Tag Archives: greasy spoon

Health Check: Al’s Breakfast (Minneapolis, MN)

Every once in a while it’s nice for me to do a followup on old favorites, revisiting them and make sure that they are staying in form. In this case, my trip to Minneapolis gave me a good chance to stop by and check in on what remains as perhaps my favorite breakfast place ever, Al’s Breakfast. It’s best if you read over my older review, but it’s basically a small, 14-stool diner wedged in what’s literally a roofed over alleyway in Minneapolis’s “Dinkytown” neighborhood. “Narrow” is an understatement, since a limber person literally can touch both walls at points, and as you sit enjoying your breakfast (aside from special events, it is a breakfast-only joint), if it’s at all busy there’s someone hovering mere inches away waiting for your seat. And the food? The breakfasts at Al’s are fantastic, ranging from egg dishes and omelets to pancakes to house-made CBH, and it’s the ultimate in the short order experience: your order belted out by the staff, echoed back by the person running the grill (back in the days, it was almost always one of the two owners, Doug or Jim).

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Health Check: The Regency Cafe (Pimlico, London, UK)

Every once in a while it’s nice for me to do a followup on old favorites, revisiting them and make sure that they are staying in form. One of my oldest reviews on this site is almost 12 years old: a visit to the famous Regency Cafe, which is pretty much the canonical British “Greasy Spoon” for the London area, attracting a wide cross-section of London society all looking for the classic, stick-to-your-ribs old-fashioned Full English Breakfast, aka a “Fry up”. Actually, this is probably my dozenth visit to the Regency “Caff” since first coming in 2006, I usually make it a point to visit at least once every trip (although holiday closings and my odd travel schedules have prevented that a few times). So, while they neighborhood has changed a bit (like much of London, sprouting newer, taller buildings), the Regency is still going strong.

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Regency Cafe (Pimlico, London, UK)

I spent a fair fraction of this holiday season in London visiting with friends and relatives. And, more importantly, getting a good fix of British food. Yeah, I can hear the snickering now, and the jokes about “bangers and mash” and “spotted dick.” But, in all seriousness, London is one of the better towns I’ve been to for good eating, with some seriously good Indian food, some good German food, Cornish pasties, and all sorts of delectably good food. But, before talking about those, I’ll concede that the good old fashioned “fry up” is still a cornerstone of the British culinary experience. And there is no better place to get a good fry-up than one of several “Caffs” around the greater London area. One of the best examples is the Regency Cafe, at the corner of Page Street and Regency Street SW1 in Pimlico in Southwest London. Really, go look, it’s even on the Greasy SpoonWikipedia page, and a quick Google shows that there are several other bloggers that agree with this. And, luckily, it was only a five minute walk from where I was staying.

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