The Wedge Cafe, 13 High Street, Coventry CV1 5RE
The Wedge Bookshop and Cafe in Coventry closed a long time ago but while it was open it served good, wholesome, vegetarian food. When I worked in the city centre I used to have lunch there regularly and I miss the variety of food that was always available. This was all before the Internet and there doesn’t seem to be a mention of The Wedge anywhere on the Web, so here’s my shout out to it.
Both the bookshop upstairs and the cafe downstairs were run by a group of ex-students of “The Lanch” (now Coventry University) and The Wedge had that rough-floorboards and knockabout-style reminiscent of the late 70′s, radical students, political activism and alternative lifestyles.
A hot main dish was served each day, changing every day on a regular repeating cycle. My two favourites were the Kidney Bean Chilli Soup with cous cous that was so chilli-hot you had to eat it in stages; and the Spicy Spinach and Chickpea Soup that was actually a Saag Chana Curry. There was also a warming Leek and Potato Soup (never referred to as Vichyssoise) and a voluminous Red Lentil and Tomato Soup spiced up with ground black peppercorns.
If you didn’t fancy the main then you could have a large, steaming, baked potato with cheese or baked beans or a selection of salads such as: raw mushrooms, tomatoes and beansprouts in oil and balsamic vinegar; potato and tuna; a dry, acrid rice, radish, and leeks mix with some powdery brown spice in it; and a wet, soft and sweet butterbean, nayonnaise and fresh coriander salad.
Each day there was also at least one large kidney bean flan with a topping of thick, strong, acidic cheddar as well as a large variety of home-made sandwiches. And if you had any room left you could try a slice of one of their cakes or a big slab of homemade flapjack …”enough to keep you going for a fortnight” as one of the guys there once said.
The Wedge was a thin wedge of a building with barely enough room for the lunchtime que’s of people waiting to get served, the people trying to get a seat in the two lines of fixed tables, or the staff bustling around. The atmosphere was invariable steamy from the bubbling cauldrons of soup, the baking potatoes and the big hot water heater, always on the go for the teas and coffee.
There was a good mix of customers at The Wedge from students from the University and Colleges to office staff popping in for sandwiches or a coffee and it was always good to see Dave Nellist in there, who was a regular visitor even when he was an MP.
It was good food and cheap and it’s a shame that The Wedge is no more. When The Wedge was open it was easy to be a vegetarian.
If you have any photos of The Wedge then I’d be delighted to hear from you… just leave a reply and I’ll get back to you, Mark.
[MP. August 2009.]