Perched (or if you prefer… sandwiched) on the corner of Seven Dials, Cure & Cut made a big splash recently by offering half-price sandwiches for their entire opening week.
I visited three times, but the line was around the block, so I finally hauled myself back this week and paid full price for a Rueben Sandwich. Was it worth it?
Some of our older readers may remember a mildly popular sitcom that aired back in the 90s. It was about a group of friends, who enjoyed being friends, and hung around doing friendly things until they all got tired of being friends and decided to start having sex with each other instead. They remained great friends though. I think it was called “The Crazy Mixed-up Gang Who Always Get a Seat in the Coffee Shop” or something.
Anyway, one of the friends (who was funny because he was good looking but also probably suffering from a degenerative brain disorder) loved sandwiches. I’m a bit like that friend. I mean, I’m not good looking, but I am quite dim-witted. At least until I’ve had my lunch, which is why I was especially pleased to find Cure & Cut’s west end shop at the end of these overly convoluted paragraphs.
As a concept, I’ve always thought that a Rueben shouldn’t really work. The idea of sauerkraut is always going to be somewhat alien to the British palate, but paired with good salt beef it brings what could be an overly-heavy treat to life.
Cure & Cut’s take is a little thinner than I expected (the photographs I’d seen had left me expecting something five inches thick), but they certainly aren’t stingy. Every mouthful is crammed with deliciousness. The sauerkraut runs all the way through, and there’s a rich, sinus-bothering tangy mustard adding zip. Cure & Cut have clearly been studying New York’s finest delis and the research has paid off handsomely.
And then there’s the beef. Salt beef is a real trick to do properly. It’s essentially boiled brisket, and needs very careful handling if it isn’t going to end up rubbery and flavourless. Here that isn’t a concern. The slabs of beef are thick-cut, peppered just enough on the outside, while retaining their dark red colouring.
As I take my first bite the beef comes apart like butter, which also means not having to deal with that issue where you accidentally pull the entire innards of the sandwich out with your first bite.
It’s succulent but not so juicy it becomes messy, and has a depth of beefy flavour that smoothes off the vinegary edges provided by the other ingredients and leaves you with a big mouthful of buttery, beefy goodness.
The whole thing is also smothered in creamy melted emmental, which works very well, giving just a hint of cheesy deliciousness without overpowering things, and sandwiched between soft, fluffy rye bread (another trick in itself, as rye can easily become overly dry).
At £6.75, it isn’t the cheapest sandwich around, but it is value for money. All the flavour, succulence and general filling-ness of a gourmet burger in a neatly pressed package. Sandwiches may not be the coolest food around, but there’s no denying this is one of the tastiest lunches in the area.
Address: 36 Monmouth St, Seven Dials, London WC2H