In the 1930s, hard times were known as the depression; this term was, however, just too – well… depressing, so the next round of fiscal doom was rebranded as a recession.
In the self-aware twenty-first century we are in the grip of the more euphemistically-monikered ‘economic downturn’. But however the chancellor tries to conceal the fact in opaque nomenclature, we’re all feeling the pinch. For this reason Matt and Cat are joining the fight against poverty by making their own sandwiches for work. Occasionally Cat will buy sushi from Boots and eat it at her desk but eat-in lunches at Newport’s cafés are well and truly curtailed for the moment.
Despite these austerity measures, Matt and Cat, plus friend, treated themselves one day to lunch from Primrose Fine Foods, Newport’s latest delicatessen and sandwich shop. Having spotted its transformation from crystal emporium to cheesemonger it was only a matter of time before M&C paid a visit. This shabby-chic deli has shelves groaning with fine jams, chutneys and other condiments plus an impressive cheese chiller and baskets of fruit and vegetables.
Perhaps the most enticing thing in the shop is the hotplate, home to a stack of pre-sliced roasted meat – on the day Mat and Cat visited it was lamb and pork. However, as they gawped around the shop M&C failed to noticed that there was only one ciabatta’s worth of meat left on the hotplate which their mate decided to buy. He cheekily suggested to the lady that she might want to save herself the washing up and scrape all of the remnants, crackling and all into his ciabatta, which she happily did. Matt was crestfallen to have missed out! Although this under-stocking of the meaty treat seemed quite calamitous, there were plenty of other snacks for Matt and Cat to choose from including pies and some impressive pre-made doorstop ‘manwiches’.
Cat chose a vintage Cheddar and tomato manwich and Matt, juiced up for meat, chose ham and salad. All three supplemented their lunches with some delightful-looking lemonades and Cat also bought some Snowdonia ‘Little Black Bomber’ cheese from the cheese counter.
2 x ‘manwich’ @ £2.50
2 x juice @ £1.95
Rather than eat at a bench by the Minster, Matt and Cat went back to their friend’s office where they had an impromptu desk picnic. Undoubtedly the star of the show, the lamb carvery ciabatta with Garlic Farm mint sauce was declared to be fabulous and, at under three quid, was a budget-friendly bargain too. Matt and Cat’s sandwiches were good value as well; crammed full of fillings – not just front-loaded like you sometimes get with a pre-packed sarnie. The vintage Cheddar was delightfully tangy, tempered with discs of tomato.
Matt’s ham sandwich was a classic of the genre. Thick enough that it took some care to get into his mouth; it was nonetheless soft and tasty with delicious fresh bread. Inside was a copious allowance of ham and salad, all absolutely fresh. It looked and tasted like the sort of sandwich you make yourself when you REALLY want a sandwich.
Both sandwiches were made with bread from Bembridge bakery. It was all washed down with refreshing and rustically-packaged juice from Devon’s Fine Country Lifestyle.
Despite there being a number of existing and new places for hungry office workers to get their lunch in town, Primrose Fine Foods has certainly cornered the market in outstanding value sandwiches and the impressive carvery ciabatta – just make sure you get there in time!
Primrose Fine Foods, Newport