Time out: Scotts Epicurean
Angela Cuming gives her verdict on Waikato's cafe scene.
Awards can sometimes be misleading - think The Big Bang Theory's winning anything at the Emmys - and that got me thinking about this fine publication's own honours, the ones it bestows on local businesses.
The Tempo Readers' Choice Awards is seen as a litmus test for all that is good and great about local shops, cafes and restaurants, but do those who vote really get it right?
I decided to do a bit of good, old-fashioned investigative journalism and, trilby and Irishman in hand, headed along to the cafe that scoops the pool year after year: Scotts Epicurean.
It's the cafe you, our readers, voted best cafe for 2011, and I was keen to seen if you were on the money. Turns out you were.
For a start, the place was open when a lot of others weren't. Yes, it was the Friday of the Labour Day long weekend, but people still have to eat, and drink coffee.
And, unlike Richie McCaw (he is rather nice but a little dull to interview), Scotts lived up to expectations.
The flat white was as perfect as a Sunday morning sleep-in, rich and full in flavour and served quickly by efficient staff.
And is there a cafe in the Waikato with a nicer interior? Original floorboards and concrete floors, comfortable booths, minimalist decor and a lovely outdoor courtyard in the back that makes the most of our (occasional) sunny weather. The Irishman was taken by the coffee. "I am not a connoisseur of espresso, but this is pretty delicious," he said.
"And please put in there that their chorizo is outstanding. It took me back to Barcelona."
He was less taken, however, by the lack of reading material.
"Where's the Waikato Times? How come they don't have your paper?"
Nominations for the 2012 Tempo Readers' Choice Awards are now open.
It's not up to me to play favourites, but something tells me Scotts Epicurean will be the name written down on quite a few nomination forms.
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