Last night, I headed to Halifax, about nine miles away, to see the Sherlock finale at the cinema. Getting there was super easy. I walked about 15 minutes to the bus stop on the other side of town and the bus was right on schedule at 6:47. The cost for one-way was £3. The driver asked me if I was returning to Hebden because if I was, a day pass would be better value. So that’s good to know. But I was definitely not taking the bus back since I got offered a lift home at the 11th hour! Literally, as the person contacted me at eleven yesterday morning.
It was about a half-hour drive into Halifax. It was so dark out I couldn’t see much, of course. The bus station is right across from the cinema, so that was very convenient. I arrived around 7:20 and the show started at 8:45, but I was meeting my ride around 8:30. Since the buses only run every hour on Sundays, I hadn’t wanted to take a chance on the 7:47 bus in case I missed it, so that’s why I arrived so early. I’d done some research and knew I had several options around the cinema for dinner to kill some time.
I’d read a lot about the Nando’s chain of chicken-centred restaurants and its cult following. So that was my first choice when I saw one open. It’s sort of half fast-food, half family-type restaurant. You get greeted by a server who will seat you and give you a menu, but you have to go to the counter to order and pay, then grab your cutlery. The server then brings you your order when it’s ready. The menu was more extensive than I expected and they had beer! It was insanely expensive (almost £4), but a meal with two sides was reasonably priced (about £8) and I was getting a free lift home, so I decided to get one. I picked this 2M, which is manufactured in Mozambique especially for Nando’s.
It was fantastic. Very crisp and flavourful with no hint of bitterness. If I am going to pay almost four quid for a beer, this is the quality I expect.
For dinner, I picked a quarter chicken with breast, medium spicy; garlic bread; and their “supergrain,” which had stuff like quinoa, other ancient grains, beans, and mint in it. The sauce was avocado and yoghurt based.
The chicken was a huge disappointment, very dry, and the flavour of the marinade didn’t permeate the flesh. It wasn’t spicy at all. A feature of Nando’s is that there are several sauces you can try, so I went with their medium spicy hot sauce and their lemon herb. They really perked up the chicken, but when I go to a place that specialises in chicken, I think the meat should stand on its own.
I found it hard to pick my sides. Since I had quinoa in the supergrain mix, I didn’t want rice and their fries are of the frozen variety. I debated going for corn on the cob or mashed potatoes, but I haven’t had garlic bread in ages and it sounded good. I was very happy with the choice as the bun was lovely.
Now, the supergrain mix, which I picked as it seemed healthy. That would get me back to a Nando’s in a heartbeat! I cannot believe how delicious it was. I felt like I had dropped into another class of restaurant, it was so flavourful and fresh. You can do the supergrain as a salad with chicken on top and that is what I would do if I ended up needing to eat at a Nando’s again.
The portions were really generous (the supergrain alone was almost a meal!) and I felt like I got my money’s worth for what I paid. But I really wasn’t wowed by Nando’s and I don’t get what the fuss is all about. I’m so glad I had a chance to try it out, though, and assuage my curiosity!
Dinner done, it was about eight. I went into the cinema to collect my ticket and wait for my ride to show up so we could make introductions. That done, it was time to go in. I was surprised by how empty the theatre was, but thrilled that I’d decided to see the episode on the big screen as it had a really cinematic feel to it, plus there was a bonus thing before the episode featuring my current favourite character on the show.
The show ended a bit earlier than I expected so I probably could have made the bus back if I hoofed it, but it was nice to not have that stress hanging over my head while I was immersed in watching the episode. The couple driving me home were going through Hebden and said they would drop me within the village limits, but would not go out of their way. What wound up working for both of us was them dropping me off at the bus stop! So that turned out super well and since it was a very mild night, I enjoyed the walk uphill to home.
So that was a fun night out! And, yes, I do plan to go back to Halifax for a day trip. 🙂