I was excited for Taco Tuesday. Not only was it my first 2018 Leeds Indie Food (#LIF) event, it was also the first time I’d eaten in Layne’s for a sit down meal.
My usual association with this popular independent coffee house is a quick dash in for a flat white en-route to the train station, and the occasional sweet treat to keep me going. I can highly recommend their Lemon & Courgette cake!
It was early doors, around 5.15pm, when we arrived and it was fairly quiet. We hung around waiting to be greeted, then approached someone asking where to sit to join in with Taco Tuesday. After sitting down we opted for a selection of 3 tacos each for £8 plus a side of Black Bean Fritters with Chimichurri. Disappointingly, when I went up to the bar to order I was told that the tacos couldn’t be mixed and matched, so that we had to get 3 of the same for £8. The guy serving me said that he had tried to convince the kitchen to be more flexible but they wouldn’t budge on the no mixing and matching. There was a clearly an air of tension in the place.
I changed my order to three lots of 2 tacos for £6, simply so we could try more varieties, despite the extra cost. Being an Indie Food Passport holder (entitling you to numerous discounts and freebies at places), as I ordered I also enquired into whether I was entitled to any discounts this evening. The server was unsure but said he would find out before we paid the bill at the end.
Whilst waiting for our food, our drinks arrived. There were beer matching suggestions to go with the tacos and sides. I opted for my current favourite, Big Wave, a light Hawaiian lager described on the menu as ‘very drinkable’. No arguments there!
The tacos were really good. They were tasty, fresh, with a bit of crunch and a bit of Mexican spice as expected. Our fillings included: Sweet Potato & Feta, Stewed Beans with Crème Fraiche, and Cinnamon Jackfruit with Sour Cream. Our Black Bean fritter sides really complemented the tacos, and were well seasoned and spiced throughout, with preserved lemon, black garlic and finished with a drizzle of oil.
There was no check back with regard to the passport entitlements, so a quick website search and I had my answer.
Layne’s will be serving up speciality drinks on their specials board during the Festival (on the wall behind the counter). Passport Holders can have 20% off all items on the board. I was very grateful that when we went back up to the counter to pay, we were paying by card, otherwise we were informed by the waitress that we would have had to join the long winding queue outside to pay!
…..So it was very much a mixed bag at Taco Tuesday. Yes, the food was great and tasty, but we felt let down by the poor customer service, poor ambience and general disorganisation. There are more events taking place at Laynes during the Festival and we hope that they can find their stride .
Cath is a contributor for Leeds Living covering events all across the City, on topics such as eat/drink, retail therapy, music/dance and culture.