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The low-down on Showdown – the rebranded basement bar at this popular American soul-food restaurant – is that the consistently inventive Matt Whiley has created a selection of Dixie-inspired drinks here. Thanks to Whiley, aka The Talented Mr Fox of Bethnal Green’s Peg + Patriot, the list contains bottle-aged Sazerac, Pickleback, and hoochy Ice Tea on tap. Also worth sipping are Campside Colada (Bacardi, barbecued pineapple, toasted coconut and marshmallow soda); and a Finlandia vodka Fancy made with absinthe, Bénédictine and vanilla doughnut from Columbia Road bakers, 1235. Otherwise, this ‘all-American bar’ provides Stateside beers and wines accompanied by the likes of catfish goujons, shrimp and grits, excellent fried chicken, or creole ‘dirty’ rice (with chicken livers, peppers and onions). There’s a Hicksville Mississippi feel to the place, but – apart from curtains here and some Quaker-ish wooden tables there – Showdown’s Depression-era interior looks mighty similar to The Lockhart’s homespun bar of yore.
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