A guest post from @jerrylatter
LOCATION: Nelson’s, 168 Borough High Street, SE1 1LB [map]
BREAD: White French baguette. Butter may have been used, but any sensory evidence of its existence was lost in the mustard.
FILLING: Swiss Cheese (Emmental I suspect), ham, mushroom and mustard (English)
PROS: Much like the albums of early solo career Sting and the gymnastic skills of Beth Tweddle you know that you’re guaranteed quality when you walk into Nelson’s. They certainly do enough to put you off; a huge glass door that weighs as much as a caravan, and decor that was last updated when the Bay City Rollers were in full swing, but, amongst the cognoscenti, Nelson’s is one of the best Italian delis in the Southwark area, with a huge landscape of meat and cheese based combos and an excellent range of melts, run by a selection of efficient and polite second generation Italian chaps who I have absolutely no doubt are in the possession of the phone number of someone who would be prepared to break legs for money.
This particular combo is one of their specialities, and a personal favourite – what you remember about it aren’t the components that fill you up (the bread, ham and cheese), it’s the unexpected additions. Indeed it’s the crunch of the mushroom, that you notice first off – a truly effective counterpoint to the tenderness of the cheese. There’s ham in there too, but the mustard kicks in right in the centre of your nose just as you realise, and your mouth is still salivating for the next watery squelch of the mushroom. He lightly toasted the sandwich today, which I didn’t ask them too, but it worked – the warm bread melting to the taste and letting the components do their work. Magic.
The combo is also available on brown baps but you’d be fucking nuts to go that way.
CONS: Only the price. I’m not comfortable busting the £4 threshold south of the river and £4.50 is just too much, despite their excellent service. They lose points solely for this. They also need a new cash register as the one they have whirrs like an industrial drill, but I’m not going to mark them down for that.