Food Review: Greggs staple items rated after new fast food outlet opens in Highland capital
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People in the Highlands must have been really craving the opening of a Greggs in the region because when I headed towards their new outlet at the Esso MFG Kessock filling station on Longman Road in Inverness, to try some of its goodies, I wasn't even able to get close to the till.
"Sorry, we are sold out!" said one of their employees, slowly cordoning off the entrance. "We've sold in three days what we would normally sell in a week!"
So, it seems they are off to a good start in the Highland capital.
This latest opening joins in a landscape which so far has been dominated by Harry Gow and Ashers, whose directors have however said that they are not worried about competition from Greggs and sure they could depend on their loyal fan base.
The new opening in Inverness was just beaten by the one in Elgin, which launched last year. The chain has more than 2000 outlets UK-wide and nine regional bakeries that make products local to the area, like Scotch Pie in Scotland. The company also sells some of its products through the supermarket chain Iceland.
So, just over one week from their opening, we went to try some of their staples.
The pastry is not quite as crispy as one would like but it is quite pleasant (and it doesn't leave crumbs everywhere which is quite practical on the go). The sausage itself lacks a bit of taste, it would benefit from a sauce like mustard or a dip on the side. Nonetheless, it's quite a pleasant snack.
Vegan Sausage Roll
If, like me, you are not a vegetarian or vegan, you will feel the difference but the filling itself is quite nice and even a bit more flavourful than the real sausage one. The pastry looks quite pale but I suppose this also helps not getting confused with the non-vegan rolls. It's nice, the texture is not too far from the sausage one, if a bit creamier. I find it a good alternative if you want to reduce your meat consumption – or if you already have and are looking for more fast food options.
My savoury favourite of the round. It's very creamy but you can still feel the steak chunks (it's not a fully blended gravy-like filling, which is nice). The pastry felt crunchier despite being a more moist filling than the sausage roll. Definitely beats the sausage roll in amount (and, personally, quality) of flavours. Would definitely get again!
I had to. I really had to, although as an Italian beware, my judgement will be quite scrupulous. The look of this margherita pizza slice was not too bad at the counter so I felt like giving it a try. However my hopes were in this case a bit too high. The tomato sauce is unbelievably sweet, which makes it taste like a cross between a margherita and a dessert, and not in the nice way. The dough is almost stiff and way too dry. The cheese quantity was okay, probably what saved it. OK if you really crave pizza and you are starving, but the rest of the selection seems a lot better to me.
The real surprise was the chocolate éclair that I decided to try because they really looked tempting in the window, and tasted very nice. The pastry was nicely puffy, not too moist, maybe slightly on the dry side but having a creamy inside and chocolaty outside, it really worked quite well. Also, the dark chocolate adds that rich, but ever so slightly more bitter, note in comparison to milk chocolate.
Very lovely, will try again gladly.