street food is it. sure london has it's fair share of fine dining establishments but sometimes you want that no fuss relaxed experience sans the negotiations of multiple forks and knives and white napkins. i've had pitt cue co. on my list of food trucks to eat at and i figured my birthday was the best day to treat myself. pitt cue co. is a silver van with a few tables and small yellow stools. it is a two man show serving up the best american barbecue you can get this side of the atlantic. pitt cue co. is stationed under the noisy hungerford bridge with wonderful views of the southbank, the city and big ben. luckily for me the sun decided to show its face and that along with pitt cue co. and a made it one of my best birthdays.
the choices are concise.
on tuesday the twenty-first there was salt longhorn brisket or pork. there wasn't any chicken and since a and i don't eat pork the brisket it was. for sides there is either slaw or root beer beans. the standard accompaniments are bread, some kind of a sauce (it tasted fruity) and pickles. a had the slaw and i went for the beans because we figured we could share. with our brown boxes full of brisket and the works we headed over to one of the concrete benches and made ourselves as comfortable as is possible on slabs of concrete.
i am so glad that neither a nor i had had breakfast, because there really is a lot to eat. and unlike other places you don't want to leave a single bit of the brisket. it was so incredibly tender it came apart in shreds. both a and i mused about its textural similarities to the pakistani brunch dish nihari. the manner of cooking is completely different as nihari is akin to a stew in which the beef is cooked for at least six to eights hours. brisket on the other hand is marinaded with a dry rub and then barbecued for up to twelve hours. but they both result in very tender meat.
the gherkins were slightly sweet with a light crunch. i remember eating jars of these when i was in arizona. somehow the british equivalent of cucumber pickle isn't anywhere near as good as gherkins that manage to achieve just the right notes of sweet, brine and vinegar. a loved the rye bread which as i recall comes from wild caper deli in brixton. but i was fixated by the beans. i love all things bean especially the way they are made in the us of a. i mean the real ones like molasses baked beans or hickory baked beans. i am not much of a fan of the ones that come out of tins although both o and my sibling love heinz with eggs for weekend brunches. the root beer beans here have a lovely smoky flavour with a hint of sweetness. a's side of slaw was the essence of summer, bright red cabbage teemed with bright green parsley. it's flavours were clean and bright with a nice crunch and actually turned out to the perfect side to cut through the hearty barbecue.
both of us worked our way through our boxes slowly, all the while chatting about pop-ups and food trucks and burger monday meet-ups. ( i am really excited as i am heading to my first burger monday on fourth of july). in the end i had to give up without finishing my bread. i polished a's slaw and he did his best to finish my beans.
pitt cue co. isn't around for too long. so hurry and go. and go soon. you don't know what you are missing.