I have a confession.
As you know, I love to travel. But I hate travelling within London.
I know this is bizarre. I’ll happily ride for five hours on the Eurostar to spend less than 18 hours in Paris (as we did last summer to go see Bruce Springsteen on a school night), but invite me to a house party in Ealing and, unless your ‘house party’ is actually a ‘wedding’, I ain’t coming.
However, a rare few things can coax me outside the City and the Northern Line.
Specifically, good beer and hot food.
Street food and beer party Brooklyn Feast took place last Tuesday in a car park in Dalston. (Everything about that sentence is so much cooler than I ever want to be.) It was put on by Street Feast London and Brooklyn Brewery, one of the better American beers you can get in the UK. I’m a Portland girl and my heart will always belong to Rogue Ales, but Brooklyn is seriously good stuff.
Brooklyn Feast also set out to woo me by starting at 6pm. (I am secretly middle aged and hate staying out past 9pm on a weeknight. Unless, as discussed, Bruuuuuuuuce is involved).
Advance tickets were £7, and for that we got vouchers for one bottle of Brooklyn beer (around £3.80+ in London) and £3.50 of food. In other words, the cost of tickets was the same as their actual value – maybe even a little less.
CAN YOU DO THAT IN LONDON?!
We arrived promptly at the start, when the vendors were still setting up. But who cares, because the bar was open:
Ewan got started with Pennant Ale (5.0%), while I jumped into the deep end with There Will Be Black (7.5%).
The organisers had put up seating inside the super trendy fake-graffitied parking zones:
Within ten minutes, most of the vendors were open and serving. Each van was selling a special dish for £3.50, or we could use our vouchers as credit towards something bigger. The organisers had put together suggested beer pairings for each special.
First Ewan and I split a Big Apple Hot Dog:
Then a Bleecker St Burger, a well-reputed London burger I hadn’t tried yet.
I love how my face is like bathed in angelic light from the street food van. Come to the burgers, Kerry.
The site filled up pretty quickly, and I heard from others who got there later that there was a good sized queue to get in. Advance tickets had sold out (SO TRENDY).
It was a great, festive atmosphere – except for one thing.
Notice anything about the way people are standing?
Like, how we’re all huddled for warmth as if our breath was making ice crystals in the air and our fingers are about to fall off?
Yeah, it was FREEZING that night. All the party atmosphere was happening in the street food section, but after fifteen minutes we gave up on jostling for a place by the standing heaters and peeled off to the heated seating tents.
But we didn’t stay huddled away from the main action for long. The food looked too amazing.
Spicy chicken wings from Street Kitchen:
Buttermilk chicken roll from Spit & Roast:
And my favourite of the night, fried fish taco from Luardos:
Avocado, mango, fried fish, cilantro, chili, HEAVEN.
After that mini-orgy of small dishes, I decided to head home before I fell into a food coma and lots my toes to frostbite.
On Tuesday, I learned the following things about parts-of-London-more-than-20-minutes-from-me:
- It is cold and inhospitable to human life;
- Beer and street food makes everything great.
I would tentatively venture out again. Just…please don’t hold the next one in Ealing, Street Feast.
Because I might have to come.
And then GOD KNOWS what would happen to me.
GOD ONLY KNOWS.