Despite the Siberian conditions last week, I trekked out to Dalston to see one of my favourite breweries join forces with Street Feast London for a special pop up event. Brooklyn Feast, sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery, was a nice spin on the food truck trend that is captivating Londoners at the moment. Marketed as a “unique beer tasting and food pairing evening”, Brooklyn Feast was a night full of good food and good beer.
Brooklyn Lager is one of the many US beers that appear to have taken the UK by storm. I can often find it on draft in a number of pubs these days, and I must say it’s one of my favourites. The Brooklyn Lager is a definite change from traditional English lagers and reminds me of the amber coloured ales we get back home, far more refreshing then the overly fragrant English cask ale.
I didn’t realise however that the Brooklyn Brewery also exported several other beers – eight of which were featured alongside the eight food trucks in attendance, each beer paired with a specific dish from each of the vendors. Even better was that included in the £6 entry free you received 1 food and 1 drink token – allowing guests to one can of beer of their choice and one food plate from a vendor of your choice – a bargain!
I started off with a Brooklyn Pennant Ale, a traditional English-style pale ale. Although it’s suggested pairing was a hotdog from Big Apple Hot Dogs, I decided to opt for one of Spit & Roast’s buttermilk friend chicken sliders instead. The chicken was perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, clearly benefitting from being soaked in buttermilk. However it came with fennel slaw and Korean hot sauce – neither of which stood out disappointingly. I’d definitely recommend just going for the straight up fried chicken. You can find Spit & Roast trading on Saturdays at Brockley Market.
Despite the dropping temperatures, the crowds grew and it was clear that Bleecker Street Burgers was a favourite. I ordered a Blue Burger and some “passive aggressive” fries to share with my boyfriend… OMG. The burger *might* be my favourite in London.
Bleecker Street only serve their burgers medium rare, which is fine by me but I expected it to be a bit too juicy, and grabbed a wad of napkins in case. Juicy it was, but messy it wasn’t – this burger was cooked to perfection. Nice and charred on the outside with a perfectly pink centre. It was topped with Saint Agur blue cheese, lettuce and their special burger sauce. Normally I’d add some condiments but as my boyfriend was collecting the food as I
sat under a heater trying to bring life back to my fingers reserved a table, I didn’t get the chance. Nevermind – it didn’t need it. They also use a sweet sesame seed bun, a welcome change from the brioche trend. The bun held the burger together until the end too – impressive.
The Bleecker Street Burgers’ menu offers regular fries, sweet potato fries and “angry fries” – topped with buffalo hot sauce and tangy blue cheese. However I highly recommend substituting the angry fries with crispy sweet potato fries – an off menu choice they call passive aggressive fries – which are nothing short of life altering.
We returned to the beer tent to try one of Brooklyn’s other brews, this time choosing the East India Pale Ale. Despite my stomach being full and my toes being numb, we needed one last dish to go with it. After a quick recce around the trucks, the flatbread pizzas from Well Kneaded stood out. We decided on the chorizo, leek and cheddar firebread topped with watercress and parmesan, a bargain at £5 for two slices. Their creations all come on a delicious sourdough base and are cooked to order Northcote Road Market in Clapham Junction.
With bellies full of delicious food and beer, we decided to call it a night. While Brooklyn Feast was a one-off event (at least for now) you can find Brooklyn Brewery brews across London and Street Feast is due to set up shop on Friday nights in Dalston, official launch will be announced this Wednesday (20 Mar) so watch this space!Google+