Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fernandez and Wells, Lexington Street

A brand new arrival in Soho. There are actually two Fernandez and Wells stores. One is a cafe specializing in cakes, coffee and light snacks (in Beak Street) and this branch which is more of a deli selling cooked food, jamón ibérico and wine etc.

This is foodie heaven. Daily lunch specials such as paella or rabbit stew are advertised on a chalk board outside whilst magnificent legs of jamón hang proudly in the window. Seriously good stuff can be bought here.

This includes a grilled chorizo sandwich:

Ciabatta, rocket, grilled red peppers and a couple of deep red, oily, chorizo sausages. This is an intensely good sausage sandwich. The chorizo is soft and delicious and the oil seeps into the salad and bread (possibly a little too much).

The flavours may not be as subtle as the Paul salami baguette, but the sausage is the star here - meaty and intense and a great partner to the floury, airy ciabatta.

It's a tough call between this and the Paul baguette for the Number One position in the Top 5.

As well as the chorizo sandwich, I also sampled a daily special, a chorizo sausage and bean stew. A picture is worth a thousand words so all I can really say is it was bloomin' fantastic. The darker sausage was a type of black pudding, I think.

Soho has a new star.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cafe Rio, Brewer Street

A pleasant surprise this. Cafe Rio is one of the larger cafes in Soho and has more tables and seats than other establishments. It's a great spot for a leisurely breakfast without people knocking into your table every five minutes.

Now, on to their toasted sausage sandwich on brown bread, with brown sauce; Very good. The sausage was distinctly meaty and well herbed. It was as good as any 'caff' sausage I've had.

They also used what seemed to be real HP brown sauce, which is a rarity (it's a travesty that this is so in London, the capital city of Great Britain, but there you have it).

The only downer is that instead of offering two sausages cut lengthways, Cafe Rio seems to give you just one sausage which is sliced finely into thin strips. So what you gain in quality, you lose in quantity.

That said, it is still an enjoyable, tasty sausage sarnie.

4 out of 5. A place in the Top 5 beckons (watch this space).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Jumbo Eats, Brewer Street

A well known Soho eaterie and takeaway, Jumbo Eats has been here for as long as I can remember.

Their menu has evolved to specialize in mediterranean style flatbread wraps which, as you can tell from the queue at lunchtime, are very popular. They also do the usual cafe fare, such as a sausage sandwich.

Quite a disappointment, this. Very, very poor, mushy sausage lacking meat and flavour. Any taste was overpowered by cheap brown sauce.

It's possible that the cafe owners take such pride in their wraps that they look on something like a humble sausage sarnie with disdain but still, it was an experience I'd rather not repeat. Try their wraps instead.

1 out of 5

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Homemade: Debbie and Andrew's Harrogate Pork

Part 2 of my Debbie and Andrew's review. Had these in the freezer for a while and thought it was about time I tried them out. To go with them: a Sainsburys crusty 'French' baguette.

For a change I cooked these under a proper grill (hence the tin foil). I have to say they browned beautifully and stayed plump and juicy.

They were good. Really flavoursome meat and not too much seasoning. Quite a clean taste, if you know what I mean. The crispy grilled skins worked very well with the crusty exterior and fluffy interior of the bread, I thought. I love the French style merguez and baguette sandwich and this sort of reminded me of those.

I've been pretty impressed with Debbie and Andrew's so far and I hope I can try the whoe range eventually. Recommended.

Friday, June 01, 2007

S and M Cafe, Essex Road, Islington

Another restaurant this time, the S and M Cafe on Essex Road, Islington.

Not a sausage and bread combo (although a sausage sarnie is on the menu) but I thought it deserved a mention.

Not only is this refurbished art deco diner a wonderful setting, the sausages are fantastic too.

The pork bangers I chose (they have a wide variety of sausages to choose from) were herby, plump and juicy and the mash was wonderfully creamy. The gravy was generously dispensed and there were three mustards, HP sauce and ketchup on the table. Perfection.