Mario's Cafe, Kentish Town
6 Kelly St
by Dr Sigmund Fried
And lo, having tried - and failed - to penetrate the hallowed walls of Mario’s due to it being inexplicably closed three weekends on the trot, this humble hack did finally break there early on a sunny Saturday afternoon in September. I had reliably been informed by friends for quite a while that Mario’s does the best breakfast in Kentish Town if not the whole area (comprising Tufnell Park, Camden Town et al), and so this coquettishness on the part of the proprietor possibly built up my expectations of what lay in store to such an extent that only a truly Olympic standard fry-up was going to make the grade.
In reality then it was more akin to the Commonwealth Games: of a pretty high standard - and very reasonable at £4.50 for sausage, egg, bacon, mushrooms, tea and toast - but as a spectator, one gets the feeling that there’s probably better out there. Slightly dodgy analogy put to one side then, Mario’s problem is that it lets itself down on the details - deep-fried mushrooms when fried is preferable; cheap sausage where a fat, meaty Lincolnshire/Toulose etc is essential. Indeed, the location (on a quiet and colourful street just off the main road) and interior (pleasingly quaint, homely and relaxing with some good quality, colourful original art on the walls) are hard to fault.
I’d hate to think I’m being unduly harsh, and so I must stress that if you live in the area it’s absolutely worth checking out – it’s just a shame that, at the moment, it’s not quite the world-beater that it could so easily be.