David Adamson escapes the gale and heads downstairs on Dale Street

What: Baby E Coffee and Deli

Where: 24 Dale St, L2 5RL

Food/ Drink type: Lunch, brunch, deli, beers and wine plus private functions

When: Mon to Fri: 8.30am - 3pm // Sat and Sun: 9am - 3pm  

Independent or chain: Independent

2024 03 04 Baby E Exterior
Outside Baby E Image: Confidentials


Baby E being a basement, you're not exactly bathed in light, but when it's blowing a gale I don't particularly want to be on a terrace, tethering my napkin to some cutlery and watching lettuce leaves flicker in the wind. I'd rather be hunkering down in some inviting shelter, and Baby E is a good place to do it. 

Large pillars prop up an open and welcoming main room, with the serving section and deli counter laid out in plain sight, and as you watch umpteen shoes and shopping bags wander past you're glad to be here. 

In the past maybe this would have been turned into a bar or small club, but there's plenty of ways to keep the humdrum of the everyday at bay that don't involve spirits and mixers. A good lunch spot can do something in that respect, and besides, they also serve beer and wine should you fancy something somewhere between the two. 

2024 03 04 Baby E Interior 4
Inside Baby E Image: Confidentials

The Main Event 

In true lunchtime tradition, I went for the Club Stack (£8.95) in the hopes of it achieving that slight alchemy of the club sandwich. There's some seriously sorry efforts out there - we've all had one; a soggy, miserable flatshare of a sandwich, the ingredients wriggling out from under the sad white bread in a break for freedom. 

This was a very well-assembled sandwich indeed: plentiful and well-seasoned cajun chicken that actually rang with the spices that name suggests; smoked streaky bacon performing the right degree of supporting role; melted cheese and chipotle mayonnaise lending that slight indulgence of rich flavour. But all this would be slightly one-note texturally were it not for two ingredients, one I know I needed and one I didn't. Crisp and bright crunchy lettuce (as expected), and fresh, fiery raw red onion, which lifted this well-honed and succinct sandwich just the right amount. The sourdough held it all together with the command of a well-made loaf. Overall, a big lunchtime success. With a pot of tea to hand (£2.10) this was ideal middle of the day fare, so much so I wasn't even tempted by the lager taps. Praise indeed.

2024 03 04 Baby E Club Stack
The Club Stack Image: Confidentials

Judgement Day

Everyone's got their favourite lunch spot, and lord knows there's enough of them, but the much-returned-to spot can begin to feel an awful lot like repetition. When you feel like somewhere new, you'd do far worse than heading down Dale Street, then down again, and giving Baby E a go.

Baby E, 24 Dale St, L2 5RL

2024 03 04 Baby E Interior 3
Baby E Image: Confidentials
  • Food 8/10

  • Service 4/5

  • Ambience 3/5