself to navigate...), my visiting-solo self was instantly welcomed with a jolly 'hello!' and a motion to move into the (pineapple-alike, fluffy top and plump-bottomed) greenery-strung atmosphere, its air thick with sizzling smells that snaked way almost-surreptitiously into nostrils, responding with a (heck is this heavenly!) hello in return, before asking to be sat by the window because...well, natural light, aye? Ain't nothing like it! 

Settling into seat, the warmth upon which the wafts of from-the-kitchen notes were carried nudged memories out from hiding, dancing of-senses-details of travels in South-East Asia 'neath eyelids, prickling skin at the thought of sun-soaked self searching for lunch, then dinner, side-street sellers cooking food before eyes, all wrapping form with an air of familiarity that felt most comfortable to lunch with. Who can say no to a bit of escapism?

After spending a short while sitting in and soaking up my surroundings - reading book spines, prints, and postcards, and admiring every nook and cranny with an appreciating (*mutters to self* - 'ooo, look at that!') and most greedy eye - I turned attention to the menu, pondering 'Should I, shouldn't I?' eggs before deciding yup, I definitely should, and ordering poached with avo on sourdough. Because I am nothing if not an at-the-cafe cliche!

Pulling knife through slathered bread (my knife and fork skills obviously not quite up to the sourdough test!) and chowing down on my first bite, I was struck by the freshness of taste...the guac'd covering of smooshed avocado zest'd to perfection, a solid companion to the runny-but-not-too-runny (and scrumptiously sunset-orange) yolk, the pairing chowed down on between full-flavoured gulps (English breks at it's loose-leafed finest!), pausings made in-between chewing and slurping to eyeball passersby and side-eye-sneak at the guy next to me working on some very interesting food-centric photos (isn't it fascinating watching/nosing over people do their thing?).

After scraping most of the plate clean (thanks to some classic eyes bigger than my belly-ing), I luxuriated in my transported-across-the-globe environment for that teensy bit longer (aka making sure I had enough photos to savour memory via), before making my exit, snapping the neon ECB (because one can never pass up on the preserving of sunshine yellow!) before navigating steps pavement-wards and vowing to make a grumbly-bellied return to make good of the puds on offer.

Who's with me for apple crumble and creamy custard?


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