It took me until last year to finally try it out, but now Gershwins is one of the first places I think of when it comes to a fry-up in the centre of Swansea.
Sitting on Nelson Street - essentially the café district of central Swansea - Gershwins is immediately recognisable thanks to its black and white canopy and generally untrendy look.
While I do enjoy the fresh creativity of some modern cafés, it's hard to beat a traditional coffee shop that's been doing the same great thing every day since it was first established. The waitress I asked was unsure how long Gershwins had been operating, but she assured me the current owner has been with the café for 25 years (if anyone knows more about the history, feel free to leave me a comment!).
Heavy wood tables and painted brick dominate the interior as does the brown colour scheme, but this reinforces the 'we're not changing our ways now' attitude that works so well with these kind of places. It is nice to see the kitchen in full view from the seating area - always reassuring when you know a place has nothing to hide.
From the extensive menu boasting cooked dinners, full English breakfasts and specials such as 'Caribbean chicken', it's more of a tiny restaurant than a coffee shop. I've sampled the breakfasts, toasties and the chilli con carne at different times and the food has always been well cooked and satisfying.
The ham and cheese toasted sandwich, like the one in the photo below, was oozing cheese and filled with chunks of home-cooked ham. The filter coffee was fresh, hot and strong - as it should be - and is refilled at your table by the waitress. In total, a ham and cheese toastie with a filter coffee came to a reasonable £5.75.
As drinks go, the coffee shop sells also sells a range of beers and wines. It's not really a place I can imagine going to for an alcoholic drink, but I guess it's nice to have the option should the moment take you.
The only real problem I've noticed is when it gets too full, it becomes a little cramped. While a crowded room gives a cosy atmosphere, walking around can be tricky, especially if there is a push-chair or two inside.
The photo above shows the upstairs dining area, which I only noticed on my way back from the toilet. I don't think I would choose it to downstairs as it could get a little lonely when quiet, but it's nice enough.
One of the best things about this café - something any dining companion I've been with has also noticed - is the service. Gershwins has some of the best waitresses around when it comes to attentiveness. They actually listen to what you are asking for and service is prompt and polite. In addition to this, the owner always seems to be present, keeping an eye on things.
If you're looking to take a break from the busy streets of Swansea, Gershwins is definitely worth a visit!