A Bargain Shared Is A Bargain Doubled!

All Bar One makes Emma Brophy an offer she can't refuse

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I do love a bargain and can never keep them to myself. I’d love to be one of those people who can respond with a simple ‘thank you’ when given a compliment on a new purchase but I invariably find myself gushing ‘What this? Was an absolute steal! Less than half price!’

My husband refuses to play the ‘guess how much I paid for this?’ game because of the awful berating he receives when he guesses too low (which he regularly does although I think that’s more down to him being mulish on the subject rather than having his finger on the bargain pulse). Yet I still can’t mange to decamp from the 'bargain shared is a bargain twice enjoyed' side of the fence.

Although some apparent bargains are wolves in sheep's clothing like the bottle of house wine (Pino Grigio) for £7.90 in All Bar One.

“No thank you,” I said politely to the waitress, “we’ll just stick with the two glasses.”

“But you could have the whole bottle for £7.90” she explained slower this time on the off chance I hadn’t understand.

“Ah but if we bought the whole bottle, we would drink the whole bottle.”

Can’t argue with logic as steadfast as that. A sage nod across the table from my friend confirmed I was indeed correct on this matter.

We chose to ignore the bemused look of our waitress for we were more than content with the bargain we were about to receive being a meal for £5. We had our voucher, had triple checked the terms, had filled in requested details and had announced its presence in the scheme of things.

All hurdles successfully negotiated I chose the chargrilled beef and coriander burger with fries and tomato salsa (would normally have been £7.95) and my friend the chickpea and vegetable burger with pineapple chutney and fries (would also normally have been £7.95).

All Bar One state that they “make our beef and lamb burgers in our kitchens everyday, using fresh ingredients”. My burger did indeed taste freshly made and came on a bed of salad accompanied with a sizeable portion of fries. I suspect the freshly made bit didn’t quite stretch to the potatoes but they were good enough.

The salsa however, was of a colour never before seen in the natural world. It had an strange fluorescent glow to it. I stuck with the Heinz.

My friend struggled to make an impact on her chickpea and vegetable burger but declared it delicious as was the pineapple chutney that accompanied it. She also struggled to finish her fries which I, being the great friend I am, stepped in to help her with.

With two filter coffees (normal £1.85 and decaffeinated £1.77) served with a handful of Smarties the bill came to £19.52.

Clearly stated at the bottom of the receipt is the announcement that ‘tips are retained by server’. Our waitress asked that if we wanted to leave her a tip she would prefer it in cash rather than on the card. We obliged her, although we were by no means demanding, she was pleasant and friendly, albeit a little confused by our drinking habits, and added to a very pleasant lunch.

The £5 meal offer runs until Thursday March 12th. Of course there are stealth charges in the form of starters, drinks etc should you wish to let them onto the bill but they don’t detract from the fact that a meal for a £5 is surely a bargain in anyone’s book.


Emma Brophy


March 1, 2009