Let’s Do Lunch at Patty Smith’s

I have written previously that I am a lover of wordplay, especially in the names of businesses. I don’t know whether I am reading too much into the moniker of this week’s establishment but I believe that, apart from a sting in the tail, this is the best name I have ever come across. If I am correct it is named after the punk singer of the 1970’s, and thankfully still with us, Patti Smith. I base this on the fact that the eatery is located in the Belgrave Music Hall, a venue for progressive music, and it sells burgers. As you will know the word ‘patty’ is American for the disc of minced meat which is the basis of a burger and the word ‘smith’ is defined in the dictionary on my computer as ‘a person skilled in creating something with a specified material e.g. goldsmith, wordsmith.’ That would make an ace burger flipper a patty smith. Brilliant! On the other hand, I may be getting a bit too smart by half and it could just be named after someone called Patty Smith.
As previously noted the eatery is in the Belgrave Music Hall, a large space filled with tables and chairs, resplendent with a long bar down one side. At the end of the wall where the bar is situated is a small serving hatch where customers order and collect their food. At the other end of the room is a pizza oven run by The Dough Boys so the Music Hall at lunchtime is a bit like the food hall in a shopping centre. Food comes in a take-away style container and then you find somewhere to eat it. As it happens I didn’t opt for a traditional beef based burger but ordered from the brunch menu which I thought was more appropriate. The El Patty is chorizo, black pudding, fried runny egg, spinach and tomato jam in a toasted brioche bun. It was £4.00 and comes with a free coffee. Amazing value for money. Ordering from the main menu on a Friday also gives you a free side of chips. Fries Day, geddit? Another good pun from the management. When I ordered I was informed that they had run out of spinach so I decided to go for the healthy option and do without. I accompanied it with a pleasant enough merlot at £4.30 for 250ml and consoled myself in the fact that the grapes in the wine would replace the one of my five-a-day lost with the spinach.

The brioche and its contents were absolutely delicious; the combination of flavours and the texture a revelation. The spiciness of the chorizo, the creaminess of the egg and the unctuousness of the black pudding were offset by the sharpness of the tomato jam. The brioche was not too sweet either. What could have easily been a fairly standard breakfast sandwich was elevated to something special. A great four quid’s worth. The portion was also just the right size for lunch, being filling but not sleep-inducing should you have to go back to work. I have made a mental note to return to the Belgrave Music Hall and sample the wares of the Dough Boys, just as soon as I have worked out the pun.

Mange toutes,

Stan Graham

  • Written by

    Stan Graham

  • Photography by Stan Graham