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Have you ever wondered about those people lining up outside branches of The Breakfast Club? I used to. What was the attraction for bacon and eggs? What was it about that particular place that made them worth lining up for? Well, I don’t wonder any more. Because I am one of them. Ergh. I have now waited in that tortuous line for 2 weekends in a row now. And I’ll probably do it again. The shame.

Visit #1 took place on New Years Eve and was a relatively short 10 minute wait. Having been burnt badly by bad coffee in London cafes, I instinctively shied away from coffe and was rewarded with a glass of sweet, refreshing orange juice. Chorizo Hash Browns was a plate of 2 fried eggs, 2 chorizo sausages, grilled mushrooms, and the disappointing mis-leading menu item of ‘hash browns’. I felt lead on. The ‘hash browns’ turned out to be more akin to hash than hash browns. Never has more disappointment been felt than my expecting crunchy golden deep-fried potatoes with a soft inside, and receiving fried but still soft potatoes with peppers and onions mixed in. Boo. Once over the initial disappointment, I gave the contents on the plate a quick mix. Tasty, but not crunch anywhere on the plate.

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The All American breakfast came with pancakes, 2 fried eggs, more of those non-hash-browns, bacon, sausage and nowhere near enough maple syrup to drown the pancakes and bacon in a delightful sugar-inducing coma. Pancakes were a little flaccid and pale.

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Visit #2 was the following weekend. Clearly a real camera was present this time. Not in the mood for a ‘proper’ breakfast I went for the club sandwich; grilled chicken, bacon, tomato and cheese. Overly generous with the amount of the chicken to the detriment of a potentially great sandwich; the chicken was the dominate player on the plate. Feeling greedy, I ordered a side of chips that were reminiscent of Byron’s skin on chips. Coleslaw had lost a little bit of it’s crunch and was a milky mess, but still helped to cut through the sandwich. I finished the chips, but the sandwich was so large I left a 1/4.

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The Full Monty. Buried underneath the toast is baked beans, grilled tomatoes, a thick slice of black pudding, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and the afore-mentioned-not-really-hash-brown-hash-browns. This time we were both quick to order the orange juice. The fact that the serving of beans was limited to one spoonful and not the ladleful soup-mess seen in other lesser-cafes was much appreciated.

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So what is the attraction of the place? Having been twice now, the food they are serving, to be honest, is not particularly amazing. The fare is standard cafe-fare that as an Australian, I take for granted. What London lacks; that can be found in other major European cities is a cafe-culture. The people who line up at The Breakfast Clubs’ 4 locations are not looking for high-end gourmet breakfasts on a weekend. Nor are they looking for the greasy spoon breakfasts where heaped pile of cheap, salty ingredients are swimming in a pile of baked beans and only cost a couple quid including a cup of soapy coffee. They want a decent pile of bacon and eggs, in a relaxed environment. Sadly this market is largely ignored in London. Slowly it is changing – news of opening cafes that focus on breakfast open up every few months, and soon options for a good breakfast in Shoreditch will be plentiful. I hope.

http://www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com/
Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

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