I stumbled across this authentic little café whilst strolling through Fitzrovia on a lunch break. I was munching my way through a bog-standard chicken and bacon panini, which I had bought from one of the area’s many average sandwich cafes.
What stood out for me instantly was the colossal queue; it was two-to-three people thick and stretched right out of the doorway onto the pavement and even threatened to encroach on the road. I wouldn’t be surprised to find, on a particularly busy day, an over-zealous London traffic warden attempting to issue the queue with a parking ticket! It really is that busy at lunchtime.
The next thing that struck me about this place was the quality of the food that people were enjoying. Sharp shooting pains shot up my spine and pangs of sandwich envy muddled my brains for around half a minute. I watched the owner of the store carefully sprinkle a few tablespoons of herb oil onto some fresh crusty bread, skillfully slice off a portion of Italian ham from the joint, and then fill the roll with the ham plus a sumptuous looking trio of artichoke hearts. I vowed to come back the next day.
I was not disappointed. In addition to the trademark sandwiches they also serve a small selection of pasta dishes and salads. My favourite is the Melanzane Parmigiana, which is a deliciously creamy aubergine, tomato, mozzarella and parmesan bake. At £ 5.20 with a side of warm bread it’s a steal!