I was wandering around Shoreditch this past Saturday when it got to be lunch time and guys, it’s been a long since I had one of my old days of wandering. I love wandering around London. Everything is always changing! Curtain Road??!! Who’s been down Curtain Road lately? Can you gentrify gentrification? Because if so, it’s a-happening on Curtain Road.
So I had this idea in my head. I’d go to Tramshed. They’ve been closed lately (a fire?) and I figured I’d check out what’s new at Tramshed. But I never got there because I was walking down Rivington Street when I passed Santo Remedio, the Mexican place, and noticed that IT WAS CLOSED. Which is super sad. Because I liked Santo Remedio and I would have gone back for some tacos. Social media says they closed because of things outside of their control. What does that mean?? Stingy landlord? Council problems? In the absence of information, people start to make things up, don’t they? I was imagining all sorts of worst-case scenarios.
Santo Remedio wasn’t the reason why I never got to Tramshed, though. (Although I did stand there for a bit, wondering.) The reason why I never got to Tramshed was a guy named Munur, who was standing in the doorway next to Santo Remedio while I looked at the menu for a new looking place I was pretty sure was not there a month ago.
“We just opened three weeks ago,” he told me, and then launched into a very thorough explanation of all things Popolo.
“Great! Honestly, you don’t have to convince me! I’ll come in!” I said, as I took a place at the counter. (Cement counter, interestingly enough. Sorry, I notice these things.)
I was quickly introduced to everyone within eyesight. We talked about Santo Remedio. We talked about Instagrammers with 90,000 followers. (12 years people! 12 years and all I have is 900 Instagram followers!) I went back and forth on what I wanted for lunch. Pasta? More pasta? I’d just been to Italy! I’d just eaten at Frescobaldi! Who cares? I wanted more pasta. Butternut squash and sage ravioli, thank you. Also, did you say anchovy something? I’ll take that too. Perfect.
The squash ravioli, warm, comforting, autumnal.
The anchovy something (sorry), green, bitter (in a good way), and anchovy (in a very good way).
Delicious. Throughout, Tony the Spanish Bulgarian was there for everything I needed. Including that second glass of white wine, which I probably didn’t need.
And then…after I pretty much told everyone in the entire Popolo how much I did not like grouse, they brought me — surprise! — grouse cappelletti. And it was good. It was very good. Life was good. Popolo was very good. Shoreditch was good. And maybe I’m okay with grouse now. As long as it’s wrapped in pasta.
And no, I didn’t tell them that maybe their name was a little too close to Polpo. I thought about doing it. But I didn’t. And then my friend Lee told me she saw I was at Polpo earlier and I thought again about telling Popolo their name was too close to Polpo. But you know, choices people.
The Verdict: Go. And go soon! I think you will like it.