Review: Cafe DeVine, Chester Road, Sunderland

Cafe Devine in Chester Road, Sunderland.
Cafe Devine in Chester Road, Sunderland.
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IT was Saturday and fellow Echo hackette Jane O’Neill and I both had the weekend off.

In celebration, we decided to be ladies that lunch.

As the Black Cats were playing at home last weekend, we decided to steer clear of the boozers in town and their match day dancing ladies.

Instead, we hot-footed it to Chester Road to check out a new cafe that had caught my eye.

Formerly the Kasimba clothes shop, the cafe, which opened nine weeks ago, is unrecognisable from its former guise with uber-modern lighting and bang-on trend wallpaper.

It’s got a lovely little atmosphere to it and its position opposite the hospital makes it perfect for staff and visitors.

It’s also open Monday to Saturday from 7.30am for early risers.

It’s bigger than you’d think too, with plenty of space for families with buggies in tow.

Jane and I had no such baggage, our order of the day was gossip and good grub.

The menu choices won’t blow your socks off, there’s nothing out of the ordinary.

However, all the cafe staples are there: hot and cold sandwiches (£2), paninis (£2.90), jacket potatoes (£2.65) and home made scones etc, priced from 80p.

There was also a number of specials on the board such as mince and dumplings, but as we arrived late in the afternoon there were only a few options remaining.

We both chose to stick with the lighter bites.

I chose a mozzarella and pesto panini which comes with salad and crisps. The salad was super fresh and there was plenty of it. The filling was delicious too. My only quibble was that there could have been a tad more of it.

In between gossips – Jane always has plenty of gossip – she enjoyed a cheese ploughman’s jacket potato. Though the potato would have benefited from a little longer in the oven, the home-made tangy pickle accompaniment was superb. It contrasted perfectly with a heap of mild-grated cheese.

Serving up salad dressings in cute white pots for us to spoon over our greens was a nice touch too.

Our lunches hit the spot and we stayed for coffee as we dissected our dating debacles.

There’s a good range of teas, priced from £1 and coffees from £1.50.

Service was prompt and friendly and, despite being the only diners left in the cafe, we felt no pressure to sup up and enjoyed a leisurely afternoon drink.

For those on the go, there’s also a take out service and a loyalty card for the regular customers that I’m sure this little corner of relaxation will attract.