Salt beef. It's not just for Brick Lane bagel stuffing anymore. Indeed, beef, beef and more beef (whether pickled, burger-ed or otherwise) seem all the rage these days no matter where you are in town.
The late Victorian, newly refurbed and really rather pretty Queen's Head pub near Piccadilly Circus has recently caught on to London's craving for chunks of cow by inviting Bell & Brisket pop up salt beef bar along for some pickled beef comfort. Thankfully, the focus is on delivering quality yum more than pop-uppity trendiness. Featuring a menu of salt beef “bagels, wraps and rye”, along with a range of pickles (kimchi, beetroot, honey gherkins and more), Bell & Brisket doesn't so much takeover the Queen's Head as enhance one's experience there.
Consider if you will the Lord Rupert. A British take on the famed Reuben sandwich, this lordly double fist sarnie combines salt beef, home pickled cabbage and melted Cheddar on toasted rye. Served with a tasty and ample portion of chips for a tenner, it's good value too whether as a lunchtime feast, substantial dinner or a pre-theatre treat. Enjoyed alongside an ale or washed down with a pickleback (a shot of Jameson with a shot of “house” pickle brine, £3), it or any of the other meaty and/or fermented B&B offerings provide nostalgic nosh with a touch of West End style.
Despite its Piccadilly proximity, the Queen's Head location has a secret backstreet feel about it at 15 Denman Street, W1D 7H. Bell & Brisket's offerings are available from 11am to 9pm, Tuesday through Saturday.