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

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54 Responses to “Bacon Sandwich at Love Walk Cafe, Camberwell”

  1. Chris August 21, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    It’s a pretty bad café generally, tbh. I’ve always found the staff pretty surly and the food fairly subpar.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 21, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      Yeah, the service is terrible. Also, it’s a bit like walking into 1992 in terms of decor and music.

  2. Alicia (foodycat) August 21, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    This is a tragedy. Although I do quite like smoked salmon on brown bread, you are entirely correct that bacon should be on white. And if they don’t want to do that they should have the balls to say so, so that you can save your money.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 21, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      I know what you mean about the smoked salmon too, but when you asked for a white bagel…and yes, they should just say!

  3. Chris Pople (@chrispople) August 21, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    Why do people with no aptitude or inclination for running food outlets insist on trying to run a food outlet? It’s as if I kept entering ice skating competitions.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 21, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      That’s what makes me so angry about it – they clearly couldn’t give a toss about food.

      • TomP August 21, 2013 at 9:37 am #

        Is it not caring about food? Or is it that horrible belief that food should be worthy and joyless that some places seem to have? I’m especially thinking about the insistence on brown bread.

      • londonreviewofsandwiches August 21, 2013 at 9:38 am #

        Yes, perhaps you are right.

  4. Carly August 21, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    I’m sure Love Walk used to be better. Feels like when they changed the décor (why? What focus group did you ask about this? Who suggested pink neon and exposed brickwork for a bloody café?), they also changed their attitude/prices/quality of food. Such a shame, used to go there quite a lot, but never again. Brunchies on Valmar Road is now my go-to place for full Englishes and sammitches.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      I think it was a completely different place before? Different name and owners? I’ve avoided it for years to be honest as that site seems to be completely cursed.

      • sally January 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

        it has always been called love walk cafe and ran by the same owner for the past 5 years!

      • londonreviewofsandwiches January 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

        Has it?! Huh, I didn’t even notice that, how odd. Maybe because the decor changed I thought the name was different too…

    • sally January 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      If you don’t like the pink neon and exposed brickwork Carly what would you suggest as being a nice interior for a cafe? Judging by the fact that you enjoy Brunchies says something about your taste in decor and palette. Wow I couldn’t think of a worse place to eat. Also the cafe has increased their prices because they now supply better produce such as free range egg, chicken and well sourced meat. Not that you would be the type of person to even consider spending more on better meat or consider that the produce you enjoy will be from battery farmed animals.

  5. Oishinboy August 21, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    You can tell they don’t care cus theres only two bacon and they’ve laid them in the same direction. They should have at least tessellated them so there are no gaps. Arses.

  6. Hungry August 21, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    This post made me both sad and angry. I could almost taste the cold flabby bacon (why? WHY?), but the bread situation.. WHY WHY WHY? It’s quite a simple request. If they don’t do white, they should say so… what’s the point of trying to dupe your customers? Hardly ensures return business…

  7. Maz August 21, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    I work in central now but f me i used to HATE when cafe bay was closed and I was forced to go to love walk cafe. Such a weird sham of a place. Like they’re just playing a game of cafe and each dish is just made up. I know one person who likes this place and they’re an untrustworthy arsehole, soooooooo

  8. Tom Abbott August 21, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    This makes me so mad! I live in Bath, and believe me, Bath has the height of ‘worthy’ food that more often than not entirely misses the point of what food is supposed to be about. And they’ll slap a large price tag on it too because they know there is more money than sense in this place. I had a baguette recently called the ‘Rodeo’. Now, having lived in America and eaten food that *is* what it says it’s going to be, I was presented with a small baguette with soggy less-than-ripe tomatoes, a thin slice of grey-and-dreary looking roast beef and Coleman’s bloody mustard (has its place, but not in an American sandwich). There may have been a lettuce leaf in there too. It saddens me that a large proportion of people simply ‘settle’ for what is put in front of them. I feel sorry for the tourists who go into somewhere fancy that looks ‘typically English’ and leave wondering quite what they’d just been subjected to.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      I often feel like that about tourists, ending up at the Aberdeen Angus steak house and going home thinking British food is rubbish. Agreed, no place for Colman’s in an American sandwich.

  9. Maz August 21, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Also I’m a Muslim who’s never touched bacon and I could make a better one of these with my eyes closed ffs.

  10. Dave August 21, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Brown bread AND no brown sauce. The utter bastards.

  11. Reg Tait August 21, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    That sounds like a very poor sandwich.
    Thick, soft white bread, with sizzling hot crispy-edged bacon causing the generous helping of real butter to melt with the tangy brown sauce and mustard…that’s a real sandwich. (I like tomato and chilli sauce as well).

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 22, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Argh! Stop it! Torture!! Thinking about it, the only time I actually like tomato instead of brown is when it has chilli in it. Good call.

  12. Blogandduck August 22, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    All breakfast pig products are inherently racist when it comes to bread. Egg is slightly more tolerant, with only the fried variety as intolerant as it’s procine cousins.

    So we can all agree white is right when it comes to bacon, but what is the best type of bread for a bacon sandwich? Helen has named a few and all are good, however I would like to throw my hat into the ring with the sliced poppy seed bloomer. Pellicci’s cafe on Bethnal Green Road use this for their bacon sarnie and I think you’ll struggle to find better in London. Poppy seeds work really well with the salty bacon.

  13. Blogandduck August 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    It’s worth going for the interior alone. At over 100 years old, it’s a proper traditional Italian East End cafe. The food is top notch too. The last of a dying breakfast breed!

  14. elrojitogaita August 24, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Johhnies Cafe on Coldharbour Lane or Sem Cafe on Padfield Road (off Herne Hill Road) are much better for a guilty bacon sandwich…all killer, no filler…

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      Ooh! I’ve never been to Johnnie’s but I work at King’s so it’s basically next to my office. Now firmly on the list.

  15. FoodieClaire August 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    I’m angered reading this. The audacity of not giving you what you clearly asked for – and no sauce whatsoever. WTF?

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Yeah it’s really annoying. Not just the once either! And not just me.

      • FoodieClaire August 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

        I recently visited bar Bruno on the corner of Wardour St and Peter St. I’m sure you would have heard of it. Apparently it’s an institution according to lots of google/twitter folk having been there for 20+ years. But Helen you will not be impressed with me – one of my fave sandwiches is bacon and avocado with Tabasco sauce on granary which kind of breaks your rule of bacon being on white white white only white never anything else. *hides*

      • londonreviewofsandwiches August 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

        Ha ha! I will let you off. I am really a pussycat you know 😉 I am approving heartily of the Tabasco however…

      • FoodieClaire August 25, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

        Tabasco, bacon and avocado is makes all hangovers disappear. Lucozade optional ha ha

      • londonreviewofsandwiches August 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

        I am a massive fan of a BLAT – bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato. Extra spring onion and hot sauce. BOOM! Bye bye hangover. It’s Diet Coke for me ha ha

      • FoodieClaire August 25, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

        That sounds amazing! Right, checking calendar for next estimated hangover and will get those Bar Bruno guys to make that for me! X

      • londonreviewofsandwiches August 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

        BRILL! And a good excuse to get drunk.

  16. gouchout August 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    If everything else was perfect perhaps light brown bread(not wholemeal) may have scraped in, but rubbish cold bacon & no sauce – surely time for court action.
    I do marvel, however, at you people who can dispel a hangover with a sandwich & a soft drink. How do you hold it down or manage to leave home? I could be confusing a hangover with alcohol poisoning I suppose….

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      I think dispel would be the wrong word…make me feel slightly better would probably be more accurate.

  17. Otto September 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    So I get the inkling that you did not like your sandwich 😉

    Have to agree with most of your comments, white, crisp and cooked bacon and plenty of it is essential. No sauce for me.

    Will avoid this cafe!

  18. Kate September 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I used to have a boss that called a badly cooked (i.e. non crispy) bacon sandwich a ‘sweaty bollocks’ sandwich.

    Unsurprisingly, I’ve never been able to get that out of my head.

  19. Eliza J. September 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    have you tried Jungle Cafe on Camberwell Church Street? Now that does an old school bacon sarnie!

  20. calmcarl December 10, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    I understand your desire for a ‘proper’ bacon sandwich and agree. I do however have a problem with their bread rage. Its not brown bread, its sour dough bread, the only bread they do, which it clearly says on the menu, which is the thing you read when you go into a cafe, so that you can choose something that you want that they ACTUALLY sell, and not just pick some random thing you just happen to fancy. I do think that if you asked for white bread they should have reminded you that they only do sour dough bread…

    • londonreviewofsandwiches December 10, 2013 at 9:23 am #

      It’s not like any sourdough bread I’ve ever had. If I asked for something, surely they should say they don’t have it rather than saying yes, taking my money and giving me something else?!

      • calmcarl December 10, 2013 at 9:59 am #

        My mistake, I meant to say ‘your’ bread rage. I’ve already agreed with you about the getting what you asked for. I don’t know whether sour dough bread is usually anything as I’m not a baker! 😉 Maybe they use rye for the gluten free effect, I dunno, I’ll ask next time I’m in there. Have you worked in a bakery or sandwich shop? Just curious, not looking for a new argument. My only connection with making sandwiches for profit was on a barge on the Thames making cheese sandwiches on cheap white bread, slicing the cheese so thin you could see through it. The only way to make a profit.
        My bacon sandwiches never have crackled fat as I don’t like that, in fact at times when I’m feeling that I’ve been ‘pigging’ out from too much fat I sometimes cut the excess fat off, I know, awful. I’ve also grown to like the taste of bacon and refrain from sauce apart from mayonnaise if it is a crusty roll or french stick style sandwich. Looking forward to your reviews of cafes on and around the Walworth Road, my manor.

      • londonreviewofsandwiches December 10, 2013 at 10:00 am #

        Any recommendations for the Walworth Road?

  21. calmcarl December 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Not really, they are all much of a muchness.

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