Burnt Oak is not noted for its fine dining opportunities. The cafes on Watling Avenue and Burnt Oak Broadway are alright in their own way. (I will spare you the sordid details of every cup of tea I've ever drunk in one or other of them - since I am not standing for election there is no call for such shameless name-dropping.) But none of them provides the decent coffee and pastry that I have come to expect almost as a human right.
Imagine my delight, then, when as I bustled up the road to Edgware Hospital this morning for my free cholesterol check, I saw a new cafe called "Lalgerois". It boasted "pastries, paninis, coffee, wedding cakes". Behind that eccentric spelling - it should be "l'algerois", non? - I thought, might nestle a north African eatery. I was right!
After a 14-hour fast (I think, the longest I have ever gone without something passing my lips), my appointment with the phlebotomist over, I went in there and fell on a tasty apricot danish and very acceptable cup of strong coffee.
Just opposite Lloyds Motor Spares, Lalgerois has a pleasant salon with tables inside and outside, a really impressive display of cakes, a charming lady serving, and the sound of French hip-hop drifting not too obtrusively from the kitchen.
Added to the shisha garden that has rather incongruously opened in the car-park of the Lansdowne pub, perhaps the northern end of the Edgware Road like the southern will soon have its own "Arab quarter". (Apologies to any Iranians reading, who generally, not always for good reasons, hate for their culture to be mistaken for Arabic.)
I, for one, would be most happy for that.