Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Sun 13 July 2008

On Sunday night, a much overdue foray into Headingley (hmm, that means walking down the road) to check out Dare: a café, bar and restaurant. All things to all people then.

Dare does offer some very reasonable set meals but most of the menu is so cheap that unless you are extremely skint, you will be able to eat plenty and not break the bank.

We opted for wider choices afforded by the à la carte menu, which surprised us by being very Mexican in flavour. Andy started with stuffed, fried jalapeños followed by the taquitos, while I started with calamari, followed by a burrito.

Now, this is not subtle food by any stretch of the imagination, and if we had paid more for our meal, I could be tempted to be quite harsh. So, while the batter on the calamari was a bit heavy, the squid itself was tender, and the dish wasn't oily. Andy had five jalapeños -not overly spicy, but hot, cheesy and utterly as expected.

The main courses were generous portions of simple, tasty Mexican food. My burrito was huge, surrounded by some tasty guacamole, rice and salsa and topped with sour cream. The taquitos were very similar in presentation, although Andy had opted for salad rather than rice. He commented that he would have preferred the dips kept separate (something that I'd normally say!) but that otherwise, he was a happy chap.

There was no way we could fit in dessert, so it was time to assess the damage to our wallets. For two starters, two mains, 3 bottles of Peroni and a small glass of house red ... £32. I can't fault that for value.

Yes - Dare is a little 'studenty', and no, the food isn't haute cuisine. However, the service is not only efficient but also extremely pleasant (how rare to find waiting staff who look like they actually enjoy their jobs!). The food is honest and the whole experience is one of straight forward comfort.

Next time we're too lazy to cook on a Sunday night - we'll be back.

1. Dare, 49 Otley Rd, Headingley, LS6 3AB, phone: 0113 230 2828

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