Sunday, 30 September 2012

Eating Out: Exeter Taste Card Independent Restaurants


Chain Restaurants in the Tastecard Programme
It might be said, by some, that I am...tight...that I pinch my pennies or more accurately that I gather them from throughout the the house, into a jar and then take them down to the Coinstar machine at Sainsbury's and cash them in for pounds before sticking the pounds back in my miserly pockets. I recycle, I reduce, I reuse, I get creative with accessories from charity shops, I make curries with left overs, and I am a big fan of Martin Lewis's MoneysavingExpert.com. And it was Martin, appealing to my frugal nature and great appreciation for tasty food, who led me to the TasteCard.

If you're not familiar with the Tastecard, then I should explain that this magical card allows you to get 2for1 deals or 50% off your bill the next time you saddle up to one of their participating eateries. There is normally a fee to sign up, but we were able to get a free 3-month trial and it's been pretty sweet. It works all over the UK but in Exeter there are tons of places to cash in on the action. While most of the Tastecard hook ups are at chains, if you would like something outside of the Pizza Express/Prezzo/ASK/Zizzi/Bella Italia faux-talian menu, here's a run down some of the independents on the list.

Bar Venezia
This is one of the most popular destinations on the Quayside. When the sun comes out, their picnic tables are full to the brim. They serve Mediterranean food, sheesha and also hold Salsa and Zumba classes.
Dance Class at Bar Venezia
Oriental City
This might be Exeter's classiest Chinese restaurant. Located on Pinhoe Road, they have a massive menu and the decor looks less like something that you'd see in an Exeter suburb and more like what you'd expect in Singapore. It's also one of the only places in town that you'll come across the lazy-susan feasting tables that seat about 10 people.

The Olive Tree Restaurant at the Queens Court Hotel
I can admit that I haven't personally been to the Olive Tree, but their menu looks fantastic and their TripAdvisor ranking is more than solid. With more than 35 reviews they've got 4.5 stars and are ranked 28 out of 232 restaurants in all of Exeter town.


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