Haydock, St Helens. Just off the East Lancs Road (A580) – easy to miss as it’s tucked away behind a car wash – is the Oven Door Café. A truckers’ café, it doesn’t look impressive at first glance. In fact, it looks like a large mobile home, at the edge of a carpark. But don’t be fooled by appearances.
The Oven Door is a little cafe, selling breakfast and brunch, and is one of Haydock’s hidden treasures. It caters for anyone who enters or phones, though situated just off the East Lancs it is likely to attract a lot of people who drive vehicles for a living.
It has been there for quite a few years – at least since 2014, when I first had an early lunch from the place. I worked in Haydock at that time, and we used to phone the café to order our lunch, and either go and collect if we had the time, or arrange for them to deliver if we were very busy.
The food never disappointed. In those years, I had omelettes, pasta dishes, salads, burgers and chips, or one of the variety of breakfast menus. And usually I had enough left over to take home a decent portion for dinner that evening as well. But I changed jobs and didn’t patronise the café for years. Until last week, when I was about to visit a friend, and she suggested getting lunch from the Oven Door.
I didn’t need asking twice! A chance to find out if they were still as good as they used to be.
A quick search online showed they have a 5* hygiene rating, the best possible accolade. That will do me!
So I was happy to try them again. And as I hoped, they didn’t disappoint.
Checking the menu was a treat in itself. Going through the (family size) Mega Munch Breakfast Box and other breakfast meal options, through the list of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, omelettes, salad and pasta meals, burritos and rice boxes, burgers, hotdogs, toasties and paninis (see their Facebook page for full menus and specials). It wasn’t easy to make a choice!
But I decided on a three-egg omelette (and so did my friend) and I got a small portion of chips on the side, enough for the two of us with some left over as well!
We didn’t get any drinks, as my friend supplied the coffee for us both.
I didn’t have to wait long before my order was ready. Just long enough to check out the Halloween decorations and see the shelves with salt’n’pepper pots (a collection that seems to have grown over the years).
And the food we had was lovely. I couldn’t fault it. The omelette was as fluffy as it could possibly be; not too much salt, and better than I could make it myself (culinary skills are not my forte).
All in all an experience I will certainly repeat, and I can recommend the place to anyone wishing to try it. With one caveat: there are a few steps to go up into the café, so it is not wheelchair friendly.