Monday, 13 October 2008

As Pizza Hut becomes Pasta Hut here's a small tale


Nail your top takeaways.

Mine are simple
Kebab
Kentucky
Pizza.

Still remember the first time I tasted ‘em all. Not cosmopolitan me. I’m from Wigan. Brought up on lobbies and braising steak and liver and chips. Egg and chips when we skint. But always a roast on a Sunday. Mum and dad made sure of that. Always ate well on a Sunday. And then on Mondays we’d have cold meat with chips. Used to love it when it was lamb as the fat tasted so nice.

Probably that’s why I love kebab. Still remember the day when I first tasted a kebab. Little restaurant up from Camden Town. Primrose Hill way. Nice little gaff and I sat down and had beer, kebab and chips. On a plate with salad and chilli peppers.

We had salad on a Sunday at home. Sunday dinner was roast while Sunday tea was salad. Grandma White insisted on it. Always said: “You can’t beat a good salad.” Never had chilli peppers in our salad though. Never had a salad like I had with the kebab. Still remember the taste. Can food taste beautiful. Well that kebab did that night. Never had it on a plate with a knife and fork since but…

First time I had Kentucky was on the County Road before an Everton game. Must have been 14 or 15. Surrounded by rapscallions, trying to disguise the woollyback accent. Letting the scouse mates do the talking and then sink the teeth into something unworldly. Breadcrumbs and chicken and spices and that taste and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m more jerk chicken now but there are no faded photos of Marcus Garvey in Muswell Hill. Jah Rastafari has not made it to N10. So it’s still Kentucky in Muswell Hill and it still moves my soul on sad and lonely nights when I’ve had too much to drink and too long to think.

And pizza is pizza. And pizza is girls. When I first came to London it was Pizza Hut at Stamford Hill. Pizza and mulled wine and beautiful girls called Rose. Laughing and joking. Big multi-racial gang of us. Me from the north with these North London folk that let me into their world. And I let them into mine. Had some laughs in that Pizza Hut. Good folk – my friends.

Still go to Pizza Hut when I’m with a girl. Was in the one around Leicester Square with Janet the other week. Straight from work and bloody Wham were in there. Made her day. All sat there. George Michael, Andrew, Pepsi and Shirley. Four of ‘em just sat there having pizza and Coca Cola. Laughing away like we do up in Stamford Hill. Flirting before the fucking. Top of the Pops and still in Pizza Hut. Sort of made me smile that.

Went over and said hello and got the lads to sign a napkin for Janet. Didn’t want to disturb them but they were fine. Took it back to the table and it really made her day. The girl with the biggest, brightest smile in the world flashed it towards me.

Might go out and buy Wham’s next single now. Made my mate’s day and you can’t ask for anything more than that...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this article linked to the Tom Waits/Topshop one?

Just really like the feel of them both.

Sara.x

Joe Hawkins said...

They are from a work in progress (book)called Skin and Bone - that should hopefully see the light of day this coming Spring

thanks for your comments