Laynes Espresso brunch @Belgrave_leeds

Living in Leeds we’re lucky to have a wealth of independents. In recent months @Belgrave_Leeds has been a great showcase for these with its street feast and in-house foodie treats, the perfect accompaniment to one too many local ales. These include @NofishyBusiness, @DoughboysLeeds, @PattySmithsUK and more recently @Laynesespresso. I headed along to Laynes latest Belgrave take over, a brunch service between 11am and 3pm on 2nd March, to see if their brunch was half as good as their coffees.

Laynes have previously acknowledged the waiting time issue at their last service and were keen to improve, introducing an at-table service. Ideal for a lazy Sunday sat with good tunes and a crossword.  The team are still ironing out a few kinks with some really long waiting times for orders, drinks and food. An hour and a half from sitting down to being served food. Luckily the team themselves were just as genuine, welcoming and friendly as they are at their coffee shop even during such a busy service and numerous large tables.

Those who’ve been to Laynes coffee shop on New Station Street will already be familiar with their fantastic coffees. Fellow Leeds blogger @Dimingwong wrote this great blog about the store as part of her North Leeds coffee community series which helps explain their passion for what they do. Their coffees boast an impressive depth of flavour and their cakes and sandwiches are too tempting to ignore.

Their brunch menu was perfectly formed and had something for everyone. From a sin-free smashed avocado with pistachio pesto through to hearty braised beans with smoked pancetta and sourdough. We greedily ordered 3 dishes between us despite the impending roast dinner later than day at my mother in laws. First up was the ham hock sandwich. The simple, crisp presentation promised much and on the whole the dish delivered. The sweet brioche bun and caramelised onions contrasted well with the ham lightly flecked with mustard. The fried egg, perfectly cooked added little and almost drowned out the tasty ham hock, but what’s a breakfast butty without the egg!?

Next up was French toast, an original dish of caramelised banana, espresso mascarpone and nut brittle. The flavours surprised with the almost bitter espresso a great match to the achingly sweet and delicious brittle, adding much needed crunch. I’d have preferred pieces of banana rather than puree but on the whole an indulgent and original take on French toast. Lastly we went off menu with poached eggs on a brioche bun for my better half. These perfectly cooked eggs and sweet crisp bun showed that even a simple dish can be elevated to something special by these guys.

This wasn’t fast food but with their passion, care and attention to detail, already synonymous with their coffees, transferred to their brunch dishes, I was ready to forgive the wait. Once the service issues are ironed out, I think the Laynes brunch will be drawing in the crowds and showing yet again show why great food is worth waiting for.

Laynes at Belgrave Music Hall

1-1A Cross Belgrave Street




The Greedy Pig review

Rapidly turning into a Leeds institution, The Greedy Pig has established itself as an important part of the Leeds independent food scene. With previous popups ranging from the ambitious ‘From the Nose to the tail’ supper club @outlawyachtclub to the Halloween @sneakyexp with their pork and chorizo meat balls stealing the show. Next up is their first Sunday Brunch at Belgrave Social Club on Sunday 9th March (11am-4pm) following in the foot steps of @LaynesEspresso’s. Let’s hope they too have bleary eyed twenty somethings in skinny jeans and flip flops queuing out the door.

At the heart of all this is The Greedy Pig itself, located just a stones throw from Leeds city centre on North Street. What on first appearance looks fairly unassuming, a first glance at the menu reveals the great local ingredients and mouthwatering food on offer. Moving to Leeds 2 years ago, it was one of my first recommendations from a friend, who told me their veggies sausages alone were worth the visit. She was right! When friends come to visit this is often one of our first stops and the one place people want to come back to when they return to Leeds.

As you’d expect from their name, their pork dishes shine. From a humble bacon sandwich with thick, salty rashers cooked to perfection to their hog roast sandwich – succulent and crisp pork belly cooked in a perfect blend of herbs with apple relish and crisp leaves (One is never enough). Also of note are the burger specials and outstanding pulled pork (they managed to get in there before pulled pork filled our Instagram feeds)

A stand out dish is their crispy chicken sandwich with home made slaw, the tender chicken and crispy coating a contrast to the fast food standard which would have made a bigger dent in your wallet. The pancakes, unpretentiously served, are fluffy and soak up the melting butter and maple syrup a treat! With the money saved I’d highly recommend adding a side of twice cooked chips (fat, crispy and fluffy on the inside) or even a home cooked brownie or quality coffees available.

Jo, half of The Greedy Pig’s dynamic duo along side chef Stu, once said to us they simply ‘make food to order, that’s all it is’ (modest indeed). You’ll struggle to find anything that costs more than a fiver and all this served with a friendly smile. The Greedy Pig proves that affordable food needn’t sacrifice quality or taste. With so much in the pipe line, I think we’ll be hearing, seeing and tasting even more from them in the coming months.