E17 is my new hood. It's way out East, foxes poop on my doorstep (literally), and my commute's on the tube, but I live next to a forest (with lakes and stuff), I'm in Central London within 40 minutes, and my local grocery store sells Burt's Bees and Kooky Bakes cupcakes.
So, we're okay.
In the meantime, I've been patiently seeking out the best foodie spots in Walthamstow, having been previously convinced that there aren't any.
But I was wrong.
Here are three great eats in E17:
Orford Saloon Tapas Bar, Orford Road
I'm skeptical of tapas unless it's served in Spain. Nevertheless, we stopped by Orford Saloon on a balmy summer's evening (i.e. that one day we had like three weeks ago where it was actually t-shirt weather and not t-shirt-with-a-sweater-and-possible-jacket-weather) before heading to the theater for an impromptu date night (we saw Mission Impossible; it was awful).
We ordered these eggplant (SORRY, "AUBERGINE") baton things drizzled with honey and it was like, lip-smackingly wonderful. And not just because our lips were sticky with honey by the time we'd demolished the plate, but because they were served poker hot and had a melt-in-your-mouth quality that I've never tasted in eggplant before.
The next week, we returned with Justine in tow and shared the paella, which was a little disappointing (the rice was slightly undercooked and the flavours lacking), but the tapas were still amaze.
The Chequers, High Street
Sure, you have to push your way through throngs of people at the longest outdoor market in Europe (!!!) to get to it, but once inside, The Chequers nourishes your soul with comfort food and darn good vintage interiors.
My BBQ pulled pork burger was a tad bit on the sweet side for me, but the chips were fantastic (and I don't even like British chips) and the bites I stole from Cristy's mac 'n cheese dish were excellent: creamy, al dente pasta that you'll only need a few forkfuls of (go for the starter size, not the main - it's enough, I promise). Tom's ribeye steak looked amazing too, and I didn't hear any complaints from him as he slathered it in bearnaise.
The pub's spacious enough to find a decent table, and it's child-friendly too, which meant our little niece Dorothy could make friends with a fellow not-quite-baby-not-quite-toddler, who decided to chill out by sprawling out on a step because: baby behavior.
Trattoria La Ruga, Orford Road
Back to Orford Road again, but it's got a great little selection of restaurants, pubs, and cafés.
Situated directly across from Orford Saloon, Trattoria La Ruga offers a simple and classic Italian menu done to a high standard, with mains like swordfish steak and calves liver, plus a fantastic pasta and side salad deal for £10 (excluding Fridays and Saturdays).
Like the other restaurants I've tried in Walthamstow so far, I went without any expectations, but my goodness - the prawn, garlic, chilli, and sundried tomato linguine was phenomenal. So very, very good.
Service was excellent (they swiftly moved us indoors when sitting outside proved too much a challenge in late August in England) and I wouldn't hesitate taking any friends or family (in fact, we took my mother-in-law for a belated birthday celebration when she came to stay with us last weekend) there.
So, Walthamstow: new foodie destination? Could be, could be.
Watch this space.