I love street food, and for a while now I’ve been seeing the name Scoff Street Food pop up all over the place, reminding me I had to try it. So imagine my joy when my home town started 1st Thursdays, a monthly treat of late night shopping, complete with an appearance from traders from Scoff. Scoff Street Food is a collective, founded by a group of street food traders. They go all over the shop, from Coventry’s Fargo Village to historic Stratford upon Avon. And now, along with some other independent street food retailers, to Rugby on the first Thursday of every month.
Being a greedy guts, I love the fact that with street food you can try a bit of everything. It’s a fun, sociable way of eating a diverse range of food, which is inevitably prepared and cooked with the passion that comes hand in hand with small, independent traders.
The only problem for an indecisive bugger like me is choosing what to have when. The traders were quite spread out at Rugby’s event, so we didn’t want to do all our scoffing in one place, only to find we were too full to enjoy some other parts.We started at The Jabberwocky, home of gourmet toasties. When I say toasties folks, these aren’t any ordinary toasted sandwiches. The Jabberwocky won the BBC Midlands Street Food Award 2013 and was featured in MSN’s top 20 sandwiches, and well deserved too. Imaginative combinations, packed with flavour, they definitely hit the spot.
We were nearly tempted into trying the mammoth Manwich, a splendid triple-decker feast featuring meats, cheeses, chilli and all sorts. But not wanting to ruin ourselves for the food still to come, we opted for goats cheese with rocket and onion marmalade, and another toastie packed with North Atlantic prawns with chorizo, seafood sauce, watercress and mozzarella. The goats cheese offering was rich, oozy and sweet, while the prawn was lighter and more subtle, but still tasty.
Next up, we sauntered to another part of town to try offerings from independent traders Red Banger and The Med Shed. Not only does the Red Banger have the funkiest van going, but its home-reared meat is tasty and well worth the money. Mr M and I shared a minted lamb burger – good quality meat, not too fatty yet still moist, it definitely fell into the ‘decent burger’ bracket. Next door at the Med Shed, we had a tough time choosing between arancini, Spanish meatball and – the one we eventually settled on – Portuguese Espatada Tasca. This skewer of chicken and chorizo came served with crunchy salad inside a soft, light focaccia-style bread, slathered in garlic mayo. Not for the faint-hearted, it certainly was a meal in a snack.
For a brief break from the food, we stopped for drinks at the Rugby Tap, Rugby’s own micro brewery that has now added a micro pub. Sipping cider in the casual surroundings of a cosy room, with crates as tables and local musicians providing the music, is certainly something I plan on doing more of.
Then it was back to the Scoff traders to catch up on what we’d missed. We hit South African street food gurus Savanna Grill for a rich, spicy lamb curry served up on hollowed out bread with coleslaw. Hefty chunks of meat and potatoes in a rich sauce deep in flavour, and a more-than-generous portion. In fact, potentially slightly too generous, we probably could have done without being given the hollowed out core of bread as well as the crust. But hey, who complains about being given too much!
Full to the brim, we couldn’t quite manage to visit the Vegan Grindhouse or the Hungry Toad. They will have to be kept for next month. Instead we went for the grand finale of dessert from The Bournville Waffle Company, a pretty ice cream van serving light, delicate waffles topped with indulgent selections of mashmallow, chocolate chunks, freshly whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Yum, yum, yum, what more can I say.
It’s safe to say 1st Thursdays was a success, and can only go from strength to strength as we move into warmer evenings and summer funtimes. I for one can’t wait for the next one. Plus, there’s plenty more members of the Scoff Street Food collective that I haven’t tried. Hopefully we’ll see more of these guys in Rugby in the coming months.
What street food traders or events do you love? Any suggestions?
We paid for everything we had at First Thursday’s. Nobody knew I was a blogger.