In search of London’s best sandwich since sliced bread
January is always difficult. And with the credit crunch thrown in for good measure, this January is proving tighter than ever. We’re tired of shelling out £5 a day for lunch, so this month’s mission was to find the best value sandwich that London has to offer.
The legends on Chowhound suggested a mysterious place on Easton Street which sounded like the Holy Grail. Tucked away next door to the (excellent) Easton Pub, the SandwichMan isn’t the easiest place to find. But the effort is more than worth it.
The SandwichMan is a sandwich delivery company that sends its wares out around the offices of London on the back of a bicycle. James Hill set the company up around 20 years ago as a response to being annoyed at the queues that formed outside sandwich shops. His fondest memory stems from supplying the journalists at the Sunday Times, “under the radar”, during the famous printers’ strikes of the mid-80s. You won’t find many other sandwich companies with stories like these to tell.
Their business model is to send their bikes out to visit London’s offices with an optimistic payload of sandwiches. The sandwiches that fail to sell are brought back to the depot at around 1pm and sold at their charmingly cluttered counter for 65 pence each. For the same price you can just about buy a slice of bread in EAT. It’s extraordinary value. But they still struggle to sell all of their stock and therefore have to jettison their leftovers into the big green bins outside as well as donating as much as they can to homeless charities.
Their best selling sandwiches are the Mexican Tuna (which got a rave review from an enthusiastic Royal Mail worker from Mt. Pleasant) and their Chicken Piri-Piri. Sadly both had run out when we arrived so we opted for their chorizo and red pepper on ciabatta which was packed full of scarlet flavours. The chicken tikka was just as good, delivering a spicy punch that John Prescott would be proud of. We were impressed at how tasty the sandwiches were. One watch-out: sandwiches with tomato or anything “salady” tend to get a bit droopy but at this price it’s hard to complain!
The SandwichMan, 23 - 34 Easton Street, London, WC1X 0DS and 165 Lambeth Walk, SE11
Tel: 020 7833 9001