A Messy Mexican burger with tortilla chips and salad

The Den Cafe, Colchester

I treated myself to lunch at The Den yesterday (you can read about my previous visits here and here).  I was pleased to see that there was a new low gluten option (meals without gluten-containing ingredients are marked as low gluten because they do not feel that they could say it is gluten free when there is a high risk of contamination in their small kitchen): a “Messy Mexican” burger made with soya, rice, beans and seeds, which was served with salsa, lime flavoured soya yoghurt, salad and either tortilla chips (low gluten version) or in a toasted bun.  I ordered this with added avocado, a cappuccino made from soya milk, and an Anandas gluten-free round up for afters.

A Messy Mexican burger with tortilla chips and salad

Something rather embarrassing happened when I came to pay.  My credit card, which was obviously tired and emotional after its busy morning, refused to scan.  That was okay though because I could pay in cash.  Unfortunately, I was 20p short.  I asked the owner to drop the extra avocado, and received the answer “No problem” and she took the money out of her own tips pot.  Obviously, I had no money for a tip, but you can guarantee that next time I visit I will leave a nice chunky tip!

It was only 11.30am, but the café was already starting to fill up so I took the opportunity to check out the upstairs seating area.  It has the same style as downstairs, but perhaps with added energy from the large scale murals.

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The food was delicious and very filling.  I never learn that I don’t need a Round Up too as the main course is enough, but I enjoyed eating that treat, after the Allergy Brothers were in bed!  And, of course, the service went beyond good service and into genuine kindness.  I’ll be back.  With a working credit card.  And a big tip.

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