Saturday 29th June - Trust the Northern Line to stop running on the one Saturday that I actually need to go to Camden (or does that happen every Saturday?). Thankfully I was already most of the way up after my students had a concert in the Royal Academy of Music near Baker Street, so I hopped on a bus from Euston to get to Porky's BBQ near Camden Lock. Team List for the evening consisted of List Leader Natalie, one-time List Leader Taro (making up for missed pulled pork after our trip to Pitt Cue Co) and Foreign Office Max (who was making the most of his last few days before being sent to Vilnius). Max greeted me with a ludicrous present of a tiny violin, all the way from Mexico, which has proved to be a huge hit with my students.
Finally, we headed over to the Blues Kitchen, a fun restaurant bar with live music every night to join my friend Tom (Homeslice team mate) for his birthday. Check ahead to see when they start charging for entry. The atmosphere is great, and the place was packed for most of the evening. Beer options are lacking but there are cocktails on offer too including frozen margarita slushies. Look up to see quirky lights made from gramophones and trumpets. The music was lively and entertaining but the venue struggles to replicate the energy you get in the tiny Aint Nothin' But Blues Bar in Soho. It's still a fantastic place to get together with friends and have an all in one food, drink and dancing night out, and there is always Proud nearby if you want to extend the evening. I eventually hopped on to a night bus, which turned out to be the first of 3 after I fell asleep on the 44 and woke up in Earlsfield - sadly this is not the first time the 44 has sent me to sleep. At least I didn't get as far as Tooting this time.
Anyway, back to Porky's. They have opened recently and serve up slow cooked meats and burgers with a great selection of sides. They also have a wide range of draft and bottled beers - Fordham's Wisteria Wheat was particularly drinkable. The cocktails available are all twists on a classic - we didn't get involved but it's an interesting list. Porky's don't take bookings but there is plenty of space if you go at a sensible time, and a nice little garden at the back. I love their logo, and regret not buying one of their staff t-shirts on the way out! We ordered a mix of ribs and pulled pork with some mac & cheese, sweet potato fries, pulled pork croquettes and BBQ wings. Everything was delicious, including the house gherkins on the side. The pulled pork didn't quite match the offering from Lazybones for me, but it was still very tasty. We were there at the same time as Ribstock was taking place in Haggerston - perhaps Porky's will make an appearance there next year?
We decided to make a quick stop in Brewdog Camden for a post-piggy pint. I first discovered Brewdog when I was up in Edinburgh for the Fringe festival a few years ago. Their pubs are more like bars with dark stone walls and high stools and tables. They brew their own excellent beer (start with Punk IPA and work your way up the ABV%) and have guest ales from pioneering breweries such as Nogne O and Mikeller. The range of bottles is always top class too. If you haven't been to a Brewdog bar before, you need to either order a Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32%) or a Sink the Bismarck (41%) - two of the strongest beers in the world, sold by the nip. Brewdog Camden has a downstairs room called the Hop Bunker. I'm not quite sure what goes on down there! I think there is just more seating and rotating art exhibits. Downstairs at Brewdog Shoreditch is slightly more exciting with the Underdog speakeasy serving beers and beer cocktails - some of you may remember that Underdog was part of the first ever List trip.