Matt’s a meaty boy – by which it is meant he loves meat! Not that he isn’t burly, as the occasional slivers of cheese and flesh he consumes settle their way onto his not insubstantial frame. And, for breakfast, there’s nothing he loves more than a good fry-up with black pudding.
Which, at the spectacularly positioned Long John Eater at the bottom of Ryde’s Union Street, is what he got. This restaurant (or “restaurnt” as it likes to call itself), is a real traditional joint. No chefs waving tea-towels in your face here – all that’s hidden away. There is no counter or any sign of the workings of the place; punters find a table and, like spiders having their webs tweaked, neatly dressed waiting staff appear ready to take your order.
Matthew imagined that the restaurnt could have been compared to a Lyons Corner House, but a bit of interweb research debunked that theory as, pleasant though the Long John Eater is, there were no signs of orchestras playing or the possibility of eating “fruit from the Empire”. There was, however, a likelihood that Matt and Cat would eat a hearty breakfast, or possibly – looking at the extensive menu – a roast, a burger, fish – such as cod and pancetta fishcakes – a grill platter or maybe even a salad.
But, as it was first thing in the morning for M and C (i.e. 11:30am), they eschewed the prawn cocktail and nut cutlet roast – heading straight for all day breakfast (Matt) and scrambled egg and mushrooms (Cat) with a cup of tea each. The obliging waitress patiently allowed Cat to have her toast on the side and for Matt to substitute the dish’s standard beans for extra black pudding.
Whilst Matt and Cat gawped at the grockles lumbering past the window, cutlery and napkins were placed on their table, followed closely by drinks. Cat, being both a map obsessive and a graphic designer, was delighted by the napkin as it was a perfect fusion of the two disciplines. What particularly interested her was the accuracy of the map, showing as it did, the snaking rivers of the Isle of Wight from source to sea. What detail!
And, as well as the geographical and estuarine minutiae, ‘X’ really does mark the spot on this pirate’s map! Gaaargh!!
Plates arrived, laden with breakfast fare. Matt’s arteries braced themselves for the onslaught of fried bread, double egg, bacon, two types of tomato, mushroom, sausage and the aforementioned black pudding. It was piping hot, not at all greasy and perfectly presented. The eggs were particularly finely cooked – a perfect balance of cooked white and runny yolk.
Cat was very pleased with her generous plate of egg and mushrooms – the toast being on the side as requested. The mushrooms seemed nice and fresh and the egg was very much to Cat’s liking – not too dry, not too snotty. And all washed down with a nice cup of tea.
With plenty of seating, pleasant and attentive waiting staff and so many interesting things to look at both inside and outside, Matt and Cat had a jolly time. However, the pirate theme is not really exploited to the full – which may be a mercy! Gaaargh!!