Eating Out: Food for fueling community spirit

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They say that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

A three-course lunch for the grand sum of £2 undoubtedly seems to fall under that category — but, having sampled the offerings at the new Community Canteen on Queens Drive, I can happily say that there were no strings attached to my (rather tasty) vegetable lasagne.

As reported in The Extra, the canteen project set up stall in April, run by Govanhill charity Community Renewal.

The premise is simply to bring people together; and for £2 (£1 for little ones), you can take your place at the table each Wednesday and break bread with neighbours — whether you’ve met before or not.

You’re also welcome to pay more than £2, as a way of contributing to those who can afford less — and at a time when foodbanks are in ever-increasing demand, it seems a more than reasonable request.

What else was a southside reporter to do but take a break from a hectic deadline day and pull up a chair?

The menu changes each week, but there’s always a choice of meat or veggie options for the main.

After a filling bowl of lentil soup (no scrimping on portions here), I opted for veg lasagne, garlic bread and salad — although the friendly lady next to me could heartily recommend the cottage pie too.

And therein lies the beauty of the Community Canteen (apart from the purse-friendly prices, that is). Any fears that it could be awkward dining in with strangers soon disappear, and the conversation flows as readily as plates from the kitchen.

I chatted to a Pollokshields resident who had wandered in from her son’s nursery, having seen the welcome sign — and I found myself hoping that others in the area would follow suit, so that the Community Canteen can extend to other days as planned.

We finished with rice pudding and fruit, and I rolled out onto Queens Drive and back to Extra Towers, feeling well-fed and thoroughly nourished — which seems entirely the point of this promising weekly event.

Community Canteen

180 Queens Drive

Queen’s Park

G42 8QD

opendoor@communityrenewal.org.uk