On Our Radar



     
 
Friday, September 26, 2014
King of Convenience
Business/Location: Eat 17
Address: 64-66 Brooksby's Walk
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: E9 9DA
Phone: 020 8986 6242
Website: www.eat17.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Eat 17
Not so long ago, there was a definition being bandied about by the press: "Andism." It was being applied to the likes of cafes which were also bike repair shops, and boutiques that were also bars. Well, Eat 17 is beyond Andism: it's a convenience store, burger bar, restaurant, florist, bakery, off licence, and many other things due to the ingenious housing of numerous local brands and suppliers under one roof. A bit like a farmers' market but you don't have to wait for the weekend and you can also enjoy the Art Deco-influenced dining room upstairs. It's brilliant and that's from someone who doesn't easily buy things. That's right, despite my forays into marketing (or maybe because of them), I am very hard to convince. No Jordan Belfort, I do not want your pen, I would rather carve words into my forearm with my housekey than allow a cretin like you the satisfaction of a sale. Anyway. The original Eat 17 is in Walthamstow and off the back of its success, this one opened in the summer. Oh, and the people behind it also created Bacon Jam--yes, Bacon Jam. And I guarantee you'll have an East 17 song in your head as you wander the aisles (mine was Deep) and perhaps chuckle to yourself as you remember Brian Harvey's baked potato accident. Just go.


Thursday, September 25, 2014
The Modern Antiquarian
Business/Location: Cafe Antiquari
Address: 5 Carrer Arabi
City: Palma
State: Mallorca
Zip Code: 07003
Phone: 34 871 572 313

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Cafe Antiquari
I hate to say it folks but we're in the last week of September, the dying embers of summer are just about still glowing but October is around the corner. So of course, your roving reporter ran away to Mallorca for a bit. I love this island. It's no longer about package holidays and lager louts (although, you can still find that if that's what you want) and I find the street culture in Palma very interesting. The graffiti is almost painterly and on a par with anything you see in East London and there's a healthy enthusiasm for vintage. Perhaps because it's an island, the quality of antiques is particularly good and if you're a geek for cameras or clocks, you're likely to find something here. Café Antiquari (as its name suggests) epitomizes this antiquarian aesthetic and serves the best drinks in town. Every day we enjoyed one (or two) of their generous mojitos or sangrias (or both) and it became one of those lovely holiday rituals to sit on the steps of Carrer Arabi and people-watch. Owner Francois is on to a winner with this place so drop in and say hello if you happen to be on the island.


Thursday, September 04, 2014
The Holy Trinity
Business/Location: O'Neill's
Address: 87 Muswell Hill Broadway
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N10 3HA
Phone: 020 8883 7382
Website: www.oneills.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   O'Neill's
Why would I be recommending an O'Neill's pub if you are, "not a tourist," in Muswell Hill? Or indeed if you are a tourist in Muswell Hill? Well because this one is a ruddy great converted church, that's why. Dating back to somewhere between 1899 and 1903 this flint and terracotta Presbyterian Church is quite a sight to behold. The only worship going on here though is at the altars of Sports, Music, and Booze. On a Saturday, there's big screen premiership action, plus there's a program of regular live music from Blues to Irish to Rock to Swing. Oh and they have a table tennis table--extra points for that. Not a bad stop-off for a plate of nachos and a cider (they serve South African favourite Savannah--extra points again) after doing your grocery shopping in Planet Organic, getting kitted out at Sweaty Betty, or whatever it is people do in Muswell Hill.


Thursday, September 04, 2014
A Justifiable Brouhaha
Business/Location: Brouhaha
Address: 501 Green Lanes
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N4 1AL
Phone: 020 8348 8563

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Brouhaha
Brouhaha used to be The Garden Ladder, one of only a couple of stolid listings for the Harringay neighbourhood in the NFT London book since the first edition back in 2009. The locals were quite worried when it closed down but it seems that Paresh and Dipesh (who have taken over) have done well with the new incarnation. I'm not a great ale or beer drinker but the guest draft beverages were a major draw of the Garden Ladder and Brouhaha sold out of their Redemption beers on tap at the opening night according to CAMRA's (Campaign for Real Ale) Facebook page. They have draft Aspall's so this cider-drinker is happy. My partner in crime and I also thought it was a clever idea to have a Black Bull shot (Kahlua and tequila) between each pint of cider we sunk. It was good, you should try it. The place is neither a pub nor a cocktail bar but has a really friendly, laid back atmosphere as well as a varied clientele. It's also open in the daytime and I would happily come in for a brewski and a read of the papers. More food options to follow once the kitchen is refurbed apparently; till then, bar snacks are available to soak up that tequila.


Wednesday, September 03, 2014
The Not So Big Screen
Business/Location: ArtHouse
Address: 159 Tottenham Ln
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N8 9BT
Phone: 020 8245 3099
Website: www.arthousecrouchend.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   ArtHouse
I like cinemas, but people in cinemas? Not so much. I don't want to sound like a killjoy but why do people talk through the trailers? Why do people take their shoes off? Why do people bring their stinky, yet no doubt, healthy houmous and celery sticks into the cinema? It's the cinema people! Eat the popcorn! I know I've seen the trailer for 20,000 Days On Earth three times in the last fortnight but I don't care about your friend who's just published a scientific paper on fruit flies! (I'm not making this up). It's the silver screen folks, have some respect! People are a bit more aware when it comes to mobile phones in arthouse cinemas but it seems they then think that it gives them a free pass to do all of the above. So I don't know why I'd recommend ArtHouse above any other cinema but I do like it there. It's tiny and it feels like a bit of a time warp, the bar/café is welcoming, and I like their Tuesday night quiz. In conclusion, it felt right to watch Boyhood here but maybe stick to the Vue or Cineworld for Guardians of The Galaxy and its ilk.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Brooklyn in London
Business/Location: Brooklyn Coffee
Address: 139 Commercial St
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: E1 6BJ
Phone: 07525 861 964
Website: www.brooklyncoffee.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Brooklyn Coffee
I generally resent paying for a cup of coffee--I'm a coffee fiend but I'd much rather make a brew at home with whatever bean I'm currently favouring (coffee of the moment is El Carmen from Pact if you're interested). I find it amusing that people baulk at the cost of a pack of freshly roasted coffee (around £6.90 for 250g) yet will happily pay approximately £2.50 a day for a potentially sub-standard coffee mainly so they can walk around with a drink-thru cup in their hand whilst on their iPhone being all, y'know, busy. I only stopped at Brooklyn Coffee because it's right by the 67 bus stop plus I had been craving oat cookies which I was eyeballing through the window whilst weighing up the chances of my bus arriving. Then I remembered that Caffeine magazine had said nice things about Brooklyn so I was like, "Hell, I'll give them a go." They use Caravan's Market Blend which gets them points straight off the bat. My flat white was perfect: creamy and smooth and the right temperature, kind of mellow but halfway through the cup, those familiar Market Blend flavour notes came through strong. I almost got so distracted that I missed my bus. The cookie also hit the spot and more excitingly--they stock Mast Brothers chocolate.


Monday, August 18, 2014
Salted Caramel Saves the Day. Again.
Business/Location: Black Vanilla
Address: 5 College Approach
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: SE10 9HY
Phone: 020 8858 3283
Website: black-vanilla.com

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Black Vanilla
Continuing on my gelato riff I decided to head south of the river to Black Vanilla. I'd heard good things about it and was anxious to taste "the finest gelato outside of Italy." Let's get something straight: I judge a gelateria by its pistachio ice-cream. The pistachio ice-cream here is green. Sure, it tasted good but the colour was distracting especially when I was told the pistachio bronte was 50p extra because it was a "premium" flavour. The best pistachio ice-cream I've ever tasted was a distinctly nut-brown hue studded with lovely emerald pieces of pistachio. The stem ginger and acacia honey flavour was interesting. Once in Venice, at a gelateria owned by one Signor Pistacchi (I kid you not), I ordered the ginger flavour and he looked me in the eye and said, "Ma, signorina, la zenzero è un po'...zingara" to which I replied, "Si, me piace zingara." Directly translated, zingara means female gipsy but he was warning me that it was a bit spicy. So that set the benchmark for ginger ice-cream. Granted, this one is made with stem ginger so naturally, will be sweet, but I couldn't help compare. Lastly, the salted caramel knocked my socks off. It had an almost smoky intensity which I can still taste. Not a wasted trip then.


Monday, August 18, 2014
Hungry for Hungarian
Business/Location: The Langos Company
Address: 5 Greenwich Market
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: SE10 9HZ
Phone: 07525 861 964
Website: www.thelangoscompany.com

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   The Langos Company
Street food is now ubiquitous in London which is great as you can eat treats from all corners of the world without leaving our fair city. As much as I love burritos and banh mi, burgers and bao, it's always exciting to stumble across something I haven't seen or tasted before. On a Friday trip to Greenwich I noticed a pizza-looking item and knew immediately that that's what I wanted despite the array of deliciousness before me. A sample taster of the traditional Langos--topped with sour cream and grated cheese--sealed the deal. Langos is a deep fried flatbread that has a beautifully light inside and a crispy golden outside. The warm, garlicky, buttery taste is superb as it is but the Langos Company offers toppings like pulled pork and beef ragu. The latter is topped with shavings of one of my favourite cheeses--Yarg! Yes, Yarg. If you haven't heard of it you now have knowledge of a new Cornish cheese and a fantastic word to say at whim. Yarg! Anyhoo, it's this combination of fresh flavours sourced in the UK which brings the humble Langos into its own. I chose the barbeque chicken which was liberally garnished with fresh herbs, peppers, onion and salad. Yum. Definitely need to #EatMoreLangos (follow their Twitter to find out more).


Monday, August 04, 2014
Blimey O'Riley
Business/Location: Riley Ice Cream Cafe
Address: 32 The Broadway
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: N8 9SU

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Riley Ice Cream Cafe
Is it nearly the weekend again? What's that? Another week has past? Sorry dear Reader, it's just that in the UK we're experiencing a, how do you say? Summer. So, as the saying goes, one should make hay whilst the sun is shining--or eat ice-cream. Yes, I just can't stay away from the frozen stuff and my nearest gelateria is Riley's in Crouch End. From the regular queues here, I'm not sure they need much promotion but I have to say the ice-cream is particularly creamy and good. Stand out flavour is, without a doubt, the hazelnut swirled with Nutella. Even the sorbets have a lovely creamy texture--melon, lemon, banana and chocolate (yes, chocolate sorbet) are exceptional. I've got my eye on the coconut and honeycomb flavours so if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work.


Friday, July 18, 2014
You Scream, I Scream
Business/Location: Ruby Violet
Address: 118 Fortress Rd
City: London
State: England
Zip Code: NW5 2HL
Phone: 020 7609 0444
Website: www.rubyviolet.co.uk

Posted by:  Claire Storrow
Photo:  Claire Storrow
   Ruby Violet
It's been too hot to write this week. I've mainly been eating ice cream. And having heard talk of Ruby Violet, it was the perfect excuse for a jaunt to Tufnell Park. I looked at the website beforehand, and was eager to try the peach and rosewater flavour; alas, this being a homemade ice-cream parlour, one has to choose from what is available on the day. No bother, as the apricot and sour cream combo sounded equally delectable. A scoop of that plus a scoop of lime sorbet was just the ticket. The fresh flavours were sublime--the lime was sharp, just how I like it, and the tartness of the apricot complemented the sour cream. The parlour is really cute with Billy the Van sitting outside if he's not servicing a street food market or an event. I like the fact that it's open til 10pm every night except Monday. As I'm not drinking at the moment, I may have to make a late night visit--hey, we all have our vices. It might be difficult not to indulge in one of Ruby's Rich Rarities though, such as Elderflower and Chandon or Bloody Mary granita. Although the place was full of kids when I visited, this is definitely ice-cream for grown-ups.