Italian cafe in the heart of London’s Soho
Although these no-nonsense Italian-run places are becoming a little thinner on the ground these days, Bar Bruno, with its present incarnation dating from 1978, keeps the tradition going by giving the punters what they want – greasy-spoon style Full English breakfasts, strong tea, all manner of sandwiches plus pasta dishes galore.
I wanted to do the right thing and try one of the renowned pasta options. On the menu were dishes such as Spaghetti Bolognese (known as “Spag Bol” when I was growing up), Spaghetti Arrabiata, Spaghetti with meat balls and Spaghetti Vongole to name but a few. Even though I could have had any of these with penne or tagliatelle instead, more baser instincts got the better of me and I ordered one of the Full English Breakfast options.
All the essential elements were present and correct – eggs nice and runny of yolk, beans a plenty, fatty bacon, a sausage of reasonable size plus hash browns. Completion of this feast left me with the feeling that I had just done something I shouldn’t have …which is as it should be.
The tea (English style) came quick. Initially pale in colour, I wondered whether it had seen enough of the tea bag. Strength seemed to increase as it went down and the reason for this was soon apparent. The bag had been left in the cup! Watch out for this. Ask for a spoon when you get your tea and have a fish around for anything in the cup that shouldn’t still be there.
If you have to dash back to your office there are plenty of other more take-out friendly options. These sandwiches and panini are made in advance on the day, ready to be placed into the toaster to order.
There are plenty of sandwiches that fit the take-out bill that include all the Italian deli favourites such as the BLT, egg mayo & crispy bacon, tuna with salad. The chicken escalope paninis come with various extras such as salad, mozzarella & chorizo, mozzarella & parma ham to name but a few.