Walking towards the train station, on a typical winter’s evening, I caught a succulent scent of hot food wafting out from behind the blue doors to my left.
Trying to resist the temptation, I kept walking until a man came out carrying a stack of pizzas, passed right under my nose and stopped me in my tracks.
And that was it. I was sold. I couldn’t resist it any longer.
Who was I to refuse The Speedy Pepper? With a wide selection of take-away foods, from pies and pasties to pizza and puddings, it seemed the perfect solution – without breaking the bank.
I knew a cheeseburger and chips was all it would take. The guilty pleasure was a favourite which has, up until now, lasted the test of time, so there was big pressure on the unsuspecting man behind the counter.
Coming in at just £3.70, the sceptic inside me thought this wasn’t going to end well, for me at least.
Flashbacks to regrettable impulse buys of years gone past haunted my thoughts, was this going to thrill or kill, I questioned. The prognosis began.
As I began my pursuit around the crust, the burger was warm and tender with just enough moisture to ensure tomato ketchup was a compliment to the meal and not a necessity .
Skirting round the edges of the burger was a trick I learnt as a child, which meant the last bite should end in a satisfied balance of bread, meat and cheese.
It passed with flying colours – a fantastic burger!
Now it was make or break time, the hard work had been done and all that was left was a healthy sprinkling of chips.
Too many times restaurants and late night eateries skim over the most essential ingredient of the fast-food experience, but this made it complete.
They were superb. You forget how good they can taste until you come across a good batch and these were done to perfection, likening their style and taste to the King of Chips – Harry Ramsden himself.
Simple food I thought, but after glancing at the menu again, I couldn’t help but see a baked bean pizza advertised. I floated the idea among friends who returned the idea with vacant looks of disapproval.
After discussion, however, it seemed reasonable to suggest baked beans, warm bread and cheese could belong together.
The Victoria Square eatery is surrounded by pubs and late bars and I could well imagine it would go down well after a night out with friends.
But for now at least I’m just happy to have found a decent take-away, hallelujah!
by Matt Brooks
star rating HHHH