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Chain reaction: the ups and downs of Britain’s high street stalwarts | Jay Rayner

It’s easy to sneer at our restaurant chains. Sometimes they deserve it, but sometimes they really hit the spotI am old enough to remember the Wimpy chain in its 1970s table-service pomp: ketchup squirted from plastic tomatoes, with a red congealed scab around the nozzle to pick at when you were bored, and a menu item called a Bender Brunch, featuring two sausage rings and absolutely no awareness of current playground slang. There was also the Golden Egg, a mildly polished greasy spoon chain which colonised British high streets in the 1960s, with its egg-shaped menu of egg-heavy dishes.As the world shook on its axis, I craved a Pizza Express American Hot with extra anchovies on a crisp Romana base Continue reading…