My awkward relationship with Brixton’s restaurants continued with The Joint, a barbecue place in Brixton Village Market. I’ve written before about my biggest problem with Brixton: quite a bit of choice, but mostly in places that are outdoors which isn’t great even on a mild night.
When we got to The Joint, I was a little annoyed to be moved from the table for four my friend and I sat down at, which was next to a heater, to an unheated two seater table – there were other four-seater tables free in case a bigger group came along, and I said so, but apparently rules are rules even on a quiet Sunday evening. Nobody came and sat at that table while we were there. Nearby Franco Manca, at £5.90 for a rather excellent cheese pizza for one, can just about get away with chilly, quasi-outdoor dining. The Joint cannot.
My baby back ribs (£11) were few in number, fatty and didn’t have much meat on them. In total, I got about as much meat as I would expect from a starter course somewhere else. They tasted fine, the same as baby back ribs usually do. The barbecue sauce they came in may have come from a Heinz bottle.
These came with four onion rings which were deep fried for too long in breadcrumbs, so they were just flavourless, oily bits of crunch, plus “salad” and “slaw” which were three undressed lettuce leaves and a mound of thinly shredded, mayo-free white cabbage respectively. I was not just unsatisfied at the end of this, I was hungry and a little sad.
My friend’s beef brisket sandwich (£9.50) was also paltry and small, and it didn’t even come with any shredded cabbage or lettuce leaves. The meat itself tasted OK, but it was nothing special.
As Ben has said, there is no shortage of good barbecue places in London, and even Brixton has Miss P’s in Pop Brixton around the corner from The Joint. My baseline is Bodean’s: if you can’t beat their food, which is admittedly not very good but still inexpensive and satisfying, what the hell do you think you’re doing running a restaurant?
The Joint fails this basic test, and you should spare yourself the disappointment – and the cold.