If you think Brick Lane is all about generic curry houses, then think again! It might be rather “shabby chic,” but there’s some excellent street food to be had – especially on a Sunday.
The Rib Man – @theribman
Few street food traders have more of a following than Mark Gevaux, AKA The Rib Man. He’s a former butcher and now serves baby back ribs and rib meat rolls using outdoor reared Norfolk and Suffolk pork.
We’d heard that he often sells out early, so we arrived just after midday and were delighted to see that there was no queue.
We ordered a regular rib roll with some of The Rib Man’s famous Holy Fuck sauce. It was possibly the best thing we’ve ever eaten from a street food vendor and definitely lived up to all the hype! It was also absolutely huge and packed with meaty goodness. I wonder what the large rolls look like.
The meat was fall-apart tender, juicy and delicious and there was just enough Holy Fuck to give it a good kick and get our lips tingling. It’s definitely not a sauce for the faint-hearted! Despite the heat, it has some sweetness at the end and tastes great. We liked it so much, we bought a bottle to take home. If you want some, you can buy it online too. I highly recommend it!
The Orange Buffalo – @OrangeBuffalo
Just a short walk away from the Rib Man’s stall, you’ll find even more great street food at the Old Truman Brewery. With our appetites well and truly whetted, we made a second pit stop.
I’ve heard lots of people say that The Orange Buffalo serves the best wings in London. There’s a lot of competition for that title, but they were really tasty, that’s for sure.
The wings took a little while to prepare, as they can’t overload the fryer, but it was by no means an excessive wait. We went for 8 Woof Woof wings. This is their take on Buffalo wings and the sauce was billed as hot, but we actually found it tangy and fairly mild. The wings themselves were crispy and there was plenty of meat for us to strip from the bone. The blue cheese sauce could’ve done with being stronger, but I’m sure that point will divide opinion.
It had got a little windy by that point in the day and just as we were finishing our wings, a gust sprung up and blew our tray away, showering the poor guy opposite us in the remainder of the blue cheese sauce. I’d like to reiterate the apology. Piggies are sorry!!!
Turner & Roast – @turnerandroast1
Just next to The Orange Buffalo, you’ll find Turner & Roast. They serve American classics like pulled pork, brisket rolls and burgers. We went for a brisket roll with BBQ sauce to round off the afternoon’s eating.
The roll was fresh and crusty. The beef was soft and packed with flavour and the salad and barbecue sauce were decent additions. The only downside was that there wasn’t much meat in it. Maybe we were unlucky, or maybe we’d been spoiled by the Rib Man, but we felt it was a little scarce. In fairness, it was a bargain at £5, so we’ll happily give them another go at some point.
Beigel Bake – They don’t need twitter!
A trip to Brick Lane wouldn’t be complete without calling in at Beigel Bake. Their salt beef bagels are absolutely iconic and have been pulling in the crowds ever since it first opened in 1977.
It’s guaranteed to be busy at peak times, but try not to be put off by the queues. They’ve got a tried and trusted serving system and you won’t have long to wait. We ordered two salt beef bagels with mustard and pickles. Don’t worry – we ate them at home that evening. Even we couldn’t have managed them then and there (although we were tempted).
The bagels are boiled and baked in store and are fabulously fresh and chewy. The meat is tasty, tender and most definitely abundant. In short, it’s great and if you’ve never been, you should give it a try.
Beigel Bake is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and still serve the best salt beef bagels in London.