EDitorial ± 4-Sep-2009

Ipswich Lunches: Museum Street Cafe

Forty-odd years ago at 14 St Nicholas Street -- now home to the Kwan Thai -- you'd have found Marnos Food Reform Restaurant and Health Shop. That name was a bit of a mouthful, like their locally renowned vegetarian meals. Where's the meat? There isn't any.

Now, in oh-nine, I suspect that one or two of the veteran veg-heads have relocated to a new joint by the cartographically clued name of the Museum Street Cafe, possibly in lower case. Up the road from Arlingtons, next to the Real Nappy HQ, look out for the fetching white-on-red understated Courier sign. Bikes parked, in we go and the house is humming. No waiting for waiters here: order at the counter and take your plate back to your table and complimentary iced water carafe. Simples.

This being a lunchtime, hot meals are on offer, inc. onion and gruyere tart, aubergine lasagne, and, for me, a bizarre sounding chickpea "cake". Anything with a pulse. Comes with green salad and I go for an extra haricot beans in molasses salad. At this point, Andy and I are both recalling last year's trip to the unique Butley Barn. This, let me tell ya, is quality grub. Others enjoying their platefuls include a lady with a shiny silver Mac laptop and the odd yummy mummy. Us IT pros are right at home.

Rudely pinned to the otherwise blank walls are random Bartholomews Revised Half Inch county maps, and we're seated on pleasingly haphazard ex-church chairs, prayer book holder to the rear. A set designer couldn't make this up. For pudd, what else but a large slice of lemon-filled courgette cake, a further kick in the teeth for those who think it's wrong to make cake from carrots. Plus one "strong" coffee in a big mug.

Asparagus aloft for the M.S.C. -- go patronise them and enjoy vegging out.

If it was a car -- Simca 1100.
If they were passing by -- Julia McKenzie.