Monday, 18 October 2010

A Day South of the River

We’d had quite a busy day, especially with Lina venturing into a street photographic project with the Photography Gallery. Each week for a year there is a new instruction posted on the web. You then go and see what you can come up with based on that instruction. She is being pretty open minded about the instructions, and churning out some good fotos. 
This weeks one was “Take a Bus. Do weekly shopping. Pop into a public loo” Normally they are quite normal. But this actually fits in well with us re-discovering London, as we now get to go all other on this mad photo journey. So Saturday morning we found ourselves in Brixton market to take a few snaps and more importantly to see where we could lunch.

I was keen on having a pizza at Franco Manca, and the queue when we arrived before noon was ok. So we wandered around for a bit, snapping and the like.
Brixton market has everything that you could want in a street market. Good veggie stalls, a tonne of meat shops selling every cut under the sun. But it's the quantity of fishmongers that is amazing. All the fish looks so good, and at very good prices also. Damn we really have to move. I wish there were more places like this all over London, especially on this scale. Damn those supermarkets.
After a while snapping all and sundry we stopped off for a coffee at Rosie’s, a place I had bizarrely read about whilst we were in Colombia.
Rosie’s has that feel of a floppy old English teashop, with loving cakes in the window and loads of delish produce to buy on the shelves.
We sat outside watching the world go by as you do, or as I do. The coffee was served in 1950’s teacups, ahhhh just like out of Enid Blyton. I also fuelled my addiction and had one of their sausage rolls. Pastry was really nice and flaky, terribly greasy though, and even had some cartilage inside the meat as well. But apart from that it was ok. I wish we had eaten brunch here, but I was thinking pizza.
Wandering around some more I was again in need of a coffee. I have forgone coffee at work this past month to drink green tea, and I am feeling all the better for it. But when I start drinking coffee I need more.

So I stumbled upon Federation Coffee. A great little place serving good coffee in Brixton Village Market. You can tell these guys love their job. The barista made my flat white with care and attention. A rare thing these days. T’was a damn good flat white as well. I wish this place was closer to my home. Maybe I should move. Now that is an idea.
We were tempted by a few places in there to eat. Especially as we’ve discovered it is a little Colombia inside. We counted at least three Colombian eateries. All serving the food I lived on for 8 months. It’s not been long enough yet, although I was tempted to have some Ajiaco. That great potato, corn and chicken soup. Hmmmmm.

By the time we made it back to Franco Manca there were at least 50 people in the queue. Now really is the pizza that good or is it just to see and be seen. I can name many a place like that. So we wandered off. I will try the one in Chiswick and see how good they really are. Although atmosphere plays a big part in restaurants, and Chiswick will be more un-atmospheric than in Brixton. That I can say for sure. I cannot imagine those yummy mummies from Chiswick queuing for more than 5 minutes for anything. I have found that to be a Chiswick thing. They do not queue.
No idea what happened next but we found ourselves in the Railway Tavern in Clapham. I think walking and talking we lost sight of where we were or where to go.
I have been to the Tavern before but just for drinks. There was a reason for that.
They have a good selection of beers. Draught and bottled. But what can I say about the food at the Railway Tavern, apart from it wasn’t very good. I was feeling a bit under the weather at the time. This is my excuse. Maybe it was a punishment for not queuing at Franco Manca, or maybe I have lost my Karma for a bit.

Lina opted for a fish pie, and I and the burger with added cheese and bacon. Well, the fish pie had boiled potato’s (with skins on) mixed in below the slightly burnt crust. More padding, less fish. It actually wasn’t bad. Had a nice flavour but really it was underwhelming. But we were in a pub.

My burger was pretty poor to say the least. The only redeeming feature was that the bun had been toasted. The meat was over cooked and burnt around the edges. The bacon had shrivelled so much I only found it and the cheese with the last bite. The chips were ok though. Nice and crispy on the outside and floury on the inside.
But as I said the pub has some nice beers on offer and for a place just to drink it is pretty good. Just don’t eat there.

Rosie's Deli Cafe on Urbanspoon

Federation Coffee on Urbanspoon

The Railway Tavern on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

TomEats said...

I think Franco is cheap and fun though you definitely made the right choice not waiting that long.

In Brixton my favourites are probably the jerk chicken or roti street stall places (or jump on a train to East Dulwich for some tasty gentrified food).

Or Herne Hill even has some good things going on these days.

Glad you loved Brixton Market - I love quite how crap/ good it is. The pics of the kids in the eves always make me laugh