Hearty English cuisine — one of the first things I’ve also noticed ever since visiting London for the first time in 1992 is the places what sell food. In that hey! they’re the places that sell food in America! So seeing all sorts of Pizza Huts and KFCs and all that fundamentally saddened my foolish and naive 21-year-old self, because I thought that being in London would mean that people ate…

…well, honestly, I didn’t know what they would eat. Fried beer or something, groats dipped in black puddings, whatever it was that was talked about in the various books I read set in London (though I think this was mostly Sherlock Holmes material, come to think of it, so I guess I was also expecting urchins and dudes with pipes climbing over walls).

So, KFC etc., and in recurring visits I seem to have noticed similar such — well, I could snootily call them incursions in the name of the Great Big Corporate Things. There’s already some talk elsewhere on one of the comments for a post below about how Subway stores have settled throughout the city, and I figure bubble tea shops are next if they’re not there already. I’m not complaining, I was long since disabused of the reach of global brands. Well, I might complain about Starbucks.

I’ll have more to say about food in London at another point, as I’ve had my encounters. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually had the alleged native English food anywhere when I’m there (pubs aside, but you know, they’re pubs — they transcend time and space [don’t they?]). I assume the only places that market themselves as restaurants selling such food are strictly for tourists without friends in London to tell them what is wrong about this idea. If it is judged as wrong. Perhaps those who live in London like to take their tourist friends to places like that to scare them.

I think the closest I’ve ever gotten (depending on who you talk to) was when I was wondering what the hell a fast food chain called Wimpy was doing with a name like that (shamefully I had forgotten my Popeye-loving youth). Enthused, various ne’er-do-wells who may or may not post here insisted that in my lack of direct knowledge of a Wimpy was a perfect excuse for a Wimpy FAP. And did one happen? NO. Instead people wanted to go get drunk and dance. So why can’t that be done at a Wimpy? If Saturday Night Fever can show Tony Manero and his coterie being ridiculous at a White Castle, then I tell you it can happen in London as well. Just not at a White Castle. That would be wrong.