Best part: the beetroot!
We were under very tight time pressure this week, so went for an option that we knew would be speedy and have no potential pitfalls around waiting for bills or nonchalant waiters. You’ve probably seen the stall at the top end of St Peter’s where Jon peddles his of the moment pulled substances and his punning name so bad it wouldn’t seem out of place on a barber’s shop.
The service was friendly and efficient. Whilst smelling the gorgeous food being cooked and feeling almost jealous of my meat eating husband I was happy to see great attention to hygiene in this open kitchen van. Very reassuring in this fast food context.
Once we had obtained our meals we set out to find a venue to consume them. As it was midsummer, it was of course raining so the usual options of the Vintry Garden or the nice patch behind the town hall were out. Instead as good loyal St Albanians we sat in the car and listened to Radio Verulam.
I had been presented with a roll containing ‘Firecracker Brisket’, an intensely rich and sticky mess of beef in a lovely, slightly sweet, brioche roll. Giving a slightly firmer texture was the coleslaw which tasted fresh and zesty. This was despite the presence of shredded beetroot. Normally beetroot is unwelcome in any context if you are not a drunken antipodean, but it was pickled here and I finally started to see the point of it.
The falafel was good but it was the accompanying salady stuff that made the lunch special; sweet and crunchy. As street food it worked fine in the bun but I do feel that the alternative accompaniment of cous cous would have actually tasted better with it. Of course this wouldn’t have worked anywhere without a table. Although our youngest child often proves that you can eat cous cous with your fingers it is not something that anyone else should be forced to watch in public or private! Therefore I would advise any readers to opt for the bun unless they are eating at their desks.
Now, the one issue that presented itself when we had finished wolfing down our buns to the accompaniment of local reporting at it’s best, was the stickiness that had made the beef so flavoursome. As this was street food, to be eaten on or around a street, we had neither cutlery nor a convenient bathroom to wipe our mucky paws. Therefore, potentially the inclusion of moist lemon towelettes might be a winner in future?
Otherwise, well done to Jon and his al fresco loose meat sandwich emporium!