Monday, 20 February 2012

He Died With A Falafel In His Hand


I am standing in a snaking queue around the back of a market stall on Whitecross Street and the wait is agonising.

Truly, truly agonising.

I turn a corner. It's another ten minutes of shuffle, shuffle, stop, shuffle, shuffle, stop.

Shuffle, shuffle...............stop.

The aroma drives me insane, my saliva glands go into overdrive and my stomach emits a low growl.

I turn another corner and I am almost there, the end is nearly in sight.

Subconsciously, I nudge up to the person in front of me, eager to to get a glimpse of the delights in store. This gets mistaken as a pass. Or worse, a case of frottaging, judging by the frown on the besuited gent.

Stepping back, ashamed and abashed, I keep my head head down and focus on my feet.

But the smell keeps dragging me on. Shuffle, shuffle. Shuffle, shuffle.

Finally, after an age, I hear the question:

"Regular or large?"

"Large," I answer.

"With everything on it?"

"Everything"

"Aubergine?"

By then it's too much and I spit back with a manic glare. "I don't care for the bloody aubergine, just give me the damn falafel, now!"

Eye's widen, glances are exchanged.

And then suddenly, everything springs into life. Tongs move back and forth, dipping in and out of trays, working swiftly, smashing crisp brown patties down, piling the other ingredients up. With a wrap and a twist and a tap tap, the package is handed over.

I snatch at it, hand some money over and scuttle off like a wizened goblin, giggling gleefully, spitefully.

Fortune Street Park. That's as far as I get and into a bush I run.

The paper gets ripped open, greedily I take bite after bite, without pausing for breath. Incisors tear into the chickpea and cumin. Molars grind the pickles. Tahini and chilli sauce dribbles down my chin.

It's gone in seconds, so I clean up with paper towel and slowly emerge out of the topiary, into the light of day and saunter back to the office. Sated but feeling oh so slightly disgusted with myself.

I love you Hoxton Beach Falafel.

But sometimes the wait is too long. Too, too long.

18 comments:

Miss Whiplash said...

No aubergine? Srsly?

Helen said...

oooh my sandwich senses are tingling!

Food Urchin said...

Miss Whiplash - Srsly, the falafel wraps at Hoxton Beach are so packed that I am happy to forgo the aubergine. Even though I love aubergine.

Helen - Sandwich Girl (like Spiderman but dispenses sandwiches instead of climbing walls) you must go to Hoxton Beach.

Kavey said...

"I am happy to forgo the aubergine" is not a phrase I ever want to see emerging from your fingertips ever again, young man!

If the wrap is THAT delicious, imagine it with aubergine added. OH. MY. GOD!!!!!

:)

Food Urchin said...

Kavey - I can see your point but with the added aubergine, the whole wrap becomes......unwieldy (I suppose that's a cardinal sin to say too)

Miss Whiplash said...

IT'S OK, EVERYONE! You can all just have falafel and *I* will eat your aubergine.
Don't panic!

Matt Inwood said...

Filthy. Absolutely filthy. And you made me feel a little sordid too. That's quality food writing is that.

Claire said...

*drools* Oh I miss Whitecross Street market and all its delicious foodie joys. The falafel from there is absolutely sinful.

Food Urchin said...

Miss Whiplash - well done for coming to the rescue, things were getting a bit tense there ; )

Matt Inwood - Cheers, now go have a bath and say twelve Hail Marys

Claire - Tis a shame that Whitecross Market is out of reach for you (it's only five minutes down the road for me - snigger)

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

oh for the chance of a bit of frottage with you and a falafel... such a lucky bastard!

Sharmila said...

I adore Hoxton Beach falafel. So much better than others I've tried.

Pistachio and Rose said...

Just to let you know I have awarded you with a versatile blogger award and I have a link to your blog on my mine. But if you don't want to do it or accept that is absoloutly fine, but thought I would let you know!

Shu Han said...

HAHAHA.

ok anyway, that said, I haven't tried the hoxton beach falafel before. now I feel seriously lacking. I think I'll try to get there some day. I want my aubergine though.

eetest said...

Danny I blame / thank you fully for turning me into a Hoxton Beach werewolf (my transformation occurs while queueing as well).

Wen

eetest said...

Danny I blame / thank you fully for turning me into a Hoxton Beach werewolf (my transformation occurs while queueing as well).

Wen

Dan said...

Ah man, the Whitecross Street Hoxton Beach Falafel stall. Used to be my regular lunchtime haunt back in the day...so filling, so cheap. I miss it very much. I agree wholeheartedly with your closing sentiment. The queuing can piss off.

Katie Bryson said...

oooh i've not had a decent falafel for eons - I used to get a cracking one in shepherds bush market and this has reminded me to get my ass back down there! Hope all is well in your world xxx

Gin and Crumpets said...

Frottage & Falafel – I'm making a note of that for when I launch my tremendously successful street food business. Not sure which one I'll be selling yet. Either way, it'll definitely come with aubergine.