In a town full of fine breakfast places, Billie's has long had a reputation for serving one of the best. It's as if someone drew their ideal cafe - cozy little tables with cheesecloth tablecloths, fresh flowers in vases, bright big windows so you can gaze at passers-by - the perfect spot for a morning after restoration or some quiet intimacy over a morning paper.
There's often a queue, not just down to the size of the place but because the food is simply excellent. The jumbo full English is as big as it sound, with good ingredients perfectly cooked. But Billie's USP is its breakfast hash. I had the 'Farmhouse', a mound of potato, peppered with sausage, bacon, mushrooms, beans and cheese with an egg on top. It looks messy, tastes fantastic, and it's guaranteed to fill you up. Not classy, just straightforward quality.
Billie's cafe in Brighton definitely sells the best cooked breakfast in town. The jumbo breakfast is one of the cheapest in town and the most generous. Two bits of bacon, two eggs, two sausages, whole button mushrooms, two slices of toasted bread, beans, a whole tomato and excellent quality produce! Yes, I've been there a few times and tasted the comparisons. Run by a local family it retains the charm it has had since opening with the same folding wooden chairs, blue gingham PVC tablecloths, fresh flowers on the tables and in true Brighton style, local artwork on the walls. The prices and quantity have remained consistent as profit is not the objective, just a good honest breakfast. And if you don't fancy the classic, there are a number of delicious hashes to choose from. Literally a pile of fried potatoes with various toppings from beans and sausages to bacon and avocado. There are plenty of veggie options too. The best news is it is open on New Year’s Day. But get there early, this is a popular spot and the locals all know about it.
HANK W.- THE GUARDIAN - JAN 2011
For many living in Brighton, the first stop on a Sunday morning-after-the-night-before is Billie’s, a family-run café in Hampton Place. It relies on word-of-mouth for custom, with gingham-covered tables, cosy interior and no reservations required. Queues of customers can often be seen at the weekends. For the last six years, Lisa Stephens and her brother Dominic have been running the café – its former Australian owners traded as Billabong’s, but the name was shortened to Billie’s.
On the menu is traditional breakfast fayre, including Eggs Benedict, the Billie’s All Day Jumbo Breakfast, Crepe-Style Pancakes and its renowned Selection of Hashes – mountains of sautéed potato and onion, topped with a variety of ingredients. The Farmhouse Hash is the most popular – an all-day breakfast mixed with homemade hash browns, it’s a culinary monster.
Suppliers include West Horsley Dairy and Brighton-based butchers. Eggs are free-range and the tea and coffee are Fairtrade. The All Day Jumbo Breakfast is a decent size: two slices of grilled back bacon, two sausages, a fried egg, baked beans, braised mushrooms, two grilled tomatoes and two slices of hot buttered toast. Portions are generous and non-greasy and, when washed down with a cuppa, provide the perfect hangover cure.
HELENA TWINAM – NOSH MAGAZINE - Winter 2010 - 2011