Author Topic: Proper old school greasy spoons  (Read 10234 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2017, 09:48:34 pm »
I remember some time back when I lived in Sheffalump, taken with idea of fish and chips as I meandered home early one Friday evening so I stopped at the local fish and chip shop. It had already closed – 7.30pm on a Friday evening. In studentland (off Ecclesall Road).

Blimey. Anyway, it had gone the last time I wandered past. Hairdressers, if I recall. That's an entirely different Friday evening, for sure.

The chippy with the eccentric opening hours we used to live opposite in Crookes seems to have turned into a trendy Italian place.  I expect the owner was convicted of sexual assault or something, judging by the level of the banter[1] and the signage[2].  Good chips, thobut.


[1] Highly entertaining, TBH.  As long as you could assemble a group for safety in numbers purposes who were able to keep a straight face when he'd inevitably manage to ask the most prudish lesbian present whether they like hot fish.
[2] A handwritten notice in the window declaring that "King Edwards make middle aged men randy" was my favourite.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2017, 09:54:06 pm »
There's a chippy in the Low Town part of Bridgnorth which was similarly deserted when we went in there in a Saturday night; they then shut up shop and went home before 10pm.  To be fair, their fish cakes, chips and gravy were very nice.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2017, 09:57:28 pm »
I remember some time back when I lived in Sheffalump, taken with idea of fish and chips as I meandered home early one Friday evening so I stopped at the local fish and chip shop. It had already closed – 7.30pm on a Friday evening. In studentland (off Ecclesall Road).

Blimey. Anyway, it had gone the last time I wandered past. Hairdressers, if I recall. That's an entirely different Friday evening, for sure.

The chippy with the eccentric opening hours we used to live opposite in Crookes seems to have turned into a trendy Italian place.  I expect the owner was convicted of sexual assault or something, judging by the level of the banter[1] and the signage[2].  Good chips, thobut.


[1] Highly entertaining, TBH.  As long as you could assemble a group for safety in numbers purposes who were able to keep a straight face when he'd inevitably manage to ask the most prudish lesbian present whether they like hot fish.
[2] A handwritten notice in the window declaring that "King Edwards make middle aged men randy" was my favourite.


Wonderful double entendre given that there was a school yclept King Edwards nearby...
[couch potato]

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2017, 09:59:06 pm »
I always thought the odd opening hours (or fyring times) were due to the enormous cost of getting all that all oil (or fat) up to temperature. That's an awful lot of gas to get that kind of volume heated up. And then of course, it has to be left to cool to be drained and replaced.

I imagine the reason the generic fast food joints are so shit is because that piece of fish has been sat there for hours rather than being freshly fried...
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

rr

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2017, 10:13:20 pm »
Surprised there are no equivalents left in Chelmo though.  :'(

There may well be some left in Chelmo - just not at my end of town....

Edit: A bit like proper old skool chip shops. They've mostly been replaced with generic fast food joints. The sorts of places where you can get crap fish and chips, a crap burger, a rancid kebab or a microwaved pizza.

There are fortunately two left, but they are both at opposite ends of town.
Rosie's on the A414 opposite hylands park.

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ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2017, 10:19:31 pm »
The internet would suggest that it was illegal to sell fish and chips on a Sunday (in England at least, fish and chips – and I'm sorry – in Scotland aren't very good on any day of the week). But it might have changed. Whatever might be on the internet, it's not an easily digested synopsis of the laws of the land.

Alternatively, they may be following the British tradition of closing everything the moment there might be a danger of customers appearing.

I can't see why the specific heat capacity of a vat of oil would make any difference, once it's hot, it's hot, you may as well stay open. Decent chippies will cooking everything except the sad saveloy on demand.

!nataS pihsroW

rr

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2017, 10:21:59 pm »
I 'grew up' in the Hollies on the A5 between Cannock and Gailey. HQ for many TT's and reliability trials when I started cycling back in the 70s and a regular stop on training/club runs.

I hope they've had the cleaners in since the 2007 running of the Cambrian 600.  The toilets were truly memorable inna-Trainspotting-stylee :sick:
Also beloved of climbers on their way north, although ICMC always had a pub or Hilton park services stop, immediately before or after for toilets. Even we had limits.

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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2017, 10:22:18 pm »
Alternatively, they may be following the British tradition of closing everything the moment there might be a danger of customers appearing.

That one's actually a French tradition, we just copied it in a half-arsed way.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2017, 10:30:48 pm »
I 'grew up' in the Hollies on the A5 between Cannock and Gailey. HQ for many TT's and reliability trials when I started cycling back in the 70s and a regular stop on training/club runs.

I hope they've had the cleaners in since the 2007 running of the Cambrian 600.  The toilets were truly memorable inna-Trainspotting-stylee :sick:
Also beloved of climbers on their way north, although ICMC always had a pub or Hilton park services stop, immediately before or after for toilets. Even we had limits.

Previously mentioned in the Audax Perms thread, apropos of JayP instituting an eponymous perm.

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2017, 10:38:08 pm »
I can't see why the specific heat capacity of a vat of oil would make any difference, once it's hot, it's hot, you may as well stay open.

You can't keep a large vat of oil at over 200 degrees without a constantly massive heat input!
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #60 on: November 16, 2017, 10:51:26 pm »
Depends how you define massive. The specific heat capacity of cooking oil is about half that of water, but it stills takes more energy to heat up than keep hot. Obviously, there's a balance between keeping things going and the likely number of customers.
!nataS pihsroW

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2017, 08:52:34 am »
I remember some time back when I lived in Sheffalump, taken with idea of fish and chips as I meandered home early one Friday evening so I stopped at the local fish and chip shop. It had already closed – 7.30pm on a Friday evening. In studentland (off Ecclesall Road).

Blimey. Anyway, it had gone the last time I wandered past. Hairdressers, if I recall. That's an entirely different Friday evening, for sure.

The chippy with the eccentric opening hours we used to live opposite in Crookes seems to have turned into a trendy Italian place.  I expect the owner was convicted of sexual assault or something, judging by the level of the banter[1] and the signage[2].  Good chips, thobut.


[1] Highly entertaining, TBH.  As long as you could assemble a group for safety in numbers purposes who were able to keep a straight face when he'd inevitably manage to ask the most prudish lesbian present whether they like hot fish.
[2] A handwritten notice in the window declaring that "King Edwards make middle aged men randy" was my favourite.


Was that the Admiral or the 5 Star?
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2017, 09:11:10 am »
Received wisdom is that turning your chippy into an ethnic food outlet by adding kebabs or Chinese to the menu allows you to open on a Sunday, a day on which chippies are normally banned from trading due to some archaic and no doubt Cromwellian law.  I have no idea if this is really true.

Not true. The Sunday trading act 1994 made it legal for fish and chip shops to open on Sundays.

Actually technically it allowed them to sell fish and chips on Sundays, previously they could open but not sell fish and chips. I think non fish and chip shops could sell fish and chips hence your thing about kebab shops. The Sunday trading laws were really bizarre before 1994, even if you didn't want de regulation of Sunday trading what you could and couldn't sell and from where made very little sense.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2017, 09:26:57 am »
I'd heard it was because, back in ye olde days, fishing boats didn't go out on Sundays, hence there was no fresh fish to be fried. Sounds like it took till 1994 for the law to catch up with the invention of freezers!
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2017, 09:40:32 am »

What are the precise criteria for a greasy spoon these days? I'd go with

1. Menu must have numbered (or occasionally named) breakfasts. With one substitution allowed.
2. Tea should be in white mugs with a proper square teabag floating in it.
3. They should give you an appropriate look if you ask for semi-skimmed milk.
4. Everything should come with chips (except the chip-free breakfast selections to which you can add chips).
5. Toast should arrive looking like someone did a bad job of miniaturizing a mattress.
6. HP sauce. No pretenders.
7. It should be closed by 3pm.
8. They should have a daily special which should occasionally be liver and onions and unaccountably chicken chasseur. With chips.

The Silver Ball at Reed (just south of Royston on the A10) is perfect except for the sub-par fake brown sauce.  I've thought about taking my own.

I'm still hunting for the perfect greasy spoon in Cambridge, it's all a bit too AvocadoSourDoughTwattish.  BLD's on mill road is probably closest although they do serve quite a lot of salad.


ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2017, 10:13:53 am »
That's the worst thing ever. I don't see HP sauce bottles on the table, I'm not going in. Generic brown sauce? Groo. The only thing worse is where they've refilled HP sauce bottles with generic brown from Costco or somewhere. If there's one reason to keep the death penalty, it's this.
!nataS pihsroW

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
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Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #66 on: November 17, 2017, 12:24:49 pm »
The bacon and tomato sandwich test.

Asking me about type of bread.  Instant fail. (Although, I suppose asking white or brown is allowed)
Anything on the plate that I have not asked for.  Fail.  (Please note.  I did not ask for crisps and soggy green leaves, so why have you poured them all over the plate?)

Unfortunately, I think it is no longer possible to buy a proper old school bacon and tinned tomatoes sandwiches so I grudgingly accept fresh tomatoes.
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Samuel D

Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #67 on: November 17, 2017, 12:57:01 pm »
(Kisses thread.)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #68 on: November 17, 2017, 01:18:42 pm »
For fun take an American (if you don't have one, they're hireable by the hour). Watch them try to order. You know the way they order, finicking up everything, putting stuff on the side, removing, substituting, over-easifying and the like (they genetically can't just order an item off the menu). You get the one substitution, deal with it. They typically can't. You see them collapse in on themselves, this is the way their world ends, over a bacon sandwich. Then you offer them brown sauce. What is it, they'll plead, why trying to shift their chair backwards so they can bolt for the door but failing because it's wedged into the manky lino floor covering.

It's sauce and it's brown, that's what it is. And a fried breakfast isn't right without it. Plus it can be used to stick things to the table in case of earthquakes.
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #69 on: November 17, 2017, 02:23:28 pm »
The bacon and tomato sandwich test.

Asking me about type of bread.  Instant fail. (Although, I suppose asking white or brown is allowed)
Ok, you've got me here. What other choices can there be? Even in the most hipsterish place, I don't think I've ever been offered any others (they might give you organic sourdough with chia seeds, but then they don't usually give you a choice about it).
Quote
Anything on the plate that I have not asked for.  Fail.  (Please note.  I did not ask for crisps and soggy green leaves, so why have you poured them all over the plate?)

Unfortunately, I think it is no longer possible to buy a proper old school bacon and tinned tomatoes sandwiches so I grudgingly accept fresh tomatoes.
Oh yeah. What is it about crisps nowadays? Crisps with sandwiches, crisps with this, crisps with that. The other day I was offered crisps with a jacket potato.  ::-) (Perhaps they should have made it chips instead.  :D)
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #70 on: November 17, 2017, 02:26:55 pm »
The chippy with the eccentric opening hours we used to live opposite in Crookes

Was that the Admiral or the 5 Star?

No.  Further along, opposite the top of Cobden View Road.  Doesn't seem to have been a chippy since before Google Streetview has been there.

The Admiral was the backup chippy of choice for when we were thwarted by eccentric opening hours, unless $housemate felt like an expedition to the Broomhill Friery.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Wascally Weasel

  • Slayer of Dragons and killer of threads.
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #71 on: November 17, 2017, 02:33:43 pm »
Today's Café - a few doors down from South Croydon bus garage so it pretty much epitomizes the best parts of a greasy spoon.

Fat Boys on the Cambridge Road between Norbiton & New Malden - a very greasy greasy spoon.

Terry's Café, Great Southwark Street - probably the best cooked breakfast I have had in London ever.  Fabulous interior too - makes the Regency look shabby.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #72 on: November 17, 2017, 02:35:35 pm »
That's the worst thing ever. I don't see HP sauce bottles on the table, I'm not going in. Generic brown sauce? Groo. The only thing worse is where they've refilled HP sauce bottles with generic brown from Costco or somewhere. If there's one reason to keep the death penalty, it's this.

I'm a southern poof, and have no love of brown sauce, but generic brown sauce in unmarked brown bottles is an accessibility issue.  Once you get north of about Stoke On Trent[1], there's a danger of there not being an unmarked red bottle of ketchup alongside it as a warning to employ a strong light source, colorimeter, or careful observation of the sauce-adding behaviour of a known northerner before letting it anywhere near your chips.

Proper HP sauce in branded bottles is easy to avoid.


[1] Scientifically proven to be the point where The Midlands becomes The North.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #73 on: November 17, 2017, 02:37:16 pm »
Oh yeah. What is it about crisps nowadays? Crisps with sandwiches, crisps with this, crisps with that. The other day I was offered crisps with a jacket potato.  ::-) (Perhaps they should have made it chips instead.  :D)

I assume that since Walkers started cooking them in triffid oil, they have to give them away.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

menthel

  • Jim is my real, actual name
Re: Proper old school greasy spoons
« Reply #74 on: November 17, 2017, 02:50:15 pm »
Today's Café - a few doors down from South Croydon bus garage so it pretty much epitomizes the best parts of a greasy spoon.

Fat Boys on the Cambridge Road between Norbiton & New Malden - a very greasy greasy spoon.

Terry's Café, Great Southwark Street - probably the best cooked breakfast I have had in London ever.  Fabulous interior too - makes the Regency look shabby.

Not been to Fat Boys yet, only the one by New Malden Station that only takes cash. I suspect that and Fat Boys are equidistant for me...