Review – Joe’s Cafe
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, setting you up with the necessary fuels to sustain peak performance throughout the next 24 hours. Some choose oats and grains, some rely on eggs and others like their breakfasts big and bold. If you fall into any of the aforementioned categories, I suggest you take a stroll to Joe’s Cafe, Upper Hamilton Road, Brighton.
Joe’s Cafe was taken over by Dan and Jane Cook, a husband and wife duo with a lifelong passion for not only high quality food but also a burning ambition to run a local and community based cafe. Just over 12 weeks ago, their dream became a reality and Joe’s Cafe opened its doors for the first time.
With a menu that focusses on crowd pleasing breakfasts and lunches, the magnificent highlight of Joe’s Cafe is the quality of the food on offer. Advised by breakfast king Iain Chambers of Seven Bees Cafe fame, Dan and Jane have sourced some of the finest brekkie materials that Sussex has to offer. Expect sausages, black pudding and bacon from Okham Farm, free range eggs from Holmansbridge Farm, bread from Real Patisserie and Wobblegate juices from Bolney, West Sussex to name but a few of the traceable places that supply Joe’s Cafe.
Using these local ingredients, Joe’s Cafe serve up a terrific menu of fry-up’s, hashes and sandwiches all at low, competitive prices. I ordered the ‘Joe’s Bigger Breakfast’ that came with sausage, bacon, toast, tomato, beans, fried egg, fried potatoes, mushrooms and black pudding – all for the small sum of £6.95.
Magnificently plated, the breakfast was a huge portion. Crispy, salty bacon, long and thick pork filled sausage, wonderfully slippery fried mushrooms that swam in a generous helping of baked beans. The black pudding was round, thick and of a superb richness which when paired with the sweetness of the large, grilled tomato was a heavenly combination.
The fried potatoes were crisp on the outside with a fluffy interior and proved a much needed saturator to the runny golden yolk. The breakfast came with two slices of chewy, buttered white toast – ideal for mopping up the plethora of gorgeous juices from the beans, egg and mushrooms.
The quality of the ingredients really shone through and it was immensely satisfying knowing that, yes, it’s clearly not the healthiest of meals, but everything was fresh, local and traceable.
Aside from the aforementioned breakfast bonanzas, Joe’s Cafe also serve slow roasted pork baps, a wide selection of sandwiches, coleslaw and additional lunchtime sides. Cakes are supplied by the Brighton Cakery which is run by Dan’s sister, Lyndsey.
Joe’s Cafe take reservations, a blessing considering the steady stream of people through the door looking for breakfast. Hats off to Jaz on front of house, she handled the hefty flow of customers with professionalism and a smile on her face – so important in the competitive world of Brighton cafes.
Iain Chambers may be the king but there’s certainly a new breakfast Prince and Princess in Dan and Jane. Welcoming, affordable and high quality, I doubt there’s a better breakfast in Brighton.
Originally printed in the Brighton and Hove Independent Newspaper 21/02/14
Words by Claire Beveridge