Outsider Tart – For a real treat
Situated in the quaint area of Chiswick instead of opting for a subdued afternoon tea complete with cucumber sandwiches, sometimes you just need something a little more substantial to get you through. Now January is over you’ve either found a healthier version of yourself and stuck to your new regime or you’ve decided that after a month of green juices and spinning classes that you deserve a treat. If you’re in the latter category then believe me Outsider Tart is the place for you.
Outsider Tart is a place whose name is inspired by Outsider Art an independent art movement that revolves around self-taught artists and is a reflection of the owners David Muniz and David Lesniak’s own mentality of being self-taught in regards to the world of food. They are a duo that use their own origins to inspire their menu. The one thing that struck me the most after a lengthy chat with David Muniz is how dedicated and genuine the duo are. They are committed to producing good quality food as well as creating a friendly atmosphere with no desire to sell out. The issue with American cuisine outside of the US is that it’s usually pigeon holed to ‘burgers and fries’ and not a lot else. In all honesty with the amount of burger joints popping up all the time it seems like this is an ideology that will continue only to grow, and then enter Outsider Tart.
Born and raised in Mississippi Muniz talked passionately about how his origins and foods that he loved back home helped inspire some of the ideas on the menu. These authentic flavours offer customers a taste of the US outside of their usual idea of what American cuisine is. (They will also leave customers reaching to unbutton their jeans; something that you cannot deny is a sign of a good restaurant). Of course with such American delicacies on the menu, there’s only a certain extent of ingredients that can be sourced locally however I was surprised to find out that nearly all of their produce is bought and sourced in the area. They also have a farm in Gloucestershire who provide some of their smoked meats. The menu does change, especially when they have certain events such as their Route 66 around the states in 50 dates, Thanksgiving and chilli and meatloaf nights. It’s the winning combination of no pretention and good hearty food with tongue in cheek names- Hoe cake or one eyed monster anyone?
Outside Tart and Blue Plate both exist within the same venue; however it’s split into two sections. You enter the bakery first which is Outsider Tart complete with a cosy counter where you can casually drool over their abundance of brownies and other sweet treats. Nutella cheesecake brownie, I think I may have just discovered three of my favourite words put together. Also, you can purchase lots of other American goodies that you may not be able to find elsewhere like Fruit-loops and Hersheys, etc. Then once you pass through (which is difficult believe me, with so many distracting goodies on display) you have the restaurant section which is Blue Plate. Blue Plate is a cosy joint complete with red chairs and a big oak table in the centre for communal dining. There is also a piece of outsider art artwork on display made entirely of bottle lids standing in front of a number of blue plates attached to the wall. Additionally there’s lovely lighting and stars on the ceiling which only add to the vibe of this place.
So let’s get down to the food. Since we arrived around 2, brunch was only inevitable and a past time I am more than happy to participate in. As a fiend for pancakes, ordering their signature stack with blueberries, butter and maple syrup seemed only mandatory, all washed down with a half iced tea and lemonade. The pancakes of course were light and fluffy, sweet but not too sickly due to the tartness of the fresh blueberries and butter. My companion who joined me ordered a delicious omelette complete with spiced sausage and sausage roll; of course I had to sample some- for the sake of work. The omelette was cooked to perfection and the sausage complimented it nicely. All in all brunch food of the gods. Naturally we were encouraged to try something from the bakery, because apparently I have no limit to how much glucose I can put into my bloodstream in two hours. The bakery is any sweet tooth’s paradise, snickers brownie, peanut butter M&M brownies, cupcakes topped with meringue- I could go on but really you need to go and visit for yourself to truly enjoy the delights of Outsider Tart.
The clientele is a nice mixture of locals as well as out of towners and it’s definitely one of those places where once you take a bite, you know that you’ll be coming back for more.
Outside Tart will also be doing a special night for Pancake Day with a number of different batters both sweet and savoury to try, so head over there flippin’ fast.
For more information please visit their website or follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @outsidertart.