mice, men, 'merica.

OK, so...I can explain.


As we have alluded to, the Bank Holiday Weekend has been messing with my intensely-researched plans in a significant manner. About half the places that are supposed to be open actually are, and holiday transit schedules have made travel more adventurous than usual: fewer buses, more station closings, etc. These factors have made it very difficult to improvise within your daily plans: you can't just decide to go to a different tube station or take the bus instead if you're trying to get somewhere at a certain time.

It also helps if you leave the house at the time you'd planned on. We got to the the Brick Lane Curry Festival about 90 minutes later than I'd wanted to, which meant that instead of being able to scope out the situation and engage the targets with sniper-like precision, we were confronted with this:

Lines and lines and lines. I think if we'd been less hungry we might've been able to imagine queueing for 20 minutes.

But our stomachs were still on the original non-delayed timetable, and thus they'd already been waiting about 90 minutes too long. Plus, I don't know what I'd been expecting, but the food didn't make it look like we'd be missing much if we shakily concocted a Plan B.

We were on the verge of Serious Blood Sugar Trouble, so it was with a sense of exhilarating success that, 45 seconds later, we stepped into, well...America, 1965.

Not just 1965, but also 1995:

And then, some future date where bowling alleys look like spaceships.


Where were we? All Star Lanes. A very charming marriage of American bowling, cocktail, and diner culture that sounds like a terrible, kitschy idea but succeeds through smart design and a sort of loving (or extremely well-calculated) attention to detail.

The circular bar is a great space, futuristic, retro, and comforting at the same time, and Blood Sugar Emergency aside, the menu was really pushing all the right buttons (check it out). Mara had the seared tuna taco with fries and I had the smoked haddock/sweet corn chowder with onion rings. I think my chowder was the better of the two (despite a couple of al dente potato cubes), really worth recreating at home.

Anyway, it all hit the spot, and I'd happily go back. Sad that the bowling is as crushingly expensive as I expected.


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