Don’t worry if you don’t have a beard, all the Greasy Spoon wants is to bring a modern twist on British classics to Sweden.
In 2014, experts said we’d reached ‘peak beard’. They said the mainstream beard was dead, and that soon, only the weirdy-beards would remain. They were wrong. The beard is winning. Of course, the beard trend comes synonymously with the hipster subculture: pretentious and overly trendy, residing in gentrified neighbourhoods.
When my beardy and self-confessing hipster boyfriend, Niall, was given responsibility of finding a breakfast place in Stockholm I was cautiously surprised when he suggested Greasy Spoon, having found it in a simple Google search. We both enjoy spending money, pretentiousness and trendy, especially on our holidays.
Greasy Spoon is found on a quiet backstreet of Vasastan, we arrived at 11am, passing singing school children in the playground of the school next door. The café wasn’t obvious and we only found it because we were following Google maps. At the last second I noticed its glowing fluorescent hanging sign of the outline of a fried egg.
Walking in brought a huge sense of relief. Thank God – it had blackboards, bare brick walls, industrial light fittings and large tables for social-style seating. We were taken to two seats with two other couples who were half way through their brunches. In this backroom area we sat amongst groups of students with laptops working quietly, and young mums meeting with babies at their sides. It didn’t seem to matter only one of us had a beard.
The menu (presented on wooden clipboards) had the obvious options on offer: smashed avocado, pancakes with bacon. But alongside, some very interesting alternatives: horchata porridge made with fresh almond milk, buckwheat pancakes served with poached pears and maple syrup – both suitable for vegetarians.
Niall opted for pink rosti: smoked salmon on homemade potato rosti with poached eggs and beetroot hollandaise sauce. The fresh grated potato was browned and crisp, soft inside but still with plenty of bite. The salmon – plentiful, piled high – and a subtle pick backdrop for the luminous pink hollandaise sauce. The flavour of the beetroot was subtle, giving the sauce a surprisingly earthy flavour. The whole thing was topped with brightly coloured purple petals.
I took a daily special – truffle benedict – eggs benedict with serrano ham and homemade truffle hollandaise. Again, the portions were ample, with plenty of creamy hollandaise sauce. Taking a bite of this dish sent my palette into a frenzy. The truffle flavour was pungent, intoxicating almost. With the saltiness of the ham and creaminess of the sauce, the richness became a little too much and I was unable to finish.
We finished with a round of bacon bloody marys: a traditional bloody mary served with a stick of crispy bacon seasoned with hickory salt. The spice was welcomed to refresh my tastebuds following the benedict.
Greasy Spoon definitely delivers on its promise to twist British classics, whilst also giving the Swedes a transport-caff sized portion. With a little more care of flavour balancing, I’d consider this a five-star breakfast experience.
This article was written in April 2018. My target media style was Food and Travel Magazine.