On our penultimate day in London we jumped on the tube and headed North, where we wondered around the shops and markets at Camden Lock. I had no idea just how many different markets there would be, or how big they are, so it ended up taking us all afternoon. There was such a variety of stalls that I was almost scared to miss out on anything, so made sure we visited every little corner of every market! We had planned on visiting the Amy Winehouse exhibition at the nearby Jewish Museum as well as getting lunch at the Roundhouse's pop up beach, but somehow time ran away from us. By the time we were finished at the markets the museum was closed. And it turned out the beach was shut that day for some reason!
Eventually the wave of aromas from the food stalls started to get to us. If you're hungry you can find pretty much any type of cuisine in the Camden Lock markets; Indian curries, Pad Thai, Turkish kebabs, Caribbean jerk chicken, French crepes, ice-cream... whatever you're in the mood for, you'll probably find it. All I wanted was a comfy seat and a good cocktail! So, we skipped the street food and headed for Porky's on Chalk Farm Road.
Porky's is an American smokehouse style restaurant which has only recently opened. You are hit with the delicious smoky BBQ smell the minute you walk in and the Memphis theme is apparent from the pictures of Elvis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash et al that are plastered on the stone walls. As always, we began with cocktails. The menu lists a range of classic cocktails with a Porky's twist; typically Southern with lots of Bourbon and whiskey flavourings being used. Being a little more adventurous than usual, Gordon went for the Porky's iced tea. A blend of "courvoisier vs cognac, vermouth, bols triple sec, infused with earl grey, lemon, sugar and ginger beer". He was unsure at first as he's used to the normal mix with coke, but it turned out better than anticipated! I'm not a big fan of whiskey drinks so they rustled up a classic Cosmo for me at the bar.
Yet again we skipped starters and dived straight into main courses. Gordon chose the memphis meaty ribs and tips, with a side of sweet potato fries. The huge pork ribs arrived covered in a smoky BBQ sauce and were perfectly complimented by the cognac cocktail. My choice was the chiliburger. A big, juicy beef burger piled high with tasty chili and oozing melted jack cheese. For some reason I decided on a side of mac n cheese. I don't even really like mac n cheese so god knows what possessed me. It didn't have much flavour at all to be honest and pasta was probably a bit too much with the monster of a burger. I'd suggest trying the BBQ beans or coleslaw instead. Or the sweet potato fries, they were pretty damn good!
It doesn't look like much when it first arrives, but both our meals were surprisingly filling. We struggled on though and both ordered dessert. My eyes were bigger than my belly, and I felt so bloated afterwards, but the cherry pie was my pudding du jour. An American classic with a sweet, fruity filling encased in a soft, buttery pastry and served with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream... Yum! The chocolate brownie sundae was Gordon's and he did not want to share a single piece of that chocolate mountain!
Porky's is a great little spot in the heart of Camden. If, like us, you're looking for somewhere to relax and rest your aching feet after a day browsing the markets in the sweltering sunshine, then this is the place. The waitresses will welcome you with a smile and make you feel right at home as you enjoy your epic meaty BBQ food. Vegetablarians, don't be put off by the name, Porky's doesn't just serve meat; the quinoa and butternut chilli sounds amazing too!
We didn't book ahead but if you want to you can call 0207 428 0998.
Where are your favourite places in Camden?