When I explain Max’s Sandwich Shop to people they often miss the gravity of the situation. “Hot sandwiches and booze,” that’s the basic idea. But in the real-world, that’s like describing the Sistine Chapel as “high ceiling and paint.”
Admittedly, I’m an addict, knocking back one a week (minimum) for about a year now. And the crazy thing is, they keep getting better. Owner Max Halley is the Willy Wonka of sandwiches, constantly experimenting and tweaking his creations in pursuit of gastronomic excellence. And in October, 11 months after opening, Max’s Sandwich Shop won the Guardian‘s prestigious OFM Best Cheap Eats Award.
Perhaps spurred on by their award, Max and his crew have hit a rich new vein of form; the Deep Fried Jalapeño Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls are saucier, the spuds are crispier and the slutty gravy mayo is even richer and dirtier than before.
Tonight’s choice was the one that started it all, the Ham, Egg ‘N’ Chips; tender, slow-cooked ham hock, a perfectly fried egg, crispy shoestring fries, Piccalilli and malt vinegar mayo absolutely stuffed between two slices of fresh, homemade bread (which takes three hours to bake). Unlike its counterparts, the Ham, Egg ‘N’ Chips hasn’t been modified and re-invented. And tonight’s presentation was a perfect reminder why: if it ain’t broke, leave it the fuck alone.
The problem with Max’s Sandwich Shop is every sandwich is the furthest you’re ever going to be away from having your next one. And soon after I’m done eating, that’s all I can think about.