‘It’s a great time to be a woman in politics,’ gushes mid-ranking local government official Leslie Knopes. ‘Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin. Me.’ Leslie is a good-natured, annoying thirtysomething with ideas above her station. The first part of her masterplan involves the construction of a park. But can she deal with hopeless staff, disruptive superiors and her own foot-in-mouth tendency for long enough to make the dream real?
At this early stage, the flaws of ‘Parks and Recreation’ are as evident as the strengths. For a start, it couldn’t be more indebted to the hubris, bathos and narrative devices of ‘The Office’ if it did a silly dance before spunking its severance pay on making a novelty pop record. The consensus from across the pond, however, is that the show has improved dramatically as it’s developed and matured. It’s just been commissioned for a fifth season and is now a well-loved cult concern.
We can just about see why: Amy Poelher’s Knopes is tiresome and deluded but sweetly so. The supporting cast are less memorable but not without promise. Probably one to persevere with.
Is London over the burger craze yet? Seemingly not, as there are still new burger bars opening all the time. With such a range of fresh meat-flippers to choose from, a newcomer really has to do something different to stand out. In the case of Stax, that something is adding a few lesser-seen dishes from the southern US. Chicken breast is buttermilk-marinated then fried in the Southern way; shrimp is deep-fried; even a whole onion is deep-fried. If you like your food fried, then you’ve come to the right place. There are some nice details in the dishes: the sweet brioche buns (bought in from the Balthazar bakery) are excellent quality, though we found ours fell apart too easily when wrapped around a moist burger. The triple-cooked chips were also paragons of their kind– skin-on, firm and fresh, tasting properly of tuber and well-seasoned. Our red cabbage slaw came with poppyseed stirred in to vary the texture and add interest. While it gets the basics of the dishes mostly right, Stax misses a few tricks otherwise. The name suggests Southern or Memphis Soul, but the soundtrack was the usual bland MOR you can find at the turn of an FM dial. Desserts consist mainly of ice-cream based dishes (made in-house), which makes a very rich meal after that fried main course; but then you’re not likely to be coming here anyway if you’re concerned about healthy eating. The service, although jolly and obliging, was haphazard on both of our visits; orders were mixed up, the bill took a long ti
Venue says: “We don't take table bookings but fear not, our sister restaurant Boondocks (Old Street) does! Same food, big menu and an even bigger space!”