No one gets hit by a car on my watch
Another successful trip to Tasty Jerk, and the only crippling agony anyone experienced was reserved for the restroom.
South London Food. More than just Morley's but also Morley's too.
Another successful trip to Tasty Jerk, and the only crippling agony anyone experienced was reserved for the restroom.
If Bludso’s opened in London it would be worshipped like a jade idol. People would snake around blocks for miles, motivated by actual American BBQ made by actual Americans. Plus everyone at Bludso’s dresses like they’re in A$AP Mob, which would have foodies the city over struggling to Instagram the place as they frantically mash their iPhones in panicked excitement. IT’S BBQ AND IT’S IN WHERE #KENDRICK LAMAR IS FROM.
But Bludso’s isn’t under the Hungerford Bridge or in Hoxton Square. It’s at the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Alondra, next door to the Compton Nation of Islam Center. London isn’t even close. The locals discuss barbecue in Los Angeles, insisting Bludso’s has the best ribs, brisket, pulled-pork and beans. Get the beans. You don’t need to hear it from me though. If there’s a better endorsement than this I’ve yet to see it:
I can’t decide what’s better: Bludso’s or the internet.
Price: 10/10. For $27, get the Texas Sampler. The box didn’t fit through the window. Every meat is at the party and no cut is compromised. It fed me for the next four days, and I lost sensation in my left arm for the last two!
Locals insisting you get the beans in a reassuringly intimidating manner: 10/10. It wasn’t even an option.
When a more charming and affable person is unavailable I sometimes work my cousin’s bakery stall at a farmer’s market in Herne Hill. Not only does this give me the pleasure of working alongside thirty-something mothers flogging crocheted tea-cosies, but it occasionally allows me to celeb-spot Jay Rayner, the Observer food critic whom I greatly admire. In a recent article, Rayner expertly measured the temperature of the British food scene in 2012. An artery clogging platter of Americana, for which we queued for hours to shovel pulled-pork, ribs, burgers and their brethren into our hungry faces.
If I had seen Rayner and not known who he was I would have assumed his culinary year had been dominated by a diet of rocks and the bones of Christian men, all consumed under a closely guarded footbridge. The man is a large, weathered individual with a look of such malevolent displeasure it’s as if Samantha Brick has just told him he has HPV. The consummate food writer. The taste of my year was similarly one of slow-smoked meat and coke floats, but there were other highlights too. Some of which I will briefly relay to you here:
My first post, and if the Facebook ‘Likes’ are anything to go by (seven), arguably my best. Although it may be hard to believe, I’ve only returned to TJ once this year. It was a far less uncomfortable experience, until we set off to return to Thornton Heath station that is. A young man had been crossing the high street when he was clipped by a speeding car with such force that it separated him from both his shoes, leaving him a twisted heap of bent limbs and shrieking agony on the pavement.
Now the layman would be wise to attend to the man in a limited capacity, ensuring his faculties remained and that he was comfortable. However, I was with my elder brother, a qualified doctor and orthopaedic surgeon, whom I expected to part the gathering crowds and rush to the man’s aid. This did not happen, as he insisted that the man’s screams and futile attempts to hoist his crippled body off the ground ensured his preservation.
Clearly the duty of care and Hippocratic oath are meaningless when the volume of jerk chicken and pork in your stomach could cause you to void your bowels if required to assume a kneeling position to assist the dying.
Stealing a Tuna and Cucumber sandwich from Pret-a-Manger
In my defence, the fridge was extremely close to the exit.
So there it is, Foodwasteman’s inaugural year in review. To say it’s been a rollercoaster year would be an understatement. To say it’s been a food rollercoaster year would probably be more appropriate. To say it’s been closer to seven months with extended periods of minimal activity would be dead-on. So here’s to another year, I hope you can join me. Seriously if you want to just text me I doubt anyone’s reading this who doesn’t already know me.
It’s been said that Nando’s is the only fast-food chain with table service and alcohol. Upon recently ordering a 2 piece meal at my local Chicken Cottage, I not only forgot to bring my chicken to the table with me, but also to collect my change, pay at all, or finish the red wine I had decanted into an empty lemon Fanta can.
The employee brought the food to the table where I lay, exchanged it for my money - exact change, may I add - then kindly asked me to leave so he could mop up the red wine. I agreed, and I was on my way. Take that Nando’s.
I know I haven’t written a review in a while. So here are three short ones of quick construct and poor humour. They’ll remind you why you stopped reading in the first place.
Joupa Roti, Clapham
Do you have friends in Clapham? Maybe you met them on your gap year? Or perhaps you work in PR? Do they dislike the Lebanese and consider the film Rabbit-Proof Fence to be ‘a bit one-sided’? If your only previous means of relief from their amazeballs gatherings was popping out for a cig and chuckling at Cock Pond then you’re in luck. Joupa Roti near Clapham North tube is serving up some bowel-busting combinations of curried meats, mashed pumpkins and ‘hello boss’ salutations. Have a delicious combo here before meeting your antipodean acquaintances, and as soon as mutterings of a race-riot are greeted with admiration, you can pretend to shit yourself and go home. But you might actually shit yourself, but then you can just go home anyway.
Actually knowing any Australians who live in Clapham: 0/10
Being Stoned: 8/10
Some Ethiopian food stand off Brick Lane
I’m sick of multiculturalism polluting our cuisine. I’m not going to buy a dosa off some twat from Stoke Newington called Owen just because he found himself in Mumbai. There’s proper British Indians just down the road run buy real proper British Indians. Sort it out Brick Lane. I bought this Ethiopian stuff from a bird who definitely looked at least half-African. And she was only selling it for £2 because she had “run out of change.” It literally made no sense.
Morley’s Family Treat Y’all
And finally this, a delightful correspondence from a culinary contemporary, and like-minded soul.
Family treat necessitating drunken late night picture message: 10/10
Morley’s Ribs: -100/10
Abdi forgetting to put Coleslaw in: 10/10
London restaurants have always depended on an air of exclusivity. If you and your friends have ever been refused access to the same disabled toilet in McDonald’s at 3am you’ll understand what I mean. These prejudices are slowly eroding however, as eateries are no longer reserved for the better dressed and higher paid. You simply have to queue, and the lines at Meat Liquor are even longer than the lines cut on the baby-change table of a fast-food chain restroom.
Meat Liquor has clearly channelled the New York style speak-easy vibe. I’m not sure what that really means, but if it entails besuited men queuing outside with confused young women enticed by promises of cocaine and not getting date-raped on Primrose Hill then they’ve got it spot on. Also, any place that attempts to recreate the detritus adorning the walls of genuine American dives by hiring an art student to paint some abstract shit on the ceiling then cover it with a stencil of a sexy pin-up is authentic in my book. This is 2012, photos, newspaper and taxidermy are all digital anyway.
The food was decadent American junk, accompanied by a drink named Grog that was limited to two per customer, despite tasting like nothing more than a night with Glen’s exciting vodka and KA. I think Meat Liquor have underestimated true levels of excess. The burgers, while dripping with cheese and generally fantastic, were too small, and a portion of onion rings had to be fought over like the last wrap taken to a disabled toilet in a McDonald’s.
I’d go again, as it would be a good place to take a girl, even if you don’t plan on plying her with drugs purchased on a Goldman Sachs expense account. My girlfriend almost joined us, but the waiter wouldn’t let her in as she arrived 5 minutes after we were seated. Unlike the disabled toilets at a 24 hour McDonald’s, you have to arrive all at once to enjoy it together.
Food: There was some.
Price: £60 for 3. That will barely buy you a gram of coke these days.
I’ve listed a selection of my favourite foods to buy on Rye Lane. So if you enjoy having a strong resistance to the Ebola virus, along with a preference for your food to come in a sack, then read on.
Never do I want to hear that Peckham butchers with signs that say ‘phone unlocking’, have been replaced by butchers with signs that say ‘butchers’. I went into a shop in gentrified East Dulwich once and not only did they refuse to unlock my mobile - claiming the pratice to be illegal - they told me that they didn’t even know how, as they were butchers. They’d obviously never been to Rye Lane. Lamb Neck is a personal favourite. You can get 6 for £3, and a jail-broke iPhone for £5 more.
Arab-American Solidarity Rice
Wouldn’t it be cool if messrs Bush and Bush jr hung out at Camp David with Saddam and Ayatollah Khomeini to shoot hoops, drink Keystone Lite, and make fun of Netanyahu? The logo for their pick-up basketball team would probably be similar to this badass pack of rice. It really makes you think about the true cost of war.
Something Arabic with an intimidating logo
The old addage ‘you are what you eat’ once suggested that a person’s constitution reflected the nutritional content - or lack thereof - of the foods they consumed. The Advertising industry has decided to completely fuck this up, managing to convince speccy kids that they’ll turn into a 6 story cartoon spokes-giant if they eat sweetcorn. It’s not even a vegetable, it’s a grain. Having said that, I would be more than happy to increase my intake of Sweet Supari if I were to transform into the stern Ayatollah of indeterminate Arabic food products pictured above. I bet Rick Ross owes him one hundred favours.
And the rest
A shit load of whatever Frooti is
Big-ass tubs of yoghurt.
I can’t believe anyone would eat this much yoghurt! What a day.
Thanks to a preference for flannel shirts, a shit beard, and a large cut on my chin, I currently look like a fat version of Bon Iver whose just been head-butted by Danny Devito. I figured Viet-van was the perfect opportunity to sample authentic street food befitting my rugged appearance. I crossed into East Dulwich, swerved around the enormous buggies, hopped over chihuahuas wearing coats, and averted my gaze from the oddly addractive pregnant mannequins. I was among my street-loving brethren, who happened to be 6 year olds in Barbour jackets.
Everyone should give Viet-van man a visit. He packs the baguette with spicy pork he has stewing in a crock-pot, and tops it with coleslaw and other veggies. Underneath all this is pork pate. Pork pate. He heroically covers pork pate in slow-roasted pork. I can’t stress this enough. I was reminded of another life-altering pig combo, the bacon wrapped hot-dogs I ate in Sonora, Mexico. I stumbled back across another border that day, the one between East Dulwich and Peckham, just as I had in Mexico. Happy, satiated, not high on hallucinogens.
Look at this photo. It’s shit. It tells you nothing.
Fantastic. Ten out of Ten. Woke up on a bus with goat bones all in my pocket.
I recently made the mistake of attempting to troll the East Dulwich Forum. As it turns out, this is a sin right up there with picking Daffodils on Goose Green or missing an Ocado delivery. Their retribution was harsher and more cynical than the average letters page in the Guardian Weekend magazine. They elicited humorous variations on my name, exposed my friend’s shitty taste in music, and even produced an exotic culinary death threat.
If any good came of it, it was that other people besides immediate family or friends have now read my blog! Here’s a sample critique of my writing from Annette and David over at the EDF:
To be fair, it’s some of the more accurate writing that you’ll read on this blog. Especially the bit about Danny Dyer. Haha the best was when he tried to disguise himself as a bouncer except he just ended up looking like Keith Chegwin! Class.
Check out the gang here. Especially as the screen grab’s proper shit.