Bit of a street food theme for this post, and the next. The craze became a movement, and now it’s practically ubiquitous. Contemporary big hitters such as Pitt Cue and MEATliquor have their humble beginnings in vans, so there’s certainly a more slick, ‘eyes on the prize’ ambition in the whole affair now. The branding is considered, the provenance is tight and probably most important for the aim of going viral, there’s a good story.
City-type gone hawker has been done though; we had Brewed Boy a few years back and the lovely chaps at Pizza Pilgrims are making waves. That current street food operators are rather plummy, self-aware and well-spoken (read: well-funded) is inescapable. Stinky onion burgers at the funfair these are not.
And speaking of those Pizza Pilgrims brings me neatly onto their sometime neighbour The Wild Game Co. They've got their typeface down, their slingers are approachable and that tri-force of provenance, poshness and story merge into something quite reassuring and familial: the deer for their venison goodies are shot at the owner’s family farm in Scotland.
All terribly media friendly, which is possibly why they won a YBF award for Best Street Food. But cynicism aside, surely the food measures up too?
It does. I had the burger which was a reasonable feed at £5.50. I’d wanted the steak for just a quid more, but it was sold out. As were the chips, and they only had four sausages left too, which left a few punters disappointed. So possibly their stock prepping needs some attention.
But back to the burger. It was thicker than it looked – very rich and gamey but thoughtfully the bun is specked with dried cranberry and has mustard powder through it, so it provides some offset to the venison meat. Filling, sweet, dense and smoky – I enjoyed it a lot but I was slightly relieved once I’d finished. Any more might be a struggle due to the richness.
It’s served with a bit of salad and some mashed up onions and melted cheese – almost Philly cheesesteak grill style with a little cherry tomato. So what could have been a fairly lumbering, plain burger actually had quite a few elements to highlight the quality venison.
I was gutted about the steak as it looked brilliant; medium rare pieces sliced into the same bun with the same accompaniments. And I’ll definitely return to try it, even though I felt a little guilty not getting my usual nduja pizza from the Pilgrims…