Right in the middle of Stafford town centre, just to the left of the Shire Hall, there is an imposing old bank building which has stood vacant for a long time.
It had many occupants over its lifetime, including it was a NatWest bank and then it was a Pizza Express. Its new occupant is No.3 Cafe Bar & Restaurant.
On its website, the cafe says the building offers breakfasts, light lunches, and dinners as well as cocktails and draft drinks. The place opened on Saturday February 19, so our secret restaurant went to try the place.
Here’s what they had to say about the new restaurant in downtown Stafford.
How was the place?
Parking at the Aldi car park in Stafford, I made the short but very windy walk to North Walls and past the Gatehouse Theatre.
As I entered through the large front door of No. 3 overlooking the market square, I noticed that not much had changed since my last visit inside. It still had a very high ceiling with a window at the top looking out to the bright afternoon sky, which was good to see it’s a tall building.
The walls are now covered in a coat of blue paint, with pictures of Jack Nicholson, Elvis Presley and Marylin Monroe, as well as other celebrities.
Near the back of the restaurant, there is a lounging area with sofa with floral designs on the wall. Each table had a real flower on it, which was a nice touch, I thought as I sat down alone.
In the restaurant they were playing a weird mix of mid 2000s British indie and 80s funk. Both genres I love so I wasn’t complaining.
Sitting in the quiet place, I was greeted by a very friendly member of staff who brought me a menu and asked for my drink order. As I was driving, I opted for the standard Pepsi Max. It came with a paper straw which is always a tick in my book.
How was the menu?
The staff were quick to tell me that the menu they offered was only the lunch menu and that they were still working on their evening menu.
They told me the evening menu would have lasagne and steak tastes which all looked very tasty.
When I visited there was a range of lovely salads and wraps, as well as smaller burgers and other options. As I am a vegetarian, I thought I would opt for a vegetable burger, with salad and fries.
How was the burger?
Shortly after, my burger arrived. The first thing I noticed was served like many newer restaurants do with the burger on a board instead of a plate, and all the fries in a mini fries basket. It looked good enough to eat me.
I had to go home, but first I thought I’d have to do a little burger dissection. Cutting it in half I could see all the layers of bread, mayonnaise, patty salad and cheese. Basically what you expect from a fresh and juicy burger.
The menu didn’t specify what type of plant the patty was made from, but since it was deep red, it probably had beets in it. On closer inspection, it had the consistency of a disk of mashed potatoes that had been fried, so the outside of the patty was nice and crispy.
But none of this matters. What is important is the taste. And it was absolutely delicious. I could definitely taste the beetroot and mashed potatoes, but there was also an onion flavor and something sweeter like a parsnip.
That, combined with the tangy cheese and mayonnaise, made it irresistible. I’m sure even the most carnivorous fanatic would give the taste a thumbs up.
How were the fries and salad?
The fries were nice and crispy with little pieces of skin. Perfect for dunking in the small bowl of ketchup provided. The salad was also fresh and drizzled with just enough balsamic vinegar.
Overall, I was very impressed with No.3. The price of my burger, Pepsi Max and teapot for afters was £12.50. Really not that bad.
This might be the best new place for lunch and possibly dinner in central Stafford.
*Staffordshire Live make secret visits to restaurants, takeaways and cafes with a view to providing a fair, balanced and accurate report on customer service and the food on offer. Our hope is that for the good of the business owner and the customer, we can report positively on the places we visit. However, if our experience is not 100% positive, then we are required to report exactly what we found.
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