Coming to London is much like starting freshman year all over again. You’re in a new place with different people, a different campus, and different food. The only difference was that this time I made myself a promise. I promised I wouldn’t make french fries a food group again (they’re actually called “chips” here) and that I’d try to stay away from extreme late-night ordering. So far — to a certain extent — I’ve managed to do both. As they say, you can take the girl away from Acropolis, but you can’t take away her desire for late-night pizza. Sadly, and conveniently, London has excellent late-night delivery service.
But while there’s plenty of food to snack on, there’s also plenty of food here to drive even the most Instagram-addicted and self-proclaimed “foodie” absolutely wild. Though fish ‘n chips were definitely among the first nibbles on my agenda, I focused next on pushing through the stereotypes of London’s highly infamous “gross food” to find meals that would actually impress my American palate. Believe it or not, it was easier than I expected.
London is filled with so many different cultures that are definitely reflected in the food. There is not only an endless supply of meat pies and fried haddock, but also limitless Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and more. I’m fortunate enough to enjoy just about anything put in front of me, but I’m even luckier that so far, everything has exceeded my already-rising expectations.
My roommates and I have also recently found our latest and greatest brunch spot. It’s called “Le Pan Quotidien,” and it’s absolutely majestic. Obviously, it has the widest variety of all the freshest coffees, which includes – but isn’t limited to – lattes, espressos, iced coffees (who said England doesn’t like ice?), and cappuccinos. And the pastries? Sweet croissant, don’t even get me started. But since I made the choice to stick to healthy, I knew I had to avert my eyes from the glistening, buttery goodness, and focus on a dish that would both satisfy and fill me.
I chose to go with a dish called tuna “tartine”. It’s essentially an open sandwich, which for this dish included a base of wheat bread and was piled high with tuna, cucumbers, tomatoes, hummus, white beans, and fresh herbs. To say it was delicious would be a vicious understatement. Everything was fresh, and I’ve never been so sad to see a tartine disappear – regardless of the fact that it was my first.
So thank you London for introducing me to my first — and new favorite — open sandwich. I’ll definitely be back!
I can’t wait for my next meal, and you can be sure I’ll eat ANYTHING but fish ‘n chips.
By Lara Gould