Recently, we were asked to review Boulder’s Cafe located inside Boulder’s Climbing Centre in Pengam Green. We work with all food businesses and we are asked to review many cafes but I was quite surprised with this request. For one I didn’t know they had a cafe and two, it seems an unlikely place to go for food unless you are already there climbing but nevertheless, we went along to find out.
I had never been to Boulder’s before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I imagined that the cafe would be quite separate to the climbing area, maybe with a window or platform that you could view the walls from, however, they were very much hand in hand.
The cafe area is large but it doubles up to be an area that climbers use to get changed and wait in for their turn on the wall. It seemed very social and full of people but it was quite difficult to find somewhere to sit that wasn’t dominated by people putting equipment on.
We did manage to find a seat and quickly reserved it with our coats while we went to the display counter to choose some food. Boulder’s are obviously making an effort with their food and I’m sure they do great business from climbers and spectators. The food looked good and there were a range of choices from baguettes, pasties and pizzas to more substantial meals and a nice range of cakes and sweet treats.
Mr V and I decided to taste the meal options. I had the Spanish stew with chorizo and cous cous and Mr V had a tomato and pasta bake with salad and tortilla chips. Both were £3.95 which we thought was very reasonable. To accompany our meals we both had a coffee.
Service was what you would expect. People ordered at the counter and waited for their food and then helped themselves to condiments including milk and sugar for drinks. However, as we had ordered hot meals, they were brought over to us. Staff were friendly and efficient but the cutlery needed a bit of a wipe over.
The meals were well thought out but I would be tempted to go for a sandwich next time because the meals obviously needed to be heated for each person and mine was hot in places but cold in the middle. The sandwiches looked good with some interesting fillings and there was also an extensive list of smoothies on offer. I wouldn’t advise people to come here just for the food but if you are at Boulders climbing, you have the added bonus of a nice cafe with a greater range of food than you might expect.
I can’t give Boulder’s a green spoon overall because of the categories we use to rate. I wouldn’t choose to visit Boulder’s for a meal unless I was climbing but the cafe is appropriate for the environment. If you are a climber or with someone who is climbing, it’s a good option but the food will always be secondary as the primary reason people come here is to climb. In my opinion it would also be better if the cafe area was further removed from the climbing area as trying to eat with people standing all around you putting on climbing gear is not pleasant. However, if you are also there to climb, this may be less of an issue.
My last mouthful was: The Spanish stew with chorizo and cous cous
Atmosphere and decor-
Quality of food-
Diversity of menu-
Value for money-
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