Whilst round at Meateasy a few weeks ago I was introduced to a guy who wanted to bring sliders to the London outside dining scene. Bespectacled, earnest and eager to get off the ground, Marcus listened intently as Yianni and I filled him in (as best we could) on some of the ins and outs of mobile food trading in this town. The plan was to begin at Space Makers’ new event, Feast, in West Norwood for its first day on April 3rd. This would be 60 stalls of crafts, retro, plants and, most importantly, food.
I saw a Tweet from Marcus (@anpburgers) the day before: “@EatStreet come by my stall and witness my brain turning into soup. HURRAH.” and really felt for him. That first day of actually selling the thing you’ve been talking/writing/thinking/crunching/dreaming/stressing about can be so traumatic! I wouldn’t have been surprised if his prophecy had come true based on how I was when I first got Jimmy onto the streets. But no, our kid appeared the pinnacle of poise when I swung by at around 2pm.
His queue was so long that it completely engulfed that of the neighbouring cheese stall, the proprietors of which seemed completely resigned to it as they offered cubes of Berkswell to those in line (and looks of complete bemusement at the ‘plastic processed cheese’ that was being lain across the sizzling ranks of sliders next door).
After confirming with Marcus that he wasn’t about to sell out I did the queue thing for about 15 minutes, watching as he licked those patties into shape: burger, onions, buns – steaming and secreting meaty juices all over the griddle. We ordered two each – half with aforementioned (and entirely necessary to the whole experience) plastic cheese, half without. And then onto them were strewn quite the most delicious pickles I’ve had in a very long time. Herbie, fragrant and dilled to titilating perfection, they played that slider like butter plays toast.
Perhaps my only criticism would be that there was a bit too much bun to patty but that’s easy enough to negotiate. Baps aside, I was well impressed with Ain’t No Picnic – for tastiness of meat, sweetness of onions and, particularly, pertinence of pickle.
Marcus promises new sauces and accoutrements as he progresses and, judging by the precision with which he pulled off his first – and typically most traumatic – day trading I think all of us burger fans have something great to look forward to.
Ain’t No Picnic website HERE.
Next trading 1st May, West Norwood Feast.