Kaldi's sits on Edinburgh Road just before Baillieston lights where the Little Chef used to be. Echoes of the former roadside diner survive - booths and plenty of parking, though we struggled to find a space as a function was on. We were asked if that's what we were there for when we arrived, something about a naming ceremony - eh? No, we just want some scran.
We'd been in Kaldi's yonks ago and to be honest it was pretty poor and probably best described as an Italian restaurant for people who don't know much about Italian food - if I recall correctly I was given a knife and fork to eat my spaghetti carbonara...anyway, it had been a few years since and we were starving and looking for something quick and their express lunch menu seemed a good deal - it contained a decent range of dishes and was valid on Saturdays.
Service was quick - our order was placed and arrived pronto.
More menu choices.
A well-cooked no frills steak pie, it was actually pretty decent with a good amount of meat but I think they'd ran out of steak as there seemed to be chopped up sausage under the pastry! They gave us a choice of tatties or chips, we opted for boiled potatoes and they were nicely cooked, as was the veg, and butter also came on the side.
"Kaldi's Famous Four Cheeses Macaroni" (sic). We wondered what the four cheeses were - 4 different types of cheddar? One decent strong cheese would've sufficed as there was very little cheese taste from the pasta. There was no extra sauce covering it and it tasted like it had been microwaved. For a mac addict this was the equivalent of a Nicotine patch.
Bought in lemon meringue pie with skooshy cream. OK.
And the vanilla cheesecake was perfectly fine by cheesecake standards (you can add ice-cream or fresh cream for a £1.50 supplement).
Kaldi's is like a supermarket café with a function suite attached - it's the sort of place you might find yourself in after a funeral(!), though there did seem to be some regulars in when we visited. Staff were quite young but adept and friendly, toilets were functional and clean and there was free WIFI. If you are looking for affordable food fuel rather than a dining experience it's where to head. Good price for the express lunch, though upon leaving we scrutinised the bill and it seems we were charged for alcoholic drinks even though we only drank the soft stuff, or perhaps that's just the way they go through the till hmm...
As we left we chortled at the stack of flyers offering a FREE PANCAKE WITH BUTTER with a cappuccino or pot of tea (offer only valid Saturday mornings from 10:00 - 1:00 until Shrove Tuesday - OFFER NOW EXPIRED!)
+ Express Lunch is quick and a good price
+ Friendly staff
+ Free WIFI
- Supermarket café with function suite vibe
- Macaroni cheese was disappointing
- Check your bill before leaving
- Parking can be a problem when a function is on