It has been over four years since I blogged on Grumpy’s diner along the Southchurch Road (see here).
Inevitably, things change. In this case, its charismatic owner, Mr Grumpy (aka Paul Van Looy) has retired. These days, it also offers breakfast between 9 and 3. I decided I would go and check the place out ahead of visiting it with friends and advising folk when it comes to choosing where to eat out, in this case breakfast.
I arrived just after 9 (which as I explained elsewhere is the latest I entertain for breakfast and sadly many non breakfast cafes don’t start to later). I think I surprised the guy serving by being an early customer given he was busy on the phone when I arrived. After apologizing for the (short) delay he was cheerful and keen to cater for my culinary needs. I ordered their basic breakfast offerings and was allowed substitutions (it is funny but few establishments offer exactly what I want from the various possible combinations).
While I surveyed my comfortable surroundings, it all came back – I mean the 1950’s American theme, with the diner showing lots of photos and other related memorabilia of that era and the spirit of Elvis evident. Not quite my style, but quietly playing in the background was music from that era, making me think of “Happy Days”, and an old movie showing on the screen. Breakfast came soon enough and it was cooked to perfection. I liked especially the mushrooms and one of my bugbears – sausages, was top notch. The price was reasonable although it was spoilt a bit by an expensive cup of tea. But all in all, it was a good experience, and one I will be happy to repeat, as well as doing an evening visit to sample some of its mouthwatering dishes at a time I might be more receptive to Elvis.