Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I love Shopsin's.

I have to admit I am slightly obsessed with Kenny Shospin.

For years Shopsin's had flown under my radar then, one day, I saw a picture of 'the sliders' on Serious Eats and I thought "they look pretty darn tasty, wonder where you can get them?" So then as usual I did my research on chowhound and egullet and discovered Shopsin's.

At first I thought it was funny then I was scared. The food sounded really tasty and I wanted to eat there, but what if I wasn't 'suitable' and got chucked out?

I needed more information.
I ordered the dvd I like killing flies

and the only book Kenny has collaborated with 'Eat Me'.

They only served to confirm my fears that I would not be good enough to eat there. Funny, I have never had that feeling about a restaurant before, usually it's a case of are they good enough to deserve my custom. Then there was the menu all 400 items of it. It used to be larger, running to 8 pages, but after two venue changes I guess it needed to be pared down. I spent longer looking at it than I ought to have. But it was a maze I was determined to navigate. My usual problem is not being able to decide what I want and that's exactly the sort of red rag to Kenny's bull that gets you chucked out.

So then the dream became a reality and we found Shopsin's tucked away in a corner in Essex St Market
There he was, he was real.

After reading about him so much he had taken on a mythical quality like a unicorn, or a gorgon. Kenny, supported by son Zack.
There were a couple of seats free and I meekly enquired if we could sit and we were told yes. Yay! Kenny gestured to a couple of seats outside or a couple inside where all the action was, next to a couple of diners and their kid. I thought if we are going to do this we are going to do this properly, so opted for the seats inside. Kenny said; "you can sit there if you are brave but that kid is fucking annoying" with a grin on his face as we faced a very cute toddler with nutella smeared all over her face.
The thing about Shopsin's is that it's a place for regulars, people get a sense of community from going there in a time where community is rare. Kenny seems not to have much time for tourists or out of towners which is fine but I am a tourist and I wanted to eat his food. We opted for a chocolate malted milkshake which was so tasty I hummed with pleasure.

I said it was really good to Zack who replied "I am so glad". I couldn't tell if he was being serious or sarcastic. He knows it's good without some idiot telling him so. We then shared the sliders which were little handfuls of savoury heaven

and the slutty cakes. I think I am the first person ever to have slutty cakes with nutella.

I think Kenny approved of the combination, and when he handed the nutella over he said I could take the rest home and snort it. I have to say I ate all of this food in silence as it was so good. Tasty and satisfying. One of my most satisfying meals of the trip and a place I would love to go back to.

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