I love Maltby St market. There I’ve said it. Although, a few months ago I doubt I would have really considered it as a weekend outing given the effort it usually takes me to get moving on a Saturday morning. But hunger struck, the fridge was woefully understocked, and for some reason the sun decided to stick it out so we strolled up to Ropewalk. The place was packed, as usual, but we managed to snag a few choice bits including a grilled stilton and pear chutney sandwich from The Cheese Truck and a Reuben Special from Monty’s Deli. We tried to grab a seat at Little Bird Gin Bar for a tipple but there wasn’t a table to be found. Instead, I picked up some Gosnells London Mead for later on which turns out to be surprisingly good.
Luckily, we came back the next day (figuring something must be open since Monty’s was) and it turns out that the whole market is in full swing but with one key difference: no tourists! So keep it a secret, will ya? This time we grabbed some grub from PHAT Bread and a jerk chicken warp from a random Jamaican themed stall before settling down to a well-deserved (because we made it up before noon!) cocktail from Little Bird.
The Cheese Truck
These guys sell a variety of grilled sandwiches focused, as you’d expect, on cheese. You simply pick which sandwich you want from the ones piled high at the front of the stall and they throw it on the grill with a weight on top to keep it compressed. The sandwich will shrink as the cheese melts but the flavours are full-bodied and well matched. We opted for a stilton and pear chutney which I think was on a sourdough.
The sharp intense flavours of the stilton were softened by the sweet tangy chutney. The bread was buttered and toasted but managed to avoid being oily. It was one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve had and rather filling – but since they cut them in half to serve it’s a perfect item to share. For £6.50, it’s a bit expensive for what is essentially a gourmet uni student’s meal, but it was definitely enjoyable and I’d happily fork that over again.
Follow The Cheese Truck on twitter: @cheesetruckldn
I’d seen Monty’s Deli before on my way to St. John’s for a doughnut but largely disregarded them after my incredible experience at Katz’s Deli in NYC. Still, my curiosity was piqued and we stopped by to check it out since the rest of the market offerings didn’t quite strike a chord. In order to really test them out, I went for the Rueben Special which is your standard Reuben sandwich but with both salt beef and pastrami for a seriously hefty serving of meat.
It’s also served in halves for easy sharing – a good thing to as the sandwich is bloody massive. The meat was succulent and tender and the bite of the mustard with the salty pickle just enough to cut through the richness and balance out the flavours. It’s served with a morsel of slaw which is a pity as the slaw is pretty good. While it’s not Katz’s, Monty’s is pretty damn close and I’m happy I gave them a try. The sheer size of the sandwich means I’m not likely to return often, but I can see it being a well earned reward after a long marathon training run on a sunny Saturday.
There is seating both inside and out as well which makes it a good option for any weather and there is an Italian wine stall sharing the space so you can get a drink to wash it down. Or opt for the NYC sodas that Monty’s import – the Doc Brown’s Cream Soda was a great pairing with the Reuben.
Follow Monty’s Deli on twitter: @MontysDeli
Gosnells London Mead
While waiting for our sandwich from The Cheese Truck, I noticed a lady selling mead nearby. For me, mead is always the stuff of storybooks with Vikings and Celts swilling the stuff from horns or the skulls of their enemies. The little I’ve tried before was overwhelming strong and sweet so it was with some trepidation I tried the sample she handed me.
Again, it just goes to show I really should keep trying everything. Gosnells’s mead is lightly carbonated with just a touch of honeyed sweetness. I learned that mead was made by fermenting a mix of honey and water and the end result was a gentle refreshing drink that went down easily and was actually quite moreish. I cracked open a bottle with our spicy mixed fajita feast for dinner and it was a great pairing with the slight sweetness balancing our the spicy flavors. Plus, the mild carbonation didn’t play havoc with the tastebuds in the way that anyone who has had a curry and then made the fatal mistake of chugging a beer will be intimately familiar with.
At £3.50 a bottle or 3 for £10 (plus a free bag), it’s a tad expensive but not any different from a craft beer. I think I’ll have to get in touch with them about ordered a case for my next bbq in a few weeks.
Follow Gosnells London Mead on twitter: @GosnellsMead
More to come about Sunday’s Shenanigans at the Market soon!