The Grind Café
The Grind Café is known as a hidden gem in Sheffield. However its reputation as such is so prolific that I’m not entirely sure it can continue to carry that title. Long before my first visit I’d already heard lots about it and I knew that the sausage rolls have just the right ratio of pastry v meat, allowing the latter to do the majority of the talking, and that the daily changing salads are as tasty as they are fresh and vibrant. Gem – yes. Hidden – not so much.
But, having said this, and despite the café being open for some time, I didn’t actually make my first trip down there until I received an invite to go for lunch from them. And I figured that it was only fair to give Grind Cafe a go on the basis that if it was as good as everyone seems to be saying it is, I would find something worth shouting about.
The Grind Café is set within the ground floor of the Cornwall Works in the Kelham Island area of the city and, despite it being a typical autumn day with grey skies and drizzly rain, I found cute garden furniture lining the street outside the café. With the tables safely tucked away under the canopy of the building above, sitting outside wasn’t an impossible idea, but the warmth of the café’s interior lured me inside.
Menu options were drawn up on blackboards above the counter and on the day of my visit there was spinach and filo pie, sweet chilli baked salmon and lamb moussaka as well as sandwiches and salads available. It all looked and sounded delicious but I just had to give that sausage roll a try. I also ordered a pot of earl grey tea and two salads; a courgette, lemon and pine nut salad along with a feta and watermelon salad.
Once seated, my tea arrived quite quickly, along with an apology for the large teapot. Of course, no apology was needed and I managed to get about two and a half cups out of it. As I sat and sipped, I took in my surroundings; for such a small place there’s a real mix in here. With floor to ceiling windows to two sides of the café and one wall lost to the kitchen, the remaining wall is full of art work and it’s full, but not cluttered. High tables for groups along with standard two seater tables are full of people working and taking advantage of the wifi or meeting up with old friends. There were a couple of mums in too and as soon as their little cherubs started screaming, I was grateful for the music being a notch or two above the normal café-restaurant level. There was a nice buzz to the place which, as I was lunching alone, was really welcomed.
The sausage roll came warm, and both its sheer size and its porky aromas brought a smile to my face. I immediately knew that I was in for a treat. As a real lover of all things pastry, I’ll admit that I had been a little concerned about the meat to pastry ratio. But that soon passed on tasting as the pastry was more than ample; flaky, yet ever so slightly stodgy (in a good way). But oh my! All those people raving about the meaty interior of this sausage roll were right! It was juicy and flavoursome with a good dose of sage and a decent level of seasoning… and I think I would go as far as to say that this is the best sausage roll I have ever tasted.
Salads were served together in one bowl and the ingredients complemented each other well and were freshly prepared. There was plenty too – I might just have a selection of salads next time I make a trip here. That is of course if I can manage to tear myself away from trying the specials, or sampling another of those sausage rolls…
Open from 8am to 5.30pm in the week, from 8.30am to 5pm on Saturday and from 9.30am to 5pm on a Sunday, Grind Café is perfect for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon cuppa with a slab of cake.