The ever-popular Beard Fest that is Street Feast returned to Belgrave Music Hall last weekend, where, in a textbook demonstration of defeating the point of the exercise, we swerved the varied and numerous guest traders flogging their aromatic wares and got our fill from those rakish in-housers, Patty Smith’s and Dough Boys. (Burgers and pizzas for the foolishly uninitiated. Get initiated.)
We did play along a little bit, escaping the hustle and bustle inside for a breather on the rain-spittled roof terrace where a Hepworth’s Deli sausage roll made a tasty start to proceedings.
On reflection, we should probably have been loftier in ambition and pushed the boundaries a bit further than pork in pastry but that would’ve meant giving up the bar-side seats we managed to nab back inside. There aren’t many things that’ll stop us greedily filling our faces but seat-to-bar proximity, specifically the potential of losing it, is one.
(Another is boiled rice.)
Question: how do you improve the already much-heralded Patty Smith’s burger?
Answer: add chilli.
Cunning move, Patty People, cunning move. I mean, the good-burger boxes had already been ticked:
- Shiny brioche bun, just about intact in the endgame.
- Charred beef, glimmering with grease.
- Layer of unknown cheese, there to add molten texture rather than actually taste of anything.
- No onion rings.
- Token salad.
Then they go and put chilli in the sauce and the scamps steal your heart again.
And then you try the chips, the bestchipsever, and before you know it you’re forcing the whole lot into your mouth, one over-stuffed mouthful after another; aware of, but ignoring, the disturbed and disgusted looks you’re getting. Then you remember they’ve only charged you £6.50 for all this, so you’re laughing at the same time as breathlessly masticating, and it’s going everywhere, and they must be subsidised by the government or summat, and now people are asking if you’re ok.
Then you have a sit down.
Course, not long after this you’re ready for another little snacklet, and the Dough Boys pizza is so good you insist on taking a close-up photograph of the slice – like the ones you laughed at on those pizza appreciation forums – which really embarrasses your niece who just wants to eat it.
And this was a steal, too; crisp and chewy at the same time, and you think of those rubbish pizzas you get for a tenner, all stodgy, flaccid and limp, and how nice it is that this place exists, putting on things like Street Feast, and how people would probably pay more for the Patty Smith’s burgers and Dough Boys pizza so hats off to them for keeping the prices low, and everyone’s so friendly, and next time you need to try the Fu Schnickens stuff because that stuff looked ace, and then you realise you’re drunk and talking to yourself and it’s time for home.