Antlers and skillets and rugged cowboy chic at Elk in the Woods, Angel…

Happy Saturday y’all!

Okay, while I can’t promise never to say THAT again and I can’t guarantee that it’s actually Saturday when you read this, I can suggest that you at least start thinking now about what you’re going to do and more importantly, where the heck you’re going to eat on that next magnificent day of rest and if you’re within a stone’s throw – or at least an underground journey – of Angel, you should seriously consider allowing The Elk in the Woods to form a significant part of your weekend’s dining.

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It’s got immense antlers and beyond-girly mirrors, rustic wooden panelling, a bubblegum Barbie  pink wall, cowboy-style-swing-doors in the bathroom, plates and bowls and skillets of awesome food…consider it ski chalet-meets vintage-NYC-meets-Brokeback-Mountain chic in the middle of Islington and consider it the perfect place for a relaxed, laid-back start to the day…

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With tables both outside on the cobblestones of Camden Passage and inside the quirkily cool interior filling up quickly on this sunny Saturday, this is obviously a local favourite and the beautiful C, my breakfast buddy on this occasion, and I were happy to take these smiley serene people as a good sign.  Service was friendly and prompt with staff who clearly enjoy working there and know how to keep the diners happy. Side note; it’s actually amazing to think about the subliminal power waiters and servers have on diners and how much your experience can be altered by really great, cheerful, friendly, happy, attentive service vs sullen, bored and distracted being the name of the game.

The breakfast menu caters for all in a smart, selective way; heavy leather bound menus aren’t rammed with hundreds of options but rather, a careful selection catering for both savoury meat, fish and veggie lovers and those with a sweet tooth. It’s also very reasonably priced for its often-pricey-always-cool location with every breakfast giving change from a tenner.

Although the smoked cod kedgeree with crispy egg was a massive temptation for me, it was the elk sausage skillet with potato, red and green peppers, onion and baked eggs that won me over and because this is me and a day without avocado leaves me as twitchy and nervous as Miley Cyrus without parents to horrify, it was topped with a side of avo as well.

The ingredients were all generously portioned and served in a cast iron skillet so cute I wanted to pop it into my handbag and take it home with me; rich orange egg yolk deliciously covered the firm, spicy sausage, and chunks of juicy pepper and nicely crispy-edged potatoes tasted fresh, wholesome and hearty.

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C was torn between the never-lets-you-down bacon sandwich which comes with oven roasted tomato chutney – urgh, sounds horrible doesn’t it?! – and their version of the full english with fried eggs, bacon, pork and apple sausage, pan fried mushroom, baked beans and toast. In the end, fear of food envy helped her make the right choice, the only choice really for a lazy weekend and full english it was. It nearly defeated her but battle through it bravely she did although we were both close to needing a gentle roll out of the door by the staff afterwards…

BTW, food envy? That’s a real thing people! I defy anyone to tell me that theye’ve never ordered something and known instantly that it was the wrong decision and it’s always made even worse when your plate arrives and it’s every bit as sad and aneamic as you feared and what you really want to do is reach over and swap it with that of the diner sat next you…food envy. It’s real and it’s dangerous and it’s out there. Choose wisely food lovers, choose wisely.

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When there are as many options for food as you can find in Angel, it’s hard to pick one over the other but the Elk is laid back, the food is impressive quality at a great price and it’s served in reasonable, human sized portions. Ahem, I’m looking at you when I say this, Breakfast Club. You’re just a few doors down and while you can’t deny the food and the price are awesome, the portion size requires an adjustable waistband.

Yep, this is definitely one place I’d moose-y on back to without doubt. See? Not just got a way with the words people, I do a nice side line in dad jokes too…

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