(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2013.)
We all know where to go for a good booze up in Weatherfield - The Rovers Return of course. However where would you go for a decent feed? I set to wondering what culinary options are available to the residents of our favourite cobbled street. Let's take a look at the evidence:
We may as well start off with the world renowned Rovers Return. The Rovers has been famous for one dish, and one dish only, for as long as we can all remember. The wonderful Lancashire hotpot. The merest whiff of hotpot gets us all misty eyed as we think back to the days when wonderful Betty Turpin graced the Rovers bar with her magnificent presence. I wonder if you are with me when I say I think the Rovers has never been quite the same since Betty departed? And neither, of course, is her famous hotpot.
Why oh why was the closely guarded recipe gifted to Sean Tully?! They weren't particularly close and I can easily provide a roll call of Street residents who would be better trusted with this little slice of Corrie heritage. Sadly this has put me off ever dining at the Rovers. Apart from hotpot what else does the Rovers actually serve? I remember Annie Walker bravely diversifying into soup until Eddie Yeats found the industrial tins in her backyard. I'm surprised she ever lived down the shame.
Let's move on to the Rovers' main rival - Nick's Bistro. Nick's is famous for two things. Being demolished by an errant tram, and bringing the stuffed olive to Gail's dining room table. Personally I wouldn't trust the food served at the Bistro. Since it opened the staff have included Leanne, Mary, Kylie, Lewis, Ciaran and of course Gail. Remember when she left a fingernail in a food critic's dinner? I'd take a star away for that, if they had any to begin with.
Although the Bistro offers a classier environment for our favourite Corrie characters to brawl, bitch and get trollied, The Bistro does seem to be where everyone goes these days. Before that it was Vallandros (until Leanne burnt it down - if I was Nick I'd be keeping her away from the creme brûlée torch). And going back even further there was Delphines, a favourite of Mike and Alma Baldwin, and The Clock. I wonder what has happened to these places now everyone dines within 50 yards of their front doors?
Victoria Street provides two more earthy eateries. The first of which is the delightfully named Prima Doner. Currently owned by Dev (enough to put even Becky McDonald off after a night on the cider), it employs beige Ryan and pointless Katy. The kebab shop is often neglected, originally belonging to Sinbad from Brookside. Ryan obviously finds the scent of kebab grease deeply alluring as it seems to be where he does all his courting - remember that is where he first hooked up with Tracy-luv Barlow. Now be honest, even if you were desperate for a kebab, would you purchase one from any of the above suspects? I think not.
A far better bet in my mind is Roy's Rolls. Originally Dawson's, then Jim's Cafe, Roy's has long been as reliable as Fiz Stape's stupidity, Deirdre's fag breaks and Tina's strange golden hue. It may not be fancy, but I'm sure a visit to Roy's is always a comforting experience. Unless of course Owen the Ogre is menacingly standing by the counter plotting with Anna Windass. Thankfully the craze for Mary's theme nights has now passed and Roy is safely back at the helm. Anyway, I'm sure Roy can knock up a mean steak pudding. And where else would the faktry girls go on their never ending cake runs?
There is one place we sadly never see anymore - Wong's Chippy. I loved it when the truly hideous Cilla and Yana worked in the chippy dishing out limp saveloys to Les Batterby and various other assorted unsavoury specimens! Which reminds me, whatever happened to Jackson's Chippy? Maybe we should campaign for its return!
So where would you choose to dine if you happened to find yourself down Coronation Street? And do you think Corrie makes enough of Lancashire's glorious culinary history? Deirdre's stuffed marrow does not count!
And you can invite me out to Roy's for a frothy coffee and an eccles cake via Twitter @Edgeof31
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