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[LONDON] Best place for a classic American sandwich

Browners Oct 7, 2008 10:06 AM

Where's the best place in London to find a classic American sandwich?

I am thinking of sandwiches like hot salt beef sandwich and pastrami on rye etc. rather than burgers and bagles.

It's for an article on the Londonist and I'd love to hear what you think.

P.S. Be nice. This is my first post.

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  1. zuriga1 RE: Browners Oct 7, 2008 10:19 AM

    I'm an American who has lived near London for almost 5 years. I don't miss American sandwiches at all as I think the ones here are much tastier for the most part. I recently had a salt beef sandwich at the famed Selfridge's salt beef bar and it was among the worst I've ever eaten. The rye bread wasn't like American rye bread and although the meat was OK, it's sliced much too thickly here. I guess if one is used to the British version, it's not bad. But I won't buy another one there.

    I'll be curious about any replies you get. If the respondants are not American than I hope they can fairly compare the differences between 'here' and 'there.'

    One can't really find a classic American sandwich when the ingredients aren't American. :-)

    5 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1
      Browners RE: zuriga1 Oct 7, 2008 10:24 AM

      Thanks for this Zuriga - the aim of the article I am writing is to review an American sandwich on the day of the US elections... just to give it a bit of contextual bit.

      If you have any brain waves... please let me know.

      1. re: Browners
        zuriga1 RE: Browners Oct 8, 2008 01:04 AM

        The first thing that comes into my mind re the elections is bologna. :-) I'll try to do more thinking. Ah, just thought of a place I ate a few months ago. It's in Soho and has fantastic southern pulled pork, BBQ brisket etc. All I have to do now is remember the name. I think they have several locations in London.

        1. re: zuriga1
          foreignmuck RE: zuriga1 Oct 8, 2008 01:56 AM


          was there on monday actually. I had the burnt ends with Spare ribs combo. The burnt ends were a bit dissapointing - dry and had a slightly strange flavour. The ribs on the other hand were excellent..

          1. re: foreignmuck
            Browners RE: foreignmuck Oct 8, 2008 02:13 AM

            I love Bodeans... but do they do sandwiches?

            1. re: Browners
              zuriga1 RE: Browners Oct 8, 2008 03:22 AM

              I had a sandwich when I was there. And that's it... Bodeans.

    2. m
      monkeytennis RE: Browners Oct 8, 2008 04:05 AM

      The Brass Rail in Selfridge's food hall will do you a Pastrami on rye (and tongue and something else). It's tasty and quite authentic although you do pay through the nose for it.


      Salt beef you can find in the East End - my favourite is the Brick Lane Beigelry at the top end of Brick Lane. Delicious, and dead cheap:


      I personally prefer the Salt Beef Beigels from Brick Lane to the pastrami I was served at Katz's in New York!

      3 Replies
      1. re: monkeytennis
        Browners RE: monkeytennis Oct 8, 2008 06:47 AM

        That sounds good. I work on Baker Street... so I am keen to give Selfridges a go. I've been there before and enjoyed it. But equally Reubens on Baker Street might be more interesting.

        The beigel idea is good too. I just fear it might be too far to go in a lunchtime!

        Does anyone have any other ideas for American sandwiches?

        1. re: monkeytennis
          zuriga1 RE: monkeytennis Oct 8, 2008 07:43 AM

          The Brass Rail isn't awful, but it's not really authentic either. I think it's just a matter of what one is used to. Their 'rye bread' is nothing like what one finds in American delis, including Katz's. I've never been a pastrami lover, even at Katz's. :-) My favorite, for what it's worth, is salt beef with Russian dressing and cole slaw. I think it's only found in America.

          1. re: zuriga1
            monkeytennis RE: zuriga1 Oct 8, 2008 08:17 AM

            Agreed - I supposed I didn't mean authentic really, just that it was closer than other places. As you can tell from my review, I was hardly glowing about the place :)

        2. iheartcupcakes RE: Browners Oct 8, 2008 10:53 AM

          I've never been but have always liked the look of Fatboys Diner, mainly I think as it looks really American to me (too many movies!!). They do pastrami, grilled cheese and blt -would definitely look the part for your article (if you're taking pics!).


          Good luck :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: iheartcupcakes
            zuriga1 RE: iheartcupcakes Oct 8, 2008 02:40 PM

            That diner sure does look authentic - hopefully, so is their food. It's a shame it's so far away from where I live.

          2. s
            smoothy RE: Browners Oct 8, 2008 02:15 PM

            Does Whole Foods here have a sandwich bar? I was always partial to their smoked turkey blt with mayo and mustard. If anyone knows of a place that does smoked turkey, please, please let me know.

            1. Browners RE: Browners Oct 9, 2008 04:29 AM

              A friend suggested the following American sandwiches.

              Turkey Club
              Meatball Sub
              Philly Steak

              If anyone knows where to get a good lunchtime sandwich shop version of these... that would be great!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Browners
                zuriga1 RE: Browners Oct 9, 2008 05:13 AM

                The American chain Subway probably has a meatball sub or a turkey something. You will never find a real Philly steak sandwich in London. If I was younger, I'd open a shop for real Philly food. That's my hometown, and a real sub is the best sandwich on earth. :-) Unfortunately, one can't find the right bread here or the the right shaved meat that's used in Phila. Automat attempts some American dishes - hamburgers, mac and cheese etc. I'm not sure about a turkey club. One has to have streaky bacon for the real McCoy.

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