You’ve seen me post about Lichfield before, and probably guessed that while I live in Rugby, I work in this lovely little city. For anyone who hasn’t been, it’s worth a trip – not just for the cathedral, but for other historic highlights, nice shops, pretty parks, plenty of scenery. Oh, and lots of places to eat nice food, with more opening all the time it seems! I spend most of my lunchtimes trying to resist the array of cafes, pubs and restaurants offering me tempting dishes, and sticking to my usually healthy, pre-prepared packed lunch. But occasionally I give in, and my colleagues and I will hit one of Lichfield’s many eateries.
One of our faves is Damn Fine Cafe. From the outside it’s just a rather charming looking cafe. But once inside, the menu and service prove it’s a slight cut above your average greasy spoon. The first hint of this is a greeting with a miniature cup of the day’s homemade soup. Okay, so it’s no Michelin-starred amuse bouche, but it’s a gesture that makes you feel like they actually give a damn (no pun intended) about their customers.
The menu is extensive, from sandwiches and salads to paninis and wraps, and melted cheese-covered ‘melts’ to break the diet for a week. There are breakfasts galore, including Damn Fine’s trademark full English served in a Yorkshire pudding. I haven’t tried it, but have heard people rave about it. The walls are adorned with blackboards offering even more dishes, including afternoon tea, and there is regularly some kind of pulled pork offering that I’ve been known to partake in. Damn Fine uses locally-sourced ingredients, so the pork you get is from nearby Packington Farm. Always a nice touch I reckon.
I’ve tried a few things there now. A very nice omelette with salad garnish, a pulled pork in barbecue sauce bap with some chips on the side, and a roasted vegetable and pesto panini. All were freshly cooked, nicely presented, tastily cooked, and served with a smile. My colleagues and I have had melts (delicious and really filling); sandwiches (good vegetarian options); jacket potatoes (large and packed with filling), and a breakfast and all were well received. In fact, the quality at Damn Fine was enough to force the boys among our team to question their firm loyalty to one of Lichfield’s greasy spoon’s and switch allegiances. Damn Fine is slightly more expensive, but they agreed it was worth it for good food and great service.
The service is another winning factor too. It’s always wonderfully friendly and incredibly efficient, from finding you a table, taking your order at the counter, and accommodating off piste requests like squash that isn’t even on the menu (yes, that was this difficult girl). The fact they can get you in, out and fed and watered with good food within the hour may not sound important, but for anyone who has watched their lunch break ticking away as they wait for food to arrive, only to have to scoff it in an indigestion-inducing hurry, this is important. And considering Damn Fine is regularly full to the gunnels, all of these things are important.
In a lunchtime world full of M&S, Costa, Greggs and Pret a Manger, places like Damn Fine are hard to find. Love may they live.
I’ve paid for all my meals at Damn Fine. They’ve never known I’m a blogger or that I was going to write about the food I had there.