Sandwichist – Classic All American Sandwiches at Pickle & Rye in Sheen

In search of London’s best sandwich since sliced bread

Given that sandwiches were allegedly invented in the UK it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine London as being the epicenter of the world’s sandwich culture – a city where the streets are paved with sandwiches stuffed with imaginative fillings and enclosed within a range of artisan breads.

But you have to search very hard to find a sandwich to write home about. Sure, Pret, EAT, M&S, Greggs and other high street outlets do a half decent job of serving prepackaged cold sandwiches and your local sandwich shop will knock something adequate together for you. But it is almost impossible to find somewhere on the high street that serves hot deli sandwiches that you will find strewn across America.

Why?

Surely, London should be leading the charge. Surely we should be tucking away roast pork and apple sauce baps, wild mushroom bloomers, duck confit baguettes and other hot savoury wonders like you find in London’s trend food markets on a daily basis. But instead we eat cold, flaccid, mayonnaisy shadowiches whilst sat at our miserable, crumb strewn desks.

This isn’t the place to drone on about the food costs, bizarre taxation, outdated licensing and habitual inertia that perpetuate this sorry plight. Rather it’s a chance to showcase a cracking sandwich shop in East Sheen, called Pickle & Rye, who serve an authentic array of American classics that prove that this trend can be bucked.

Pulled pork, a California club, Buffalo Chicken, Philly Cheesesteak, Pastrami on Rye all intermittently grace the menu that has been lovingly created by an all American chef who comes from Philadelphia. Alex spoke longingly of his love for American sandwiches and of his despair at finding that London only offered a few passable renditions of American classics. He’s a proper chef who runs a catering business and has aspirations to open a proper American soul food restaurant which London is crying out for.

His barbecued brisket with homemade slaw came in a whole-wheat bap and slicked with tangy hickory sauce. The home-roasted, shredded meat was moist, generous, moreish and unctuous. The acidity and crunch of a signature gherkin added a textural and sour counterpoint to the comforting richness. It had all been cooked by Alex who wouldn’t tell us his secret, which made the sandwich even more satisfying. As beef sandwiches go, it’s hard to think of a many better sandwiches in London. We wonder whether it could become even better if it was given a minor bread upgrade, but that’s just us being picky.

We didn’t get a chance to test out the rest of their sandwiches. We’ve got a suspicion that their pulled pork could be off the scale. And have an inking that their Philly Cheesesteak is worth a schlep to Sheen as well when it’s on the menu.

So well done Pickle & Rye for showing us that it is possible to serve hot American deli sandwiches in London. Although let’s hope that we don’t see any Big Kahuna Donut Burgers anytime soon. We’re not sure London is quite ready for that.

Pickle & Rye
30 Sheen Lane, East Sheen, SW14 8LW, London

 

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  • Anonymous

    You link to a photo of Katz’s pastrami on rye. Are you suggesting that Pickle & Rye does something similar? If so I’ll be there in 20 minutes.

    • http://twitter.com/Browners Jonathan Brown

      They have a range of classic American sandwiches and intermittently have greatest hits like pastrami on rye or pulled pork. Check out their Facebook page and contact them on twitter @pickleandrye to find out what’s on today.

    • http://twitter.com/PickleandRye Pickle & Rye

      The Salt Beef Reuben is our Rye “House” special. Homemade 1000 Island, sauerkraut, we roast our salt beef for hours until perfection. Served on a dark rye from our bakers. I’m adding an image to compare and invite you (in 20 minutes).

  • http://www.logobird.com Duane Kinsey

    Not really a fan of baps, however that barbecued brisket does look very good. Anyone who serves quality American deli sandwiches in London deserves credit in my book. 

  • http://twitter.com/Browners Jonathan Brown

    Hey Duane – they don’t just do baps. They also have some fantastic looking dark breads and some rye bread too. So I am sure you can mix things up how you like it. Just check with @pickleandrye or on their Facebook page for what they are serving on the day you visit.

  • Uncle Chopper

    Their “Toronto”, named after a regular customer, is amazing. I have eaten all the Carnivore options on the menu and that has to be my favourite. 
    Long Live Pickle & Rye!

    • http://twitter.com/Browners Jonathan Brown

      Nice – what’s your favourite sandwich at Pickle & Rye? Intrigued to know.

  • http://twitter.com/PickleandRye Pickle & Rye

    Thanks for coming to try our sandwiches. Pulled pork is now on the menu and new fall menu will be out later this month. To all, stop by, say hi and cheers to Sandwichist for spreading the goodness of what good sandwiches are.