There is something truly wonderful about a well executed sandwich. But how is that so many places get it so wrong? How many of us have suffered the insult of being served up a sad, soggy sandwich on bland, boring bread for which we’ve had to pay a fiver for? I would hazard a guess and say almost all of us.
I had been hearing pleased murmurs about The Bakehouse on Bachelor’s Walk, especially in reference to their brunch and lunch. Always on the hunt for a superior sandwich, I found myself in this establishment just a hop and a skip from the Ha’Penny Bridge.
It turns out that hop and skip, quickly followed by cute, come to mind upon walking over The Bakehouse threshold. You’re welcomed in by pinks, greens and greys, with butcher’s tiles and artistically displayed rolling pins adorning opposite walls.
My sweetly smiling waitress, wearing a precious pink pinny of the faux-vintage type, gave me a minute with the lunch menu, which offers sandwiches, pies, salads, baked potatoes, stews, coddle and chowders. I went for the Ham, Dublin Cheese, Onion and Bakehouse Chutney sandwich (€5.80) and was given a choice of thick doorstop or thin doormat bread. I chose the doorstop and supped my above average cappuccino (€2.90) while taking in the counter of homemade pastries and cakes that sits near the entrance. I knew what I wanted for dessert even before my sandwich arrived, and I had a rich, gooey toffee muffin (€2.60) in a little brown bag upon leaving.
But back to that sandwich. This was one of the fluffiest, most loveliest sandwiches I’ve had the pleasure of paying for. The ham was proper home-cooked chunks of ham, and the Bakehouse chutney was a sweet partner for the red onions and the Dubliner cheese. The doorstop bread was dense and roughly cut, making for a sandwich with substance.
I had enjoyed my lunch so much that I took my friend Amy back to try our their evening menu on a Friday night. The menu features pies, cheese and meat platters, salads and about seven main dishes which all appeared to be creative takes on the open sandwich. The Slow Cooked Pork Belly with caramelised apples served on toasted Bakehouse Bread and a side of Bakehouse Spuds (€14.95) looked like a particularly successful twist on the open sandwich. Though the pork belly was tempting, I instead opted for the Beef and Guinness Pie (€9.50). Although the accompanying fat homecut chip-esque Bakehouse Spuds were savoured, the pie turned out to be a disappointing choice, as it wasn’t much more than a bowl of thick, over-salted beef stock topped with a puff pastry disc. To make matters worse, I could see someone being served the delicious looking open sandwiches dishes over Amy’s shoulder. Dinner Order Envy is the worst.
Amy is a vegetarian and wasn’t too badly served by this menu. Not liking mushrooms, however, eliminated two of the five vegetarian options from the menu. In the end, she plumped for the Blue Cheese Salad (€9.95) which came with crunchy apples and celery alongside some of the Bakehouse bread. We both had room to share the Bakewell Tart (€3.90), an enormous and alluring end to our meal.
We enjoyed a bottle of 2008 Torres Ibericos Rioja Crianza (€27) which, along with the warm and welcoming service throughout our evening, fuelled a jolly good girly chat. €49.35 seemed a fair price to pay for that. I’ll most certainly be back for one of those luscious sandwiches again and I have high hopes for their brunch. It seems a third visit to The Bakehouse might be in order.
6 Bachelor’s Walk