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London Cravings

Hi everyone -

A few questions - I've lived in London for a few years - and would love to hear thoughts on the following:

1. Is it possible to get a good burger in London - the best I've discovered so far is the burger at the Jerusalem tavern on Britten Lane near Farringdon tube -- probably the last place one would expect to have a good burger - but surprisingly good, and a brilliant pub...any other ideas? Ed's doesn't really do it for me...

2. Is it possible to get a good burrito (carnitas preferable, but would settle on grilled chicken - black beans, rice, good salsa, good green hot sauce, no lettuce, etc) in London?

3. Israeli Cous-Cous - has anyone seen this in a store here? there was a thread a while back on this that mentioned it could be found in a delicatessen near a bookshop in Golder's Green - I made a pilgrimage up there, went into every shop in sight - and none to be found - any other ideas?

4. Italian sausages (american style with lots of fennel and no rusk) - there was a thread on this a while back also which seemed to conclude that the best bet was abandoning the effort to purchase them and, instead, make them yourself at home - is this still the latest thinking? (The sausage butcher near Marylebone High st does a passable version, btw)

5. Speaking of sausage - what's the deal with rusk in all the sausages? It's as if everybody here thinks there is still rationing or something - and, to start, sausage should consist of all the slightly dodgy bits of meat that aren't really suitable for any other purpose - that is, after all, what makes them so good - why do the English go and ruin the experience by adding breadcrumbs? Really bizarre.

6. Philly cheese steak. Yes, I know, it can't be found here. Still thought I'd ask...

7. What is the great cheap London food? I want the equivalent of a Spukie that you get from a slightly sketchy sandwich across the street from an Irish pub in Dorchester, MA, or a carnitas taco from a run-down shack in a little town just off highway one in southern california, or the pickled herring with chopped onion that you find on the streets of Amsterdam, or the Cincinnati chili served in watery, overcooked spaghetti, with lots of gooey cheese on top that you get in - you know where....

Is it eel pie? fish and chips? Something I still haven't discovered? I want to know..

8. Does anyone else think, when they read a snooty, ott restaurant review in a London paper written by the likes of AA Gill that is hyper-critical in the most pretentious way possible, that it's a bit like a blind person writing an art review of a van Gogh painting?

So that's it for now - looking forward to your comments.

August West

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  1. Burritos: try daddy donkey on leather lane west of farringdon during the week. google it. otherwise, i like crazy homies in westbourne grove. i think they'll do the carnitas. don't remember if dd does it.

    1. 1. Hamburger. It's almost impossible to find a good one in London, but the best I've found by a long shot is at a little cafe called Zoom at 1 Blandford Street W1 (the Marylebone High Street end).

      3. You can get Israeli couscous at Panzer's delicatessen 13-19 Circus Road NW8 (very near St. John's Wood tube).

      7. The best cheap food is usually Indian. One of the greatest deals in town is the all you can eat lunch buffet at Chutneys 124 Drummond Street NW1 (near Euston station).

      1. I gave up on my hometown, Philly cheesesteaks long ago. Surprisingly, M&S does a low-fat yellow cheese (slices in a package) that somewhat resembles Velveeta - if you ever have a craving for a slice of that. Long ago, someone here recommended the burgers at The Maple Leaf Pub at 41 Maiden Lane near Covent Garden. I haven't been there... just another name.

        1. I'm no expert, but I think the sausages from the Italian shop on Clerkenwell Road are pretty good - I can't think of it's name, but it's on the stretch between Farringdon Road and Grays Inn Road. They do them with fennel, chilli or plain.

            1. re: howler

              No, it's not that one - I've just found out the name - it's Terroni & Sons
              138-140 Clerkenwell Road