As a capital-dwelling food fan, I find it interesting to occasionally check in with Time Out to see what outlets they are rating and slating. Therefore, I was particularly interested when I noticed last month that the listings bible had updated and published its 'London's best street food' list.
The higher end of the bafflingly-lengthened top 44 featured some street food staples, such as The Rib Man and Sub Cult (who have been interviewed in this very magazine), but the vendor that really caught my eye was the one perched at the very top. Club Mexicana, which operates from a number of locations, including Kerb Camden and Dinerama, enjoys an undeniably positive reputation, but the reason why its number one placing surprised me somewhat is that its offering is 100% vegan.
Of course, vegetarianism and veganism have been enjoying healthy growth for some time now, with the recent launch of the 'bleeding' Impossible burger potentially set to take things to a whole new level via a plant-based product that apparently replicates not only the taste but also the texture and appearance of meat. This will be of particular interest to anyone, like me, who remembers the vegetarian 'sausages' and 'burgers' of yesteryear that only really mimicked the original products in that they were broadly the same shape.
So, does all of this represent a tipping point in the zeitgeist, where vegan fare can confidently step up the plate to confidently court carnivores? Or has Time Out simply slightly over-promoted Club Mexicana deliberately in order to cunningly create a talking point (one that, admittedly, I appear to have completely fallen for)? Well, there's only one way to find out. Check back in future issues when I will be conducting my own Mission Impossible, sampling these planty pioneers in order to ascertain if they can hope to truly compete with meat.