Sometimes if you’re a very good girl, and you want something really badly, and your want is pure and genuine and innocent, the Gods see fit to shine their light upon you and grant your wish.
I wanted street food in London. When visiting N in NYC, I think I spent 35% of my time whining at the lack of cheap, authentic and accessible ethnic street food in London, 20% of my time getting ridiculously excited about hot dog vendors and pretzels, and 10% of my time gazing longingly at the numerous random street food festivals you randomly encounter in New York City.
It wasn’t fair – in fact, it is a true injustice to a city that is supposed to be experiencing a new culinary awakening and influxes of new citizens from all over the world that they aren’t sharing their delicacies on every corner. And yet, a mere week after returning to London from New York City, and after living in London for almost a year, my wish came true. I was taken to Whitecross Street.
It was like my own personal, outdoor room of requirement. Almost as if I had wandered back and forth across the entrance to the street 3 times thinking hard on my desire to have pad thai served to me from a cart – my wish came true. For all of you who yearn the way I did, I feel it is my duty to inform you that there is a street in London where the street food is plentiful and not limited to market days.
Although I have yet to try them – the burrito truck was the first thing of beauty to catch my eye.
The option of pulled pork as opposed to ground beef gives me faith that they might actually be vaguely ‘mex’ as opposed to the normal London bad versions of ‘tex-mex’. Here is the front of the truck so you can fully understand its funky awesomeness.
There is also a jacket potato man, although he told me when I took the picture that he won’t be back on the street until the fall (summer being a bad potato season). He is extremely serious about his potatoes, they are slow roasted for up to five hours before he serves them, and my co-worker will eat jacket potatoes nowhere else.
There are also two Indian stalls (this is Britain afterall). One of them actually sells idli sambhar — a South Indian dish not widely found in London — while the other serves lovely vegetarian thalis. Both usually have lines around the corner, and they smell oh-so-good.
There are also 2 Thai stalls and one Jamaican stall on the street on a weekly basis. One Thai stall always has a much longer line than the other, but I’ve eaten at them both and I haven’t really found a difference between them. Neither come particularly close to the better versions of Thai food I’ve had around the world, but hey – beggars can’t be choosers and most of the meals there are under £4.
I would, dear readers, have pictures of the food I ended up buying (that day it was Thai) – but after taking pictures of all the stalls, I couldn’t wait any longer, once the food was in my grubby paws, to eat it.
Its hard to explain exactly, how knowledge of this street has affected my psychological perception of life in London. It is a comfort (like a geographical security blanket) knowing that whenever I feel like I really need a burrito – there is a place I can get it. It was a sense of security I didn’t even know was missing from my life here, but I feel like I can now live life fuller, be more adventurous and more daring. I am liberated simply by the knowledge that street like this exists.
Whats even more exciting is that on the first Friday and Saturday of every month, Whitecross Street has a food festival and markets. I went this past Friday, and although I promise forthcoming pictures, I can at least tease you with the knowledge that it was orgasmic fun – and with half the crowds of Borough Market. Oh, be still my beating heart.