Wednesday, 31 May 2017

9. Street Food

I’m exhausted by street food.

There are many, many things I like about eating and it turns out that most of them are ruined by the street food experience.

It’s taken me a while to reach this revelation. Many a time I have conned myself into believing I am enjoying an evening of "street" dining (not usually in a street but in a run-down courtyard in East London
or a railway-arch/shipping container south of the river). But those halcyon days are gone.
I like sitting down. That's what it boils down to. I'm not one of those people who happily stands on the tube. My life is always improved by a seat. Do I have webs of spider-veins spreading across my thighs because my short legs rarely reach the floor and I have crushed them through so much sitting? Yes, but such is life. We must make sacrifices to appease our laziness.

There are sometimes seats at these street food events but they're usually communal and, let's be realistic, no one enjoys touching thighs with a stranger (OK, it depends on the stranger, but we’re speaking generally here). The choice of food is overwhelming and stressful. There’s one guy doing a burger, one guy doing a pizza and one guy doing a curry. But If I wanted a burger, a pizza or a curry, wouldn’t I be better off going to an establishment specifically designed to serve me that cuisine? A place with far better facilities and cleanliness standards?

The chefs are all trendy and far too young to be convincing. I always spill food down my sleeve because I'm trying to balance a drink in the other hand in a desperate bid to get drunk enough to enjoy myself. There’s always someone serving mac 'n' cheese with added lobster. Why? The lobster is a fine and beautiful thing, not improved by the liberal application of bulk-bought cheese.
There’s a definite whiff of innovation for innovation's sake (my local establishment sells something called "chick’n" (it's vegan chicken - these are the times in which we live). In an attempt to be original, the stall-holders all invent some sort of sauce, the sauciness of which only compounds the difficulty of eating standing up. There’s normally one desert stall, run by someone who clearly does not eat desert but gets a sick pleasure out of feeding it to other people. It's always the way with anyone who bakes cupcakes.
The result of the whole debacle is that I wolf down my food in record time just to be rid of its burdensome presence.
Nope, it's the restaurant life for me chums.

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