Anybody who fancies ordering the ‘Mega’ breakfast at Top Nosh might want to avoid one of the days earmarked for the nurses’ and ambulance workers’ strikes.
I’m not saying this £10.50 mountain of food will result in any serious health problems but a gastric band may be advisable, let alone a few blood thinner pills.
Apparently even customers with the largest of appetites struggle to finish this early morning workout, which would feed a family quite easily.
But then the plate is piled high with four rashers of bacon, four sausages, four eggs, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, fried potatoes, fried bread, toast and, just in case you haven’t quite had enough, a separate plate of bread and butter.
Located at the Kingswood end of Soundwell Road, Top Nosh is widely regarded as one of the best greasy spoon cafes in Bristol. People get quite attached to their favourite caffs and they take them as seriously as their local pubs.
When I gave Shirley’s Cafe in Severn Beach a glowing review last week, a number of Bristol World readers soon sent messages telling me Top Nosh was the best in the city.
And so I hopped straight over to Kingswood on an icy weekday morning to see for myself if Top Nosh still lived up to its reputation.
At 9.30am, the cafe wasn’t especially busy but then at that time most of the customers had moved on and started work for the day.
There were still a few chaps in hi-vis green jackets tucking into their bacon and egg sandwiches but the usual morning rush was over.
There are very few places like Top Nosh left in the Bristol area. Proper greasy spoons are in decline, sadly, and recent research revealed that the average cost of a Full English Breakfast is now 20% higher than it was a year ago thanks to rising energy and food prices.
Luckily, Top Nosh has managed to keep its prices down as much as possible. As well as the aforementioned ‘Mega’ and the £5.50 veggie version, there are three other Full English Breakfast options.
They start with the ‘small’ (£4.50 for one bacon, sausage, egg, toast and beans or tomatoes) and rise to £6.95 for the ‘large’ which is essentially the ‘Mega’ cut in half.
I went for the more modest ‘medium’ (£5.95) with a mug of tea (£1.50) that was brick coloured and most definitely in the ‘builder’s brew’ category of the beverage colour chart. It was so strong, you could stand your teaspoon up in it.
The medium breakfast is the only one with hash browns, which might in itself cause apoplexy in a few fry-up die-hards, but there you have it.
The two rashers of bacon were thick, salty and decent quality. The sausage was golden-skinned and pleasingly pappy within, soft and spongy enough to soak up the runny yolk from the perfectly cooked egg.
There were plenty of beans, two triangles of crisp fried bread and a plate of bread and butter for additional yolk-mopping to save the washer-upper a job later.
As artery-blocking breakfasts go, it was a cracking fry-up and, yes, as good as the one I had at Shirley’s Cafe the week before.
So, it’s Kingswood 1, Severn Beach 1 in the breakfast play-offs and there’s all to play for.
I’m sure Bristol World readers will soon be telling me where I should be eating my next winning Full English next week.
Top Nosh, 409 Soundwell Road, Bristol, BS15 1JT.