Archive | August, 2013

Bacon Sandwich at Love Walk Cafe, Camberwell

21 Aug

LOCATION: Love Walk Cafe,

PRICE: £2.95.

BREAD: Brown.

FILLING: Bacon, butter.

PROS: It was edible and the bread would have been okay, had it been used to make a different sandwich.

CONS: This is without doubt the worst bacon sandwich I have ever eaten, and I have eaten a lot of bacon sandwiches. There are a number of offences here, namely:

1. I asked for white bread, obviously, because IT’S A BACON SANDWICH. Eating a bacon sandwich with brown bread is just wrong wrong wrong. Sure, there are different ways to go with the white bread. One might fancy a St. John style ‘proper’ white bread sandwich – a kick ass sour dough for example. Then again, you might be in the mood for a pappy cheap white bread greasy spoon style bacon sandwich – also a time and a place. You might fancy a bap. Fine. Whatever. THEY ARE ALL WHITE. ALWAYS. I have since learned from Twitter that these people at Love Cafe are ‘brown bread enforcers’. Totally unacceptable. You give me what I ask for, because you are providing a service which offers the choice and I am paying for it. Simple as. I went again a week later to get a smoked salmon bagel (this is happening, by the way, as Cafe Bay are closed for their annual holiday and there is nowhere else to go) and they said they don’t have bagels. Fine. I said, ‘please may I have white bread instead?’ and they said ‘yes no problem’. I get to the office. It’s fucking BROWN. It was all I could do to not leave my desk right then to go back and give them an earful but you know, I have a job. I like brown bread, really, but only when it’s appropriate and when I have asked for it.

2. From giving me a brown I don’t want to denying me one that I do – they have omitted the brown sauce that I requested. A bacon sandwich without sauce?! Argh! Whatever your preference, brown or red, it should be in there, because a) you asked for it and b) it’s a bacon sandwich! So there was a measly spread of butter, not even applied with any care or attention. So obviously the sandwich was dry.

3. The amount of bacon inside was insufficient to say the least, so mostly I was eating dry brown bread. Wicked.

4. The bacon is flabby. It’s been pre-cooked and I’m not even that bothered but seriously, you can’t even REHEAT it properly? There is no crisp fat, which everyone knows is the best bit of a bacon sandwich. There is a lot of flabby white fat on the puny bits of bacon that are in there.

Do you know what the worst thing was about this sandwich, though? The real kick in the teeth? It’s that this sandwich was made by someone who does not give a flying toss about sandwiches, or even, I would wager, food in general. I can smell that rat from a mile off. It is clear in the way the sandwich was made and it makes me sad, and actually quite angry. You can probably tell. The very last thing a bacon sandwich should be is worthy. It should be fatty and utterly lacking in any nutritional value.

This bacon sandwich would do nothing for a hangover and to make it should therefore be a punishable offence.

SCORE: 1/10

Jalapeño Cheese Pretzel Dog at Auntie Anne’s, Hammersmith

16 Aug

LOCATION: Broadway Shopping Centre, Hammersmith Broadway, W6 9YA [map]

PRICE: A few quid. No prices on the website. Yes I know I should be writing it down.

BREAD: Pretzel, topped with cheese and jalapeños.

FILLING: Hot dog.

PROS: I’m not proud of this, okay? I don’t even think this qualifies as a sandwich actually but bloody hell, I need some closure so here we are.  The main point to get across is that I’m not proud, though.  I’m the opposite of proud, you hear me? I feel ashamed. Soiled. Dirty. I learned about this terrible creation from a mate who shall remain nameless. It is, apparently, a favourite late night snack of his, and I can tell you right away that this is certainly in that category – I’d say only in that category in fact. Ever. This, this, this…THING. In order to eat this, one should be inebriated – no doubt about that. I am indeed the queen of guilty pleasure and this was almost too much for even me; a proper lock ’em up and throw away the key sinner.

So obviously I ate all of it.

CONS: The meat is beyond ‘mystery’. I include a close up below. I know. Again, I’m so ashamed.

At first I thought it must be deep fried but with hindsight I think it was baked; I don’t want to be rude about the people that served it to me but, well, I’m not sure there was a vat of extremely hot oil behind that counter, you know what I mean? Man, was this thing greasy. I don’t mind that when I’m drunk, really I don’t. I don’t mind the fact that it’s a dog wrapped in dough with cheese on it. It’s a fat laden calorie bomb of disgusting proportions. No problem. No, the issue here is the meat. It’s hard to go back once you’ve seen one of those blenders full of pink slurry, you know what I mean? The images, they haunt.

It’s good to also know that the nutritional facts about this monster are published on the internet for all to see HERE. Oh, happy, happy joy. You know what, though? I thought it would be worse. I was genuinely pleasantly surprised when I saw those vital statistics, which says a lot about the way I treat my stomach.

SCORE: 2/10

Salt Beef at Gaby’s Deli, Charing Cross

9 Aug

LOCATION: 30 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0DE [map]

PRICE: £7.

BREAD: Rye.

FILLING: Salt beef, mustard.

PROS: Gaby’s deli is famous. When threatened with closure they started a campaign to keep the place open. I supported it. They were obviously successful and so, well, here we are.

You’re going to get an idea of my experience immediately because I’m going to start by telling you how much I enjoyed the pickle. I mean, I’m a pickle lover, a pickle fiend, in fact, but still. The pickle wasn’t in the sandwich. It was a quid extra but also huge, crisp and perky. A fine example.

CONS: I am hungover. I’ve been sat in the hairdressers for 3 hours, having made it there I don’t know how. The hairdresser has taken pity on me, giving me first a Diet Coke, second an Alka Seltzer and third, a glass of prosecco. None of them touched the sides, not even the prosecco. I’ve been sat there for 3 torturous hours planning what I am going to eat that is going to save my ass and I decided that a Gaby’s salt beef sandwich was it.

As I watch the sandwich being made a pang of hunger comes over me, of the kind that can only be produced by a hangover. I check several times that the sandwich comes with mustard and a pickle. The man making my sandwich is starting to look pissed off. I decide it’s best to takeaway so I pay and, clutching sandwich, scuttle off to the bus.

The bus is hot, really hot. The air inside is a thick fug of human sweat and bad breath. I feel dizzy and nauseous. I can’t even think about eating the sandwich. Eating on the bus is disgusting, but I’m so ravenous I’d totally do it if I could. The sandwich sweats inside its bag. The salt beef suffers. When I get home I eat half of one half, but the poor beef has started to dry up at the edges because it’s been about an hour since the thing was made. Then it occurs to me that actually, it’s all pretty damn dry.  I dunno, 45 minutes on the bus ride of hell isn’t going to do much for a sandwich, but should the meat really have been as dry as it was, even on the inside? I thought good salt beef was all about moist meat and even with the fat in there it was hard work in places.

There’s also just a really one note flavour profile; yes, you’d expect caraway to be prominent but there’s honestly nothing else to it, to the point where my boyfriend and I both remark on it.

I had really high expectations for this sandwich, which made it all the worse when it let me down. Has Gaby’s changed hands? Something must have happened. I refuse to believe that this was/IS the norm. The staff were pretty surly too, and I don’t think just because my hangover was in the room. I mean come on, it’s central London, I’m a pussy cat compared to some of the shite they must have to deal with.

A thoroughly disappointing salt beef experience. Funny thing, salt beef – the expectations are always so high, the taste of glory always so nearly within reach and then…meh. I’ve heard on the grapevine however that there’s a Canadian in town with a passion for salty b and word is he’s packing the goods. You can bet I’m all over that.

Watch this space.

SCORE: 4/10