By Koray Hussein
I’ve never really been a fan of beef. Sure, I’ll go out for a burger once in a while but I’d rather be sitting down in front of a plate of lamb, chicken or just plain ol’ rice and veg. I don’t know what it is about beef that bores the pants off of me, but it does. Maybe it’s because (ha!) I’m not a massive fan of steaks (it’s just a lump of meat!) and the meat in a Sunday roast is (for me anyway) completely overshadowed by the glorious trimmings.
Why am I waffling on about all of this? Well that’s probably got to do with the fact that, for the first time in years… I’m sitting here super fancying beef. And it’s all because of Tongue & Brisket.
Prior to visiting Tongue & Brisket, I’d only really tried salt beef at Beigel Bake and Beigel Shop (If you have no idea where either of those places are I feel sorry for you… Also, reviews coming soon!) and while I do enjoy them, I’ve never really fallen in love with either of the Beigel shops as much as everybody else. Thankfully, I can’t say the same about Tongue & Brisket.
Everything about this place is positive (well apart from the fact that it’s not across the street from my home). The guys working there are friendly, the place is clean and (most importantly) the food is top notch.
I went for the salt beef on rye bread with mustard and pickled cucumber, a latke on the side and was also offered a fish ball on the house.
I don’t really want to say too much on the fishball as, in all honesty, I can’t stand fish. I may not be a fan of beef but that’s not because I hate the taste. I just find it boring. Fish, on the other hand I can barely stomach. I only accepted the fishball to be polite and was kind of dreading the first bite. The fish taste wasn’t that overpowering at first but slowly crept in as I was chewing…. That’s all I’m writing on the fishball. It wasn’t fishy at the start but it got fishier. That’s it. I could say more but coming from someone who doesn’t like fish it’d either be me giving it a very unfair, negative review or me having to lie and say I liked it. The truth is, if you like fish I would expect you to like this. If you don’t, then you’ll probably be in the same boat as me.
The actual sandwich itself was beautiful. The meat literally crumbled as you bit into the surprisingly soft rye bread, the mustard had a hefty kick to it and the tang of the pickled cucumber complimented the other flavours perfectly. Tongue & Brisket’s salt beef sandwich screams quality and with every delicious bite you can tell that these guys not only know what they’re doing, but they care about what they’re doing.
Now on to my unexpected, personal highlight… the latke. I’ve had latkes from numerous places over the years and they’ve always been nice but nothing to shout about. The latke I got at Tongue & Brisket though was downright beautiful and, at the same size as your average chicken fillet, generous. It managed to not only have a beautifully crispy coating but the inside was substantial and fluffy at the same time. Try and wrap your heads around that, ‘cos I ate the damn thing and still can’t. For it to steal the limelight from what was a very tasty salt beef sandwich shows you just how delicious this thing was.
I’m extremely happy that Tongue & Brisket offer a good selection of sandwiches too, as now I can go back and say “It’s for the site!” instead of the real reason which is “I’m a fat bastard that wants another latke!”