For a city with such a full events calendar, late mornings are the norm for most of us. Needing to seek out sustenance to replenish borrowed energy, and cocktails to ease headaches, The Breakfast Club is now open on Market Street to satisfy the needs of our city’s lifestyle. Originating in Soho, London, the owners are ‘two children of the 80s’ and unlocked the doors of their first café in 2005. Ten years on and they’ve just branched out to Brighton. So, I arrive on a fairly unremarkable Wednesday afternoon with a colleague to check out what’s on the menu and enjoy some after-work drinks. Stepping into the café is like stepping onto the set of Miami Vice – a detailed and deliberate theme for the interior with booths, bars and pink flamingos dotted around the two storeys.
Shown to a booth just by the door, we have a good view of the restaurant floor and our fellow diners. The atmosphere is a relaxed one as dinner service gets underway. We scan the menus as a varied sound track hums away in the background, boasting the likes of early Kings of Leon and, very fittingly ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ by Simple Minds. Choosing our drinks first, I opt for one by the name of ‘Basil No Fawlty’ (£7), which sounds fairly promising. Comprised of vodka, fresh basil, lime and St Germain elderflower, it’s a cool, refreshing long drink with a substantial hit of lime finishing off the flavour. My companion is drawn to the ‘Hemingway Daiquiri’ (£7), a mixture of rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and lime. The tang of the rum is balanced nicely with the other fruity flavours.
As the name might suggest, this café has a big emphasis on the most important meal of the day. Despite it being around seven o’ clock in the evening, I can’t help but go all in with ‘The All American’ breakfast (£11). This dish is host to pancakes, sausage, home-style fried potatoes, streaky bacon, maple syrup and two eggs cooked to preference (I go for poached). Having never tried the American classic combination of pancakes, bacon and syrup together before, I tentatively take my first bite and am pleasantly surprised. I’ve always thought the combination sounded a bit bizarre if I’m honest but I will be the first to admit my mistake – they’re fantastic together. The fluffy consistency of the pancakes means that they absorb the maple syrup efficiently and taste gorgeous. The potatoes are crispy with a dash of spice, lifting the range of flavours on my plate.
My dining partner opts for Buttermilk Fried Chicken (£10). A toasted brioche bun encases the tender chicken, kept interesting with melted Cheddar and jalapeno coleslaw. Presented with skin-on chips, the ‘Club Classics’ section of the menu gives traditional an edge. As we’re greedy, we also order a side of Mac ‘n’ Cheese (£3.50) and another portion of the skin-on chips (£3.60), served with an aioli dip. The former had a melt-in-your-mouth consistency that kept us coming back for more. The pasta and cheese are such simple ingredients though made so perfectly gooey; it swiftly becomes one of the highlights of our meal.
We round off our experience with a glass of the house white (Claude Val Blanc, Pays D’Oc £5.80), a fruity but crisp wine, and an Elvis milkshake (£4.40). The milkshake is intended to be a blend of banana, vanilla ice cream and peanut butter though sadly they’ve run out of bananas. This means it is served with chocolate instead and tastes exactly like a liquid version of a Snickers bar. Having revelled in the American-style wonder that is The Breakfast Club, we’re so lost in the restaurant’s theme that we almost forget we’re in the Lanes.
The Breakfast Club, 16-17 Market Street, Brighton, BN1 1HH
Words by Freya Hughes