There are people out there right now, going about their business right under your nose, with quince paste in their fridge. I should know. I’ve got some.
What the quince paste says about me is this: I’m a food snob, a snack-bore, a bourgeois la-di-da with nothing on my mind but organic hummus and oak-aged feta.
But while my head is in the stars, my wallet’s in the gutter. I want the sun-dried sundries, but I can’t afford to each fancy. Not enough anyway.
Thing is, you don’t have to swagger into fine dining establishments in a paisley cravat (although feel free) in order to eat good food. With a little care and attention, great food can be banged out for cheap. You just have to find where they’re selling it.
Londoners have it easy. Yes, they have to tube their way to work through polluted, hate-filled rat-runs and sometimes go months without smiling… but… they can get their grubby paws on high quality, low cost street food. It’s everywhere.
And now, all of a sudden (sort of), Bristol City Centre is packed with places selling great street food. So get on it!
First stop: head down to Saint Nick’s market off Corn Street – so much great food, all from stalls within shouting distance of each other.
The falafel guy is amazing. Although it’s not really a guy. It’s a team of them, pushing their homemade falafel, hummus and bits and pieces on innocent passers by. It’s fantastic. Keeps you full for about three and a half weeks.
When you’re ready to eat again, trick your way to the front of the Grillstock stall queue. These guys are peddling slow cooked pulled pork and various specials. I took my co-presenter on heart, Paris Troy. He fell on his knees, weeping with joy and mumbling incoherently about BBQ sauce.
How about Moroccan tagine? Authentic, fresh and cooked five yards away. It’s served with all the gubbins too and is so good you’ll even forgive them for putting a prune in your lunch.
Also available: Jamaican jerk chicken and goat curry – just astounding; Pie Minister pies, smoothies, sausage and mash and there’s a Portuguese place – you’ll need to go here to pick up your custard tarts. Maybe you didn’t know you wanted custard tarts? You do.
I haven’t been to the Indian food place. I’ve heard great things, but I can’t walk past the other stalls without shoveling things into my face so it’s never worked out between us.
There it is. The long and the short of it is this: You never need to eat anywhere else for your entire life apart from Saint Nick’s market in Bristol. Especially not fancy-pants restaurants. This is great, cheap street food.
What’s that? Why should you trust me? Because I have quince paste in my fridge. Come on, we talked about this…