Friday, 10 June 2011

The Haggerston: Margherita

If you've never been, the Haggerston is a pub in Dalston. In fact, even if you have been it's still a pub in Dalston. It's location is in no way dependant on your attendance. That must come as a relief, to know that you are in no way responsible for the livelihood and well being of one of my many local drinking establishments. Or perhaps not, maybe its highlighted the true magnitude of your insignificance, to know that you, a self-aware, semi-capable human being are powerless to have any real effect on a pile of bricks. Maybe you could burn it down? Molotov cocktails through the windows? All that alcohol must be a fire hazard, and think of what it would do for your sense of self-worth. I expect you'd finally feel ready to audition for X-Factor or something. Don't though, (burn down the Haggerston or audition for X-Factor), I have a couple of chums that work there and I'd hate to think of them jobless/dying in fiery agony.

It would also be a shame because the pizza's are pretty good. They're kind of sloppy in a good way and the margherita's only £5.50 or something. And there's chilli oil if you're so inclined. They do a bunch of wacky toppings like pear or artichokes. I don't like artichokes, they're wankers. More like artiNOPES! Geddit?!?! If you didn't understand, let me deconstruct that shit little joke for you like it was a brand new set of reverse-Lego. Consider this a little peek behind the curtain to see how the magic happens:

Phase 1: Realisation I don't enjoy artichokes. I find them tough to chew and rude. They are rude vegetables. If they had the facilities to ignore more me I'm pretty sure they would. - I decide to illustrate this fact in pun form.

Phase 2: Gestation Having realised and accepted my negative feelings towards the vegetables I look at ways to subtly work this into word play of some kind. Fartichokes? Too childish. Although, obviously, bloody funny. Something less toilet orientated....Aha!

Phase 3: Actualisation Thus artiNOPES is born. Like a human birth there is a lot of blood, screaming and women in pain.

Now you know the extreme lengths that I go to for all these crap jokes. Gratitude please. Or money. In fact forget gratitude. Gratitude can't earn me Nectar points.

The other thing I like about the Haggerston is that there's a little room before the toilets where both the girls and the boys queue up. It's separated by communal sinks and I always think must be a great place to chat to ladies. Classic lines like "Washing your hands are you? Why? Did you accidently piss on them?" or, directed towards some hottie mid-queue, "Hey, so what are you here for? Poo or a wee?" have, as of writing, gained me precisely zero girlfriends. I'll let you know if that changes.

8 out of 10

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Trattoria Da Luigi: Spicy Sausage

Story time! Actually wait, that's misleading. Calling this a story implies there's some kind of drama or suspense involved, or it has even the tiniest amount of narrative drive. I wouldn't want to lead anyone on by suggesting something like that. I'll be more specific and try again:

Dull story time! A few days ago my friends asked me if I wanted to meet them for a lunchtime pizza. I'm not going to tell you what I said because you should really be able to make a fairly educated guess by now, in the same way you should have caught on to the predictability of the 'sticking hands in flames = burns', and 'large Nazi memorabilia collection = a lot less custody' patterns of cause and effect. They told me to meet them at "The Il Baccio pizzeria on Stoke Newington Church Street". However, and I'm ashamed I haven't noticed this before, there are four different pizza places with 'Il Baccio' signs on that road. It is possible that there are more than four pizza places vying for the title of Church Street's premier Il Baccio, but I had to wander around three of them looking like I'd been victim of a particularly unimaginative prank before I found my chums.

See what I mean about dull stories? How uninteresting was that? The concise version of that 'story' would be: It took me longer than expected to find the restaurant. Snawn* or what? I feel sorry for my Grandchildren, they're going to hate hanging out with me. I'll be the senile, grey-haired equivalent of Nytol. I probably don't need to worry about Grandkids just yet. I hear to get to that point you need to cross the 'kids' barrier first, and to get to 'kids' you need to cross the 'fertile, vaguely consenting woman' barrier. Neither of which looks like it will be happening any time soon. Anyway this pizza was actually really tasty, and totally worth the wandering.

*To snore and yawn simultaneously.

9 out of 10