I read with interest people knocking English food! Following is my explaination of why Americans usally consider English food to be terrible.
England had a pretty good cuisine until WW 1.1914-1918 When like the rest of Europe there were bad food shortages, we recovered slightly then were hit by WW 2 1939-1945. My parents generation were bought up on weekly allowances that included 1 egg (yes 1 PER WEEK) 2 oz sugar PER WEEK & unlimited margerine. Rationing actually went on until the early 50's. Everybody got used to eating bad food, my Mothers Mother taught my Mother to cook with bad ingredients (and not many of them), therefore i was bought up with bad food like fry ups for dinner & my personal most hated dish-canned spaghetti on toast with a poached egg in the middle, if i ever complained we were told "we never had it so good in the war" etc. Thank god things have changed & now England boasts some of the best restaurants in Europe. Gordon Ramsey, Gary Rhodes & Raymond Blanc are all 3 *** Mitchalin chefs with restaurants in the UK. We are even seeing Chefs coming over here & doing great things, Paul Sale (executive chef at Icon to name but 1).
The food available in England is 100% GM free, the organic produce in supermarkets is at least 1/2 the price of NYC & the average Brit eats very well.
When tourists hit London they usally go to a big well known tourist Pub where the food is for the tourists & the quality debatable. There are loads of great inexpensive restaurants in London you just need to know about them (as you do in NYC), I am more than willing to share information about these places, & to disprove the myth that English food is bad!
On the Chipshop front things have got a little calmer & we have not run out of food again.
Pretty much all the popular English food can be obtained at Myers of Keswick Hudson St between Jane & Horatio 212 691 4194 (i have no connection with Myers other than a customer). They even have the Snow Flake (white chocolate flake covered with chocolate like a ripple)
For interesting reading check out Mrs Beetons cookbook Written in the 1850's she is probally the best English cook ever & discribes the basic fundaments of cookery as Escoffier wrote them 50 or so YEARS LATER.