Of coloured clothes and no homework... Sandwich & Co., Bandra

I am in a bit of a dilemma about this post. I quite like the place that I want to write about. It’s unique. I would like to tell you about it. But it has only four tables! At least one of which, I am told, is permanently occupied by a regular. What are my chances with the other three if word gets out about the place? But then how often will I go to have a 250 Re (5 USD) sandwich? So here you are, welcome to Sandwich & Co.

I was quite intrigued when I heard about the concept of Sandwich & Co. Of course you get sandwiches. You can apparently choose your meats and cheeses and ask them to make sandwiches for you too! That sounded right up my street. The sort of experience where you don’t want to be pinched and woken up at the end. 

I finally landed up there after hearing so much about it. Sandwich & Co. is in the alley which falls on your right as you head to Jogger’s Park at Bandra, Mumbai. Shirley Rajan Road.
It is a small shop with four tables in the courtyard outside. It was a pleasant, wet evening. The weather was cool and you were surrounded by lofty trees which hid the concrete behind them. Fairly idyllic. As warned, two of the tables were occupied by the regulars. 

A couple of Bengali mashimas who came and sat down beside us after. They happily dug into their coffees, (‘please remove the sugar from the cold coffee’) and sandwiches. Lethargic attempts to claim the bill ("coffee at Barrista is 67 Rs, hmm). Lacked the drama of our last encounter with mashimas in a coffee shop. They had a tiny little girl with them. The little one was sipping into a glass of cold coffee with glee. Not intimidated by the fact that the glass was taller than her.

The way it works in Sandwich & Co is that you go into the shop and take a look at the array of cheeses and meats from all over the world. Once you regain your consciousness you choose what you want. You then place your order with the friendly man who comes out from behind the counter to listen to your fancies. You can specify your choice of meat, cheese, dressing and veggies/ filling (yeah right!). They have their own sandwich combinations to choose from too. Lesser mortals would do that.

We went and sat outside. Taking in the dusk. The shadows which grew longer. The greenery which seemed fresher in the wet weather. The lamps grew brighter as night crept in. Our order arrived just as our fingers begun to tap in eager anticipation. (All of this took less than five minutes. Just that we got impatient).

Baguette, lightly toasted. Oak smoked bacon. Sensuous meat. Slightly salty and smoked. This was no ordinary bacon. It smacked of passion which made you roll your eyes in pure delight. Almost made you tremble in joy. Just as you thought that things couldn’t get better, you had your first taste of slightly melted herbed Gouda followed by an electrifying dash of Pesto. The combination woke up your senses and made you smile till the end of the road. 

I was mighty proud of our combo of baguette, oak smoked bacon, herbed Gouda and Pesto. A moment of divine inspiration. Was it perfect? Well, ideally I would have liked more solid bites of the Gouda than what the heated, softened cheese offered. But hey, even the guy upstairs occasionally gets it wrong.

I chose a cold coffee to go with the sandwich. I have rarely been impressed by cold coffees at coffee shops. Yet I keep trying. Hoping to find the ‘right one’ someday. One sip of the cold coffee here and I knew that the moment I was waiting for all my life had come. This was the best cold coffee ever.
It was not too sweet. It wasn’t too light. Nor too thick. Gave you an amazing caffeine rush after each chilled sip. It refreshed, rejuvenated and kicked butt. And when it was over you had thick chocolate flakes to spoon out and lust on. I had almost given up on cold coffees when I had the cold coffee at this sandwich shop. Now if only coffee shops could learn from them.

The desserts didn’t look too appetising. The enticingly named ‘Lindt Cupcake’ was dry and didn’t taste good. Even to cupcake lovers which I am not. All you got with it was a lesson in life to trust what you see with your own eyes rather than to go by a brand name.

For the so inclined, Sandwich Company has free wi fi. My last attempts to use wi fi on my lappie in a coffee shop didn’t work. And, in case you know what a ipod dock is then they have one too. Technology is not my thing.

Sandwich Company is a shop which is not the usual faceless enterprise where you feel lost in the crowd. If little nooks are your thing, if you like oddities, if you like to create your own experience, to live a little, if you are tired of being packed in, fitting in, of confirming, of wearing a mask, if you miss wearing 'coloured clothes' on your birthday and class picnics, if you yearn for days without homework ... then you could consider dropping in at Sandwich & Co.

Update: 25/8

We went back this morning. This time had bagel with bacon and cream cheese and croissant with ham and red hot Ementhal. The long haired guy at  the counter was quite proactive and new his stuff. He suggested pairings to us which really worked well. K had a good laugh when he scoffed at my suggestion of pesto. He felt pesto wouldn't go well with meat and that they use it only for vegetarian sandwiches. 'Knife Dulled' she called it. Well, as long as it improves the experience why not? the sandwiches were really good.

The cappuccinos at 80 Rs each really sucked and we both left them unfinished.