You know those greasy, giant aluminium hell holes they used to call ‘burger vans’? The lard-coated, acrid smoke filled chambers of horror where aged onions took their last breaths before being entirely submerged in blubber? The ones staffed exclusively by overweight, filthy-aproned, spatula-wielding maniacs? Well they’re cool now.
They’re so cool, in fact, that fleets of them roam around Shoreditch of a Friday evening, ruthlessly taking over car parks without any regard for the poor hipster cars that are presumably now homeless. These wanton vans just park their tin asses up, start dishing out boxes of deep-fried propaganda and guess what? PEOPLE FLOCK TO THEM.
No longer do the vans signify the end of an uninspiring night in a sticky-floored club where you probably got felt up by two or three tracksuit-clad 17 year olds and may or may not have burnt your nostrils on a flaming sambuca. No longer are their foods solely for the purposes of soaking up one too many WKDs, only to be vomited all over the road shortly afterwards, signifying quite perfectly the sheer pointlessness of it all.
Now they are the destination. They are the night out. The burger van is kind of a BIG DEAL. They’re not calling it a burger van anymore, though. It’s rebranded. It is now… street food.
Street food is the biggest and most brilliant con anyone has ever come up with. It is food in a box. From a van. Sometimes the food is a burger. Sometimes it is a hot dog. On special occasions it might be Jerk Chicken. Yet now, in honour of its rebrand, its snazzy new website and the brilliant tweeting all the vans are doing it’ll cost you a tenner.
But you won’t complain, because you’ll absolutely love it. You’ll love it from the moment you arrive. You’ll love the enormous queues; you’ll love the wooden fork that snaps in half as soon as you try to eat anything with it; and you’ll absolutely fucking adore the cold, hard feeling of gravel beneath your ass as you sit yourself down on the floor of a car park on a Saturday night to shovel Shoreditch nosh into your trendy gob.
And yet, as you put the last bite to your lips you just might hear the faint sound of hysterical laughter, obscured only by the din of drivel being catapulted out of hipsters’ mouths as they discuss the latest pop-up restaurant opening. No doubt it’ll be somewhere in Dalston where diners are expected to eat sat waist-deep in mud to truly get the most from an exclusively foraged tasting menu. Essence of idiocy, they’ll call it. And you’ll probably love that too.