Archive for the ‘London N19’ Category

Archway Station Cafe, Junction Road

September 20, 2010

Visited 18th September 2010, last visited 29th January 2011

Interior: I hesitated about categorising this caff as standard, as it has an ‘enhanced’ feel brought about by its double life as a mediterranean restaurant in the evening. But it really does look like a pleasant wooden-floored caff really. I’ve eaten falafel here in the early evening during its last incarnation as a mezze bar and had many cheap and lovely French meals here when it was the Paris-London cafe, and I expect it feels like they did in the evening. But at 10am on a Saturday morning, it felt like a caff. And that’s not a criticism.

Food: I rather foolhardily went for the ‘mediterranean taste’ breakfast. It was delicious, but there’s only so much protein and salt a girl can cope with given the only antidote was a halved grilled tomato (lovely). I was slightly disappointed that it came with basic white buttered toast, when flatbread would have been nice (or at least the offer of granary) but halloumi and spicy sausage were great and the eggs perfectly cooked. However, I probably won’t return to this caff for the simple reason that tea was served in small coffee mugs. I had to order three of them in order to make up the equivalent of two proper mugs, which somewhat added to the cost of the meal (that and the fact that I felt I had to leave a tip as the place was being run by one young woman on her own and, while the food took a while to come, she was perfectly efficient with the orders and serving). Shame, but there’s too much choice in Archway and anyway, I don’t want to encourage people in this dreadful practice!


Archway Town Cafe, Junction Road, N19

June 12, 2010

Visited: Saturday 12th June 2010

Interior:  Absolutely standard plastic tables, laminated menus and ‘menu above the counter’, but none the worse for that. It’s a bigger space than some of its neighbours, but doesn’t feel impersonal, partly because the staff were extremely friendly. It’s clientele was local and looked to be of long standing, but was also notable because it was largely female. Younger women accompanied by pushchairs mostly sat outside. Older women, with the Irish accents I remember from the Archway of my youth, sat inside.

Food: I had an indifferent tomato and mushrooms on toast. The bread wasn’t great and the tomatoes sparse, but the mushrooms were good (if not on a Perugino or Double Six type of scale). And I can’t complain, with two mugs of (slightly overmilked) tea, it came to £3.40.

Junction Restaurant, Junction Road, Archway

February 23, 2010

Visited: Saturday 20th February 2010

NB Not to be confused with Junction Cafe of which a review can be expected soon!

Somewhat more standard than De Marco’s down the road, I nevertheless preferred Junction Restaurant. For a start, there was no pervasive fat smell in The Junction. But more than anything, this is one of the most immaculate caffs I’ve been in. Yes the tiling, the tables, even the menus were what you would expect in hundreds of caffs across London, but I’ve never seen them so well looked-after. And by their loos shall you know them – this was positively pleasant! The welcome was good too, although the clientele overwhelmingly gentlemen of a certain age, one of whom was rather irritatingly playing the fruit machine.

Food: I opted for fried egg, tomato and black pudding on toast and it was really very good. I was a little nervous when two fried eggs cooked in rings arrived, as these often have a rubbery texture (and I was only expecting one) but they were perfect – runny in the middle, crispy on the outside, and oozed beautifully into the toast. The black pudding wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it was nice all the same. My only gripe would be that tea was a little overmilked and arrived without its teabag.

De Marco, Junction Road, Archway

December 21, 2009

Visited: Saturday 19th December 2009

De Marco seems to have been done up somewhat since my childhood, although I must say you could never actually see what the darkened interior looked like through the misty windows. However, it still very much has the sense of being a traditional caff and although it doesn’t hold the same attractions as it once did, I was glad to see the ice-cream counter facing directly onto the street was still there. The cold weather meant that ventilation was poor and I left exuding fatty aromas, but the welcome was pleasant.

Food: I had a generous portion of grilled tomatoes, fried egg and mushrooms which was not the best of its kind but perfectly edible and good value at £4.20 including two mugs of tea. The tea itself didn’t have the mighty orange power many caffs offer, but was welcome nonetheless.