Full English Austin Review

8 years ago, camera phones were a little sketchy

You can’t go wrong with Full English – a cafe in South Austin. Not unless you’re expecting iHop or a kick in the nuts, neither of which I received in my visit last Sunday.

I am most homesick when hungover. If I was in the Bu (Shepherds Bush) I could pick from four greasy spoons within a three minute trudge of my front door. Each would be serving milky tea and offering the worst in tabloid newsletters. The menu would be described in terms of various professions that the food could support, and I would enjoy imagining myself as a Builder (construction worker, not body-) or a Fireman as I wolfed down the deep-fried offal tubing that passes for sausage in those parts.

The plates would be large by European standards, and would have plenty of room for baked beans and chips in addition to the assorted toasts, eggs, bacon, sausages and tomatoes. Not for the feint-hearted, or for that matter, anyone with any history of hereditary heart conditions in the last seven generations.

On leaving London, I found myself taking photos of the ones I would soon be leaving behind, and I know that I’m not alone in snapping the eggs bacon chips and beans experience.

So after a disastrous trip to Contigo – all booze and no food – I woke up rough enough to need the services and products of Full English – a spoon down near Manchac and Stassney. Accompanied by my sturdy and rugged daughter, we found where I’d abandoned my car the previous evening and set off to discover Vitamin G.

I was not disappointed, having recently read “In Defense of Food”, I was prepared to pay a premium for food with a story. History in fact. I had been following the Full English Food blog for a while, and had come to appreciate that bacon in the original style was hard to come by. And worth the effort so to do.

I went for the breakfast, I don’t recall what its name was, but it was the big one at $12. I waited a while with my daughter, and took the opportunity to explain the difference between the pancakes she was used to and the ones she was about to receive.

Vitamin G ready to swarm the arteries in Austin

The meal in bullet points:

  • Full marks for real handmade sausage made from bits of the animal you wouldn’t be scared to see in a dark alley. Not exactly the cheap nasty bangers (which for the record I have never referred to in my life before as ‘bangers’ you Dick Von Dyke faux cock-er-ney readers) of yore, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Bacon – this was bacony, rather than the streak of flavored lard that typically gets used in its stead over here
  • Music – it turns out that my young companion likes the Kinks though does not look kindly on the Pogues. They’re not very English, in the same way that Canada doesn’t have Obamacare
  • Eggs – fried and runny yolked. Nice.
  • Chips and beans – noticeably absent.
  • Mushrooms and fried tomato – all present and correct.
  • Fried bread. I don’t like fried bread. I ate it anyway. It was a little crispy. Who likes fried bread?
  • Grease – served on the side. And on the food. And on the food. Everything in its right and proper place.

I see so many panzy-assed reviews saying that the food is greasy. Hello? Of course it is lipid rich, and quite rightly so. Perhaps greasy isn’t the word the owners want to use in the marketing, but be ready when you go. Have you ever had a full American breakfast? Sugary. Sorry, but it’s true.

It’s not quite 11am, so I can’t technically start working on my next hangover, aka excuse to go to Full English. There’s nothing quite like it here.

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