Benandjerrygirl's Blog

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GRO Coffee



I have been to GRO Coffee three times now and hesitated about writing a review because they always seem to be busy and the business appears to be doing well but there’s something just a bit off about the way things run there that makes me feel it’s not as good as it could be. One of my companions today said that the staff were all different so possibly the regular staff were on holiday which would explain the following  experience.

I arrived first and waited for my  friends. During the time it took for us all to assemble the menus arrived but the table wasn’t cleared. The plates, cups, glasses etc sat there accusingly and after 15 minutes they were finally taken away but crucially the table was not wiped and remained sticky to the touch.


The order was taken and after some time we asked for the table to be cleaned. A further 25 minutes passed before the order came out and it was the wrong sandwich that was delivered. Finally we got what we asked for –  Eggs Benedict, a breakfast sandwich and an omelette. The tea and coffee had arrived earlier and was a tad cold by then. We noticed that several people had given up waiting to order and had left but the staff didn’t even notice as others arrived soon after. We ordered more tea and coffee and all in all were in there for two hours. A brunch shouldn’t take that long.


It appeared to me that there were too few experienced staff on duty to deal with a warm summer’s day crowd, which is a shame. There is a garden at the back which is popular with young families because of a play area and there are comfortable couches to sit at inside and they are very dog friendly if the number inside today were anything to go by. Brunch for one person comes in around £12 but if you are in a hurry to go somewhere else and get out to enjoy the Scottish sunshine you may feel a sense of frustration if today was typical of the service one can expect. The staff could not be faulted for friendliness but the efficiency is lacking at the moment, judging by today’s efforts.











Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

On Saturdays the HAC Bar at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine has two menus which run alongside one another during the 12-2 normal lunch slot. Whilst it is nice to have a traditional lunch, it is a rare treat to have a late breakfast. The breakfast menu has the usual bacon and egg option and also vegetarian options. They do a delicious French toast with bacon and Maple syrup. Yesterday my companion had this and said it was as good as it looked. I opted instead for salted porridge with cream followed by toast with butter and jam with the bread being from a traditional loaf rather than a shop-bought one. The coffee came with a large shortbread biscuit and with the addition of a Hot Cranberry Canadian Apple drink it still came in at just over £7 per head. Reasonable prices, nice surroundings and views and delicious food with the current art exhibit to look at afterwards. What more could one want on a Saturday afternoon?

Alcohol? They have that covered too.

They also do special menus on other days and provide papers for the lone visitor. The staff are friendly and recognise the regular visitor. There is also a loyalty card.


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