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Square Meal Review of Loaf ?

Billed as a cross-breed of a New York-style coffee shop and an archetypal British caff, this recent addition to Fitzrovia’s indie café scene mixes retro interiors and home cooking with edgy urban vibes. Reclaimed scaffolding, exposed brick walls, ‘milk bottle’ light fixtures and subway-green tiling set the scene for a roster of Allpress coffees, freshly baked cakes and all manner of savoury bites. Kick-starters of breakfast sarnies, fry-ups and Manhattan-inspired grilled cheese toasties give way to hand-tossed salads (Caesar, Cobb etc), healthy ‘protein boxes’ and hot lunch combos – anything from honey and garlic chicken wings to Caribbean jerk and mac ‘n’ cheese, with suitable garnishes ranging from truffle oil to bacon and maple syrup. Also don’t miss the BBQ pulled pork with mash and BBQ beans.


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  1. Arabella would love to spend her Easter holidays lying around on the sofa watching film after film, eating pasta and maybe the odd trip to the park. I however have different ideas!! Today I decided that we should venture to the British Museum as it is one of the very few museums we haven't been to (I would recommend it, especially the Egyptian area - fascinating). Obviously our day trip had to include lunch and I decided to try Loaf, a toasted sandwich shop that I had recently read about in the Sunday Times. I love a toastie however a toasted sandwich maker is one of the many things I can't squeeze into my kitchen so I seem to have them about once a year when I stay at my friend Nicci's house - she does a mean one with ham, cheese and chutney!We arrived at Loaf bang on the dot of 12pm and already it was quite full - I was at such a loss of what to order - everything on the menu was so appealing. The room is rustic with a shared table in the middle, then a few small ones round the edges and some more outside - it is a quick in and out place, not somewhere you could comfortably stay for hours. It is a cross between an American coffee shop & a British 'caff". As you go in they have drinks on the side with some of the most amazing wraps I have ever seen. I was so tempted to have a chicken Caesar salad one and hummus and avocado one but as a cheese fanatic I had to have a toastie.Here is Arabella (already in a moody teenage pose at the age of 6) and the wraps!On the menu are 9 different types of toasties such as a pulled pork one with red Leicester, dill pickle and red cabbage slaw (I wanted this), or a truffle mushroom one with ricotta & mozzarella, truffle oil, sautéed garlic mushroom and parsley (I also wanted this one). They do breakfast, buns (pulled pork etc), salads (e.g classic Cobb), 4 hot boxes of bangers and mash or Jerk Chicken and Arabella and my favourite mac n cheese with toppings such as truffle oil, or bacon and maple syrup.I went for the tuna melt which came with red Leicester and cheddar, dill pickle, red onion and sweetcorn on multi grain bread.It was absolutely delicious - the best tuna melt I have ever had. The flavours worked brilliantly - my only complaint was that I didn't have two! I would have preferred it on white bread and to have the crispy edges from a true sandwich machine but to be honest it was so good, it didn't matter. I would come back here for this alone.Unfortunately our other choices were a bit of a let down. Arabella went for the classic grilled cheese which was American cheese with English mustard - it was actually English cheese with American mustard and far more mustard than cheese (see below for evidence)!The mustard squirted out everywhere including on her dress and leggings! It certainly was nothing like the classic American grilled cheese sandwiches you get in the States. Arabella did not really care though as she was more into the mac n cheese I ordered as a side.Arabella thought this was brilliant and ate nearly the whole plate. I wasn't impressed - it tasted like it had come out of a packet and shoved in the microwave. Such a disappointment although Arabella was very happy not to share!I was tempted to order another sandwich or wrap but thought that would be far too pigletty!Even though a couple of things weren't up to standard I would still go back - I would like to try some of the other sandwiches, the wraps and the pulled pork as everyone else there was ordering that. The place seemed popular, especially for workers getting takeaway - I think if I worked in the area I would be going for the tuna melt daily…it really was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had and believe me I have had many!!Loaf93 Tottenham Court RoadLondonW1T 4HLTel: 020 7323 0692Email: [email protected]

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