On a biting, cold January morning we found ourselves in Oxford at the Westgate,writes Alison Hill.

As neither of us had had eaten, we decided on the aptly name The Breakfast Club for a pit stop. It was busy, with a lively bustling atmosphere, and as we hadn’t booked we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, but no matter.

Whilst waiting we looked at the menu, and despite being named The Breakfast Club, with a fine selection of breakfasts on offer, there were also plenty of other dishes with an American/Mexican vibe.

For example, you can choose a traditional English, billed as a Cabbie’s Breakfast, Huevos Rancheros, a wide variation on eggs Benedict, an assortment of toasts (yes, the ubiquitous avocado is available on rye), a posh sausage sandwich or a croque monsieur.

Our waitress was friendly and chatty, but as it was nearly lunchtime we opted for the lunch menu which is served 12-5pm.

We ordered nachos which came with cheddar, guacamole, sour cream and salsa to share (£6.75), and added extra refried beans for £2.50.

Miss H chose pancakes, and plumped for two with fresh fruit and vanilla cream, rather than four. Miss H, although 12, has a hearty appetite for pancakes, but took the advice. I chose a Philly cheeseburger which came with the famous American cheese, caramelised onions, pickles, green peppers. mustard and ketchup with a Caesar salad on the side and skinny fries (£9.50). Stricken by FOMO (fear of missing out) Miss H ordered a side of skin on fries (£2.50), and a salted caramel milkshake (£5.25) while I took a Diet Coke.

We waited quite a while for our drinks, but when they arrived the Coke was with lime, which I approved of, much nicer than lemon, and the large milkshake was garnished with popcorn and a chocolate sauce. It was clearly a meal in a glass, but Miss H got stuck in!

We then waited for our food. And waited a bit more. It took about 30 minutes to come and then arrived all at once, which was a shame as we had been expecting the nachos as a starter.

But we weren’t disappointed when it came to the quantity – be warned, the portion sizes here are generous. I spotted that the nachos were missing the refried beans, so asked our waitress to deduct this extra topping (£2.50) from our bill. She apologised, brought out the refried beans as a side, and still deducted it from our bill - a nice touch.

We did our best with our enormous order, but were ultimately beaten… Miss H ate nearly all her American style pancakes - large and thick with a generous topping of fruit and cream, they were swimming in maple syrup.

My burger was lovely, with a fresh bun and good sauce and cheese, if a slightly dry patty. But my side salad didn’t come out as the Caesar I had ordered, instead something indeterminate in a bowl, which I left.My fries were lukewarm, which was disappointing, but Miss H’s were piping hot.

The milkshake was wonderful though; thick and creamy with a strong caramel taste, but should have been more salty.

The staff in The Breakfast Club, despite being evidently busy, still found time to come and check on us and make sure we were happy with our order.

We both loved the fact the kitchen was open, so we could watch the chefs at work

Our bill came to a very reasonable £35, which for the amount of food was good value.

A little bit more advice on the portion size t reduce food waste and costs would have been appreciated, as we would definitely have skipped the appetizer.

I would definitely come back here again despite the small mishaps with our order. The Breakfast Club is perfectly set up to deal with families, and there were lots of children present. It was fun, friendly and overall good value for money.

Alison Graham – Mistress of the Bake

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