The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Paris Cafe & Sandwich Bar, Hoxton

Paris Cafe & Sandwich Bar
140 Hoxton Street
N1 6SH
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.


Blogger comrade said...

oh dear.

have you tried Leila's at Arnold Circus, Shoreditch?

Chocolate Milk in a bottle, simple things.

12:09 PM, April 14, 2009  
Blogger comrade said...

oh yes. you have, excuse my previous laziness.

12:13 PM, April 14, 2009  
Anonymous Paddy Hashbrown said...

No I haven't.Thanks- will look into it. I chanced upon Arnold Circus the other day and thought it was a splendid spot indeed- reminded me of a diet version of Finsbury Circus near Moorgate.

12:19 PM, April 14, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

Disgusting, unfettered snobbery based on nothing more than your obvious disdain for people who wear tracksuits and read the tabloids.

I've been to this cafe on many occasions and while the food isn't of the greatest, it's plentiful, hot and, in my experience, prepared at a perfectly acceptable speed.

If you don't like working class people, the Paris Cafe isn't for you. Indeed, I suspect that it is because of its clientele that it remains one of the few places in Hoxton not populated by Home Counties 'creatives' living off their parents and sneering at the locals - which makes it one of the few places in the area worth visiting.

10:46 AM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooooooooo. give a working class chap access to a computer and look what happens.

9:14 PM, May 12, 2010  

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