Paris Cafe & Sandwich Bar, Hoxton
140 Hoxton Street
020 7684 7407
by Paddy Hashbrown
What is Paris? Croissants on the banks of the Seine. A cafe noisette in Le Marais. Reposing in the Shakespeare bookshop near the Notre Dame. It can safely be said that enduring breakfast at "Paris Cafe" in Hoxton Street on a drizzly Sunday morning is not redolent of the dear French capital.
I am hoodwinked into visiting this emporium of grease 'n' mediocrity by a combination of a growling stomach, an out-of-bounds kitchen and sheer undiluted desperation for sustenance. I enter, relieved after trundling for twenty minutes round the grey roads of Hoxton. The smell of fried bacon entices and like Pavlov's dog I curl up at a window seat. I flirt with the idea of beans on toast, toy with the idea of a mushroom sandwich (despite a horrifying experience the week before at the Sheperdess on City Road) and salaciously eye up the Cafe Paris fry-up.
"Breakfast number 2" I mutter, eyes matted with sleep, stomach empty of last night's thimble of tomato soup.
I glance around at the clientele. A family nearby decked in noisy Le Coq Sportif apparel square up over the missing contents of The People. "Hooz got the sports sekshun? I don't want the telly guide. Where's the flippin' racing guide? Where's me flippin' breakfast? Oi! Waitress!"
I decide that I'd happily wait 30,000 years for my breakfast but to my horror it arrives within mere hours. I didn't order hash browns. I hate hash browns. What's going on? I didn't order sausage either, and certainly not three glistening cylinders of microwaved ersatz pig. Ah, rejoice, beans. If Britain was built on beans I can surely erect a tarpaulin of beans over the rest of my order. Where's my mug of tea gone? Ah yes, I drank it in one hours ago.
I leave a few minutes later, five pounds poorer and three mouthfuls fuller.
Never before in the history of greasy spoon documenting has so much food been wasted by so hungry a critic.