To badly (and incorrectly) paraphrase Samuel Johnson, "when a man is tired of kebab, he is tired of life."
Marathon Kebab House is a local hammered foodie legend. It's a real institution. And there could be two definitions of that. Somewhere that's been in situ serving local kebabhounds so long that it's passed into popular mythology; or somewhere you get dragged screaming towards when you've lost your faculties and are desperately in need of an intervention.
For the ever smug Chalk Farm locals, it's both. A hot bed of dirty Doner kebabbery guaranteed at the end of a long boozy night and the last place you remember walking into as you wake up with the whiff of chilli scented shame on a 'too old for that, my god what did we do' Sunday morning.
Generation Y have no doubt expunged it from their moral compass, too poefaced or saddled with uni debts to have fond remembrance of the joys of the late night elephant on a stick. For the barefaced bechilded Bacchanalians it's a blast from the past. A dirty hot grill upfront and a groovy cliche of sticky tabled late night embuggerance out the back.
I'm not going to try describing the food. If you have to ask, or really want to know, you shouldn't be here in the first place. I've never walked in sober, but I've never walked out hungry. I can't deny I've never lost it down the u-bend, but it was almost certainly the fault of that second-to-last Sambuca.
Deal with the crowds on a weekend. If you haven't had enough they do lukewarm cans of lager. In the day you could get ten Bensons with your kebab roll, ideal if you'd stumbled out of a nearby gig desperate for a smoke. Oh and there's often a guy dressed as Elvis doing karaoke out the back. He's a regular, a member of staff or a fevered dream, but you won't know till you go there properly steaming drunk.