You know by now I have a ‘healthy’ (bordering on obsessive) appreciation for sandwiches. I find it so satisfying to sink my teeth into a slice of crusty, fresh bread which yields to layer on layer of textures and flavours; it is a perfect self contained meal. Earlier this year I began to blog about sandwiches I’ve found around London but for some reason this slipped and I’ve now got a backlog. Here’s a little round-up, just to get us back on track.
First up, a London classic: the chorizo roll from the Brindisa grill at Borough Market. A ciabatta roll is stuffed with either a single or double portion of Alejandro Barbacoa chorizo (obviously I had the double) plus roasted Navarrico piquillo peppers and a good handful of rocket (£4.50 ish?) A drizzle of olive oil is all it needs in the way of lubrication as all the beautiful spicy fat from the sausage seeps into the bread, coating everything with its smoky, paprika flavour. This sandwich is intense and addictive, which is why the queue more often than not snakes right back into the market. The picture below represents a rare moment of quiet at the grill; when they are moving at full pace it is quite a spectacle of sizzle and smoke.
Next, a sandwich from my favourite local bakery, Luca’s. This is not one of their greatest creations unfortunately and would have been more enjoyable toasted. I mean, look at the size of that bread! Tim Hayward would hate this sandwich. The filling of brie and pesto was, as ever, fresh and high quality; the brie was ripe and pongy and the pesto tasted home made (it cost around £3). Despite some ongoing problems with slow service, the staff are charming and endearingly ditsy and the baked goods are a cut above the norm. They also do cheese and charcuterie plates, an absolutely triumphant rye bread, preserves, biscuits and cakes.
There are a couple of irritating things about Luca’s though – one being the fact that their coffee is a bit watery (according to trusted sources) and the other that, as with most places in East Dulwich, you have to have a high tolerance for the presence of small children; this means lots of noise, mess and rows of increasingly alien looking pushchairs. I am practically immune to this now. If you can’t bear the thought however, I’ve recently heard from the charming Rosie Lovell that her deli (Rosie’s Cafe Deli in Brixton) will soon be stocking Luca’s bread and they will also be selling their goods at Brixton Farmers’ Market in the near future.
Next, another Borough Market offering: the salt beef from Roast to Go, which is one of those places I’ve always meant to visit but never felt particularly inspired by. To be honest, this wasn’t a particularly remarkable example of the classic. To me, thick hunks of meltingly tender brisket should be bursting out of the bread; this was just a bit rubbery and meagre in size and the miserly stripe of mustard down the middle wasn’t enough to invoke even a mild case of ‘mustard nose’. Pickles were present and correct but it pales in comparison to a classic salt beef from Bagel Bake on Brick Lane, which costs around £3 I think in comparison to Roast’s version for a fiver. The bread was sweet and soft though, almost bagel-like in chewyness. I think they could be onto something there…
Finally, a sanger from an Italian deli and restaurant called Tentazioni that Chris discovered down in Shad Thames. The deli seemed well stocked although I do have to question their choice of location. Are they really going to drum up enough business tucked down one of those dark side streets otherwise filled with estate agents and over-priced, under-sized apartments? It’s a shame really because the lady inside was very charming and keen to help, even if she did work at the most incredibly slow pace. As the place is not geared mainly towards making sandwiches, it was a bit difficult to see what was on offer and a language barrier issue meant we just had to point at a few things and hope for the best. We got some fennel and pepper salami and parmesan with cracked black pepper and salad. The ingredients inside were delicious but the sandwich on the whole, a little dry and bready.
That said, the place is definitely worth checking out. I spied some gorgeous looking (if ridiculously expensive) smoked mozzarella along with Sicilian fennel sausages, pastries, a range of Italian cheeses and meats and also dried products like good quality pulses. You can see more pictures in my Flickr sandwich set here.
So there we have it, a few sandwiches to digest while I search out the next victim. Londoners, I call out for your assistance in directing me to the best sandwiches in the city. Share your favourites please!
Category: Sandwiches, Sandwiches and The City | Tags: Borough Market, Brindisa, Brindisa Grill, Chorizo Sandwich, London, London Food, London Sandwiches, Luca's Bakery, Roast to Go, Sandwiches, Tentazioni 24 comments »