The grilled cheese sandwich, the toastie, the golden wonder. It's stupidly simple to prepare, but benefits greatly with a little bit of tweaking (butter, different types of cheese). It's enabling companion, the toastie maker, much like the slow cooker in England, the rice cooker in Japan and the deep fryer in Scotland, is a kitchen staple in New Zealand. Ask any Kiwi, they'll tell you its our national dish. With a simple loaf of bread (white of course) and a few slices of good mature cheddar, my University diet of 2 minute (aka pot) noodles, beans on toast and shocking renditions of chili con carne was notably improved.
Cheese toasties provided an escape from the drudgery. My fixation with these hot parcels of happiness grew to a stage where I was eating them daily for lunch and sometimes dinner as well. The toppings varied, usually a combination of last nights dinner fortified with bits foraged from the fridge (meatballs, chutney). I do however starkly remember the days where there was no cheese - joyless dry cardboard. I'd mostly forgotten about my 'toastie' phase until a recent visit to a pub in Farringdon.
The Longroom can simply be described as a brewpub, opening earlier this year at 18-20 St John Street, it boasts a beer selection which is regularly updated and has a 'long tail' of bottlings that runs into the dozens.
It is precisely their cheese sandwich which will keep you here for another round. Made with bread sourced from Gails bakery, it is buttered and toasted on both sides, their 'locally sourced' has ripe tang, further enriched by Worcester sauce in their 'Craft beer rarebit' (£6.50). Also available is House cured salt beef on sourdough (£7.50), delivered a slab of wood, this heaving piece of brisket is cut to order and can also be enjoyed on a sharing board - recommended for three to five people. It'll serve three if you're hungry.
I needn't say more about The Longroom, as i'm sure you will have gathered, its charm lies in it's simple offer. It gets packed every evening, the staff are very friendly, you can't really reserve, and they're open until late.
Other places to score a wicked cheese sandwich:
1) Sager and Wild - returning this summer
2) Quo Vadis, Soho
3) Kappacasein, Maltby Street
18-20 St John Street,
Nearest tube: Barbican or Farringdon