(Perk) Up the workers! Glory Stores, Roath, Cardiff

Being now self-employed and thus working pretty much exclusively from home (rather than in town) I initially thought my options lunch wise going forward would be rather limited. Bit of cheese scavaged from the fridge perhaps, but little else (Mrs. SF is convinced the increase in our energy DD is solely due to the increased frequency of the fridge light being on).  As it happens being out of the city centre allows me a bit more leeway in terms of exploring what’s on offer of a lunch time in the burbs and this took me to Roath and Glory Stores.

Tuck away on a residential street it is not that easy to find (not sure how much passing trade they get) and easy to walk past with quite an unassuming frontage. My advice is don’t, as what lies inside is really rather interesting.

I wandering in to a pleasant space,

which I would describe as compact and bijou.

What initially attracted me to the place was the “Workers Lunch” (available 1-3pm) that features on the menu (saw it online), with the offer of rather superior sounding sarnies, a hot drink and a sweet treat for the princely sum of a tenner (all in). Sounded pretty good to me (the right arsed miser that I am).

Strong on cheese and charcuterie, there is also plenty of other stuff of interest including some enticing specials.

All seemed perfect accompaniments to a glass of wine from a short, but interesting, list.

As I wistfully perused the list I rather thought somewhere like this would be just the ticket in Llandaff (there is currently an empty unit on the Waungron Road parade of shops – just saying) and made a note to myself to check out WinesnVines Bar and Wine Shop in Llandaff North.

Back to Glory Stores, any place that does Gruner Veltliner and an Alsace blend (the Edelzwicker) by the glass gets a big tick in the box from me and the rather opulent Bollinger offering is surprisingly lacking in terms of hefty mark ups. The £155 list price for the Bollinger La Grande Ainee Rose 2014 may elicits a sharp intake of breath from many, but as it retails at around the £135 mark it is actually a bit of a bargain for any champagne aficionados out there.  Tempting as it was I was lunching solo and there for food not booze (with work to do later that day) so I rather begrudgingly passed.

As to the lower level stuff on the list, the Gruner retails at about the £13 mark so the list price of £28 is pretty good by UK standards.

You all know I am going to say this, but with cheese and charcuterie and nibbles to the fore food wise, the list is screaming out for a sherry or two on it. Real shame none on there, but easily rectifiable (always making sure it is a 100ml + pour mind).

My only other minor moan regarding the list is there are only 2 red, 2 whites and a rose by the glass. With the advanced state of wine preservation technology these day, it is easy enough to make it all of them.

On the food front, despite the undoubted allure of the specials board, especially the brisket arranchini (is that the same as arancini – it makes sense as such, phonetically, to my dyslexic brain – or is it something different?), I was intent on the workers lunch.

Bit of a quandry as to what to order from said workers lunch selection,

being torn between the coppa and pancetta numbers.

I plumped for the coppa mainly because I was curious as to how the parmesan would work. Would it be a slab or grated or melted?

What arrived was a handsome beast,

with a fulsome filling.

Top notch coppa (a chronically underrated and underused cured meat here in my opinion), with generous seams of creamy fat, was complimented by a lovely salty, tangy, parmesan tuile and beautiful crisp and fresh salad leaves. The piece de resistance, however, was a fresh French summer truffle infused mayo that was punchy with said truffle, providing a nice funky rather decadent earthiness. It didn’t, however, operate to overpower the other elements. Too heavy handed with the truffle and you obliterate every other flavour out of existence, but too light and its becomes a question of “well why did you bother”. Here the truffle’s presence was very much in the Goldilocks zone.

The bread was also excellent, with a pleasant chew to it and a really good flavour. A lot of thought and effort went into this sarnie, with a great balance of flavours, and the result was all in all one of the best sarnies I have had in many a long year.

Part of the workers lunch deal is a hot drink and you can have any coffee or tea or substitute it for a soft drink.

I had a cortado,

which was suitably hot (not the given it should be), rich and caramelly.

Water was provided without any prompt. You should never have to ask in my opinion.

The final element of the deal was a sweet treat

Whilst solely tempted by the doughnut, Mrs. SF had (on me going out) given instructions to bring back something sweet (other than me of course 😂) and reference was made to perhaps an almond croissant when I asked if she could expand on that.

As such I killed two birds with one stone and got said croissant as part of the deal, with the place happy to bag it up for me to take out.

I left nicely sated with said croissant in hand, humming Glory Days as I walked back to my car, taking time to admire my rather nifty piece of parallel parking (done without the aid of cameras, sensors etc. – my jalopy has no such aids) – a seemingly essential skill if you live in Roath.

The Verdict

Glory Stores is the sort of place you leave thinking why on earth have I not been here before. The food was great, the booze looks to be right up my street (sherry moan aside, but that is standard from me) and the people running it seems genuinely nice and to love their jobs (always makes a difference that, in my view). It is also dog friendly, which is great for the likes of me.

Now I have broken my Glory Stores duck, I shall undoubtedly be back. Hopefully next visit it will be for a wine or two as well as food. My lunch there certainly perked up this (occasional) worker.

The Details

Address: 1 Upper Kincraig Street, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 3HA.

Website: https://www.glory-stores.com/

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