I Can Eat 50 Eggs: Full English

In honor of Paul Newman and “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ll review 50 days of eggs from 50 different restaurants.
Day 25: Full English
2000 Southern Oaks Drive. 240-2748, www.fullenglishfood.com.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday-Tuesday.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.25.12
There’s a sense of disconnect when the only U.K. accent you hear in a cafe called Full English comes from the radio. But Full English doesn’t stand on ceremony. It’s part order-at-the-counter cafe, part thrift shop, part laundry room folded together in an unfinished cinderblock building with exposed ceiling joists and bare concrete floors. Next to a gas station. This must be the part of England they don’t show on TV, the part where they buy mismatched furniture, skip through Johnny Cash songs and stack board games in the living room. Next to a petrol station.
The selling point for eggs here is the Full English Breakfast, a fry-up that brings together sausage, bacon, mushrooms, fried toast, an over-easy cage-free egg and a broiled tomato for $8. The bacon is cut wide and lean in the English back-bacon style, The menu says the pork comes from Richardson Farms, a place I’ve visited in Rockdale and trust completely. Or a British butcher out of Atlanta. It’s not clear, and I’ll only vouch for the taste, like lightly cured fried ham, and the texture, like the meaty part of bacon from a more athletic pig. But the sausage patty is something I’d follow no matter where it’s from. The cafe was out of cased “banger” sausages, but the flat patty sausage they substituted is crisp and fatty and seasoned like it just came in from a grassy pen.
Broiled tomato brings a welcome sense of “other” to this breakfast plate, more than the dry, tasteless mushrooms or greasy toast. If you’re looking for a transporting English tea experience, this isn’t it. I can buy Tetley or PG Tips teabags, boil water and throw in a sugar cube with some milk. You don’t even need special gear, and the counter help didn’t respond at all to my curiosity about how to make the experience any different. But at $2.50 a pot, it’s a cheap way to feel closer to “Downton Abbey.”
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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