New kid on the block in the creative hub of the Ouseburn, Ernest is not the easiest place to find.
However, once you’ve tracked it down, there’s plenty of reasons to stay.
Mostly, it’s about the food. With all-day breakfasts, a range of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups and flatbreads served up until 9pm.
It also plays host to Latino nights, Pop-up Parlours and jazz get-togethers.
Nearly all the tables in the bar were full by the time I arrived and a DJ was keeping diners entertained.
Although music continues until late, time was running out for food, as the clock was ticking round to 9pm.
Several spins later and my friend went for the breakfast menu’s chorizo hashbowl, a colourful combination of herb-fried potatoes, chorizo and red onion, topped with poached free-range eggs and Ernest dressing, for £6.
I went off menu to the specials board with a pear, goat’s cheese and walnut salad, with a side order of olives and cheese.
Once I saw the golden yolk of the hashbowl trickling over the plump chorizo, I was struck down with a bad case of menu envy.
My salad was crisp and the chef hadn’t been stingy with the sweet chunks of pear, which played off perfectly against the salty cheese.
How had I resisted the Ernest snazzy snorkers sandwich? Cumberland bangers, caramelised onions, wholegrain mustard and sharp cheddar for £6, or Wallington Estate rib-eye steak in red wine jus, with crispy chilli-fried red onions for £8.
I wasn’t the only one with wandering restaurant eyes, as my pal quite fancied the look of the flatbreads which every other table seemed to be tucking into, with toppings including pancetta, black pudding, walnut pesto and spiced lamb for just £7.
The sweets looked equally tempting, with pancakes, rum truffle ice cream and chocolate brownie from £3.50, but we passed in favour of being comfortably full.
We consoled ourselves with a few rounds of drinks, which brought the total bill to just under £40, but it is possible to have much cheaper night at Ernest, with its emphasis on no fuss or pretence.