Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Can't get enough ribs

So I told you I love ribs, right? I'm still salivating over the thought of that meal at Pitt Cue Co. But I needed another fix, and it turns out you don't have to hang around Soho at 6pm on a weekday evening and hang around 45 minutes for a table if you want tasty rib meat with sweet and sticky sauce. Not when the rib man is stationed just a couple of miles from work and home.

So rib man is Mark Gevaux, a butcher of many years, and a man passionate about good quality meat, cooked to perfection. He has his stall at eat.st (round the back of Kings Cross near the big new developments) on Thursdays and one on Brick Lane on Sundays. A food day will start in the early hours of the morning, getting the ribs cooking in a barbecue for hours and hours to the point that the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender.

I was lucky enough to catch rib man on a sunny Saturday when eat.st was open for business to coincide with the Guardian's Open Weekend. It was pretty early and quiet, so no wait for the food. The options were simple - rib meat in a roll - with either/both rib man's homemade Holy Fuck (i.e. very spicy) and BBQ sauces. I went for both - knowing that as much as I like it hot, I also like it sweet, sticky and smoky.

I cycled home in record time, clambered up the stairs, onto the roof terrace and unveiled the beautiful rib roll onto a plate, grabbed a couple of kitchen towels, poured myself a glass of water. It was delicious; succulent, smoky meat, mouthwateringly tender and moist, complimented beautifully by the mixture of the BBQ and mega spicy sauces.

I guzzled up every last scrap of meat, soaking the stray bits of sauce up with the last bits of roll. £5 well spent. And in a warm food coma for the next hour or so.

The rib trend continues developing - and even closer to home - Duke's has opened in De Beauvoir Town, just down the road, and dishing up ribs and home-brewed beer. It's unrelenting, this gentrification meets ribification/gastrofication. I'd be exhausted, obese and penniless if I made it my quest to in all the exciting new openings just in Hackney. But I'll do my best and keep reporting back.

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