Captain Beany!

Whenever Mrs Dr Fry asks me if I might be getting just a little bit obsessive with my fryups, I refer her to the absolute legend that is CAPTAIN BEANY.

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The good Captain has raised a huge amount of money for charity and rather fantastically is also a Bono (from the popular beat combo U2) impersonator.

More info here – http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/tv/captain-beany-says-building-baked-10873100

In other offbeat bean news….

 

The truth is out there.

 

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We Don’t Need No Education

Your jaw will literally drop when you see the shocking state of the fryups being offered to undergraduates in the UK. This shockumentary blows the lid off the greasy underworld of student catering and reveals the dreadful truth behind the cheap seedy fryups which are perverting the palettes of students across the nation.

Sorry, I was advised that my intros could be a bit punchier. Nailed it I think.

The mighty Fry Up Police have again allowed me access to their glorious and terrifying archives to have a peek at what’s going on in the world of higher-education fryups. I’ts generally not a pretty sight.

AA from Newcastle University paid £4.45 for this Prisoner Cell Block H-esque bleak fryup.

u2£4.45, Newcastle Uni cafeAA

JCC blew a chunk of his student loan on this at University of Portsmouth student’s union. ‘Mega-breakfast’. £4.29. Looks very Wetherspoony.

u1University of Portsmouth students union mega breakfast. £4.29JCC

University of Birmingham “Longboat”.  £4.95. A bit more colour on the sausages and a couple of slices of decent bread and I’d give it a sail! Cheers AA.

u3University of Birmingham, 10 piece 'longboat' breakfast £4.95 AA

GP is doing a Masters in Advanced Photography at University of Southampton. Students Union cafe – £4.00 for the 10 item ‘mega’ fry. Sausages, tomatoes and eggs look passable.

u4University of Southampton Students Union cafe - £4.00 for the 10 item 'mega' fry.GP.jpg

This is a bit grim. University of Sheffield , £3.50. Hoping you’re ok AW.

u5University of Sheffield fry-up for £3.50 AW

£2.70, the Great Hall, Christ Church, Oxford. Nice chairs, rubbish sausage SB.

u6£2.70 - the Great Hall, Christ Church, OxfordSB

Every Christmas the University of South Wales cooks an all you can eat breakfast for £3.50. BP is in his 17th year there.

u7Every Christmas the University of South Wales does an all you can eat breakfast for £3.50 BP

RW doesn’t even get a fork at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. £2.50

u8St Mary's University, Twickenham. £2.50RW

£3.50, Elements Cafe at Heriot-Watt University. Is it too late to change your Uni CD?

u9£3.50, Elements Cafe at Heriot-Watt Uni.CD.jpg

TL got this moist one for £4.50 at the Nottingham Trent Uni student’s union.

u10£4.50 at the Nottingham Trent SU TL

SB wept as they poured beans all over that lovely egg. £2.65 Hertfordshire University , not too shoddy for the price.

u12 £2.65 from Hertfordshire Uni canteen SB

Thankfully not all students choose or are forced to rely on their fryups from school-stylee canteens, some of them get off their backsides and do it themselves, producing sublime efforts like this one from PC who is reading Fish at Plymouth.

U13 couthard

I shall be writing to Ofsted or someone about this whole rubbish student fryup issue. Jaws will drop.

 

 

Wether Report – JD Wetherspoon

JD Wetherspoon first started serving breakfasts across its chain in 2002. Now, with just short of 1,000 outlets and revenue of over £1.4 billion it is the UK’s fifth largest purveyor of breakfasts with only Greggs, Costa, Starbucks and McDonald’s selling more. Last year JDW sold 24 million breakfasts and 50 million cups of Lavazza. Every branch is fitted with bespoke axminster carpeting with a design reflecting the area, building or name costing £30,000- twice the average price for pub carpets.

They have a reputation of opening pubs in odd and interesting buildings, the one I wandered into today – The Navigator – was originally Branch 78 of the Liverpool Co-operative society, a collection of shops with quite a lovely art-deco facade. Presumably called The Navigator due to the proximity of St Brendan’s (patron saint of navigators) Roman Catholic church. Like a pratt I forgot to look at the carpet.

nav

I’d gone for a walk and a haircut, a review of JD Wetherspoon was on my long-list and there I was, at elvenses, right outside one. So I dived in. The last time I’d been in a JDW in daylight was over 10 years ago in a building that had been a huge pet shop which quite grimly closed down after a fire. I remember it being a bit rowdy, quite a nice sausage, and sachet sauces.

nav1

People seem to love or hate Wetherspoons with the same sort of passion as Marmite. This is especially apparent when it comes to the Wetherspoon fryup. I went for the basic breakfast with a mug of tea for £4.15. Quite unnervingly it took exactly 10 minutes to the second from my ordering to being served. It was ok, for £4.15 I wasn’t expecting a surprise, my expectations were almost exactly met.

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Instantly recognisable from the bright blue and white daisy pattern on the not even slightly warm corporate crockery, the catering-pack frozen sausage had been deep fried and unfortunately, as they often do, looked a bit phallic. The egg was over and swamped with runny beans, tomato had only been shown the griddle so was hard as a bullet, hash browns were greasy horrible things (to be fair I am not a lover of hash browns but I’ve tried enough of them to be able to judge them), the bacon was surprisingly tasty, if a bit stripey. The lightly toasted bread was cold and rubbery. I’m almost sure you have 2 slices in your pic of this on your menu on the table JDW?

Tea was nice, as was the lack of music – Wetherspoon take an Orwellian approach to music, neither a radio nor a piano and it wasn’t an unpleasant place to eat. It wasn’t rowdy, there were a fair few people working their way through a fair few pints but doing so cheerfully, there were people having little business meetings with their ipads out, and a few people like me, not being too disappointed with their breakfasts because in our heart of hearts we knew what we were going to get when we walked in and JDW absolutely delivered. It is what it is, it does what it does. Staff were absolutely lovely, the place was spotless and didn’t smell of rank stale beer and if I only had a choice between JDW, Greggs, Costa, Starbucks and McDonald’s for breakfast then JDW would be my first choice. I sincerely hope I never find myself in that situation though.

Bootilicious

Up at the break of day this morning to flog some of the accumulation of unwanted tat piling up in the attic. Got a few funny looks though when I whipped out a frying pan and camper stove during a lull in the proceedings.

carboot

Today I learnt that –

  • It’s actually quite difficult to make a fryup inside a car boot with only 1 ring and 1 pan.
  • The smell of bacon cooking attracts particularly rude and stupid people.
  • I must remember to put my reading spectacles on when raiding the larder at 5 a.m. I inadvertently took spaghetti hoops instead of beans.
  • It’s difficult to eat a fryup when the smell of bacon has attracted a crowd of rude and stupid people.
  • Particularly rude and stupid people haven’t the vaguest understanding of the phrase “sorry, no, that’s my lowest price.”

To be fair there were quite a few pleasant people who seemed to be delighted with their purchases and the fryup went down nicely.

 

Amo

“Amo” is Italian for “love”.  I liked the Amo Coffee House but I didn’t love it, it was non è proprio il mio genere (not my cup of tea).

To be fair I was wanting a nice greasy fryup and the huge clue that I wasn’t going to get one was in the words “coffee house”.

amo1

Nestling amongst letting agencies, estate agents and accountants in the picturesque village of West Derby, Amo is a lovely independent brunch place which boasts a range of all-day breakfasts. I’m struggling to call them fryups because I’m not exactly sure how much of it was fried.

amo2 (2)

I was in the company of one of the junior Frys and Mrs Dr Fry and we all went with the English breakfasts. Mrs Fry went for the regular and enjoyed a pot of Earl Grey Tea (personally I think it smells of feline urine) with brown toast. Fry Junior & I went for the Full English with white toast and normal tea that didn’t smell of cat-piss, Fry Jnr declined tomato and fungus but demanded an extra egg. I asked for black AND white pudding.

amo3

There’s all sorts of wrong going on here for me. But then that’s the me who was wanting a greasy-spoon fryup in what turned out to be quite a slightly posh place that almost certainly caters perfectly for its target-audience.

The sausages and bacon were baked, if they had ever been near a frying pan it wasn’t recently. They were good quality but the bacon was a a bit chewy and the sausages a bit choady. The semi-tomato was fairly solid and had Italian herby sprinkles. A bit of salt and pepper is fine for me. The beans in a ramekin thing I can never really get. If you try to eat them in situ then quite apart from the fact that all the juice rises to the top, it’s like trying to eat out of a hamster’s feeding bowl. If you elect, as I did, to just pour them on the plate almost exactly where the bowl was sitting, then you’re kind of doing the chef’s job for him.

After we ordered we were told that they had run out of  their regular crusty bloomer white bread but they could do 3 bits of smaller bread. I should have changed to brown, Mrs Fry’s bread looked seriously lovely. Also her sausage was MASSIVE compared to ours.

Screenshot 2016-03-11 22.06.45

We got what was very probably Warburton’s small toastie, slightly griddled and shown some butter. Didn’t really work, they were like rubber.

amo7.jpg

That’s not toast.

My egg was a bit small and only a bit runny (Mrs Dr Fry’s was perfect). The white pudding was instantly recognisable as “Oakwell” a locally-produced white pudding. It looks fantastic, it is apparently ‘award-winning’ however I absolutely despise the taste of this brand. With a passion. I love white pudding but not this one. Amo chefs, please make your own, portion it and freeze it, it’s so much nicer and cheaper than these dreadful £1.99 sticks. Or try the Bury Black Pudding ones, still quite local.

amo4

Mushrooms, black pudding and fried spuds were absolutely lovely. Nothing here was remotely undercooked except the tomato, all of the ingredients were of a good quality.

If you’re wanting what turned out to be quite a very tasty healthily-cooked breakfast in a really nice coffee-house in the financial quarter of an historically significant village with their own stocks and a huge church then this place really fits the bill. If you were wanting a quick and dirty greasy-spoon on your birthday of all days the you should look for the word “Café” on the sign.

The front of house staff were all very lovely, the price wasn’t too bad worked out at £7ish each we didn’t get charged for additions and substitutions to our meals. As we were finishing the immaculately attired chefs came out and had their end of shift lunch. Some pretty gorgeous-looking pasta in a fragrant tomato sauce was going down, didn’t see that on the menu. Amo if you’ve read this far then you should really consider doing some early evenings at the weekend, maybe simple honest Italian food & let people bring their own wine/charge £1 corkage or something. I’d go. And so would the Frys.

Amo also have a 2 bedroom flat to rent above their gaff. I forgot to ask how much it was but it’s in a nice bit of the city on a really easy and frequent bus-route to the centre of Liverpool but pretty dire parking round there. Give them a call on 0151 282 2222.

Their FB page is here – https://www.facebook.com/amocoffeehouse/timeline