We used to be pretty bad at sandwiches in this country. A sliver of pink processed meat between curling white slices of dough foam was considered a saleable ham butty. That was the bad old days.
Sandwiches, like sausages, have experienced something of a renaissance in recent years and now right at the top of the food chain we have places like the Dapper Sandwich Company.
The little eaterie is on Wellingborough Road in Northampton – the town’s unofficial high street and home to many independent shops and cafes. The location is a statement in itself.
This is not the kind of place you find on retail parks or in shopping malls. It is out in the real world and it comes from the real world.
The décor is what I would call shabby chic. The tables look like they were sourced at a house clearance but in a good way: there’s an oval one, a round one, a card table…
You don’t spend too long taking it all in because one look at the menu and you’re hooked.
There is a deceptively broad choice and the variety and care taken describing each item makes it feel like the meal has started before you’ve ordered.
It’s an offer that is full of comfort but executed in the Dapper style. Yes there are fries but they are skin on and come in a tin cup. The streaky bacon butty is ‘stacked’ with rashers.
I went for a Porketta: slow roast belly pork, rocket salad and green salsa. It arrived with a tin cup of dipping gravy on the side.
Apparently the owner is from Wigan and dunking your sarnies in gravy is all the rage up there.
I liked it. The sandwich was delicious enough not to need it but I still liked it.
I washed it all down with a decent coffee served in a mug.
The service was quick and friendly.
It’s a pricey option compared to a supermarket meal deal. You’ll use up the best part of a tenner on food and a drink.
This is not the place to go if you want to be impressed by how much food you can pile on your plate for your hard earned cash, but there are carveries and buffets out there to scratch that itch.
The Dapper Sandwich Company is where you go on those days when you feel like you deserve a not too extravagant treat, or you want reassuring that in an age of homogenous food outlets there is still somewhere that can do the human touch.
It’s really good food done with a unfussy flourish. Don’t deny yourself if you haven’t given it a try, it’s well worth a visit.