Hard to believe it's been a year since my last Top 5. I've discovered loads of new places over the last 12 months and the thing that strikes me is how the bar has been raised in terms of easily available, good quality sausage and bread.
Your average greasy spoon cafe might still be selling nasty, 'economy' sausages but there seem to be more and more gourmet outlets springing up and newer sandwich shops tend to make sure they at least have a half decent Cumberland on the menu. Recent bad press about cheap, processed meat products and a general demand for better quality food may be the reasons.
As for the places reviewed in this blog: The Gourmet Hot Dog Company has survived for another year and while it's possible to get a West Virginian hot dog that isn't too shabby, its cooked-on-rollers sausages are a bit uninspiring.
Eat is probably the leading chain outlet with its grilled sausage muffin proving to be reliably tasty. Leon and Benugo's sausage and bread offerings perhaps proved that image isn't everything - both were quite disappointing.
The Diner deserves credit for its attention to detail and faithful reproduction of an American menu. Its chili cheese dog is a must try but the price and stodginess are negatives.
Cafe Soho continues to be a great sandwich shop but unfortunately its been forced out of the Top 5. Not because of any drop in quality, but because new places have muscled their way into the list. I re-visited recently and it still thoroughly deserves a 'Recommended' tag.
The 2008 Sausage and Bread Top 5 for London
5 - BAR BRUNO
Soho is literally being knocked down and rebuilt around it, but Bar Bruno continues to dish out a fantastic toasted pork sausage sandwich, prepared quickly. I was sure Bruno's was going to drop out of the list this year but a re-visit proved me wrong. Long live Bar Bruno.
4 - FERNANDEZ AND WELLS
The chorizo and roasted pepper ciabatta is a favourite. One of the stars of Soho.
3 - THE HONEST SAUSAGE
On my first visit I thought the Honest Sausage's location was a negative being out of the way and requiring a special effort to get to it. Now I've changed my mind and I've decided the setting in Regent's Park should be seen as a plus not a minus. On a sunny autumn day, what could be better than an organic sausage in fluffy white bun, eaten outside surrounded by squirrels, trees and a wide open park? Welcome to the Top 5, Honest sausage.
2 - FARMER BROWN
I've made multiple repeat visits to Farmer brown since I discovered it earlier this year. They make a sausage sandwich that is actually moreish. The owner has told me they get regulars who come to the cafe just for the fat, juicy Cumberland sausages.
1 - PAUL (salami baguette)
Yes, I'm afraid the long-standing number 1 has retained its spot. It remains the perfect combination of sausage and bread, in my opinion.
Do you know of any other places that serve great sausage sandwiches or hot dogs? Drop me a line with anything sausagey and bready that you'd like to share.
Here's to another year of outstanding sausage and bread!