Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Britain's Best Sausage Sarnie Announced!

You may remember there was a national contest recently to find Britain's Best Sausage Sandwich.

Well, Carol Thatcher and her team of judges have chomped their way around the country and the official winner has been declared...

After a thorough, countrywide search, the national winner of British Sausage Week’s hunt for the Supreme Sausage Sarnie has been unveiled as New College Nottingham student Chris Slocombe.

Chris’s sarnie of pork and cider sausages with apple, pear and sage chutney on toasted Brioche triumphed in the Nottinghamshire regional final, following a hard fought cook-off at ncn’s Adams Restaurant.

Full report here.

The apple and sage chutney sounds like a delicious combination. All I want to know is, where can I get one???

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mother Mash, Ganton Street

I had high hopes for Mother Mash. It's a new restaurant that specializes in that classic comfort food mashed potato, which they serve with either sausages or a pie on the side. They also have a breakfast menu which includes a sausage sandwich.

I went there on a weekday morning just before 9:00 and was the only customer, so they were hardly rushed off their feet. However I still had to wait around 10 minutes for my sausage sandwich on toasted white bread with brown sauce. If you're just popping in on your way to work, this is way too long. I'm guessing they had no cooked sausages ready and actually made one from scratch. Good in terms of freshness; very bad in terms of keeping your customer waiting. At £2.40 this is also one of the most expensive sausage sandwiches in town.

So, was it worth the wait and the money? Not really. The bread was good quality, yes. The sausge was a lot better than usual too, but it had a strange, dull quality about it. Too dry or too lean, maybe? It certainly wasn't bursting with flavour. Condiments came in the form of a sachet of HP brown sauce that you get seperately.

3.5 out of 5. Premium price and a long wait for an only slightly-above-average product.

(Even though the sandwich was a bit of a let down, I'm still going to go back to try their speciality mashed potato!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bar Bruno, Wardour Street

Something of a Soho institution, this. Ultra-efficient, Italian-run sandwich shop and cafe that has been here for years and years. The menu is vast and yet the kitchen (what you can see of it anyway) looks tiny.

Ordered a toasted sausage sandwich with brown sauce. Neither the bread nor the sausage were anything remarkable. In fact, it was a fairly bland sandwich but what Bar Bruno has down to a fine art is getting food to you very, very quickly and this was no exception. Something about the way the bread was toasted and the speed with which the whole sandwich was put together made it taste that much better.

The crispiness of the toast, the degree that the butter had melted and the temperature of the sausage (which was actually a typical, cheap, ordinary, cafe variety) were all spot on.

UPDATE: After some repeat visits, it seems the the sausages they use are somewhat better than the common cafe variety, and are actually pretty good pork sausages.

3 out of 5.

You can see more pics of Bar Bruno on the British breakfast blog eggbaconchipsandbeans.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Homemade: Sainsbury's Pork and Herbs Taste the Difference

Sometimes, after you've had a few bland, disappointing sausage sandwiches from cafes, you get the urge to do it yourself and make your own. So the other day I grabbed a pack of 'Taste the Difference' Pork and fresh herbs sausages from Sainsbury's and rustled up my own sausage sandwiches.

At home I cook sausages in an electric griddle to lose some of the fat content. I also don't prick the sausages, as you lose flavour if you do and there really isn't much risk of your banger literally going 'bang' unless you buy the really cheap and nasty varieties that contain a lot of water.

The nicely grilled sausages were combined with buttered Hovis white granary bread - nice and light, with not too many grains. Ideally I would have had HP sauce but I didn't have any and had to use Heinz ketchup.

The sausages were great. Really lean and moist, and the herbs were not overpowering. Would happily eat these again although there a number of different varieties to chose from in this range. Think I'll go for the Cumberland next time! The bread was good too but perhaps a bit too fragile for such a substantial sandwich.

Don't you just love Sunday breakfasts? :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ed's Easy Diner, Old Compton Street

This time, a rare occurence - an actual place that sells real hot dogs in London!

For most Londoners, the only time you will see a hot dog on sale is when you pass an illegal street vendor at about 1:30 a.m. selling suspicious looking, rancid smelling sausages with overcooked onions on a street corner. Those guys are illegal and the food they sell is probably dangerous to your health.

Ed's Easy Diner on the other hand is a reputable, established restaurant chain which sets out to re-create a classic, American burger bar in the U.K. Whilst their burgers are okay, they have been overtaken somewhat by the 'gourmet burger' phenomenon that has swept London and are in danger of looking a little dated. However they do sell hot dogs which is something their competitors don't. So, what are they like?

The branch I went two only sells two variations: Hot dog with onions, and a chili dog. So a chili dog it had to be.

Overall impressions: Not bad. A good quality, fresh roll, and a weiner sausage prepared with some care. The chili portion was substantial and served on the side in a little container. Now, this chili contained beans - a typical chili con carne - and having read some of the recipies for American style hot dog chili, I couldn't help but think that a bean-less chili might have been better. It wasn't especially flavourful but was still a nice accompaniment to the hot dog.

3 out of 5. Not a classic by any means, but it scores for novelty value.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It doesn't seem that long ago that we had British Food Fortnight but right now it's British Sausage Week and, can you believe it, part of the event is an official search for Britain's Best Sausage Sarnie!

If anyone knows how I can sneakily take Carol Thatcher's place on the judging panel and get to sample untold numbers of sausage sandwiches, please do get in touch!

Get the full lowdown on British Sausage Week here.