Yesterday morning we went for a stroll down by the canal and stumbled upon a good smelling barge (for reference we were by the Palm Tree pub in Mile End). They were just setting up yesterday and I had a day of wedding dress shopping to go and do (squeak to good friends getting married!) so I couldn’t indulge then. But we asked what was going on and made a note to go back today to sample their #basqueinsummer cuisine as they were only around for the bank holiday weekend. I am so glad we did!
It had been chucking it down about half an hour before we ventured out for lunch and so I wondered how they would be doing and hoping business was still booming for them. And it was! Hooray! They had some great music on to create more of an atmosphere for their customers (it worked, I had a jig) and some seats and tables laid out on the grass.
We were met by the Director Imanol Barcenill (a local of the Basque Country) with an introduction on what basque is and why the pop up is there. Including what they serve, why and offered us a few samples before we made our order – very generous giving us Ibarra pepper, wine and cheese nibbles.
I went for a free range beef burger (BBQ’d) with tomato and cheese, my fellow diners opted for the cider-soaked chorizo bun and both the gernika peppers and artisinal cheese sides. I got to try everything, moowahaha.
My burger was good, tasted very fresh, The tomato (one slice of a HUGE basque region tomato) was very flavourful and the cheese used was a harder sheep’s cheese, unusual for a burger but it worked for me. The beef was nice and fresh and as it was on the BBQ I couldn’t specify how I wanted it cooked but it came out very nicely anyway. It wasn’t a very thick burger (when compared to say Bleecker St or Meat Liquor) but then this is a different dining experience. For a fiver it was a bargain, not greasy at all and delicious. The chorizo ‘dog’ was nice too from the bite I had, very juicy, but I am glad I went for the burger.
Side wise, the peppers were my favourite. They had been…grilled (maybe?) then salted. They were juicy and kind of like a big vegetable pop corn but more refreshing. The salt on the top was perfect and we nearly ordered a second portion they were that good! The cheese pot was a bargain and we are still picking at some of it even though I am now home and writing this up. Delicious hard sheep’s cheese, specifically Idiazabal and Ossau-Iraty.
For three of us to eat it was £22 which is a total steal. We didn’t have drinks but then this was only a ‘drive by’ style food grab for us. The whole experience was great and we’ll be keeping our eye on Zooteek to see if they do any more pop up locations. A great novelty kind of lunch and education about what you’re eating at the same time. Thanks gang!
Forked by Stefpuff