Friday, 2 November 2012

Student budget lunches

I can never restrain myself from taking bites from my food before I reach the doorstep.

This is what my desk looks like when I have an uneventful Saturday afternoon and I choose the practical option for lunch, while Tesco express (one of the major supermarkets) is a 5-minute walk away and so is Express Coffee

I guess this is the start of recovery from the week of indulgence in which I told myself, "Hey, since I have a half-term break in London, I should try getting as many good lunches in while I can."

Thank you Google Street View. But nowadays the scaffolding is gone and the kiosk is beige.

On an unrelated note, I walked past a man outside Express Coffee who asked for the time and afterward told me that I smelled lovely. He seemed to be a pretty nice man but I got worried for his olfactory senses because I had just finished a three hour long dance rehearsal at school and I'm sure I didn't smell anything like flowers.

Anyway, when I found out this shop had about ten jars of Byron Bay cookies, I instantly appointed myself as a regular. The first time I had Byron Bay cookies, I was on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney and they handed out these Triple Choc Fudge cookies. My friend had motion sickness, (the pilot for that flight was particularly bad) so I gladly took her cookie after savoring my own.

This time, I got a Butterscotch & Pecan as well as a White Choc Chunk & Macadamia Nut. (£1.35 each) Funnily enough, I cannot find the former flavor on any of Byron Bay's websites or related Google searches.

Look at those big fat pecans

Whitey goodness

For the first, the pecan nuts were generous but the butterscotch taste took a while for my taste buds to discover. The white chunks and macadamia were well placed.

Okay this review sounds pretty dry because... the cookies were sort of like that. I hate to say it because I hate to believe it, but although they had the thickness of shortbread, they were crumbly and rather dry for my liking. Maybe it's because winter's coming and the jars aren't well-made, (as compared to the sealed plastic wrapping of the servings on the plane) or maybe it's a personal preference. Or maybe because I've been having a Ben's Cookies (stay tuned for its own review) spree this week. Either way, I do wish the cookies had slightly more buttery goodness which would further enhance its taste as well.

All hope is not lost. A few weeks ago I had the Lemon and White Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake flavored cookie. That was just so yummy. I usually avoid lemon in desserts and baked goods, but I gave in to the cheesecake. The combination of the two was harmonious – the lemon light and tangy, and the cheesecake bits sweet and satisfying.

I'm definitely not going to stop trying these cookies. Their bestseller is apparently "Dotty," which is "a rich, golden cookie that is packed with premium creamy European milk chocolate and then smothered in colourful ‘choc drops,’ " and they have a Strawberries & Clotted Cream flavour which I'm definitely getting. 

Express Coffee (but my receipt says 'The Little Pavilion')
167 St Margarets Road
St Margarets TW1 1RD

£1.59 (u.p £1.75)

My desk was messy and so were my taste buds as I stole bites from my cookies and sandwiches alternately while I typed out my homework.

I wonder if the sandwiches were placed tactically from not-so-nice to nicest, because that is the order I found myself eating them in. On the far left of the picture above we have the Branston pickle-spread with two slices of cheese. At this point I have to tell you that I can't differentiate one type of cheese from another unless they have a different consistency, such as grated parmesan, melted mozzarella, or white feta cubes. Anyway, I'm sure someone else might enjoy the sandwich with the pickles, but for me, the pickle spread had a salty-sweetness which clashed with the natural saltiness of the cheese slice.

In the middle we have raw tomatoes with some sort of cheese (cheddar...? #wildguess) and there's probably mayonnaise in it but I'm not too sure. I kind of detest (who ever "kind of detest"s? I do.) raw tomatoes so I pretty much suffered on this sandwich. However, when I managed to get rid of the last tomato, the remaining cheese with a hint of tomatoey taste was actually quite good. The last sandwich is a blob of cheese and onion bits, which was my favourite of the three, as there was a consistent mushiness which I quite liked, along with the savoury goodness of cheese and onions.

You might be thinking, "Who the hell reviews supermarket sandwiches?" Well I think it's pretty relevant to formally review an everyday food product such as the Tesco sandwich. I often find myself stuck infront of the refrigerated shelves at Tesco Express for ten minutes trying to decide between the fishy-sounding 'Seafood Cocktail' (see what I did there?) and the safe but boring ham and cheese. It's pretty helpful to know the kinds of sandwiches one should stick to or avoid, isn't it?

Or maybe I'm the only sad, broke student who resorts to Tesco sandwiches for lunch on a Saturday.

Tesco Express
129 Saint Margaret's Road
Twickenham, Greater London
Tel: 0845 026 9348

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