Tuesday, May 22, 2007


You know that a blog is degenerating when it becomes a log of "what I had for lunch today." To make this a little more exciting, I'm going to make it real-time: "What I'm having for lunch right now."

Food has this funny way of bringing us back to places, and my lunch (strangely) is doing that right now. I'm eating Wendy's chili and fries, and it's reminding me of late-night snacks in Oxford.

Oxford (UK) has this (I think) unique phenomenon called "Kebab Vans." These are vans that appear late at night (they emerge around 10 pm and stay out until after 2 am) offering a limited-but-tasty menue including kebabs (not how we think of them; these are more like what we'd think of as a gyro sandwich - see picture) and chips (like bistro fries in the US). My standard was chili-chips-n-cheese. Mmmmmm...

Hence the semi-deja-vu.

Interestingly, when I googled "Kebab Vans" (once I figured out the correct spelling of "kebab"), I found very little explaining them to an outsider; rather, it was students talking about their inebriated enjoyment of said food and/or promoting a friendly (?) rivalry between Kebab Vans -- for example, Hassan explaining why his fare is better than any other Kebab Van in town (this article will also give you a taste of the popularity of these joints -- the author only has to mention "Hassan's Van," and presumably her normal readership instantly knows she's talking about the van on Broad Street).

This article does give a little explanation of Kebab Vans (towards the bottom).

Likewise, this article explores some of the benefit that this aspect of Oxford's economy brings to the student population.

If you're ever in Oxford late at night, you've got to visit a Kebab Van in order to get the full cultural experience.

Okay, lunch (& memory lane) is over ... back to work!


Amanda said...

Sounds like a fun way to get your midnight snack! :) I think Melodee and I are going to stay overnight in Oxford when I go visit, so we'll definitely have to look for these guys...

korean_darkness said...

Those vans sound like a pretty nifty idea!!! Thanks for sharing the memory.

By the way, forgive me for asking, but is "menue" a British spelling (see your third paragraph)?

Molly said...

No, unfortunately that's just a spelling error from typing with one hand and eating with the other :)