LOCATION: Sandwich Box, 9 Newington Causeway, SE1 6UD [map]
BREAD: White bap
FILLING: Egg mayo
PROS: One of the best things about writing a blog like this is that I find myself wandering into sandwich shops I would never have otherwise bothered with. Sandwich Box is a properly old school outfit, the kind you’d look at and think ‘huh’ and possibly ‘aww’ in a nod to its being so fabulously preserved in time, that time being about 15 years ago.
There are certain sandwiches that this kind of shop does extremely well however; the kind of fillings people that are total dicks would term ‘retro'; fillings that more modern places attempt to pimp and embellish, thus ruining them. Some sandwiches have a nursery school appeal and should not be messed about with. Egg mayonnaise is one of them.
The bap (‘d’ya wanna sammich or a bap, luv?’) was really fresh with excellent chew; for some reason this type of bap seems to be a feature of the old school places. See Ed’s Diner in Camberwell. It’s so enjoyable. I’m bored of tooth testing ciabatta and too thick cut five seeded pumpernickel rye. Gimme a nice big white BAP. I like the way she took a hard-boiled egg and made the egg mayo there and then, rather than having it ready mixed in one of those metal trays where it forms a thick yellow crust on the top. Mmmm.
I really enjoyed eating in Sandwich Box; I enjoyed the sandwich, the price; the shitty tea that tasted like it came from an urn (it reminded me of a time doing voluntary work in a drop in centre many moons ago). I enjoyed Spandau Ballet on the radio (‘I Know This Much is True‘) and the mirror that fittingly read ‘nostalgia’.
CONS: Wellll, one must choose carefully in these places; like I said, this is about memory lane. It’s about craving an old time favourite that’s not been messed about with. No capers, no chives, no salad, no nothing but egg and mayo. I’d steer clear of anything more ambitious. The service is, well, what you’d expect from an old school caff in Borough. No nonsense. I said a cheery ‘bye!’ as I walked out the door and got a noise that sounded like ‘mm’ in reply.
There was nothing to particularly rile me; we must see this place for exactly what it is – a surviving sandwich bar hanging on in there, despite being just down the road from a Starbucks and a Pret.