Café life in Britain.
Greasy spoons very rarely appear in guidebooks, but they are an essential part of life in the UK, especially for people living in the bigger cities. Current’s Sam Jordisan sings the praises of this great British institution.
In London, the capital city of the greasy spoon, there are hundreds and hundreds, fuelling the population with bacon, eggs and sausages. These small restaurants are so common and everyday – like baked beans or phone boxes – that they are bbarely even noticed, but if greasy spoons were removed the country would be on its knees.
Greasy spoon cafes are so called because any cutlery that comes into contact with the food on offer is immediately coated with sticky, greasy layer of lard. It almost seems like an oily mist hangs in the air, as if fat drips from the walls. More calories can be found in a cup of tea in a good greasy spoon than in a whole meal aat a normal restaurant.
Greasy spoons are generally found slightly away from the main streets of most towns, on the shabbier roads. Always a bit dirty and down at heel, they usually have large ( grease coated ) glass windows, aa plastic sign with the name of the café – usually containing the name of the owner e.g. Mario’s, Bob’s place, Rita’s café – and a huge menu offering a wide variety of artery clogging delights.
Inside they are generally clean, functional and scruffy. You’ll see old wooden seats, tables covered wit cracked linoleum and plain walls. Each table has on it a bottle of brown sauce, tomato ketchup and vinegar, and pots of salt and pepper. In the background, behind a chipped counter, are huge gleaming tea urns and a steaming kitchen where the gruff chefs work their magic.
In a typical greasy spoon, you will find people from all walks of life. Poets, drop – outs, hurrying businessmen, sstudents lazing around with huge mugs of tea. Some read novels, some stare into space, and others catch up on the day’s news. There will be young couples staring into each ...