Sandwiches: clearly the best thing since sliced bread. But where to ﬁnd the superlative sub, the perfect pitta pocket, the gourmet granary bun? Andrew Burnet went looking for a legend in his own lunchtime.
Variation on a playground joke: Why should you take a bucket and spade to the city centre? Because of all the sandwiches there. Comy'.’ Perhaps. Deﬁnitely wheaten. malted. crusty. pumpernickel. poppyseed, Italian. French. Russian black, Scots bap. Jewish bagel or good old sliced white bread.
And then there‘s the ﬁlling. You can choose cheese or chicken. plump for pate or pickle. single out a slice of beef. tempt yourself with turkey or tuna. or simply settle on salad. Better still. you can mix and match. take or leave. customise your combination.
Our transatlantic cousins may be big on stufﬁng a sandwich (and its purchaser) to bursting point. No meagre sliver of ham making desultory whoopee with a wilted lettuce leaf and a dither of marge for the American appetite. But the great British snack — invented by the hard-gambling 4th Earl of Sandwich, who sought to sup without waiving a wager. and took his tucker at the table - has entered a renaissance. Today. discerning Scots lunchers who‘ve got the bread and use their loaves are three steps from roll heaven.
To some extent. we must attribute this to overseas inﬂuences. One such. Bim
opened The Wizard at 01 a month ago in Edinburgh‘s sandwich-heavy West End. Preferring good-neighbourliness
Atkinson from the Queensland outback.
5". new Q
to competition. he chummily dismisses rivalry towards nearby outlets. claiming he offers something different. albeit at around the same price.
It’s a fair boast. His current range of twelve recipes (clients can also create their own) is an exotic and healthy combination, including such unlikely delights as chicken. mango. garlic and tarragon (at £1.45, his most popular). and fresh tuna with banana and dill.
‘Anything I can. I buy fresh.‘ Atkinson promises. as evidenced by displays of fresh herbs. fruit and homemade dressings. any of which can be included. Future projects include ‘Aussie burgers‘ (not minced beef patties. but a fresh-grilled range of marinated vegetables. ﬁsh and lean steaks). and made—to-order fruit and vegetablejuices. ‘as soon as I can get me hands on a big juicing machine.‘
A few Scots. however. have been
VIVA MEXICO ‘
playing the originality card for years. Equally famous for his Jazz Band. Charlie Mcttair’s delicatessen has been selling an unusually wide selection of rolls since 1982. Specialising in bagels and Italian rolls. he offers more than 30 set ﬁllings. all of which can be adjusted to taste. Prices range from 95p to £1.65. and although more obvious choices like brie or ham and mozzarella enjoy greater popularity. the proprietor‘s
i favourite is smoked salmon and cream Icheese.
Fifty miles nearer Cape Cod, Glasgow‘s long flirtation with Americana continues at California . Gourmet. Set up by American Deborah Peterson and New Zealander Julian Sudano. it offers (i—lZin submarines that are ‘authentically American‘. though the wholemeal rolls (white proving unpopular with health-
, conscious Glaswegians) originate in the
LUNCH — 12'-2.30pm EVENINGS —— 6—11pm (last orders 10.30pm)
10, anchor close, Cockburn Street EDINBURGH 226 5145 50, east tountolnbrldge EDINBURGH 228 4005
wild west of Kilmamock.
Dill pickles are imported from the States. as are jalapeno and pepperoncini chillies. while salami and provolone cheese — seldom found in the British sandwich — hail from Italy. ‘We agonised over our olives.‘ Sudano recalls wistfully. Service. too. is geared to the West Coast ethic: ‘laidback. friendly and hassle-free.‘
American enthusiasm for abundance has also found local approval. Most popular is a Double Fat Boy: a foot- long cornucopia of three meats. two cheeses and thirteen other ingredients. which weighs two pounds and costs £4. Not cheap. but then ifya wants lavish. ya gotta pay lavish.
If ya happen to wants French. try. Crepe a Croissant do Glasgow. where bread is all but abandoned in favour of made-to-measure pancakes. rolled before your eyes. cooked to order and wrapped round any of 30 ﬁllings. with a health-conscious vegetarian slant. Co- owner Nicky Sharp recommends Mouthwatering Mexican: vegetarian chilli with cheese, the dearest item at £2.50. Popular among carnivores is Hurricane Ham, in which cheese, garlic and herbs supplement the meat.
Wizard of ()z, 20 Queensferry Street. Edinburgh, 225 577]; Charlie McNairis. 30 Forrest Road, Edinburgh, 226 6434; California Gourmet. 29] Byres Road. Glasgow, 337 1642; Crepe A C roissant. Ashley Street, 017 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, 0831 552 193.
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The List 29 July—ll August I994 81