Sam’s Cafe

Sams01Address: 85 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2 5TN

Telephone: 020 7274 4215

Opening times:
Monday to Friday – 6.00am to 4:30 pm
Saturday – 7:00am to 3:30pm
Sunday – Closed

Some of us might remember and miss the Goya, here in Acre Lane. But now it’s one of closest things Brixton now has to what’s called a greasy spoon, with formica tables and plastic chairs. Definitely for early risers and those wanting a hearty lunch, as it opens around 6.00 am most days and closes at 4.30 pm. The menu is on the wall and is a mixture of breakfast and lunch dishes, with a focus on carbs and fat. Just right for a wicked interlude in an otherwise blameless dietary intake. There is a daily special but we missed it and instead ordered liver and bacon with chips and peas, and sausage, mash and peas.

The portions are huge and the sausage was fatty and salty as you would expect. But the liver was a bit of a let down – a bit too much like cardboard. The bacon was great, however. The mashed potato and gravy were also a hit and better than some in high end restaurants. We both left most of the peas – all we can say is that they looked like peas.

sams03sams02It was all very great value, as the bill came to only £17, including a cup of tea and a Coca Cola. Next time we go we will order a bacon sandwich – see our review here.

blank. brixton

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144 Acre Lane Brixton SW25UT
email blankbrixton@gmail.com
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Blankbrixton/
Phone: 077 8860 2119
Open: 08:30 – 17:30

This a good local coffee shop with excellent light meals. Half way along Acre Lane, it’s a bit cramped but, so long as the weather permits, it spills out onto the pavement on the sunny side of the street. Obviously it serves coffee but there are sandwiches, closed and open, plus some brilliant cakes. It’s not part of a chain and is run by the owners, who are obviously enthusiasts and community minded. Continue reading

Bacon Sandwich

Here at eatinbrixton we are devotees of a good bacon sandwich. They are a guilty pleasure for many; even for some vegetarians. So we’ve set out to check what’s on offer in Brixton. The best place to get a bacon sandwich is, of course, a proper ‘greasy spoon’, or what used to be called a working man’s caff. These are now an endangered species in Brixton, but they can be found. We also checked out what was on offer from one of the newer more foodie options, as well as simply making one at home. Continue reading

CLOSED – Ekcovision

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address: 15 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, SW9 8HX

telephone: 020 7274 7182

website: http://ekcovision.com/

OPENING HOURS

Monday               5.30 pm       Midnight

Tuesday               5.30 pm       Midnight

Wednesday        5.30 pm       Midnight

Thursday             11 am       3 am

Friday                   11 am       3 am

Saturday              11 am        3 am

Sunday                 11 am       Midnight

Last entrance: 2 am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

This is one of the newer bar/cafés to open in Brixton and is probably the bravest, as it is in one of the arches planned for closure and rehabilitation by Network Rail. It describes itself as having “an intimate 1920’s speakeasy setting” and is aimed mainly at the evening crowd. But we went to have brunch late one Sunday morning, when is more in the café mode. Although not mentioned on its website, this runs from Thursday to Sunday from about 11.30am to 5.00pm. You can eat anywhere in Ekcovision – there a tables and chairs; booths with bench seats; and, for those who want a quiet time, the upstairs “Den” is really out of the way.

We sat downstairs, next to the door onto Brixton Station Road. Unfortunately the doors never closed properly and were after left ajar. But, given that it was a cold morning, this helped in a way as it created a community with other brunchers, as we all took turns to close them.

ecko04They have a short menu of pastries (croissants and the like), a full meat or veggie breakfast, soup of the day and various styles for poached eggs (Benedict, Florentine, etc.). We chose a veggie breakfast and an eggs Florentine, washed down with an Americano and pot of English Breakfast tea. It was all very relaxing and we didn’t have to wait long until all the dishes and drinks arrived, although then my dish had to be returned as it was the Benedict not the Florentine. The veggie breakfast was straight-forward, with the potatoes bought-in, most-likely frozen. But the eggs were fresh and it was tasty and filling.

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I assumed that they would just re-plate the poached eggs for my mistaken dish but they actually cooked a new batch. This took a little longer but we were in no hurry and when they arrived they were still piping hot but not overcooked. You can’t say much about an English muffin, so I won’t, but the Hollandaise sauce was great. I suspect that it probably wasn’t really “Homemade”, as described on the menu, but it did have lots of lemon and, when served, the dish had been seasoned with black pepper. So there is attention to detail.

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The whole bill was £18.50 for the two of us. We couldn’t fault it and we would probably return.

Tem Ban at The Lido Café

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Address: Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Road, SE24 0PA

Phone: 0207 737 8183/07969 534 218

Email: info@thelidocafe.co.uk

http://www.tembanthai.co.uk/

Pop-ups keep appearing, with many not living up to the hype, but this one sounded too interesting not to try.  A reported connection to trendy Smoking Goat made it a must try. The first thing we need to tell all our readers is to book, as on our visit every table was full. While the run of this pop-up has been extended, it’s only open in the evening on Thursdays and Fridays (and possibly Saturdays) until 5th March.

You can find a description of the normally daytime only Lido Café here. There was little change with the pop-up, although we did think it looked smarter with the fairy lights.  The menu, which is on the website, isn’t too taxing, although there are specials as well as the list. It comes as small or large plates. For small plates we chose the deep fried grey mullet & star fruit salad and the nam prik pao (Deep fried shredded pigs’ ears & puffed pig skin served with burnt sour red chilli sauce). Well who can resist a shredded pig’s ear. From the large plates we chose hang lae, (Chang Mai curry of pork belly, served with ginger & peanuts) which came with yellow sticky rice and a khao soi gai (free range chicken, curried noodles served with crispy noodles). We ordered a side of stir fried morning glory with oyster mushrooms and yellow beans.

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We were a bit disappointed with the pig’s ear, as some of the crispy skin was pretty chewy, but the mullet and salad was fantastic. For the mains we thought both dishes were intricate and delicately flavoured (although I did need a tissue for the runny nose). We could have done without the side dish which was disappointing and didn’t stand up to the flavours in the other dishes, although was a bit of a relaxation from the chilli.

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We ended the meal with a dessert of sticky coconut rice and mango. We were warned we could share and that would definitely be our advice. It is a large heap of carbohydrate and the sweetest mango with coconut milk sauce  – delicious but if you want to stay in the same waist size, don’t order two.

We turned down cocktails (e.g. Watermelon Bellini and Tamarind Whiskey Sour) in favour of a glass of Salantino red wine and glasses of tap water (after failing dry January one of us is attempting Free-from-February). Service was fine and, while a bit slow, this suited us as we were looking for a relaxing  occasion. The only problem was that the dishes came from the kitchen in no particular order and so dinner for two meant one person watching while the other ate. They probably need more help in the kitchen, so that dishes come out in twos and threes and not one at a time. Pop-ups are inevitably work in progress and we are sure things will improve with practice.

The whole meal cost £56.05 including service but if you want to try this pop-up you’ll need to move fast.

 

Carioca

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address:   25-27 Market Row, Brixton,  SW9 8LD

http://www.primadonnabrixton.co.uk

This is formally Prima Donna and has now become definitely authentic Brazilian so it now has a USP (unique selling point).  It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not much has changed except the menu since its earlier incarnation. There are a few tables inside and they are not crowded together so you can hear yourself think above the music – much more Brazilian than previously. There are also tables in the market corridor.

Breakfast is a full English or with a twist (smoked iberico pancetta, free-range scrambled eggs & baked tomato slices on ciabatta – showing multiple influences again as iberico is from Spain and pancetta from Italy). You can be very conservative with the hamburger made with Brazilian beef (seems a long way to go for that ingredient). But we arrived in the evening – 7.00pm to miss the crowds. There is a fixed price two course menu and we chose from that one as it had all the interest we needed. It also did offer an excessive choice, which is something we are both wary . For starters there were – spicy chicken wings. braised beef empanadas, beetroot and blue cheese salad and Pao de queijo with choizo (a sort of cheese roll usually made with cassava flour but we didn’t try this one). The main course were Feijoada described as Brazil’s national dish. A stew made from black beans cooked with an assortment of meat (chorizo, pork ribs, beef and pork); Chicken Caipira – braised chicken; Arepa, which is a flatbread made of maize filled (or they say stuffed) with pulled beef and vegetables; and finally Courgette, Potato and Leek Frittata, which is an explanation in itself. THe main menu also has more grilled items like spare ribs and steak and cassava chips. Continue reading

The Lido Café

The Lido Café

Address: Dulwich Road, Brockwell Lido SE24 0PA

Phone: 0207 737 8183

Email: info@thelidocafe.co.uk

http://www.thelidocafe.co.uk

Having wanted to visit this place for some time, we took a whim and headed down on a Wednesday evening to check the place out. As a child I frequented Brockwell Park and the Lido many times, although back then the food was usually a cheap and cheerful burger, chips and a coke. Therefore the idea of going back there to fill out stomachs has never been particularly appealing. However after hearing so many good things about this place we knew we had to check it out.

Continue reading