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Greggs, review

Simon Binns goes for the full three courses and hits an all time low

Written by . Published on April 11th 2011.

Greggs, review

Starter: Greggs' sausage roll (60p)

Main: Greggs' new chicken tikka lattice (£1.15, £2.20 for two)

Dessert: Doughnuts (4 for £2.20)

I think someone in Greggs head office may have mistaken tikka with tomatoes. If I took this to a curry house, they’d hit me with it.


The circumstance
It was raining. Sandwiches are boring in the rain.

The appearance
Pick any pasty from Greggs. You’ve got the picture.

The experience
I’m always slightly horrified at the size of the queues snaking in and often out of the doors of pretty much any Greggs I ever walk past.

I’m also constantly amazed by the social make-up of said queues. All of life is here, from building site to legal chamber. Including me. More regularly than is probably healthy.

The length of the queue gives you the time to ponder the options, as well as stare gormlessly at the chiller cabinet full of sandwiches, or ‘posh food’ as two young scamps behind me remarked.

Looking toward the counter and bakery bit, it’s like that scene in The Matrix where hundreds of Agent Smiths turn up. But with pastry.

Pretty much everything is on a multi-buy deal. Want a sausage roll? No, have four. How about a pasty? No, have two. Perhaps bring a date.

I noticed the walls were emblazoned with posters plugging the new boy in town – the chicken tikka lattice pasty. Decision made.

I like to begin with a small appetiser though, so I decided to start with a sausage roll. From the first bite, I could taste salt, an unfathomable moistness and possibly amphetamines, such was the instant rush to my hungry head.

It looked, to all intents and purposes, like a sad snake in a shallow grave. It was to be the highlight of the meal.

Not knowing what was to come, I carried on with gusto, taking a Northern-sized bit out of the chicken tikka pasty.

And then another one, to try and get some of the alleged filling.

I think someone in Greggs head office may have mistaken tikka with tomatoes. If I took this to a curry house, they’d hit me with it. I ate it approximately 26 minutes ago, and it’s repeating on me already.

Minor redemption came in the form of the assorted doughnuts, which was like being punched in the face with a fist made of sugar.

I shared a box of five with colleagues. They are all waiting for the inevitable mid-afternoon crash.

The consequences
I feel guilty and ashamed, and a stone heavier. I’m also so euphorically happy from the doughnuts that I don’t care. I fully expect a bout of chronic depression later today.See you in the queue next week?

Guilt factor rating: 9/10

Quality rating: 2/10

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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Richard Hector-JonesApril 11th 2011.

May I be the first person to congratulate you on the phrase, "a sad snake in a shallow grave."

It has made my day. And everyone else's. Even those that haven't read it yet.

Ali McGowanApril 11th 2011.

Lovely review. Made me smile this lunchtime. I was out in Sheffield recently and - this is genius - the Greggs on West Street is open til about 2am. I lovingly demolished 2 pasties when under the influence (of beer, not friends). They were so satisfying I had a third. I also went to the shops the next day to buy some bigger trousers. Love Food. Love Greggs.

Eddy Yum YumApril 11th 2011.

Nearly as good as the snake/shallow grave comment is "like being punched in the face with a fist made of sugar." Kerouac would be proud of that one. I also reckon Jack would have enjoyed a Greggs meal deal.

cheeseyApril 12th 2011.

Lovely review. The new Greggs in Prestwich is just like that... why do people with money buy the rubbish food? There are a couple of local delis / sandwich shops with much better value, fresher food offerings.

Michael WestApril 12th 2011.

What next McD reviews? I don't venture into Greggs very often, but do enjoy their Cheese and Onion Pasties. Don't do the Hot Cross Buns though they taste like raisin bagels, far to sweet and far too chewy. Hampsons (a bakery chain that styles itself upon cheap and cheerful greggs style quick bakes) certainly invented the curry style pasty, at one time they had on offer Chicken Tikka and a Madras. And yes pie lovers the only authentic curried pastry is the Caribbean Goat Pattie.

the copycat catcherApril 12th 2011.

stolen/HEAVILY inspired by this, by any chance?


EditorialApril 13th 2011.

Yeah, that'll be right. Confidential hardly ever does food reviews of popular high street chains.

Simon McDonaldApril 15th 2011.

The festive bakes are half decent, but short-lived over Christmas.

ChrisMApril 15th 2011.

Greggs! Too upmarket, have you tried the Pound Bakery, where most things are 2 for £1, its the Pound Shop equivalent of Greggs

Anon TooApril 15th 2011.

A cheaper version of Greggs? Good god.

Mark JorgensenApril 15th 2011.

mmmmm, a 50p miscellaneous entrail pastie.

Owen CoyleApril 15th 2011.

Steak bake is a masterpiece

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