Unit B, Rhymney River Bridge Road, Cardiff. 029 2049 4741 / facebook.com/spitandsawdust
Food **** Atmosphere ***
It’s hard to imagine a more unlikely foodie honeypot than the café at Spit & Sawdust, an indoor skate park within an old warehouse unit a stone’s throw from the big-box hell that is Newport Road. Yet, thanks to a combination of excellent fare and good old-fashioned word of mouth, it’s been slowly but surely gaining the sort of reputation that induces people to visit from all over the city.
At the low end of the menu, a local and organic bacon butty and a brew is available for a positively bargainous £3. Tempting though it is, we don’t indulge – we’re saving ourselves for lunch, and the café’s speciality: burgers. It’s worth the wait. The beefy Smoke comes with smoked cheese and BBQ sauce in a superb brioche bun, and, like its menu-mates, sits nestled in a basket with a generous portion of wonderful deep brown skin-on fries and accompanying pickles and crunchy slaw. The patty itself might be relatively small but packs serious flavour, and – at under £6 – the whole meal represents ridiculously good value.
Of the veggie options, the King Delicious lives up to its name, a slab of tofu wreathed in pickled carrot and ginger for an unusual twist. It can be made instantly vegan by substituting a bread roll for the brioche.
The café is an unpretentious space with plywood walls and shelves stacked with back issues of skater mags, while hot drinks are served in a random assortment of mismatched mugs. No stylish décor or slick hipster branding here. Instead, the focus is firmly where it should be: on the grub. BEN WOOLHEAD