Danny Smith: Is Mr Egg beaten?

Mr Egg is closed, and it seems only partly related to undiluted catering vinegar thrown into drunk peoples eyes. But be it through mad chefs or vermin in the cupboards, I’m not surprised it has happened; I’m surprised it took so long.

Mr Egg is a Birmingham institution (and not just because there’s a rat in the kitchen), it’s something rare in Birmingham — independent. It’s  a lot like the sixties, if you can remember it you were never there, god knows no sane person would eat there sober. If pushed I can remember the giant cloth egg on the ceiling and the overpowering smell of grease. Just walking past has always a barometer of the current economic climate ‘EAT LIKE A KING FOR 50p’ declared the sign, and then in my teenage years ‘EAT LIKE A KING FOR £1’, a little later when the gay community settled down the road ‘EAT LIKE A QUEEN FOR £1.50’.

Birmingham

It seems to have survived due to clever marketing, location and cheap prices. The food itself was on the whole, greasy slop served on dirty plates. I like to think that the custom came from late night diners being loyal to an independent brand and making the choice to eat refried sausages and burnt beans rather than hand money over to the McCorps. In reality it was probably just due to drunken convenience of it being a short stagger away from the nightclubs on Hurst St, a place once described as ‘a cross between a Roman Vomitorium and a Bosch painting’. By me, just then.

Will Mr Egg reopen? I’m not sure, but what I do know from ten years working in the pub trade is exactly how hard it is to be closed down for health reasons. Sure, it’s a threat that’s used a lot, but you could introduce a giant radioactive cancer rat wiping his balls on individual fish fingers to the visiting EHO, and not be served anything more than a stern telling off. I retch at the thought of what was going on for the closure notice to happen.

But drunk people don’t care, if anything it adds to the myth of the place and brings in a new element of danger to eating there. And if giving dysentery to a few shaven headed Neanderthals stumbling out of Reflex is the price we pay for an independent and unhomogenised Birmingham – it’s a small price indeed.

The opinions of Danny Smith do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of this blog, its affiliates, or any sane adult human beings. He currently lives in your cupboard, watching, always watching.

  • danny

    yeah, there does seem to be a ‘to’ missing. No excuse for it, sorry. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic not just in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word).rnrnshould have caught it proofing, sorrryrnrnrnrnrnrn to <----- look there it is! catch it!

  • danny

    yeah, there does seem to be a ‘to’ missing. No excuse for it, sorry. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic not just in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word).rnrnshould have caught it proofing, sorrryrnrnrnrnrnrn to <----- look there it is! catch it!

  • danny

    yeah, there does seem to be a ‘to’ missing. No excuse for it, sorry. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic not just in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word).rnrnshould have caught it proofing, sorrryrnrnrnrnrnrn to <----- look there it is! catch it!

  • danny

    yeah, there does seem to be a ‘to’ missing. No excuse for it, sorry. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic not just in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word).rnrnshould have caught it proofing, sorrryrnrnrnrnrnrn to <----- look there it is! catch it!

  • danny

    yeah, there does seem to be a ‘to’ missing. No excuse for it, sorry. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic not just in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word).rnrnshould have caught it proofing, sorrryrnrnrnrnrnrn to <----- look there it is! catch it!

  • danny

    yeah, there does seem to be a ‘to’ missing. No excuse for it, sorry. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic not just in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word).rnrnshould have caught it proofing, sorrryrnrnrnrnrnrn to <----- look there it is! catch it!

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • I’ll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word)

  • I’ll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word)

  • I’ll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word)

  • I’ll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word)

  • I’ll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word)

  • I’ll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word)

  • I’ll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current ‘shit at spelling’ use of the word)

  • I’m just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • I’m just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • I’m just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • I’m just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • I’m just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • I’m just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • I’m just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.nnI’m with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.nnI used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.nnI’m with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.nnI used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.nnI’m with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.nnI used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.nnI’m with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.nnI used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.nnI’m with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.nnI used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.nnI’m with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.nnI used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.nnI’m with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.nnI used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Mick

    that's un oeuf of the terrible puns thank you. I did occasionally frequent Mr Egg whilst sober during the day – I never stooped so low as to go when drunk. Come to think of it, the last time I actually ate egg and chips was about 11 years ago and was infact at Mr Egg (probably single at the time). I'll have to introduce the concept to the kids and stop feeding them poncey middle class food like we eat.

  • nickygetgood

    Danny, I love your turn of phrase more than life itself.

  • I'm not liking this revisionist history that Mr Egg was always shite and only suitable for drunks. I used to regularly eat lunch there circa 1999 and they did a fine sausageeggschipsandbeans on a proper plate that, if memory serves, was clean. Nice cuppa tea in a mug too. In fact it was frequented during the day by gentlemen of the high-visibility jacket wearing fraternity, always a sign of quality. It's only in recent years since the refurb that it's become a dubious pit.

  • Helen

    So it was Aggy and Kim spraying white vinegar around the place in a desperate bid to clean the place up?

  • Danny

    Fair play, I was only going of my memories of the place. I've always disliked 'greasy spoon' type places. even the name. Greasy *yuk* Spoon *huh?*

    I'm sure back in the day it was tolrable, but the smell of frying has always turned my stomach, the only times i've ever been in i was pissed, and the only reputation i've ever heard is either bad or a 'wahay Mr Egg is a ledge' response that has more to do with egg based puns on the sign than quality of food.

    perhaps the owners could set up a website themselves where people can write there own response and wistful memories.

    (please excuse the spelling, i'm in school and weirdly they have no spellcheck in the browsers)

  • Am I correct that the very first sentence of your very first entry in BiNS contains an error? There seems to be a “to” missing. Not that I'm complaining, you understand. Please keep up this level of minor incompetance. Otherwise I'd give up blogging completely for fear of comparison to your peerless compositions.

  • since dan did a column last week, you have to go back to check

    2009/12/14 Disqus <>:

  • danny

    yeah, there does seem to be a 'to' missing. No excuse for it, sorry. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic not just in the current 'shit at spelling' use of the word).

    should have caught it proofing, sorrry

    to <—– look there it is! catch it!

  • danny

    also not my first column, theres a test run a couple of pages back about winterval.

  • I'll hold my hands up, in actually removing something that _would_ have got us into legal trouble I seem to have ballsed up the sentance. (although its worth mentioning I am very dyslexic, actually dyslexic and ALSO in the current 'shit at spelling' use of the word)

  • I'm just shit at spelling, writing and typing without good reason. Which, I try to disguise by being overly critical of the work of others. Makes me look good, see.

  • Superb article. Look forward to a lot more. Especially like how you describe their pricing banners.

    I'm with Pete on the cleanliness though. I never went in more than a few times for a large cuppa: you can hardly ask for the one on the menu without the egg, and as far as I recall, everything on the menu was egg, which is nicely congruent for them, just not for me. The made good strong tea, in mugs.

    I used to do a stall on the Rag on the antiques/junk days & the worst cafe was the one in the block immediately next to the market entrance. Truly gruesome, and in those days ginnelled with fag smoke, which used to billow out mingled with sweaty steam & bacon fat when anyone opened the door. Was always worth walking that extra bit further to avoid that.

  • Cg012i1590@blueyonder.co.uk

    i no who killed mr egg