Every time I come to the Ely leisure centre I’m reminded of how central planning gets things so wrong.
The swimming pool suddenly didn’t have enough money for water slides at the last minute, all the restaurants being handed out to cheap multinational chain restaurants, and a pub which serves some of the worst food I think I’ve ever had.
The one saving grace of the Ely leisure centre however is Arbuckle’s. This restaurant has always been a firm favourite of mine since the days of having to drive all the way down the A11 to try their hot wing challenge. So I was delighted to have one open up 5 minutes from my house.
What I like most about Arbuckle’s is it offers good food for a good value. Granted, it isn’t going to win any awards here but the experience is always pleasant, the service is friendly and fast, and you get a selection of traditional American and Canadian food you can’t really get anywhere else in Ely.
If you are going swimming or to the cinema with the kids you are more often than not held hostage to McDonald or KFC for the sake of the budget but with an Arbuckle’s near by you can compromise and have something which adults will also enjoy for only an extra few quid.
I was impressed to see that Arbuckle’s has its own brand of beer, which I’ve not yet tried but am looking forward to sampling in the future (if anyone in this group has tried it, then please let us know what you think!).
We went for breakfast (which was the only thing stopping me trying the beer ) so was limited to the breakfast menu. I think breakfast is a time when Arbuckle’s really shines. Pancakes immediately spring to mind here.
We were a little disappointed not to have Eggs Benedict on the menu but there were some great classic American style breakfast foods available.
I’m a man of simple tastes and went for a stack of 5 pancakes with maple syrup. It wasn’t the most exciting meal though it served me well.
It was filling, it was sweet, it was different from what the rest of Ely has to offer, and only cost me a fiver.
Megan had the Energiser meal which was basically toast, poached eggs, avocado, tomato and bacon. This was certainly the more exciting meal out of the two and went down well. Again, it won’t win any awards but considering the choice you have here I feel blessed that Arbuckle’s is here rather than a Subway.
Megan and I both thought that the coffee was pretty good, though I’ve been told from other coffee connoisseurs that my taste buds aren’t up to scratch ( Daniel). At a minimum it was not bitter and we were both happy with it.
Another good thing about Arbuckle’s is that it’s a nice restaurant in itself. I’ve already mentioned that the staff are good here but the restaurant is also a pleasant place to be.
What are your thoughts on Arbuckle’s?