Eating with the enemy...well sort of. North London is a bit of a culinary blind spot of mine. Back in the 90's my sales rep job used to take me up that way a lot. However my lingering memory was of kebab shops, greasy spoons and horrendous traffic particularly on match day. Upper St was in the process of gentrifying itself but was still most notable for the giant Walkabout by the Design Centre. Well 20 years on and much has changed. I was up that way for a gig at the Garage so I Boris biked up to Islington Green and with it being a clement evening strolled down Upper St. Once you get past the green it is really rather nice, lined with lots of nice shops and restaurants as it meanders down to Highbury Corner. It was interesting to see places like John Salt and House of Wolf which all the foodies had been very excited about last year. Holloway Road is less salubrious though the pub I was recommend ‘The Lamb' was good. I settled in with my pint and waited for Big Matt to turn up.
Most of my dining recommendations were down towards Highbury Corner but I was tipped Piebury Corner which is a bit further up the Holloway Road. Dave from Goodman goes their most matchdays on his way to the Emirates. Being a Chelsea fan I was keen to see where our rivals dined. I had joked on twitter that I would go in disguised as a trophy to confuse them but as it turned out the two charming ladies serving us were fellow Chelsea fans. Piebury Corner is a small pie shop but with ample seating outside. We settled into a seat along the wall and ordered pies, roast potatoes and beer. The Pies are excellent, I had venison and ox cheek called a Thierry Henry which was delicious. Short crust pastry with ample meaty filling, Big Matt had the Charlie Nicholas which was a minced beef pie. It turns out all the pies are named after Arsenal players though none of the current squad rate a mention. The roasties were lovely and the gravy suitably unctuous. We washed these down with a couple of beers from their superb selection of craft beers. It wasn't massively busy in there but there was a steady stream of people popping in for pies to take home for dinner.
The staff were really very friendly and even gave us a tasty sausage roll to try which was a million miles away from the processed rubbish they do at Greggs. Our pies and beer came to a tenner each which was top value. Though I wouldn't want to be a Gooner, they certainly have a cracking option matchday in Piebury corner. It the sort of place I'd love to see up by Stamford Bridge. It's simple food but done really well, couple that with a good beer selection and you have a real find. We were pretty full after our tasty meal but still found room for a pint back at the Lamb. The Matt Berry gig we went to later was also great fun so all in all a very successful return to North London, I shall fear it no longer!
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9