Archive for the ‘London N1’ Category

L’Angelo, Pentonville Road, Angel

July 14, 2012

First visited Saturday 14th July 2012

Interior:

L’Angelo’s been here since at least the early 1980s – I can remember seeing it from the 214 bus on inter-parental visits when I was a child. Its interior is cosy-old rather than antique, however and very comforting on an excessively wet Saturday. With dark yellow walls and the only natural light from under the awning-obscured front window it had the potential to be dingy, but was small enough that it seemed warm and welcoming (the smiley proprietor helped).

Food: I had a vegetarian breakfast which was the bog standard mushrooms, beans, tomato and egg, no bubble or anything exotic. I was thinking that it was nothing special, but actually that’s no bad thing when the mushrooms aren’t soggy, the beans not mushy and the egg completely to my taste (read: probably not hard enough for some). The toast was the usual foldable mass-produced fare but it soaked up the beans easily enough. My tea could have been stronger – they left the teabag in, so I think it must just be an underpowered brand. Not somewhere I’d come to specially, but at £4.20 it was good value and was plenty filling.

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Charlie’s Cafe, St Paul’s Rd, N1

July 22, 2010

Interior: Charlie’s is a caff of the ‘modern, kooky’ school – wooden floors and mismatched tables, brightly painted walls, postcards and posters on the walls (Charlie Chaplin-related in this case). It’s altogether very Islington and very pleasant, although the ‘Metro’ on every table was a little odd. Service was fine given that one bloke was running the place on his own. Which means that it was a bit slow as he prioritised the coffee queue for obvious reasons, but I felt sorry for him.

Food:  There’s no doubting that Charlie’s is a caff. But it has distinct challenges in the food department. Essentially it doesn’t really do breakfast. And at breakfast time, it doesn’t really do much in the way of sandwiches – most of the fillings are made up in the course of the day and sliced white and brown was the only bread on offer. I had brown toast with cheddar (it was that way around rather than being a toasty). Actually they brought white first (after a bit of a wait) but changed it immediately. I can’t actually think of anything to say about it other than that the bread wasn’t mouldy (which isn’t a given).  Next time I think I’ll stick to Kika…

Kika, St Paul’s Road, Islington

April 4, 2010

Last visited, Sunday 4th April 2010

I hesitated to include Kika as a caff as it has a drinks license, bohemian chic decor and a decidedly extensive menu, including smoothies (the avocado and banana being my particular favourite) but it has all the physical qualities of the modern upmarket caff (and does an organic breakfast). Wooden floors, tables, chairs and lots of greenery aren’t that uncommon in caffs anymore. The burning incsense is a little rarer of course, but I didn’t find it as annoying as I usually do, and Kika is without doubt a pleasant, light but cosy place to be. And the menu is laminated.

Food: Other than the aforementioned smoothies, Kika actually does the range of sandwiches, jackets and breakfasts you might get at any caff along St Pauls Road. Some of the options are more exotic – a Jacket potato with vegetables was unexpectedly in a spicy thai sauce that really worked for some reason although I would imagine is not found much in Thailand. I haven’t had the full breakfast yet, but the mushrooms on toast were superlative – garlicky, buttery mushrooms on decent seeded toast which I thought wouldn’t be enough, but were so rich they were just the right quantity. The prices are definitely on the high side, but you can pay as much for worse quality.

Workers Cafe, Upper Street, N1

May 7, 2008

Visited: Sunday 4th May 2008; Last visited: Sunday 21st February 2010

***Update***

I had a superior dining experience at my last visit – really tasty mushrooms on toast and a proper bright orange tea. It is one of London’s odder caffs though – as one with its many tiled and orange-menu’d brothers, but half the clientele were reading the Observer rather than the News of the World…

Appearance: Modern traditional ie very, very plastic, done up to look like a burger bar with white and orange the main colour themes. I had fond memories of this place as a respite from the general wankiness of upper street, but was disappointed as it somehow seemed to lack atmosphere.

Food: Nothing special. I had mushrooms and grilled tomatoes on very poor supermarket granary toast and a nice mug of tea. However it’s cheap – a generous portion came to less than 3 pounds (and tea was indeed in a mug).