Sandwiches. That favourite British lunch item. I do love tucking into a sandwich but at Pret or Eat there are only so many varieties that I can go through before I get a bit bored. Also being a growing lad (unfortunately sideways) I don’t feel that the chain stores offer big enough portions and I’m always buying additional items and taking my lunchtime tally closer and sometimes over five pounds. Fortunately we live in London and the ability to get variety and value for money is invariably close at hand (especially if you take the time to look for it).
Several years ago I was told about a small Italian sandwich place (almost a pop up venue before pop-ups were in vogue) in the side streets of Covent Garden. It was run by a couple of young Italian guys who would vary their menu, enquire about your likes, dislikes and each time you turned up they would present you with a sandwich, all without you placing an order. It was thanks to them that I discovered my love of bresaola, speck, assiago, tallegio and countless other meats & cheeses.
Fortunately for me these guys knew their food but unfortunately they didn’t understand business, within months they were closed.
For years I was pining for a similar place. Somewhere like Cheers, where everybody knows your sandwich. Finally, earlier this year I found HT Harris Deli at 41 Great Titchfield Street.
This place is very much a standard Italian café/deli with different meats & cheeses on offer but there is something special about this place. It’s a family run business that looks like a venue that has been in the same spot since the 60’s and part of the community around it. I love a place where you can walk in and ask for “The Standard” (FYI – that’s a panini with parma ham, mozzarella, tomato & rocket – toasted, of course) and nothing else needs to be said.
The produce they use is fresh, the food is amazing (try the roast beef it’s incredibly tender) and most importantly they offer great value for money. The photo below is The Standard with avocado, it costs £5 and I’m full until dinner.
WARNING: If you decide to go best not turn up close to 1pm you might be waiting a while to get your order.