Streetfeast is one of a handful of London organisations that seek to bring street food to the masses. Between them, WeFeast and KERB, multiple events run every month to serving up incredible food at interesting locations with an party atmosphere.
Streetfeast had been in hiatus for a while and the BrooklynFeast was their return to the forefront with a rather trendy event in Dalston on a bitterly cold Tuesday evening. The venue was as hipsterish as it gets, an old car park which itself was a disused building full of shipping containers and beaten up old bangers. The team in charge had done a great job in filling the space. Plastic chairs and some floodlights this was not. Glow lights and back-lit signs were hung in and around and across the open spaces between the traders vans. Several large marquees were put up and filled with plentiful seating for a change. Best of all, they actually stuck their head out the window, realised it was beyond ‘just a bit nippy’ and rented a dozen heat lamps. For more pictures I’m sure Kate Beard from www.asouthernbellein.com/ took some great pictures so keep a look out on her blog.
The food was paired with the Brooklyn Brewery and each guest was given a free beer and dish ticket. For 6 quid, that is a bargain in anyone’s book, something perhaps WeFeast could do well to look at. Only issue I had was that the event was seemingly not selling any non-alcoholic drinks. I may have missed something but when we asked at the bar we were told “This is a beer festival you know?” True: but not everyone want to just drink beer all night on a Tuesday.
Overzealous ticket allocation is always an issue with these events. Yesterday started at 5 and by 8 was beginning to get uncomfortably full. The queues for traders were starting to snake into the main walkways and the average wait for food was a solid 15-20 minutes. That being said, there were many large off shoot areas that helped manage those that weren’t queuing and for those of us that got their early, and had a game-plan, we feasted on 6 of the 9 or so options before succumbing to both the limits of our waistlines and the increasing numbness of our frozen toes.
Those of us that have made burgers at home or at least eaten more than our fair share, know that a burger is a god awful thing to try to make great. A great burger is more than just great ingredients, it’s the interplay between the components and the balancing act they must play. Zan is a burger wizard and has honed this to perfection. No tomatoes, no gherkins, no lettuce, no distractions. Just dribbling beefy juices from a patty that is right up there.
|Double Cheeseburger. Picture doesn't do it justice. Head over to burgeraddict.org for a better gallery|
The patty is a blend of four different cuts aged generally at least 35 days. Aged beef doesn’t guarantee bold flavours, but here that’s exactly what you get. My death-row meal may well be a Zan double cheeseburger.
|The Bleecker St Van|
Luardos Fish Taco
Never having been to Luardos and their religious-themed van (they have two: Mary and Jesus), I was pretty excited. While they were also doing pork carnitas, the fish took my fancy. A deep-fried mini fillet of coley served on a soft taco and topped with avocado, fruity salsa, some slaw, onions, hot sauce and a mayo. As good as this was, and I’ll stress it was good; fish tacos scream warm California to me. Given the weather though, I wish they had done a burrito with its slow cooked meant and warming beans. However as I said, take nothing away, this was a great taco. All the flavours worked in harmony and came through in waves. Luardos has a devout following (see what I did there?) and is somewhere I’d highly recommend going if you have the chance.
|Fried Coley Filets|
|Soft Shell Fish taco|
These guys had some of the most fearsome queues, possibly because they were next to the beer tent, possibly due to the fact that it’s easy to eat a hot dog with one hand, or it because they do a mean hot dog. I’ve eaten a BAHD before and really enjoyed it but I have to say that I wasn’t really blown away last night. I got the Big Dog, a beef and pork banger, and although it had a great skin and a nice spicing, it wasn’t something that screamed ‘out-of-the-ordinary’. Still, not many places do good hot dogs in London so definitely worth a go.
This was their first street food event and maybe that showed with their slightly naive stock levels. They only brought 50 orders worth of smoked wings despite at least half of the 500 or so people there trying to order them. I can’t complain too much as I got the last order, but the guy behind me was less than amused. The wings and Buffalo Bill burger (slider version for the event) are basically mirror images of Patty & Bun’s notoriously fantastic versions (Joe worked with the STK guys during development). The wings have a strong smoky flavour and a sticky sweet BBQ sauce, a crispy skin and melt in the mouth confit flesh. Heavenly although £3.50 for 3 is a bit steep.
The slider has a similar taste to an Ari Gold except the cheese is milder and the onions had a bit more of a bite. Also both the bun and the patty were slightly firmer than expected but me thinks that is to do with creating the smaller slider size. Either way this was, like Patty&Bun, excellent. Also to note that as they are soon adding a Shoreditch (apologies previously said Soho by mistake) site for the Airstream where they will be selling burgers into the night. I might get to try them more often!
If I’m being honest I would have to confess to having missed the news about Well Kneaded. Pizza Pilgrims, Fundi and Piadana are my go-tos for pizza and flat breads. Now however it seems you can add one more. They serve an honest sourdough flatbread with simple, tasty toppings. Keeping things simple is the best way for street food. I got the leek and chorizo topped pie and the slice was huge, one of the better values items that night for £3.50. The leeks were sweetened by their caramelisation and the chorizo was a comforting warmth against the cold. Unfortunately the girls were a bit overly generous with the Parmesan and it was so overpowering I couldn’t taste the dough at all. Some friends had had one earlier without the mound of cheese however and said it was brilliant. Either way, I’d still go again, although they’d have to form a queue behind some of the others.
on twitter for details for the next event. Hopefully it won't be as cold!
|Leek and Chorizo|