Potatoes?

By John Phillips on April 25, 2018

Around 2002, I was traveling for work. I was doing a trade show, demoing Six Degrees in London. My wife, Nancy, was traveling with me.

"Potatoes?"" A painting I made at the time.

The trip turned into a crash course in British food. Some examples:

  • Jet-lagged on the day of our arrival, we stopped to buy sandwiches from a convenience store. A good London shop will have a wall of refrigerator cases dedicated to sandwiches, each cut in half and packaged in triangular plastic. They might have fifteen linear feet of sandwiches, floor to ceiling, fully two-thirds of which feature bacon. Delicious. We stood in the shop, picked our sandwiches and then some crisps (chips) to go with. Nancy decided to go with the very British “Turkey, Sage and Rosemary” flavored crisps. These turned out to be so savory that they were inedible, at least to our American palates.

  • Out to eat one night at an Italian restaurant, not a very good one, I ordered lasagna. It was served with a side of mashed potatoes.

Of course, we had a lot of terrific food too, London being what it is. If I remember correctly, we had a delicious dinner at the North Sea Fish Restaurant in Bloomsbury.

Our hotel included breakfast. Oddly, instead of serving yourself, they had waiters. It was pretty posh. Up early one morning headed to the trade show, still partially asleep, our waiter asked what I wanted. I ordered eggs and potatoes.

Potatoes?” replied the waiter, incredulously, The reply was fairly dripping with contempt for the animal seated before him.

Because, altho you can get potatoes as a side with your lasagna, breakfast is the one meal of the day without any. I still think you could open an American style breakfast place with all the classics: bacon, eggs and hash browns; chicken-fried steak and eggs, and the like. You’d make a mint. Probably want to be open for lunch until the Londoners get used to hash browns at breakfast, tho.

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