Tuesday, 14 August 2007


I had reason to go back to Banner's in Crouch End this weekend, an old haunt from when I was living in that part of London. Banner's is a curious combination of things: devoted to music (it's associated with Andy Kershaw and proudly has a plaque where Bob Dylan once ate) and decorated with kids drawings, korean communist posters, and gig flyers; a menu of global dishes leaning toward the West Indian; and both very child- and young-urban-type friendly. The most curious thing about the place is that you'll find better food elsewhere (and for a better price) but there's something that draws you back to visit again.

Take, for example, the hamburger (my usual order). The burger itself is big and juicy, but from the bun downward it all seems to have come straight from an oil slick on to your plate. The portion size is more than generous (perhaps even a bit too big) and at £10 you would have hoped that the high cost at least represented organic or free range beef but there's no mention of it. Last night, the jerk chicken was appropriatly spicey but also very, very salty, and the fried plantains went beyond the fried and more into the oily-mushy end of the spectrum. Rather than the usual hamburger I opted for the ackee and salt fish with cornbread, which was absolutely fine but again on the greasy side. For these two dishes and two (non-alcoholic) drinks, the bill came to £30, which is certainly on the high end for what's being served.

And yet. And yet, I will probably return again some day. I'm sure that willingness to return is due in large part to the vibe the place has (laid back, and able to be childlike and adult at the same time), because it can't be down to the food alone. And I'm normally such a rational person.

1 comment:

squig said...

Well Miss Cancienne I finally made it to your blogspot! It's fantastic! I haven't had a proper trawl yet but I hope your brownies are on here somewhere... lol alex xx