Tag Archives: lunch

My local – Urban Angel Café

It’s taken me ages to get this post out, purely because I love this little café so much that I would rather spend my time eating there than being tortured by the glorious memory of it. That’s before I even have to edit all the photos of their amazing food. Gosh no, it’s just too difficult. Urban Angel Café is my new favourite little hot spot, and it’s less than 3km from home!

Amazing range of breakfasts and café meals - quinoa with apple and salted caramel, french toast with banana and nut butters (homemade), and hugely delicious chicken prego burgers

Amazing range of breakfasts and café meals – quinoa with apple and salted caramel, french toast with banana and nut butters (homemade), and hugely delicious chicken prego burgers

So I’m writing this post in the comfort of their wafts of freshly baked bread, with an unhampered view of their mountain of fresh biscuits, sitting on the counter, whips of steam still practically floating above them.

This is my first draw once I walk in the door: every day they have something new and interesting on offer, from bagels and mince pies to protein bars and cheesecake brownies. Cookies and doughnuts and all sorts of different breads keep the meals special on each visit

This is my first draw once I walk in the door: every day they have something new and interesting on offer, from bagels and mince pies to protein bars and cheesecake brownies. Cookies and doughnuts and all sorts of different breads keep the meals special on each visit

What I absolutely love about this place, is their modern menu. And I don’t mean modern in a pretentious way, where owners are trying to sell the “next best thing”. I mean they genuinely care about producing meals that taste amazing and happen to have all these amazing new superfoods in them. You can go to Urban Angel café on pretty much any diet, and you will probably find something that suits you – and it’s guaranteed to be delicious.

The bagel bun is my go-to breakfast as a protein filled bun of fresh sour dough bread. Their meals are original with everyone's favourite toppings, like cream cheese! "Eggs done your way" is also one of the awesome things about the  cafe

The bagel bun is my go-to breakfast as a protein filled bun of fresh sour dough bread. Their meals are original with everyone’s favourite toppings, like cream cheese! “Eggs done your way” is also one of the awesome things about the café

And if you’re not on a diet, they have these incredible brownies that were recommended to me by everybody – friends and strangers alike – that I tried to resist for so long. I knew that if I gave in, it would be over for me. And it was… My advice: stay away from the brownies if you value your waistline.

Sweet and salty mocha with a swirl of caramel. Literally best drink ever!

Sweet and salty mocha with a swirl of caramel. Literally best drink ever!

For the most part, their creativity is pretty spot-on. My first experience of their food wasn’t that great though. I ordered a peanut butter espresso milkshake and was highly disappointed to find it was made with homemade nut butter, a combination of peanut and cashew. In the end it just tasted like very milky coffee with chunks of nuts. But hey, that’s what happens when you try to be too healthy, it doesn’t always work out. Pretty good otherwise!

Their meals are reasonably priced and really generous, full of healthy goodness! Grilled chicken with beautifully flavoured sides - their mash was some of the best I've ever had!

Their meals are reasonably priced and really generous, full of healthy goodness! Grilled chicken with beautifully flavoured sides – their mash was some of the best I’ve ever had!

Their service is great as well, always extremely friendly.

Urban Angel Café: Bakery, Café and Food Store can be found just behind the shopping centre in the office park (President Fouche Drive And Hawken Avenue, Randburg, Johannesburg). It’s a bit difficult to find, but I guess that way it can be a little piece of hidden gold until everyone learns about its magnificence.

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A bright idea – Revelations Grahamstown

It’s amazing what new management can do. In my first year at Grahamstown there was this random little coffee shop at the only shopping centre in town. Sometimes you’d hear of people going there, but mostly it felt like walking past some long-forgotten church, or the University library at the start of the New Year (when people have forgotten how much work they could actually be getting done in there). Now, Revelations Café is a go-to food-spot, especially if you like your cakes.

eat coffee tea signageThey had a great revamp and gained popularity again in 2012, with all sorts of wonderful specials to draw in the crowds. Not only were the prices reasonable and competitive, but also the quality of the food was really above the common Grahamstown standard.

Cake

Their cakes would be one of their major draw factors: they are made perfectly every time and they have a really nice wide variety. I was disappointed to learn that they don’t actually make these on site, however. The cakes are supplied by Chateaux Gateaux. Since learning this, it appears that a huge number of coffee shops have their cakes supplied by them too. So Revelations’ cakes aren’t all that special, though they are really delicious (and you can’t beat mass-produced consistency sometimes, can you?).

Breakfast specials are great on a student budget, but a real omelette is a nice and wholesome break away from res food

Breakfast specials are great on a student budget, but a real omelette is a nice and wholesome break away from res food

Their breakfasts are definitely winners. Sometimes they offer a breakfast special, though their breakfast menu options are worth spending the extra money on. They are generous with their portions, particularly in their omelettes.

Waffles are good for breakfast too... Revelations knows how to maximise on the Bar One too, which is great!

Waffles are good for breakfast too… Revelations knows how to maximise on the Bar One too, which is great!

Revelations offers lunch and dinner options as well. On a student budget a lot of the dinner choices are a bit excessive, though they are around the same price as you would expect to pay in other larger towns and cities, and the quality is good (think café burgers rather than steakhouse burgers though). Their wide range can cater for a number of dietary requirements (healthier options and vegetarian options, for example), but it does make decisions really hard.

Chicken and bacon wrap with a berry smoothie, a wholesome healthy lunch (that is also delicious)

Chicken and bacon wrap with a berry smoothie, a wholesome healthy lunch (that is also delicious)

Chicken , bacon, apple and blue cheese salad with a Mango smoothie. This was a half portion too, so they are really generous

Chicken , bacon, apple and blue cheese salad with a Mango smoothie. This was a half portion too, so they are really generous

You can enjoy their delicious smoothies out under the trees or you can cuddle up under cover on the couch with a decadent hot chocolate (complete with marshmallows, whipped cream and a flake), which makes it ideal for summer or winter treats.

Banana and almond smoothie and a vanilla milkshake. The smoothie was delicious, but it could have done well with a bigger straw because the nuts were not too finely chopped

Banana and almond smoothie and a vanilla milkshake. The smoothie was delicious, but it could have done well with a bigger straw because the nuts were not too finely chopped

Generally their service is very friendly, though relaxed enough that you remember you are not in a large town where waiters are there to pander immediately to your every whim.

They have a larger than average tea selection, and great options for teatime accompaniments

They have a larger than average tea selection, and great options for teatime accompaniments

This café is definitely worth a visit when in Grahamstown, and also good for regular treats with friends (just not on a Sunday, unfortunately).

Added bonus: they have free wifi.

This is what my Res lunches are like

People are often complaining about the food we get in the Dining Hall (aka the DH, know what I’m saying, dawg?), but I don’t think it’s all that bad. This is especially so if you make the right decisions. I’m not going to lie and say all the meals are wonderful, but even a fusst person can enjoy majority of their meals in the DH. That’s one of the great things about our dining hall system: you can book your meals, and choose between a really nice and broad range of options. Some people choose to have “something and chips” every single day, but there are also really delicious options. These options are often cleverly disguised behind some exotic name (that in most cases just means “roast chicken”), but you never know until you try.

Here is a sample of lunches, over a two week cycle (that I will generally repeat because these are my preferred choice, from a taste and health perspective).

Week 1 (referred to as Cycle 1 on the View menu tab)

2 WRAPS WITH ROAST VEG/FETA FILLING, VEGETABLES (Roast veggie and feta wrap)

Monday: 2 WRAPS WITH ROAST VEG/FETA FILLING, VEGETABLES (Vegetarian option)

Tuesday lunch: GRILLED VENISON STEAK, BROWN RICE, LEAN PEPPER SAUCE

Tuesday lunch: GRILLED VENISON STEAK, BROWN RICE, LEAN PEPPER SAUCE (Health Platter option)

These veggie wraps are one of the meals that I greatly look forward to every week, they are really good! The venison steak is touch and go really… This edition was lacking in the substance, but generally this isn’t a bad meal (if you like your meat well-done).

Wednesday: HAM & CHEESE ROLL, SALAD BAR, SAUTE POTATOES (Fast Food default)

Wednesday: HAM & CHEESE ROLL, SALAD BAR, SAUTE POTATOES (Fast Food default)

Thursday: CHICKEN BURGERS, CHIPS

Thursday: CHICKEN BURGERS, CHIPS (Fast food Halaal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ham and cheese roll used to be my favourite meal because it reminded me most of a normal school lunch (sandwiches and the like). Now, I’m not so crazy about processed ham… But it is really nice to get a good dose of cheese once in a while. I am living for the day when we get super fresh rolls for our chicken burgers again: there was this one time… but let’s not dwell on such a beautiful past. The chicken burgers are good. They actually remind me of the kind of thing you could buy at a school tuck shop, so they really aren’t a bad choice.

Friday: CRUMBED CHICKEN STEAK, CHEESY MUSTARD SAUCE, CREAMY MASHED POTATOES (Default)

Friday: CRUMBED CHICKEN STEAK, CHEESY MUSTARD SAUCE, CREAMY MASHED POTATOES (Default)

Saturday: LEAN BEEF BURGERS, GARLIC POTATOES, VEGETABLES (Health platter)

Saturday: LEAN BEEF BURGERS, GARLIC POTATOES, VEGETABLES (Health platter)

Grilled chicken steaklets are great, a nice home-cooked meal feel about them. I think I am also sold on the fact that it’s crumbed chicken, and I love crumbed chicken… The lean beef burgers aren’t a bad option either, and that brown bread roll is also quite good. The patty is pretty decent, just beware: on alternate Saturdays there are normal beef burgers, and these can come quite oily with a bit more grey in it…

Sunday: TRADITIONAL WHOLE ROAST CHICKEN, ROAST POTATOES (Default)

Sunday: TRADITIONAL WHOLE ROAST CHICKEN, ROAST POTATOES (Default)

 

 

A traditional Sunday roast always goes down well, and generally their roast potatoes are pretty fabulously crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The broccoli in cheese sauce goes down well as well.

 

 

 

Cycle 2

Monday: MORROCCAN RED CHICKEN, BROWN RICE (Health Platter)

Monday: MORROCCAN RED CHICKEN, BROWN RICE (Health Platter)

Tuesday: GRILLED MARINATED OSTRICH STEAKS, BAKED POTATO, SLICED BAKED SWEET POTATOES (Health Platter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Without having ordered it, I would not have known what Moroccan red chicken is… It’s like a fairly spicy, almost tomato-y chicken a la king… But not really. The brown rice and veggies feel pretty healthy though. The ostrich steaks are good, but again only really if you don’t mind your meat really well cooked. The sweet potatoes have changed colour since I started ordering this meal option, but generally they go pretty well with the gravy from the steak.

Wednesday: CHEESE SALAD ROLL, SAUTE POTATOES (Fast Food Vegetarian)

Wednesday: CHEESE SALAD ROLL, SAUTE POTATOES (Fast Food Vegetarian)

Thursday: BALTI CHICKEN, YELLOW RICE (Default)

Thursday: BALTI CHICKEN, YELLOW RICE (Default)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cheese salad roll is fabulous toasted (if you have the time). It also reminds me of school lunches, and it’s nice and simple and pretty delicious. It comes with chips, if you’re into that kind of thing, which you can see that I’m not. Balti chicken is another roast chicken under a pseudonym. I love this day because of the plain broccoli (generally). I love broccoli! The carrots tend to have a bit too much garden on them, though, so the carrot flavour is somewhat lost.

Friday lunch is chicken burgers again, and you’ve already seen that…

Saturday: GRILLED CHICKEN CREOLE (C/BREAST), TOMATO SALSA, BAKED POTATO, PEAS (Health Platter)

Saturday: GRILLED CHICKEN CREOLE (C/BREAST), TOMATO SALSA, BAKED POTATO, PEAS (Health Platter)

Sunday: CHICKEN KIEV, ROAST POTATOES (Default)

Sunday: CHICKEN KIEV, ROAST POTATOES (Default)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This chicken (Creole) took me by surprise, I had no idea what it was, and it has turned out to be one of the best meals. It’s got a nice amount of spice, generally, and it feels pretty healthy. It also isn’t cooked in a way that you have to close your eyes and hope that it’s not going to make you sick (when you see bits of red or who-knows-what on your chicken leg and thigh, sometimes you just gotta deal…). The chicken kiev is also a nice generic home-cooked meal that is generally done pretty well. Sometimes it’s actually chicken cordon bleu (ham and cheese filling), so nice surprises do come about…

I tend to say no to chips, squash, butternut, “creamed” spinach, cabbage and some other things that I don’t recognise. Generally I look forward to my meals. Lunch is really not a bad time of day, and I am waiting at the DH door at 12pm on the dot, waiting to scan my finger.