Biggest Chicken Shop in the world

So, Grill King has competition. Literally 30 meters down the road is Royal Fried Chicken. And look a just HOW BLEEDING MASSIVE it is:
Look, it even goes on round the corner:


Grill King, Wembley

So, yes, this place is reasonably scuzzy. Not the scuzziest we've featured though. However, like a Conservative MP found wandering Clapham Common late at night, it has a dark secret: it used to be a Burger King.

The Burger King on Wembley High Road shut down (an incident I've never heard of happening before) and overnight it became this horrible fake monstrosity. Probably from the producers of Transmophers and Snakes on a Train.

Still, the similarities to a disgraced Tory MP don't end there. Grill King is also trying to restore its reputation by promoting family values:


The takeaways in Brockley are just wow

Vying with the Uxbridge Road for the title of London's centre of crap takeaways names is Brockley Rise in south east London. Let's go down the street in descending street number - which just so happens to be ascending order of absurdity. At number 55, it's Mega Bites:

View Larger Map
The only way this could be more outdated is if it was "Rad" instead of "Mega". I think. One of them is 1991, the other is 1992. I forget. Anyhoo, just three doors down and presumably stealing all the trade is MMM... The Taste Fried Chicken. No, really:

View Larger Map
Gonna put this out there: this place probably doesn't meet expectations for a lot of people who go in there. Even if it does sell a Big Mac style burger for 99p.

But at least you can see what the owner was intending. There's just no accounting for its other near rival:

View Larger Map
I - I don't know.

And have you seen the fifth Harry Potter movie? That door looks like the one in the Ministry of Magic. Some poor, unwitting sarf Londoner has walked through there hoping for some spicy wings and got the kiss of death from a dementor for his troubles.


View Larger Map
We're not going to stoop to your level. But in what country is that a phone number?


Actually no, Munch Inn is the worst pun on a sign so far

Did Supreme Mag-Pies make you groan? If so, you might want to click away from this page now.
You see what they did there? Munch Inn, munching. They've made a place name sound like an onomatopoeic verb and - oh never mind. We think it's in Wolverhampton, but we're not sure.

Sent in by reader Caleb, who has once again failed to impress with the awful camera built in to his BlackBerry. Buy a new phone!


Fast food chains of the world #3: Snack Point Charlie

We're off on a little road trip today to Berlin in Germany, the home of breaded foodstuffs, weiners and people with no sense of humour. Except in this case - here's the famous Check Point Charlie.
What does some entrepreneurial Berliner set up next to this ever so ironical commercial tourist attraction commemorating communism? Snack Point Charlie, of course.
Best mascot ever on the sign. He makes Ronald McDonald look like a gulag guard.
It's actually a complex with lots of little takeaways. You wouldn't find that sort of initiative on the East side of the wall.
Check out that bit of '89 right there on the window. Why the hell is it in English though?

Anyone eaten here?


A lesson in what not to call your chicken shop

I don't run a chicken shop. But I think I'd be better than most people who do. Let me lay some home truths down on y'all about takeaway signage with a tour around some of the worst offenders in London.

1) Your abbreviation needs to stand for something

View Larger Map
You can't just call your shop "random letter FC". What the hell does the H stand for? Acronyms FTW, WTF etc etc. No.

2) Your chicken won't sound fresh if your sign isn't

View Larger Map
What an anachronox. I'd rather eat at 1983 Chicken than here. What's really weird is that the phone number has an 020 dialing code. For the less sad among you, they didn't come in until the year 2000, suggesting this place was out of date from the start. FAIL.

3) You need to specify a location if you're going to use a place name

View Larger Map
Whether you're going by city, postcode, or misspelt American state, remember to specify it please. You can't name a chicken shop by an Anglo-Saxon method of partitioning the country. You wouldn't call a place Hectare Kebab would you?

4) Stating the bloody obvious just raises questions
REAL FRIED CHICKEN? As opposed to what exactly? Dixie Pigeon? Awful, awful, awful.


Taco Bell time travel!

The fast food connoisseurs among you might wonder why Taco Bell never tried to expand over here in the US of K. If that is, like me, you should be doing something useful with your life but aren't.
Actually, it turns out, Taco Bell did. This photo was taken in Leicester Square back in 1989, when photography was all done on film, women weren't allowed to wear skirts above the ankle for fear of death by sharia law and traffic lights were apparently blue instead of green. It didn't last more than a few years though, but Wikipedia says Taco Bell is planing on coming back now that Joe Public knows what Mexican food is and we're all buying fast food because of the recession.

This is Wikipedia, mind. What, you think I'm going to bother following through references? Hells no. Oh, in case you were wondering what's there now:

View Larger Map
TGI Friday's, mofo!


Supreme Mag-Pies is the worst pun on a sign yet

The north is rich in really bad takeaways. Probably because lots of people are on benefits and have nothing better to do than stand around. In Newcastle, they like to stand around near St James' Park, to worship at the temple of Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer, so it should come as no surprise to find a pie shop trying to cash in on Newcastle United. Reader Mike sent this one in:
"This is a take away in Newcastle unsurprisingly. The greatest pies in the world for the greatest fans in the world. It's usually busier but this was taken on the day that Newcastle employed a new assistant groundsmen so the locals had to get down to St James' Park pronto."

What will happen to this pie shop if Newcastle get relegated and all the fans burn their giros in protest? We don't care.


I now have a reason to boycott KFC. Or six.

The KFC grilled chicken thing was really stupid. These topless women agree pre-emptively from mid-2008 Australia.
OK, actually they're PETA protestors trying to highlight cruel treatment of chickens, but I'm sure they agree that the Colonel is rolling in his grave. I mean, come on, grilled KFC?


A trip around Whitechapel

Today, children, we take a look at Whitechapel, East London, a place formerly home to two of the most evil Englishmen who ever lived: Jack the Ripper and Johnny Borrell (at least according to Wikipedia).

Anyways, on a recent jaunt to the newly re-opened Whitechapel Gallery, I noticed an interesting pattern amongst the chicken shops of the area: they all tended to have the location in the name, probably so the simple chicken eating folk of Whitechapel don't forget where they are.

Let's look, for instance, at E1 Fried Chicken
How much of a cock do you have to be to flaunt your expensive,trendy post code on FRIED CHICKEN SIGNAGE!?! (Get it? chicken..cock...nevermind). "Oh, look. We're HIP! We're NOW! We're sooooooo E1, yeah!" I personally think it might actually be the offices for an online media chaos collective ironically named E1 Fried Chicken.

Still, it's a little more specific than London Fried Chicken:
Rather vague, but I suppose it was helpful for the Northerners down on't day trip 't big smoke who couldn't work out why their chicken wasn't covered in gravy and cost more than a shilling.

This place had it on lockdown, though:
Whitechapel Fried Chicken. Perfect. This place clearly used to be a right proper East End boozer, and it still has a right touch of class about it. Well, wooden panel exteriors, but that's the MGM Grand of chicken shops really. The Krays would have gladly bought their old dear some spicy wings from here.

The place was actually banging on the Saturday afternoon I went past. Seriously, it was rammed and there was a massive queue. It was like The Ivy or something. It was the only chicken shop I could ever imagining visiting for 'the atmosphere'.

Watch out for more Whitechapel based fun coming soon. Trust me, we've only just scratched the surface of the the area's takeaways.


Smack Kebab: French people have issues

Reader Tom struck gold this weekend during a presumably dirty weekend on the continent.
"Spotted this when I was over in Pau in France this weekend. Sadly it was never open, leading me to suspect they may be out of business (probably due to kebab addiction). I know they can be moreish but to treat them like smack is a little extreme. Let's just hope they weren't injecting."

Too right. Still, at least we know now what French farmers are doing in between complaining about not being handed out enough money from the government, and being handed out money from the government. Shooting doner meat into their veins.
HOLD THE PAGE! There's a postscript and another photo to rival Yorkshire Fried Chicken for geolocation verisimilitude.

"P.S. Have attached two pics. First one has a car driving into shot but I kinda like that. Looks like a Renault advert or something. A really shit Renault advert."

Yeah, so a Renault advert. That's Nicole in the car, papa is behind the shutters injecting a shish kebab between his toes.


The Golden Shower Restaurant just didn't think anything through

Because everybody loves water sports. Even on their food. Absolutely no idea what country this is in, but that can't be a phone number anywhere, surely.


Klassy Fish Bar is anything but

There once was a time when replacing the letter S with Z, and C with K, was cool. That time was 1991. In those rubbish annuals you used to get at Christmas as a kid, like Sonic and Dr Who.
Cut to East Dulwich in 2009, and here we have the newly opened Klassy Fish Bar. It's so new in fact that it's not on Google Street View - according to @owenm who snapped this suave sign, it used to be a Codfather. Yup, that's right, ANOTHER Codfather.

Thanks Owen, keep it klassy.


Takeaways unofficially endorsed by famous people #6: Simpson's Pizzeria

Yup, it's yet another Leeds takeaway using famous cartoon characters to flog its wares.

View Larger Map
The best thing about this place, other than the door that's not a door, has to be the apostrophe on the sign.

View Larger Map
Grammatically, there's nothing wrong for once, so long as there's only one Simpson running the damn place. But there's no punctuation in an actual Simpsons logo. Someone's gone out of their way to stick this one in, for reasons we can't fathom. Also, Lisa appears to be violating Maggie in a way that would make Joseph Fritzl blush.

Thanks for the spot, @Leedsgrub.


Kebab Crime Watch

Man, it's a bad week to be standing outside a kebab shop. What the hell is wrong with people? Here's a round up of bad stuff happening outside doner shacks across the land this week. Remember, if you saw or know anything, please don't bother to tell us.
  • Gloucester - Kebab seller set upon by gang. Apparently the newspaper has been inundated with get well messages, including this comment which slightly misses the point: "I hope the bad guys get their just desserts and that kebab man is ok soon. Man, I love his chips."
  • Finally, on the lighter side of the news, a pair of Newmarket councilors are said to be up in arms because they forgot to complain in time about the originally named Newmarket Kebab House. Maybe they were too busy buying the kevlar vests they'd need to visit the place, being elected officials and all.


Takeaways unofficially endorsed by famous people #5: Gangster's Bistro

We're back in Leeds for another bit of dubious intellectual property appropriation. This time, Tom and Jerry are giving Gangsters Bistro (No apostrophe, I might add) the thumbs up by lending their image.

View Larger Map
The people who eat here are the sort who had Looney Tunes characters shaved into their hair at school, and their MySpace profile now has a picture of them holding lots of five pound notes, like that makes them rich rather than an idiot. We're guessing.

View Larger Map
Mind you, those prices are pretty good. Only t'up north eh? Thanks again for the tip, @Leedsgrub, though you might want to get a job or something instead of spending all your time sending us links, cuz we can't pay you.


Roast Broast sounds like Dr Seuss ate here

This errant tree obscures the view on Google Street View, but that doesn't change the fact that the name of this kebab and curry shop is ludicrous.

View Larger Map
What's a broast? It's not a word. It's like calling a shop kebab flebab. Or fish tish. This is worse than Thai Handwell - look closely and you'll even see the place sells Indain Sweets (sic).

The shop next to Roast Broast rivals it for poor grammar. Tesca quite clearly has the illiterate-people-in-Acton-who-think-they're-in-a-supermarket market wrapped up.

View Larger Map


Takeaway signs using Microsoft Word fonts #2: Chompers

Balloon seems to be a popular choice for fast food joints looking to get some aesthetic appeal on the cheap. Not really sure why, as the state of Chompers in Cambridge shows how little it helps your business:
Chompers is a bit of an institution amongst students in the city, largely for only appearing at places where there's little to no chance of people walking past. Until last weekend, the only time I ever saw it, it was hovering some way outside the English department, on a road which had no pavement, and was pretty much a country lane. AT NIGHT. A side view of the trailer will help illustrate how little trade it gets and why:
A few questions spring to mind. Why is the license plate number printed on paper? What help did the owner think scrawling OPEN on the door with a felt tip would be? Does it cater for any events at all? We're considering setting ourselves up as fast food marketing consultants, as there's no way we could be anything other than shit hot at it.


Yorkshire Fried Chicken is just too northern to be true

So far, we've only encountered chicken shops that replace the word Kentucky with imaginary American states and Democratic presidents. Never did we think we'd see something this, well, brilliantly northern: the Y in YFC in Leeds does indeed stand for Yorkshire.

View Larger Map
So, this is where people with no access to sunlight go for their chippy teas of a Friday. Or it would do if it was open - look closely and you'll see YFC Chicken Grill is having a makeover. What do you suppose it looked like before? Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we know:
There's so much right with this photo. It's just too grim. The sign's got that magnificent mix of inexplicable Yorkshire pride of being Yorkshire born and bred with completely contradictory Arabic writing. Best of all though, the photographer's shot it in such a depressing light that for a second we were convinced this was a location used in Red Riding. Pathetic fallacy at its absolute apex.

(Thanks, @Leedsgrub)


Takeaway signs using Microsoft Word fonts #1: Best Turkish Kebab

Everything seems to be in order at first glance. Almost as much clutter as FCKF's sign but not quite.
Hang on though. What's that font hanging off on the side at a jaunty angle? It's not Balloon Extra Bold, is it?I think it is. Who slipped that bit of Microsoft Office love in there? We'll carry on this feature once we find a sign with that bastard paper clip on.


ChiFis, Acton

Some of the finest words in the English language have been born from welding together two pre-existing words: synergy; infotainment; chillax. Some words, however, do not go together. Like chicken and fish. The owners of this fast-food outlet found out all too late.

View Larger Map
Crap, ain't it? I think if FCKF proved anything, combining chicken and fish into one catchy name is harder than one would think.

On a more positive note, this is on the same road as Maxin Mix and Hello Pizza. Surely this puts Acton High Street in the top 3 streets on the planet? The Acton tourist board should be all over this. Does Acton have a tourist board? Personally, I'd figure there's just a loan tourism officer, passed out in a pool of his own vomit, tears and semen. If anyone knows him, let us know.

Hello Pizza

View Larger Map
Hello to you too! If only all signs were this welcoming.