JJ’s Kitchen, Gateshead
When I’m working in Newcastle I take the exact same route in to work in the hope I’ll avoid all the usual congested routes in Gateshead. This involves driving along Saltmeadows Industrial Estate, which is as glamorous as it sounds. I spotted a little cafe one morning and told Mr. Canny we should make a pit stop as I’ve had a really strong craving for bacon of late. Because we’re always rushed we’ve yet to find the time, so on my day off I took Jnr to JJ’s Kitchen for a late lunch to see what it was like.
I’ll have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much with the location, but when I walked through the door I was pleasantly surprised by the decor. Greasy spoon it ain’t! There are homey bits actually on sale there, and the way the furniture is a tasteful mix of old and new gave me ideas for how I’d like our new house to be kitted out. I wasn’t there for a lesson in interior design though, as great as it was.
I felt guilty as we’d turned up at 2:15, not realising they closed at 2:30. I was told they’d be fine to wait for us to finish, which was kind of them. I don’t like feeling rushed when I’m eating. Having spied on their Instagram feed before our visit I was hoping to give their pie a try, but because it contained Black Pudding I had to avoid it. Jnr went for something very basic and ordered a Chip Butty with a side order of gravy. He’s a lad after my own heart! See a review here of my favourite comfort food.
I’d been thinking about making a Lasagne for a while, but because of morning sickness and lethargy have found it hard to get motivated in the kitchen. Seeing it as one of the options on their menu I decided to give it a try. There’s nothing quite like homemade Lasagne, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with it. The portion was huge and I was also given some coleslaw with my salad as the last customer of the day. Touches like this remind me how important it is for us to support family businesses, as that sort of attention wouldn’t happen in the chains restaurants of the world.
I have to admit I ‘stole’ some of Jnr’s gravy for my own chips because it was so good. Yes, it was lumpy, but to me proper homemade gravy shouldn’t be a pretentious jus. I was told the lady who makes it has a secret recipe, and I wish she’d share it with me! The grand total for our lunch, which included drinks, was £9.10. Excellent value for money and we were fit to burst afterwards. We were given a loyalty card too, which I thought was a great idea. Those who work in the area are very lucky to have such a little gem in their midst, and I hope they’re utterly ashamed of themselves if they visit the Greggs along the road instead of JJ’s.
The owner could have paid less attention to the interior given the location, but there’s a pride that’s visible in everything they do. They’re open on a Saturday until 12, and I’d put money on the Full English being a thing of beauty. There is a book scheme operating, and a girl took the most amazing stamp collecting book I’d seen when we were ordering our food. You could tell by her face that she thought she’d hit the jackpot with her find.
The food isn’t haute cuisine and the punters don’t care. It’s not grand from the outside, but when you’re there it’s easy to forget you’re on an industrial estate in Gateshead. If JJ’s was in Newcastle I’d have paid £5 more for the food and had to wait for a table. I’m chuffed to have discovered such a treasure!
Thanks for reading,
P.S Since our visit I discovered the fabulous Scobberlotch had previously visited for lunch and wrote a review. Read what they thought here.