Sunday, 27 November 2011

anna maes darn fine southern street food

custard sunshine at primrose hill
it was a perfect sunday with custard sunshine. it has been a strangely warm winter in london so far and there is much to be grateful for. i've been enjoying london's many green spaces carpeted in leaves in their autumnal tones. today, after exploring overcoming challenges through change in yoga class with one of my favourite anusara teachers lisa sanfilippo i had planned to take a short walk up primrose hill to catch some rays of sun and enjoy the view. instead i got caught up in the primrose hill christmas fare. 

santa and his helper, primrose hill christmas fair
there were lots of families, tiny dogs dressed in sweaters, really good live jazz music and as always street food. there was a old style candy cart spinning sugar at first delicate and then masses of candy floss. it is enough now for me to watch as the idea of eating spun candy at this age makes me quite nauseous. somethings are best relegated to the past. since i hadn't had lunch i decided to have a walk through my choices. there was paella studded with shellfish (best eaten seated), raclette with pickles, sweet and savoury crepes, burmese curries and rather greasy looking chinese noodles. at one point the air hung heavy with the smell of meat signalling burgers and at another stall there were all manner of creamy meat stews like stroganoff. i was drawn to a stall with a big chalked heart and on closer inspection found it was anna mae's mac shack. now anna mae's has been on my list of things to go back to eat street on king's boulevard so you can imagine it took me very little time to settle on mac 'n' cheese for lunch.
anna mae's mac shack
when i approached the shack all i saw was a mega sized pan with a lady stirring away a slightly runny sauce. as she would pull the ladle to stir you'd see strings of cheese emerge. i was told that there would be a ten minute wait for mac 'n' cheese so i wandered on to sample other things. next door to anna mae's was the dessert deli whose gloriously dark and glistening christmas cake was exceptionally good. boozy fruit draped in a cream coloured marzipan was finished with snow white icing. this is the christmas cake i want to be eating this year, preferably with a glass of wine. 

by the time i returned to anna mae there was a fairly long line and i was almost cursing myself. luckily i didn't have to wait long as they were served fairly quick. i decided to try the annie mac which is  the classic plain mac 'n' cheese. the cheese is stringy and binds the  macaroni in a soft cheesiness. i think there is a hint of mustard that comes through as a layer of warmth in the end. this stuff is calorific comforth and darn good! it's the kind of comfort that demands a rather long walk to wear itself home. next up, i'm trying the spicy juan whose spicy jalapenos and chipotle will be good with the classic cheese sauce. and i really ought to find out when they are serving the texas red chili.  

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