EDitorial ± 20-Mar-2009

Ipswich Lunches: Central Canteen

Done with IP11. Enough of IP12. Out with IP13. Need to rethink, refocus, regroup: this is IP1, central Ipswich, aka The Swich. Yes, it may be more challenging to park, as one of our number felt obliged to point out, but there are other options. One drove, one biked, and one came by his personal shuttle bus.

In a different era, when jobs were plentiful, I worked near the town centre. Most days I'd innocently wander past the cop shop in search of lunch, be it an Appetisers sausage sandwich or a Butties bap or a Carrot Cake roast chicken doorstop. For a sit-down treat, I had a fistful of favourites -- why look, here they are! Heck, those mini reviews are eight years old. The time she flies, does she not?

A firm fixture on the rota was Vagabonds on Queen Street, home to the much missed tuna melt bagel and bowlfuls of cappuccino. Even now, I can hear the far-off sounds of the Sneaker Pimps cutting through the students' ciggy smoke to the tables right at the back. Some vague time later, the premises morphed into Central Canteen, and here we are. They offer reasonable food at a reasonable price, and no more passive smoking, thank ASH. Been here with the kids before and we've been treated royally, due in part to the foreign owners who value their customers. Sure enough, the very nice man comes over very shortly after we arrive and offers to move around the furniture to suit us while also singing the praises of the special lasagne.

Lots to choose from, and the boards on the wall have more specials than Two Tone records. Good crowd in, from campus kids to more mature (us!): we know town centre value when we see it. Drinks are quick to surface -- hot tea for A+G -- and the savoury main events follow soon after. BBQ chicken panini plus chips plus salad, and choice of condiments. Nothing fancy, note.

Before you know it, one's off to catch his bus and another's off to beat the traffic warden, leaving No Mates to enjoy a pleasantly heated lemon muffin and a jolty double shot latte. Ah, a cuppa caffeine in the canteen makes you feel like Emperor Palpatine. Now where's my Dentyne?

If it was a car -- Skoda Superb.
If they were passing by -- Kevin Whately.