Take me home please
Danny's, 100 High St, Barkingside
Season 2014-2015

Beyond Stratford, London's eastern suburbs stretch out for mile-upon-flat-mile into the Essex borderlands. It was to one such suburb that the Pie and Mash Club ventured this new year to try – for the first time – a shop about to celebrate 20 years in business. The journey was facilitated by the 'via Hainault' service on that funny loop towards the end of Central Line.

The unassuming edifice of number 100, Barkingside High Street gives no hint of the tile-mongous treat that lurks within. With a two-and-a-half-foot cap height, it's the typographic equivalent of a 'big shout out' but nowhere could I find evidence of an 'and', '&' or even a humble '+'.

The kaleidoscopic menuboard of Danny's offers all manner of distractions, notable among them 'The Cockney Blowout' and 'The Biggest Breakfast in Barkingside'. Plus in the Dinner Club, 'Chilli, Cheese and Chips' for £4.95.

But the focus of the Pie and Mash Club never wavered from the central panel of that tricoloured triptych.

These are Danny's dinner ladies. Mary astonished us by taking orders over the cordless from the mysterious Mister Danny while serving up our steaming savouries. Surely a contender for dinner lady of the year?

Her colleague Lila provided table service with a smile. Both ladies were highly tippable, and at no point was the bell-push was required.

 

It's what we came for, captured here in an overhead pie-noramic shot.

Dribble-inducing closeups.

Continuing the Charalambous bloodline is Alexander-The-Great Charalambous, just about one month old here. Neither pip nor squeak did we hear from the little chap all lunchtime – he must have been high on our cosy pie and mash fug.

Danny's is a pushchair-friendly environment. Chris's good lady Sarah remarked upon his modest 1-3-2-1-2 statistics, to which the good man replied 'It's not about points, it's about being there'. That's the spirit of the Club.

 

Two stalwarts of the Pie and Mash League tackled the main course in their outdoor clothing. You can rely on one of them to keep his jacket on.

The look and taste of the Danny's pie, plus the overall ambience of the room, reminded me of Scott's in Orpington, which we visited last year.

Denise Rouse's trademark side of jellied eels dominated the ladies' table. However Judith Deschamps shares Ogden Nash's line of thinking on eels:

I don't mind eels
Except as meals
And the way they feels

 

The mighty Tom Leader scooped the day's highest score with a weighty thirty-eight. Tom's trusty paperback provided the necessary intellectual stimulus.

The awesome nourishing power of pie and mash is here demonstrated by Mike Goldwater.

And there's the bloke what made that nourishment possible, Arnie the pieman.

Steaming great desserts followed on by table service. Mike G captured this image of two incoming j-r-p's beautifully. Hover over if you want a close-up cross-section.

Spotted Dicks with Lucas and Mosse.

Life is sweet with the Charalambous family.

Sometimes you just need to get your head in there.
This lady sportingly allowed me a portrait. Her name is Rosemary, and she is a local and regular at this shop.

The pavement outside no.100.

Thence to Wetherspoon's New Fairlop Oak for the quenchment of parchment. We left as dusk fell.

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