Craft beer and Americanised scran is effectively a commodity now. You've got craft beer pubs serving burgers, craft beers breweries serving hot dogs, VC-funded burger chains making their own, and even a barbecue joint specialising in small, local brews.
Anticipation du Fromage
The discovery that a new craft pub had opened up on the suited-and-booted side of Farringdon station wasn't big news.
That it served grilled cheese sandwiches and salt beef had our interest piqued a bit more than usual. And the website pictures looked amazing.
"I should warn you, the Brooklyn is very expensive"
The Longroom is a pretty standard new opening by today's standards, the (funnily enough) lengthy cavernous pub presenting the familiar haphazardly stripped back brick walls and bare vent piping, furnished with age-distressed-wood tables the odd flash of brushed steel. Almost comfortingly normal nowadays. We propped ourselves by the open-out front windows and were promptly offered table service. In a pub? Really? Lah-de-da.
Wanting everything (which we do by default), we ordered a sharing board of grilled cheeses to start us off. What got delivered was the most depressingly meagre looking platter, consisting of three paltry halves of a not-that-big-to-start-with sandwich.
THREE. FUCKING. HALVES.
And with a serving suggestion of two to four adults.
Time for a Grilling
It was hard to fault the bread. Anyone who's been to a Gail's before knows they do a dependable, tangy sourdough. And some of the flavour combos were quite interesting; buttery, nutty Emmental partnering walnut, balanced out by the sweetness of honey worked well.
But what did it really matter, because they weren't fucking grilled properly. The cheese hadn't melted, in fact it had barely reached mild discomfort. It wasn't even close to grilled classification, causing the sandwich to fall apart at a nudge in defeat.
The cynical cash-in genie bottle had been rubbed vigorously and some shit panini presses had appeared where a kitchen should be. They don't even have the fancy ones like Pret does.
Oh but yes, the platter does come with pickles and olives which surely helped justify the price?
Bollocks to that. The pickles were so tangy they physically hurt, with no flavour other than overt sharpness. And the olives were pitifully small pea-sized tasteless sub-Sainsbury's examples. A real let down.
Let's Save this Lunchtime
The original plan had been to soldier on with a second course of the salt beef. But still hungry, and fearing another shocking and expensive plate of disappointment, we downed our pints and moved on for mains somewhere else...
- Rob & Simon.