Wednesday, September 13, 2006

FACE STUFFIN': Kebab Wars - Best In Europe for Musicians?

Just a quickie.

Having savoured the delicious snackery at Mangal in Arcola Road, Dalston, I'd like to recommend that any other musicianly connoisseurs of the finest late-night takeaway, eat-in-the-street snacks that are kebabs and lahmacuns hotfoot it to almost any Turkish takeaway in Germany. Or Austria.

I've tried 14. In only one did I not find the lamb moist but not overdone, and with a minimum of grease. There is the impression that a sheep may have been involved at some point... there isn't the pretentious slicing and flourishing of abattoir slurry on the hotplate. Note: Brussels isn't quite as bad as London, but it's going that way.

the 'salad', in most countries looking like the victims of germ warfare laid on a slab, usually features at least 12-hour-old lettuce. The shit sauces are remarkably light (OK, OK, this isn't the Connaught, you've had a hard gig, don't demand too much, OK?) and if you ask for just a little paprika, you'll get just a little paprika.

The pittas are industrial but are usually coaxed into some kind of semblance of life on the grill; best of all, they are filled manageably. No retching and lunging and shelving with the hands as the sauces spill out around your greedy lips. Asked for sauce, you can usually be sure that 'a little' won't mean a tanned fist plunged dirtily onto the nozzle; also that 'chilli sauce' means something different than a piglet's anal blood mixed in a boiler the size of a cricket pitch in Dortmund with thickener, flour, 'flavouring' and pectins.

In Brussels or Paris, the presence of semitics in a kebab-house means nothing - the produce will almost always be overpriced shite of the worst order. In Germany - certainly in the south - it is a sign of quality.

Even if you disdain fast food, the Germanic kebab will salve your conscience.

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