Bar Bruno, W1F
I’m sure that my absence was bitterly noted, and unfortunately Herr Eggsley (as I am occasionally known) really doesn’t have an excuse for the poor frequency of his contributions to the World Wide Web.
Once again, jaunts and various (obviously very important) meetings have led Eggsley into the violently-pumping heart of London that is Soho, this time bringing your sausage-stuffing friend to a mainstay of the area: .
As I am still these days, I took great time and care to discovering Bar Bruno as the greasy spoon of choice for this particular meeting, and the friend (no, not Lurvensteen, sadly) who accompanied me was suitably (un?)impressed by its hot atmosphere and dying-yellow hues.
A little more on the atmosphere, as I believe that this is the first café to feature on this mediocre website that can truly be labeled a proper greasy spoon. Myself and my colleague are the only members of the café not wearing high-visibility clothing and clutching at a copy of The Sun. This is a very, very good thing - the presence of these fellows, that is, not my lack of high-visibility clothing (I have plenty of that, I can assure you) - as the establishment is positively brimming with atmosphere. People come and go with more frequency than a News International editor, and Radio 5 Live cheerily drones away in the background. I recall a television, but I am not sure if that is just my imagination. Nonetheless, one certainly couldn’t critique Bar Bruno (isn’t that name just hilarious - who is Bruno? Where can I find him? I want to shake his hand.) for a lack of atmosphere.
The “waiter” - he is also the cashier and the…everything front-of-house - calls me over (I was mistakenly presumptuous in pulling up a seat and awaiting service), and I dutifully approach. I am asked what I want. Do they do Full English? A hand gestures to a board hanging from the wall displaying the offerings…
No Full English.
I’ll have the “Sausage, Egg, Chips and Beans” then, is tea or coffee included? No. Toast? Non plus [The waiter did not say this, but allow me some creative license. That said, yours truly would have been remarkably impressed had I received such an answer].
Things at Bar Bruno have begun to spiral downhill. Eggsley finds a bastion of London’s wondrous cafe culture, and yet it fails to offer the dish that made it so famous, doesn’t include the drink (or toast, though I can forgive that) in the price and charges…?
Oh well, I think. Not to worry. I’ve heard good things about the place from numerous sources, and I love the greasiest of greasy spoons an almost certainly unhealthy amount. I place my faith in the enigmatic Bruno and await my favourite meal.
Before we speak of the food, let us first address the drink. Eggsley opted for coffee. It was not good. Perhaps worse than old A’Thai, and that’s saying something. A sip of the drink fills the mouth with the taste of metallic water, sullied by lukewarm milk with an aftertaste that perhaps hints of coffee. A real shame. Water is ordered. The toast arrives alongside it.
The toast is possibly Bruno’s saving grace. It is a good, hefty slab of bread with plenty of butter. I do believe that toast is one of the most comforting of creature comforts, and as the weather starts to turn and London transforms itself into the urban equivalent of a hedgehog curling up into a big ball of Hamleys-tinted festive warmth, it’s good to see that Bruno will be warming many bellies with its toast.
The breakfast, sadly, fails to inspire, but honestly, my dear readers, look back up at the photo of that breakfast and tell me you think that looks like an appetising meal. Even hungover, I would feel a twinge of disappointment as this meal was set down before me. The sausage is unloved: a dried-out, over-cooked object that sweats grease onto the plate. My chips were dry as a bone and lacked the bouncy fluffiness one associates with such a (normally) tasty mainstay of Western food (once again, I would have preferred hash browns). The beans are not the Heinz variety (these well-practised taste buds can tell), and are slightly hard when bitten – more nut than bean, you might say. Oh, Bruno, how underwhelming you have proven yourself to be! Surely the egg can save you?
…In short, no, it cannot. The egg is undercooked and my mouth is filled with egg goo (technical term), which always makes me feel a little queasy. I’m unhappy.
Rather than linger and ponder the meaning of existence, the nature of humanity as beast or any other of my favourite pastimes, I signal to my accomplice that we should leave, with haste. Eggsley exits, stage right, back into the streets of London. Cold air batters my face and I’m suddenly consumed by another thought: Steve Jobs is dead.