Tab Tries: Daytime Gardies
SAM WATTS takes a sober trip to Gardies. He’s pleasantly surprised
Unless you live in a cave (or Girton) you will know the joys of late night feasts at Gardies.
At the end of the Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of kebab boxes lies a magical land, a Wednesday night nirvana, where queuing for half an hour for a portion of cheesy chips is somehow always worth it.
But what of this establishment during the day? I personally didn’t even realise that Gardies wasn’t nocturnal until recently. I decided to give it the review it deserves.
It seems almost surreal seeing people queueing out into the street bathed in crisp autumnal afternoon sun, rather than the lurid artificial light of the kebab kitchen.
Then there is the clientele; rather than a group of semi-teenagers/semi-adults, the average age is around 40. And they are here for a genuine meal, as opposed to getting just enough fuel to make it back to college.
A trip upstairs revealed a number of cute scenes: grandparents taking grandchildren for lunch; a dad taking his son for chips after his football game; a young couple on a first date. All of which paints the hazy memory of nearly vomming across the very same floor a few days ago in yet deeper shades of guilt and regret.
The walls, lined with evidence of why our drunken generation is the worst so far, verges more on the embarrassing than the hilarious. You wonder what normal people coming for a family meal must think of these photos of drunken louts, but also marvel at how your mate made that 9am supervision after the state he was in in that picture.
The process of exchanging money for food seems relatively unstressful. Choosing your order, which normally takes a good five minutes of pensive reflection and debate among friends, seems pretty simple.
However, the fond inebriated memories of that sweetest of late-night nectars – a burger and cheesy chips – doesn’t quite live up to sober standards.
Yes, it’s delicious. Yes, you love it. But after wolfing down your burger and beginning to decimate the chips you realise that you might have a higher satiation point after plying yourself with alcohol and dancing the night away to the Titanic theme and The Lion King.
It’s then that you feel the cheese slowly clogging your arteries and your stomach reaching breaking point.
So no, you don’t need 10 units of alcohol in your blood before you can enjoy the fine food selection Gardies has to offer, but go easy on the portion sizes.