As you can see, the Hightaste is the lone survivor amongst the old and interesting businesses that have nestled for years next to Smithfields Market. I presume it's still there because someone needs to feed the workers rebuilding everything round here. Cafes have a complex relationship with gentrification - they're never busier than when all the builders arrive and they're sometimes there for years, but then the dust settles and all anyone wants is an artisanal drip.
This magnificence will never go out of fashion though. Look at the crispiness of those chips - solid, sharp, structural, predictable enough for a good game of Jenga. The bacon's dark and crispy enough for a goth sandwich, the beans are textbook, the egg lies like a snowy blanket on a Malvern hillside.
No fuss with the condiments.
Same with the interiors. Chairs, tables, heater, arts, the basics.
This is fantastic place. Old school. Visit while you can.
The EBCB is fantasic, doubly so on a cold Saturday morning when you've just surveyed the mess that's been made of the bus station. That egg has a look of Zaha Hadid, you could imagine a fabulously bestowed sports complex or arts centre with those proportions. The chips are big but not fat, solid but not without flamboyance, they are the Andy Carroll of chips. The beans and the bacon balance each other perfectly, happy to serve as backdrops for the other two elements, quiet, unfussy, simply present.
Textbook condiment selection and menu rest, the sauce comes in sachets, controversial for some, fair enough for me.
It's big and bountiful inside, bright and energetic. It was packed just a bit earlier but they coped happily with the crowds, swift and efficient.
And if you're lucky you can sit by the window, watch the passers by.
Cafe Kozzy is just across the road from the previously reviewed Becks - though Becks has changed, it looks like this now...
Anyway, back to the Kozzy. Fancy menus. Good.
I ordered in slightly the wrong order. I love these little ordering slips and the codes contained therein. I'll always think of Baked Beans as being in Bflat from now on.
Always nice to get to choose your strength with the teabag. And to have somewhere to put it. Classic.
And the ebcb is magnificent. Huge. It's hard to convey just how big these plates are. They're big like the seas on Mars are big. You know, big.
Maybe this view will help convery it. For a sense of perspective, that mug at the back, that mug is twice the height of a London bus. The chips are that lovely pale, crunchy variety, starchy arrows aimed at your heart, the bacon is rich and pink like the petals on a meat rose, the beans orange like Martian blood, the egg as white and pure as virginal linen. All over nice.
Simple, efficient interior, flawless, speedy service. A fantastic ebcb lunch pop-in. Well done Cafe Kozzy.
Again, it's been a while. Sorry. I've forgotten how to do this. The First Step is a must though, I've been coming every week or so for a few months and it's a brilliant place.
I think the best thing is the enormity of the plates. Hugely, vastly generous. So the beans have got all that room to spread out and relax. You get a layer of beans that's only one bean thick, like a sort of delicious graphene.
And look at these brilliant chips. Crisp and fluffy. Existing as two states of matter at the same time. Genius.
The tapestry menus are a nice touch too.
They get very busy at lunchtimes and are masters of table maximisation. They use these reserved signs to keep tables free and ready for deployment when needed. If you're a regular you might get granted permission to sit at one of these tables. That's a special moment.
This is a great place. I'm very lucky to be a regular here. It's a friendly, tasty place. What more could you want?