For someone who makes recommendations about where to eat in Edinburgh, I sometimes have a hard time quickly acting upon the recommendations’ of others. This is not least because my dining habits are governed by the twin forces of an excel spreadsheet which lists a selection of the places I haven’t yet visited, and a regular stream of messages from MJ relaying details of intriguing places that she’s spotted on her travels.
However, when Georgia, of Total Food Geeks fame, suggested that I should visit Sandwich Express, on Albert Place, because it was “surprising”, it turned out that I had a chance to act immediately on that, as I had an unexpected gap in my lunchtime schedule, today.
The place has a bright shop-front, by I did very nearly walk past it. I was certainly surprised to find it as a packed little café space, as I had mistakenly assumed it would be a little sandwich counter, only. It certainly seemed to be very popular, and was a quick survey of the items on offer, I could see why, as they looked to be enticing and keenly priced.
Although I was somewhat tempted to have a go at some of the various items of breaded meat on offer, I stuck with my usual soup and sandwich approach. The soup of the day was tomato. This came with a slice of tomato bread, which sounded rather good. £1.60 sounded a damn fine price, too. My sandwich choice was a pastrami, smoked cheese and salad baguette.
Now, we must pause for a terrifying walk on the soupy wild side. I’ve had the odd strange experience in places, over the course of quests, but this was rather unusual. With the baguette made, the owner said to the counter girl that I’d ordered a soup, too. From a tub under the counter, she spooned some cold, pre-cooked pasta into a cup, topped it with Elmlea, then went over to the soup cauldron, where she ladled soup on top. Once I’d removed my jaw from the floor, I was soon on my merry way.
Of course, upon examining the soup on my return to the office, I found that the cream had split, and the soup had the appearance of a sort of demonic soupyccino. Putting this aside, the soup didn’t actually taste that bad. The flavour was rather reminiscent of my childhood memories of eating tomato sauce flavour crisps. Rather than being completely aghast, I found the whole thing rather amusing, but I’d rather not see this curious practice in action again.
In good news, the baguette was absolutely excellent. The ingredients were abundant and packed with flavour. The bread was fresh and soft, with just the right balance of firmness and chew.
So, the message is clear: go to Sandwich Express for a sandwich, or any of their other treats. The sandwich I tried was excellent, and their other items looked very good, too. I couldn’t advocate their soup, though. I’m intrigued to see whether they have more quirky things that they do with their other soups, but I’m not sure my constitution would ultimately thank me for such curiosity.
Blythe scores Sandwich Express
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 12.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: tomato soup; pastrami, smoked cheese and salad roll
I drank: nowt
I wore: Friday tweeds
Total bill: £4.60
9A Albert Place