Monday, November 26, 2012

KERB your appetite

I hope that all of my American friends had a lovely Thanksgiving!  The hubs and I went out for our Thanksgiving meal - well, I say it was a Thanksgiving meal, but really it was just us going out for dinner on an evening that happened to coincide with this US holiday...

We headed to KERB, a street food market under the West Handyside Canopy in King’s Cross.  The path leading from the station to the market has lots of pretty colourful lights, water features and a giant neon birdcage, so it's quite a nice area to wander around - when the weather is nice!


We battled the windy weather (note the windswept look in all of my photos!) to get to this food truck extravaganza after work, and in homage to America, we chowed down on burgers, buttermilk fried chicken, mac'n'cheese and tacos!

With a selection of various types of food, I thought it best that we avoid any possible food envy, and share a selection of foods from various vendors - because as we all know, sharing is caring!

We started off with a kimchi cheese burger from Kimchi Cult (and by starting off, I mean after I slurped down a mulled wine) which sounds a bit wrong (fermented cabbage on a cheese burger?  Really?) but was oh so right.  The patty was big, flat and juicy, piled high with kimchi and encased in an unassuming bread bun.  It was big enough to share, but small enough that split between two, we still had enough room to munch forth and sample more snacks.

Next up we headed to Anna Mae's for a portion of mac'n'cheese.  This was our second time eating at Anna Mae's, and whilst I refrained from judgement the first time, this time I have to come out and say it: I just don't get the hype.  A mediocre, luke-warm, stingy portion of pasta for £5?  Come on, if you can buy burgers from the other vendors for that same price, then they could at least fill the little bowl up to the top with macaroni....just an observation.  That said, they do have one of the coolest looking trucks...

The pièce de résistance came in the form of buttermilk fried chicken taco's, Tennessee-style (we were informed) from Ambriento.  This was the first time I have ever encountered fried chicken and guacamole tacos, but they were effing delicious!  They got the thumbs up from us both, and the hubs even felt compelled to go back and give them props - credit where credit is due, they were super yummy and fairly priced to boot (two big tacos stuffed full of chicken, salsa, guacamole and chipotle aioli for £5  - perfect for our sharing mission)!

By this point I was feeling pretty full, but our eyes were drawn to the beautiful sweet treats at Poppy's Kitchen.  Such pretty little perfectly formed pâtisseries!  We couldn't resist getting dessert to take home and share, and chose the figgy panna cotta atop a perfectly crisp and buttery pastry base.  It was just as delicious to taste as it was to look at.

We headed home with our bellies full.  I am thankful to have such a wonderful, loving husband....who loves food as much as I do!  I am also thankful that I don't have to listen to the loud, thumping, crappy music that was playing at the market anymore.  Seriously, it was a lovely evening out, but the music sucked and was so obnoxiously loud (have I turned into a granny?) that it made it difficult to have a proper conversation - although, I suppose, who needs to talk when you could be shovelling yummy food into your gob?


The KERB street food market is open for lunch in Kings Cross during the week, with a new Thursday market operating outside the Gherkin now too.  This Kerb Your Enfoodiasm winter party evening market was a special event, but I believe there will be another one next month.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Riotous Weekend!

Well, I'm back to work after another super duper Rhythm Riot, and all I can think about is dancing.....and sleeping!  Hopefully everyone else that was there is feeling as thoroughly exhausted as I am, otherwise I'm getting old before my time...

This year we decided to Riot in style, and plumped for a posh 'luxury' chalet, which was the right decision, even though all the accommodation has been given a revamp since we were there last year.  Our chalet was located in the block right next to the main venue, and was very comfortable - it even included towels and toilet paper, what more could you want?

We had the perfect roomies, and a fridge full of cava - I like to dub our chalet 'Three redheads and an Aaron'!

It was great having so many friends as our neighbours and we were in a prime location for our friend Jim's (DJ Big Kahuna) annual Riot birthday party, complete with food, booze, dancing...and a Christmas tree!  Chalet parties are a nice way to catch up with friends, and this was no exception - of course there was a birthday cake and a birthday jam too....


The whole weekend is pretty much an array of dazzling vintage outfits, dancing, fun times, being amongst friends, drinking, tiny tea cups, giggling, drooling over all the amazing classic cars, chalet parties, and in my case - living on a diet of cheese and crackers!

As well as offering an opportunity to see legendary musicians such as Billy Boy Arnold, the Riot is also a great place to shop for vintage.  I actually managed to be on my best budget behaviour, and only came away from the weekend with a new bracelet!  I will admit, however, that this was partly down to being overwhelmed by the amount of pretty things in such a small space....and the amount of other people also crowding that space.  I was really not in the right mood for shopping, but dancing on the other hand, now that I was in the mood for!


Personal highlights for me included tearing up the dance floor to nearly every song that Mike Penny and his Moonshiners played at the Saturday afternoon honkytonk in the pub.  What a superb band!  I would never normally associate a German band with busting out some proper Texas-style country western tunes, but boy did they pack the joint and the dance floor.  I left the Queen Vic a hot sweaty mess, but it was so worth it.

I also loved The Rusty Pinto Combo - those Aussie guys know how to put on a great show.  They were great to dance to, as well as being fun to watch, and the songs they played showcased a range of styles, which added extra variety and kept the show really exciting!

Rusty Pinto's style is bluesy, r&b, rockin'...and with a country twang or two, thrown in for good measure!  I really can't sing his praises enough!

The Cleftones were always going to pull in a huge crowd, and they didn't disappoint.  They put on a vibrant, fun and soulful show, interacting with the audience, and enjoying every minute of it.  Having seen them a couple of years ago at the Rhythm Rocker, I knew we were in for a treat.  I even relived a romantic moment from that weekend in Long Beach, by having a slow and smoochy dance to 'I only have eyes for you' with loverboy.... *Swoon*...

I will admit, that having seen Si Cranstoun perform numerous times within recent memory, I was not particularly excited to see him, as say, The Bellfuries, whom I had never seen play before.

How.  Wrong.  I.  Was.

He put on a fantastic, high energy show, to a packed room full of people, and completely dominated that stage.  Wow!  By this point I had done so much dancing already that my little tootsies felt like they were about to drop off, and still I could not stop myself from taking to the dance floor.

This was definitely the best show I have seen him play - his voice was on point, the band sounded great, managing to completely fill the huge room with big sounds, and they were just so dang happy to be there, as it was the Riot two years ago that gave Si Cranstoun his big break and really put him on the musical map.  It's testament to his talent, that he played three nights at Viva Las Vegas this year (which I didn't get to go to, boohoo!), and is booked to headline again next year.

So I  finally got to see The Bellfuries, having listened to their album Just Plain Lonesome over and over and over again for the past couple of years.  I have to say that they pretty much sounded exactly like they do on the record - except that they didn't play 'Your love (all that I'm missin')' which was a great disappointment to me!  The singer Joey Simeone and drummer Bobby Trimble did, however, do a brilliant a capella version of Sam Cooke's 'Cupid' in the encore, which was an unexpected surprise.

I enjoyed standing up front and singing along to all their songs with loverboy - in our finest Southern drawls, of course!

Photo by Tony Bruce 

I am so glad that I finally got to see them live, but I would love to see them play a smaller venue in Austin, TX...

We didn't go to Rye for the car cruise this year (I took a well-needed nap instead!) but we did see some beautiful cars in the car park...

 Did I mention that I danced my socks off?  Because I did...and so did everyone else...

Photo by Tony Bruce

So another brilliant weekender has been and gone!  I am currently having dance withdrawals, and can't wait until this weekend so that I can go out and dance with friends to my heart's content!  Other than that...roll on Viva Las Vegas!!!