Brunch for 1 with cocktail: £19.00
Its the day after Independence day and since I did absolutely nothing on the 4th that came even remotely close to celebrating the good ‘ole USofA I wake up on Sunday planning to hit one of the “American” restaurants in my neighborhood for brunch. No beans and chips for me today (I am a Yank after all).
There are several options on Westbourne Grove that all claim to serve varying styles of American food. I choose Harlem mostly because I am hoping to get some familiar grub and since Harlem is in New York City…any way it all made perfect sense in my mind.
Their claims about their “famous” Bloody Mary catches my eye. I do love a good Bloody Mary. Their description makes it sound like it is made fresh there at the restaurant. I am expecting a great salad in a glass with horseradish and celery salt, tobasco, etc. So excited! Its the “best” Bloody Mary in ALL of London after all!
It was honestly the most pathetic Bloody Mary I’ve ever seen served – and I have had a lot of them . I was supposed to be getting a knock my socks off sinus clearing explosion of flavor. What I had was a sweet, thin, cheap mix in a glass. I’ve been served a better Bloody Mary by a flight attendant – in coach. Things were not off to a good start.
I ordered corned beef hash and fried eggs for breakfast. This is without question my all time favorite diner breakfast back home. There is nothing gourmet about it. Its a simple meal generally involving canned corned beef hash fried up nice and crispy with two fried eggs on top. This is something that any short order cook in the greasiest of greasy spoons can make without screwing up. Its dead simple.
After the Bloody Mary I was prepared to be underwhelmed but I was not actually prepared to be so insulted by my meal. The menu said the eggs were “soft fired eggs” – meaning the yolk would be runny. These eggs were fried so hard that the yolks tasted like had been hard boiled. You can see how overcooked the eggs are in the photo. On the other end of the spectrum I think they steamed the corned beef hash which should be crispy. Also I know this is being picky – but tomato and mushroom? I defy you to find an American breakfast with a sandblasted mushroom and a raw under ripe tomato half on the plate.
It was awful. Absolutely terrible. I could not believe that this restaurant was run by anyone who had ever even been to America – let alone had eaten there. I checked – the owner is indeed an American – and should frankly be ashamed to call their product soul food. There is no soul here.
I would not be surprised if the jambalaya on their dinner menu is actually Zatarain’s from a box. Avoid at all costs – you’d get more authentic and better quality American food at a McDonald’s.
78 Westbourne Grove
London W2 5RT