Review: The Place, Athenaeum Street, Sunderland. Tel. 0191 510 6171

The Place in Sunniside, Sunderland
The Place in Sunniside, Sunderland
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IT was a toss-up between a drive to the supermarket followed by slaving away over a hot stove, or a trip to the city centre for brunch.

Needless to say the Saturday morning decision wasn’t a difficult one, and after not much deliberation, hubby and I decided to treat our guest to breakfast.

By the time we rolled into Sunderland station at about 11.30am, our stomachs were rumbling and we were in need of more than just a bacon bap to stave off the pangs of hunger.

Unfortunately, that time of day is stuck in food limbo: too early for restaurants to be serving lunch and a tad too late for breakfast.

So we headed to Sunniside and give The Place Cafe a go.

I’ve been to The Place several times to interview artists and other businesses based in the sparkling centre, which opened in 2008.

While the aroma of coffee combined with freshly-cooked food wafting through has always appealed to my hunger, I’ve never had time to give in to my temptations.

However, with the All Day Breakfast board screaming at us from outside, we were lured in.

With an artistic glass front, the cafe is filled with light, making it seem even more bright, airy and spacious than it is.

Inside, there’s plenty of seating and the cafe was already filled with people enjoying a light bite, late breakfast or cup of coffee or tea.

My two male companions’ eyes lit up at the full English breakfast, which came with bacon, sausage, egg, tomato, mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans, and toast.

Our pal, who’s used to living the London life, couldn’t believe you could snap it all up for £4.90.

I decided to opt for something else and there wasn’t a shortage of options, with a selection of sandwiches, grilled wraps, omelettes, jacket potatoes, burgers, scampi and salads to choose from.

After pouring over the menu, I settled for the mozzarella, basil and tomato ciabatta melt (£3.25).

Within next to no time, steaming hot plates of food were being placed in front of us by a waitress armed with a smile and friendly chatter.

The breakfast was a feast that filled the plate while my perfectly-cooked ciabatta came complete with a side salad and creamy coleslaw.

It didn’t take long for us to polish it off and if a clean plate is an indication of the quality of the food scoffed, then this was second to none.

When the bill came in at £19.40 our friend’s jaw hit the floor again, but his shock soon turned to horror when he realised that he’d have to repay the favour threefold when we next visit him in the capital.