Elliot's Cafe, Bethnal Green
146 Bethnal Green Road
020 7613 1691
by Moose Lee
Elliot’s Cafe looks like it has been decorated – simultaneously – by a pirate, a GCSE art teacher and a parole officer. They play Radio 1 from an Eighties ghetto blaster despite the fact that pioneering record label Acid Jazz has its headquarters in the basement. Plus, the front door doesn’t close properly.
The breakfast menu is similarly mixed up. There’s no Gut Buster, no Trucker’s Ruin, no Stuff-Me-‘Til-My-Eyes-Close Full English. There are three fry-up options: one features bacon but no sausage, the other has sausage but no bacon and the other is – whisper it – vegetarian.
As a man of great, almost supernatural insight, I was quick to pick out the best attributes of each and mould an entirely new vision: a vegetarian breakfast, with extra bacon and extra sausage. I know, I know: what could the vegetarian breakfast bring to the party? The answer is simple. It’s the missing link that no-one knew was missing: crushed avocado. Both a palette cleanser and a fatty, creamy, almost-condiment that goes with everything.
And while we’re breaking taboos, some of the fry-up old guard still claim that only Mr. Heinz should have the right to bake beans. First off, I would like to point out that Heinz does not actually rhyme with beans. Secondly, Elliot’s home-made alternative tasted wonderful. The tomato sauce even glowed – a la Senor Heinz – in the style of sodium light pollution. Add to this chopped field mushrooms that squeaked satisfyingly against my teeth, condiments in glass bottles and plentiful rashers of dark, thick bacon, all was well on the Bethnal Green Road.
The only major let down was the sausage (singular!) – it had been cut down the middle and had lost its precious juices. A small price to pay for other revelations: expect local manual labourers to be sporting creamy smooth skin. Praise be – avocadoes for all!