Dumb Waiter [map]
28 Sydney Street
01273 602 526
Last Visited: August 2010
Recommendations from friends pointed us in the direction of the Dumb Waiter, a cafe with a quirky exterior, something not out of the ordinary in this particular area of the North Laines in Brighton. The flair extends to the menu with little seen international oddities and a build-it-yourself breakfast option on offer. What will the Dumb Waiter serve us?
Opening Times: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-4pm
Breakfast Prices: From £3 (lite menu A) to £6.95 (Super #8) all the way up to a build-it-yourself breakfast that you could make as large as your imagination. Vegetarian breakfasts are also available.
Mr No Eggs:
It’s clear from first entering that you will either love or hate this cafe and I think middle ground will be hard to find. Decorated in a style that you would expect to find in an artists commune at the height of the psychedelic 60s, its bohemian style immediately sets you at ease.
Character flows throughout the place - the outdoor toilet is hidden at the back of the courtyard seating area and breakfast orders are written on a pad, scrunched up and thrown down the stairs to the kitchen. A time saving and fun method of delivery, and as none of our orders were lost I deem it a success too!
Food-wise, the menu is a composite of tastes and flavours to suit carnivore, vegetarian and vegan alike. I chose the traditional fry-up #4. This was basically the biggest breakfast available and although not daunting in size, it was of a good quality, with the fried bread and the option of (lovely and crisp) fried potatoes or chips being worthy of a special mention. The tempting offer of a ‘make-your-own’ selection of a fish-finger sandwich had swayed me, but for the other 6 days a week when I’m not reviewing I can be found partaking in such delicacies anyway, so I politely declined. One thing to make you aware of is that the rule for ‘no substitutions’ is strictly enforced, especially on a Saturday as we found, so if you want another delicious banger instead of a heinous fried egg, think again!
My only other criticism of the breakfast was that the service could have been a little cheerier, but it was the only grey Saturday morning in what was a sun drenched summer, so I can’t blame them! But in all, this was a great way to start the day with the excess of character making up for what small flaws I found. Good food and an outside toilet, what more could you ask of a breakfast venue!
A piece of paper stuck to the inside of the window advertising Dumb Huevos, caught my glance on the way in. This stuck in my mind as I pondered the confusingly large, yet somehow limited breakfast menu. The Dumb Waiter has opted for 4 breakfasts, ranging from "small and boring" to "large and standard" with a large list of bits and bobs ready to be selected for the "build-it-yourself" breakfast taking up the rest of the blackboard.
Their cunning ploy worked, I gave in and opted for the Dumb Huevos with an orange juice and thanks to our own confused ordering techniques, I ended up with a tea as well. (Unfortunately this was over milked and undrinkable - already marked down and its not even something I wanted, not a good start.)
The waitresses appeared to be bored and almost annoyed by our presence and bodged ordering, attempting to make up for their lack of character by competing with each other for "Most ill-fitting bra of the year" award, both of whom were chasing the top of the charts in the "Absurdly large and will probably end up in your breakfast" category.
...Anyway! Where was I? So, my Dumb Huevos turn up fairly promptly; a lovely pile of cubed and sautéed potatoes, onions, red peppers and a slight spice added by some fried chorizo, all topped with 2 tidy looking fried eggs alongside a pot of sweet chili sauce. Everything is cooked perfectly and although initially looking quite small, the portion size is perfect for the less gluttonous amongst us. The flavours of chorizo coating the potatoes went wonderfully with the yolk of the egg and sweet chili whilst the peppers made a refreshing addition to the breakfast. I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful.
A deliciously interesting breakfast, something that I wouldn't have considered cooking for myself but is so simple and tasty (healthy??) that I will have to add it to the menu at the Chipolata residence. However, despite the glowing review of the breakfast I have had to mark down the service; a smile doesn't cost much and it certainly goes a long way to a more enjoyable morning.
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