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Egg, Bacon, Chips and Beans: 50 Great Cafes and the stuff that makes them great [Hardcover]

Russell M. Davies
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Oct 2005

The Great British Fry-up: the cornerstone upon which the Empire was built; a meal for all occasions. Join us in this exquisite tribute to the most mouth-watering of all British institutions as we present a guide to the UK’s best greasy spoons and a dissection of exactly what it takes to make the perfect fry-up.

Based on the Yahoo award-winning website,, this is more than just an exquisitely designed, erudite homage to our nation's favourite dish. The book is also an indespensible guide to the finest cafes in the UK, and asks the kind of profound, life-changing questions that we have all been too afraid to ask for too long, delving deep beneath the tea-skin to find the steaming truth within.

For example, what is it about tea from an urn, as opposed to tea from a kettle? How cheap can sauce get and still be called sauce? And what is Formica anyway? Is it mined or grown?

This book also contains the handy bean colour-wheel (also available in egg, bacon, chip and tea) to do away with bean-hue concerns, a personal history of how the great British fry-up evolved, and an in depth discussion of the pros and cons of the sugar spout.

Not forgetting the supplemental elements such as mushrooms, black pudding and fried tomatoes (does anyone really like them or are they just a token vegetable?), and how the dish varies throughout the country. Does it get fatter as you move north? More pretentious as you move south? More bitter as you move west? Do they serve Danepak bacon in Thetford? Or Pork Farms in Burton?

A tongue-in-cheek, beautifully designed book that will have you laughing out loud and hungry for more.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Entertainment (17 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007213786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007213788
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 18.3 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Russell M. Davies

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gave My Copy Away 9 Dec 2005
By A Customer
Which is a good thing. I gave it to one of my mates who, like me, loves a cafe breakfast. This is wry, affectionate, beautifully judged writing. Worth it alone for the Dorling & Kindersley-esque graphic detailing the different species of chip. Like its subject, pure pleasure.
He doesn't deal with critical issues such as the order of consumption, the role of toast, and the pivotal moment of when to pierce the yolk (and with fork or chip?). But I guess that's for volume 2. Delightful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great and friendly book 4 Nov 2005
Greasy spoons. Fry-ups. Pictures of amusing condiments. This book has everything. Davies isn't going to trouble the Booker Prize judges but that's not his point. This is a funny, easy-to-read, lots-of-pictures celebration of the Great British cafe.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising hit 31 Oct 2005
By A Customer
If you like cafes, things quintessentially British, and a good read, you won't do better than this book. It is so passionately written that you can't help but love the author. That he is a dedicated cafe fan comes through both in the humour of the writing and in page after page of delicious photographs. I can't imagine how dreary a person would have to be not to find something to relish in this little book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a timely record of Britain past and present 22 Feb 2008
A great little book, fun and positive about something that used to be ubiquitous and mundane - the humble caff, but now becoming noticed purely by disappearing. Russell doesn't mourn the demise, and in fact, pulls out places where caff culture is blooming. Lots of colourful pictures, this book will make you hungry.
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