Strength training done, I stepped towards the treadmill area with the good intention of finishing off with some cardio. Blue Eyes and President Clinton (my gym partners) looked over and uttered the words “Breakfast?”. And that was that. A desire for somewhere fairly local in Spitalfields and the fact we were too underdressed for Duck and Waffle or Eastway led us to the slightly obvious choice of The Breakfast Club. None of the meat here is halal unfortunately, but there are a few non-meat and vegetarian options on the menu.
I’ve been here on three occasions and have sampled two orders of their “Veggie All-American” breakfast, their “Reggie The Veggie”, and their flat white. The Veggie All-American consists of a vegetarian sausage, american style pancakes, mushrooms, homemade potatoes and two eggs cooked to your preference, all served with a tin pot of maple syrup. The American pancakes were soft and rather dense, and soaked up the syrup very well. The vegetarian sausage meanwhile consisted of a very crispy skin with a dense vegetarian patty within, which had a soft texture that remotely resembled chicken-mince. Bless vegetarians, they do try hard in their attempt to recreate meat textures.
The eggs, when poached, were seasoned well with salt and black pepper, with a soft, liquid yolk centre (no sh** Sherlock, it’s a bloody egg). Sorry, talking to myself. It was however, rather rubbery and sour in certain parts, (perhaps due to a slightly excessive use of vinegar in an attempt to keep the egg whites coagulated), which was not pleasant. Luckily there were only a few of these parts. The scrambled eggs here are served savoury, which was a little odd for me. I’m very much used to sweet scrambled eggs, so for me it was more or less an odd omelette without the cheese or the peppers. Nonetheless, they were rather moist and pleasant with a strong savoury flavour. But I’d definitely opt for either poached or fried eggs here.The homemade roast potatoes were also pleasant, with a fairly thick consistency within and a firm, slightly crispy outer skin which was well seasoned.The maple syrup of course, had to be poured over the entire ensemble. It was thin in consistency with the sharp sweetness you’d expect. When combined with the pancakes, the syrup took dominance, and with the vegetarian sausage and the roast potatoes, the syrup enhanced the existing flavours whilst it’s own sharp sweetness blended in.
Veggie All-American with poached eggs
My British passport makes it compulsory for me to scoff at anything remotely American in nature, but I give Americans credit for two things: giant gourmet burgers, and adding pancakes and maple syrup to the traditional breakfast. Bravo. The flat white meanwhile, was pleasantly strong, as is the way I like my coffee. No sugar of course because a) teeth and b) sugar desecrates the original taste of coffee (and tea for that matter). The flat white had a strong, dark, rustic essence, suggesting that a heavily roasted set of beans had been utilised, and thus, there was very little of the original flavour left. Additionally, the top layer of foam and coffee had been distinctively burnt, which was an unpleasant introduction to the rest of the cup. Despite this, it was still a fairly pleasant brew.
The “Reggie The Veggie” consisted of more or less the same thing – eggs, grilled tomato, homemade potatoes, vegetarian sausage and pieces of toasted bloomer which were thick and dense, but a little hard for my liking. All in all, a pretty neat selection of high-calorie breakfasts.
Value For Money: 3/5
Most breakfast selections will set you back around £10, which is reasonable for a rather hefty and filling breakfast. What’s a little worrying for me is that I found the all-american a lot more filling the first time I tried it last year. My appetite is going down a dangerous and expensive path. Carry on by yourselves, there’s no hope left for me. My abdominal muscles will never see the light of day.
Staff are very laid back and rather friendly, but there’s no real warmth or interaction. Service can also be rather slow and oblivious, suggesting they’re perhaps a little too laid back.
The Spitalfields branch is tucked away on a narrow side-road, a five-minute walk from Liverpool Street station. People are always hesitant to follow me when I lead them down here. I guess the way I murder a steak makes them feel a little edgy. Though my cattle friends (vegetarians) do have a reason to be concerned. The interior itself is a mish mash of simple furniture and random ornaments in classic indie fashion. Doesn’t make for particularly comfortable seating, but hey it’s probably a bit more down with the kids than I am.
Parking nearby may be difficult, but there are plenty of little side roads around Spitalfields.
It’s very “chilled” in the Breakfast Club (that’s the lingo the youths use these days right?). There’s a selection of lively music in the background and a general ambience of “lazy morning”, perfect for perhaps the only situation where you’d be eating breakfast in a cafe (or “breakfast club”) in London.
Overall, the Breakfast Club is a neat place for, well, breakfast. A relaxed atmosphere that does well to fuel your lazy day as you slip into a maple-syrup induced coma.
12-16 Artillery Lane,
Telephone: 020 7078 9633