Saturday, 16 May 2015


Last weekend myself, Sandy and Miles got over to Crafty at St Martins Coffee. I'm not a tea or coffee drinker myself, so these places tend to go under my radar but St Martins Coffee have been open for years. They recently opened as a gourmet hand made burger place in the evening and I've never known a buzz like it. EVERYONE is talking about these guys. We had to go down and check it out.

*Note: I've chose to discard the previous points scoring system I employed whilst writing these restaurant reviews. It's kind of hard to judge all eating establishments by the same criteria when some are chicken shops, some are chain restaurants and some are stand alone independent traders. Also, I scored a couple pretty average places pretty high a few years ago so it never left me much wriggle room haha



DECOR: The place looks wicked. I guess when to take into account how long it's been open and trading as a coffee shop I wasn't expecting anything other than it to already have a real sense of personality. It's like it's pure clean and modern but still kind of bric-a-brac. The furniture is all sort of odd, but within the same colour schemes as the bright accents, as are vintage lampshades and a few other little details.

If you are a tea or coffee drinker they have the biggest selection.

PRICE: It's pretty cheap you know! I was expecting it to be a bit more. Considering they've tapped into the trendy hipster market they could charge what they want and people would still flock. Look at those wankers in East London paying £4 a pop for a bowl of cereal. But they don't, a burger and fries is an extremely reasonable £10, with the option to 'pimp your fries' for £2.50.

They've got a real nice selection of soft drinks and a couple of craft beers

ATMOSPHERE: The atmosphere was awesome. I love that feeling when you walk into a place that's newly opened and still got that buzz around it. Every single plate that came by everyone was looking over desperate to get a look at the food. You could almost feel the excitement haha. The open kitchen and counter covers one whole side of the room, so it's nice watching food and drinks being prepared in the background. It was busy enough to have a bit of noise and that but it wasn't at all overwhelming. It's cool.

FOOD: Oiiiii the food. The food! Haha it was wicked, I can't wait to go back. From the menu - 'Crafty burgers come in a steamed brioche bun with pickles, red onion and lettuce. Beef is dry aged for 28 days, ground on site daily and hand crafted. Bread is baked daily by Milner's Bakery of Blaby. Cheese is from Country Faye of Leicester Market.' It was crazy in short. Everything was spot on and for once a burger place that doesn't bulk out every burger with a massive sloppy slice of tomato! My dream come true.

The 'pimped' fries are where this place really takes the win though. I'm getting sick of seeing photos of topped fries on the internet. It's like it's something America do that's almost too delicious for places here to get behind and just go for. Not these guys, they embrace is. Check the menu further up this post, they do a selection of different fries all handmade and smothered in different sauces, dips, meats and cheeses. They were the best thing about our visit.

SERVICE: The service was so warm and welcoming. The owners were floating about the place answering questions and asking how stuff was in-between serving people. It was weird because usually I like to be left to my food, but I guess the difference between some drippy guy bringing out food in some chain place and these guys is that these guys are invested. You could tell they were proud of their product and it was nice to feel like your custom was valued, rather than some guy at TGI's who thinks not leaving you alone is him doing a good job. They answered any questions we had, gave recommendations and were always on hand. As we left this woman who was working said 'Ahhh it's been great to see you, see you again' and it was so genuine. I might start drinking coffee if this is what the world of coffee shops are like haha.

CONCLUSION: I literally don't have a bad word to say about this place. If you like handmade, fresh good food (and frankly who doesn't) you're onto a winner. It's priced nicely, the menu is concise while still having enough options (apparently there is a chicken thigh burger that's meant to be amazing, that's me next time), the drink selection is top notch and it just feels good to be in there. We sat chatting for another half an hour after our food was finished and we didn't feel like all eyes were on us to get the bill and get out. The staff are nice and personable, you can see why this place has a complete buzz around it at the minute. They've got really active social media and it's clear the market they're going after.

It's wonderful to see an independent burger place in Leicester city centre hanging out with the big boy chain stores at the Highcross. If I get a craving for a cheeseburger I'm going to go to Crafty.

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