Now That’s a Breakfast Worth Getting Out of Bed For!
In April 2017, Julia and professional chef Andy took up the reins at the multi award-winning Joe’s Café near Seven Dials in Brighton. With a glowing reputation built up over 27 years to uphold, and a loyal customer base to win over, they had their work cut out for them. However, I am pleased to say that this hugely popular café is in very safe hands.
Joe’s Café isn’t easy to miss. In an otherwise unassuming residential street, it is a shameless blast of colour, all turquoise frontage and bright red chairs. Inside, it is cosy and cheerful, with a clean, simple décor but above all, it is warm, friendly and incredibly welcoming. As soon as you’re through the door you begin to understand just why it is so popular. Being a small café, they do not take advance bookings so it’s not uncommon to see a queue of hungry punters waiting patiently outside. Oh, and if you want to enjoy a Joes breakfast at home, no problem, they do take-aways too.
Julia, Andy and their merry band of helpers pride themselves on serving top quality, locally-sourced food. Everything they offer is produced by someone who loves what they do, and there’s a blackboard telling you exactly where all the ingredients come from.
They serve everything from fry-ups, hashes and sandwiches, through to healthy crushed avocado, chilli and poached eggs, and fruit-packed smoothies. There are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and it’s all accompanied by top quality, freshly ground coffee. There is a dedicated kids’ menu and a stack of colouring books and well-behaved dogs are welcome, though it is snug, so if you have a St Bernard you may have to park it outside.
Tasty full English
My husband predictably went for Joe’s “BIGGEST” full English breakfast, which included a sausage, bacon, baked beans, a fried or poached egg, toast, mushrooms, fried potatoes, slow roasted tomatoes and black pudding. It arrived on a large, pristine, heated plate with the beans in a wee dishy so nothing got soggy. All the super-fresh components were skilfully cooked, the mushrooms were juicy, the tomatoes soft and sweet, potatoes crisp, egg white firm, yolk runny, slices of black pudding – HUGE, bacon and sausages brown and glistening in all the right places. Even the toast was lovely, steeped as it was in glorious butter.
I was feeling a little more virtuous so went for Lucy’s Healthy Brunch: smoked salmon, poached eggs,avocado and mushrooms. I also ordered a side of toast. It might have been the healthier option but it was still a nice big portion and it was exactly what I needed. Perfectly fresh ripe avocado, roughly smashed and garnished with a little fresh red chilli and spring onion, two expertly poached eggs, thick slices of earthy mushrooms and genuinely the best salmon I’ve ever tasted. Subtly smoked, oh so delicate and properly paper thin. Covered with chives, dill and a squeeze of lemon it really was delicious.
To drink I had a big mug of breakfast tea and a glass of beautiful, freshly squeezed orange juice and Andrew had a latte and a tropical fruit smoothie. The smoothie was a lush combination of fresh mango, pineapple, watermelon, apple juice and coconut milk, delivered in a trendy jar decorated with a sizeable wedge of fresh watermelon. It was a real treat, rich, sweet and refreshing and almost too thick to suck through a straw, yum!
Spot-on smokey flavours
Julia and Andy are also very proud of their Breakfast Hashes, a new one on me, these classic American style brunch hashes come with fried potatoes, topped with fried eggs, chives and cheese as well as a variety of other goodies. Julia wasn’t going to let us go without at least trying one. So, despite being utterly stuffed, and after a respectful pause, we were delivered a not inconsiderable “taster” portion of the blackboard special of the day, the Smokey Joe hash. The star of the dish was most definitely the gorgeous flaky smoked haddock, sourced from nearby Springs Smokery (who I am told I can also thank for my fabulous smoked salmon).
All the staff were lovely, the food was scrumptious and the portions generous. We left with full bellies and, I’m not ashamed to say, a doggy bag.
Get money off your favourite Hash on Hash Tuesdays
Get free breakfast tea with all breakfasts before 10am (Tuesday –Friday)
Get a bacon or sausage sandwich with any coffee or tea for just £4.50 (Tuesday–Friday)
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(BHASVIC, Stanford, Cardinal Newman, Windlesham)