I remember really craving salt beef sandwiches. And I remember the great salt beef sandwich search. It was quite the exciting thing, trying to find the best place for salt beef sandwiches in London (I wasn’t expecting to find it in Essex–I’m glad to be proven wrong though, so if there are good purveyors of salt beef sandwiches in Essex, can I get a shout out?). I now have two favourites for salt beef sandwiches: The Bell and Brisket and Monty’s Deli. But the sentimental favourite will always be The Bell and Brisket because it was the first place I’d gotten the long-awaited sandwich from.
My first salt beef on rye sandwich with American mustard in the UK was from The Bell and Brisket and even now, I still smile when I remember how good it was when I took that first bite! It was so good! And the sandwich looked sooooooo pretty! I remember wanting to take a picture for posterity. Considering that this sandwich traveled from London to Harwich, I thought it traveled quite well!
One of my favourite salt beef sandwich incarnations is the salt beef with kimchi either on rye or on a bagel. I remember having it first at Queen’s Head in Soho when Bel had her pop-up shop there. She had meal deals and served a selection of pickles with her salt beef sandwiches. I was a bit dubious about the kimchi with the salt beef, but it was two of my favourite food things: salt beef and kimchi. It wouldn’t hurt to try it! It was a salt beef eureka moment. It was quite the East meets West food fusion moment. Who knew salt beef would work amazingly well with kimchi. Well, obviously, Bel knew!
It was ages since I had a salt beef sandwich from Bel. Last week, on Friday, I saw a tweet from Bel saying she was at KERB in Kings Cross. I quickly sent her a tweet to ask her how long she was going to be there. I thought it was the best time to catch her since I hadn’t had a Bell and Brisket fix in ages! I was quite relieved that we managed to catch her there. I had my salt beef and kimchi bagel and was in salt beef heaven!
The meat is wonderfully flavoured and is meltingly soft. There is something fundamentally comforting about hot salt beef sliced fresh right in front of you. The salt beef sandwich is quite an experience and I would recommend The Bell and Brisket to anyone and everyone! The Bell and Brisket is at Kings Cross with KERB on Fridays, every week, until 2:30PM. If you’re there, make sure you get one of the sandwiches offered because they are dee-vine!!!