Where Jay Rayner goes, the rest of the world follows. And luckily not too many people have picked up on him championing the brand spanking new ‘The Joint’; yet. And so that meant that we only had to wait about ten minutes for our table today. Don’t get me wrong, I want them to be wildly successful and they will be but I also want to get a table. I have decided to take up residence in Brixton village as good things can always be found there. The Joint is a tiny venture, which does not yet have a sign, it’s that new. There is little you can find out about it, I attempted to do my research before I ventured down the road to Brixton but alas, it is so cool that it is shrouded in mystery. Either that or they’re just too busy making damn fine food to worry about minor details like people knowing what food they serve or who they are.
I was armed with all the knowledge I needed, Jay Rayner likes them, they do pulled pork, ribs, wings and corn. I was sold. It is kind of hard to work out where The Joint actually is, it is squeezed into a tiny shopfront with no sign but luckily the helpful man inside overheard me and confirmed that we had arrived. We were promised a table in 15 minutes and I reckon we were seated in about 8 minutes. Now, you do not go to Brixton village for comfort, you go for good, cheap food and the bubbling atmosphere. The menu is short and sweet and therefore aids the indecisive among us. Being gluten free and therefore a pain in the butt, I had to go and ask what was gluten free, bbq places are generally laden with worcestershire sauce or soy or both; which are the enemy of those with coeliac disease. After ascertaining that I couldn’t have anything with their bbq sauce on, the very helpful man said that he would basically make me a plate of food that was all gluten free. I knew this was a man I could trust and I was right.
The food arrived as it was ready, which is pretty much the only way you can run a place that small. I sat salivating quietly in the corner whilst Sis and Bil tucked into their corn with bbq butter, it looked delicious and they assured me it was. Next up, Sis and BIL’s giant pulled pork and brisket buns appeared, they were gargantuan and very tempting. And then came, my plate of goodness. They had thoughtfully put together a selection of treats for me, I actually felt quite special. It comprised coleslaw, candied bacon (I think), pulled pork and chicken wings and some crunchy cos lettuce with some guacamole on the side. Now. Let me start with the guacamole, I have been to three Mexican restaurants since I arrived back in London and all have been varying shades of mediocre. At every Mexican restaurant the guacamole has been really average at best and here I was today, sitting in a non Mexican restaurant eating the best guacamole I’ve had in a very long time. Finally, I have found somewhere that understands the need for a lot of citrus and seasoning, bang on!
Right, moving swiftly on from my guacamole obsession. I was so happy making little cos lettuce parcels of my pulled pork and coleslaw. Despite not having the usual bbq sauce treatment the pulled pork was luxurious and flavoursome and reminded me of lovely rillettes but quite a lot less fatty! The chicken wings were weird, and I mean that as a huge compliment. They had somehow managed to coerce the chicken skin into becoming wafer thin and explosive, it was almost like popping candy, it just kind of shattered and disappeared, leaving a savoury, salty flavour in its wake. There was none of the flaccid, chewy rubbish that usually sheaths a chicken wing. This was illuminating stuff, I really want to find out how they do it…maybe Little Chef can go and do a work experience day with the nice guys at The Joint.
BIL and Sis were equally happy with their buns packed full of pulled meat. Sis gave her pulled pork bun with apple coleslaw 9/10 which is pretty high for her, she’s a very discerning foodie. And Bil had tried the brisket bun which was the special for the day and gave it a very solid 8/10. And this is not a place where you get a trendy sized portion, these were proper man sized portions and for ridiculously good prices. Me being a wino, had gone to the off licence and bought beers for the family and a can of scrumpy for me and we were not charged corkage. And so our bill came to a crazy £27 for three adults to have a bloody delicious lunch, we each had a main course and two sides for the table. This place is a steal, I don’t know how they make money…
So, as I write this, it is slowly dawning on me that I should not be telling you all about it because next time I go to get those special wings or that sultry, hearty pulled meat, you’re going to be sitting at my table aren’t you?! But I felt I had to share the joy. No place this good, with staff this good, with prices this good should go unnoticed. If you haven’t worked it out already, you need to go to this place.