I'm being a bit cheeky in writing this review as I'm doing so in the coffee shop that used to be managed by the lady who now owns the Granary.
The Granary is one of those places that I never really wanted to go to, I had always thought of it as something of a greasy spoon cafe, one of those relics of a bygone era in which the menu choice was chips with brown sauce or chips with ketchup. And me being a snob about my foamy coffees and overpriced under-filled sandwiches it wasn't the place for me.
Snap forward to when the Granary was taken over by the aforementioned lady who used to run one of the local chain coffee shops in town. Apparently it wasn't a greasy spoon before takeover, but at the risk of sounding ageist it was an 'old persons' cafe, and according to my mum all the regulars were leaving because 'they introduced a load of healthy stuff onto the menu'.
But it seems to have bounced back, good food tells the tale.
As a wife and husband team the Granary has a great friendly atmosphere, good coffee, good food, and the kind of kitsch 'creaky floorboards' surroundings that people are paying big money to replicate in Belfast.
I went for a Power Bowl plate of steamed green veg with grilled chicken fillet, somewhat healthier than I was planning and the portion was bigger than I was expecting. I was torn before ordering because the chicken burrito special on the menu board sounded quite awesome.
Whilst I was waiting for my food I saw several large plates of sandwiches and paninis coming from the kitchen, so the one thing to take away from this review if nothing else is that you will not go hungry dining here.
The pastries all seemed to be homemade, which is a big bonus in these days of desserts that have been blast frozen and then defrosted on the day like the food had been put into hypersleep and then reawakened in time for a Weyland Yutani plot twist.
Sorry, there're the movie references spilling over from when I did the review for Sam Neill's Two Paddocks Pinot Noir.
The Granary is a cosy little spot, I'd say seating maybe 20 plus a couple of tables outside, but during the half hour I was there I also counted about two dozen people getting lunch to go which is a pretty good testament for their product given the level of competition in the town.
So long story short I think it's a pretty good spot for a healthy lunch or a good sandwich, and a nice coffee. And with a good friendly atmosphere that will keep people coming back.
50 James Street, Cookstown BT80 8LT
Monday to Saturday, 9-5.30 (9pm Thursday)