By Duchess of Hackney

Hackney livin' n lovin'. Sarky frosty knickers always gobby, and perpetually pissed off for good reasons. Wind up merchant extraordinaire, but a nice old fashioned unusually unusual gal... Writing lots of wrongs.

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Foxton-gate, Mercado, bad Mexican food and other hysterics in Stoke Newington


Are they or are they not

The usual suspects were at it again last week, reacting after word got out, that Foxtons were seeking planning permission for 28-30 Stoke Newington Church Street. Not only is it the address of the most godawful Mexican food I have sampled in London, it ‘s also on the corner of Wilmer Place, which is significant because of the ongoing debacle over the proposal of a new Sainsbury’s coming to Stokey.

So it begs the question, what in the world do Stokey purists want for Church Street? In the past they kicked up a storm over a Nando’s and were unsuccessful. There was also a lot of fuss over a mini Tesco’s on the High Street, which never panned out, although there is a Sainsburys Local, they shop at yet complain about.  What do they want? Another children’s toy shop with more wooden toys? Yet another eatery? What many didn’t want was another estate agent.

Thanks to Stoke Newington micro-blogger,  ferocious and prolific curtain twitcher, self-appointed gate-keeper and all round man about Church St, “northsixteen“, the angry brigade began gearing up for battle.

Anyway they seem to have calmed down for the moment, now that the plan has being withdrawn. And Mercado? According to N16 Magazine, They have just taken out an ad in their print edition


Sketch submited by Foxtons to Planning

Amigos Mexican Take-Away

Speaking of  Mercado, it certainly won’t be missed by me if it goes. Some of you might know I love Mexican food and have been on a quest  for good Mexican even the Tex Mex variation, for as long as I have been in London.  On every occasion I have been let down, Mercado was amongst the worst, maybe because I was footing the whole bill for four, which amounted to £86. That’s a lot of change for bad food and why I didn’t make a fuss about the service and food, that evening, I’ll never know. Still, I wasn’t charged for about £20 of drinks, which is still not enough compensation.

So you can imagine how skeptical I was, about trying a new Mexican Take-way (probably the only one in London) after their menu popped through my door. Curiosity took over and while at a friends house a few weeks ago, decided to try it. Amigos is located on Holloway Road, but deliver as far as N16. They claim to be “sustainable” because they deliver on cycle locally, although it was a motor bike that delivered ours, as Stokey is not local to them. I don’t care much for gimmicks or playing to the green crowd, I just want good food.

I had the Steak Fajita and he had the Beef Burrito. The steak travelled well and was OK but the Burrito was just horrid. The beef was dry and tasteless and the rice that came with it was also very dry. Instead of fresh salsa, we got diced tomatoes. It’s not all wrapped up and comes in various Styrofoam containers (that’s not sustainable is it?) and foil, so you create your own wraps. The guacamole was freshly made and passable and the sour cream was….sour cream.

We complained and they offered a replacement meal (£20) which we took them up on the following week. Again the Steak Fajita was fine, but the Chicken Enchilada was over cooked, dry as hell and tasteless.  I’m going to stick to my own Mexican recipes from now on.

Other than various parts of Mexico, I’ve visited or lived in, some of the best Mexican food I’ve had was at this restaurant- Familia Diaz Cantina. Next time you find yourself doing the Highway1 journey along the Pacific from Southern to Northern California or vice  versa, check it out. It’s between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in Ventura County in the small town of Santa Paula

I don’t know if they still run their bi monthly cooking classes, but when I attended in 2004 I picked up some great tips, discovered different ways of cooking, learned a lot about the different types of Tequilas and not just from drinking 😉

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