Nearly every street-corner, neighborhood, train station, bus stop, college and school around Bombay has a sandwichwala that makes fresh, fast, and sometimes fabulous sandwiches. The Bombay Sandwich is slices of soft white bread, thick lashings of Amul butter, filled with all kinds of deliciousness, from fresh sliced vegetables to mounds of grated cheese. These can be had with soft un-toasted bread or toasted in old-style sandwich presses on hot coals and served with another generous slathering of butter melting on the hot sandwich. Either way, it’s the perfect snack at the end of a work day, just before you head home.
The Bombay Sandwich stall range can be basic with either salad or masala sandwiches, or extensive with options such as brown bread, extra large, cheese chili sandwiches, paneer sandwiches, jam sandwiches and so much more.
Every sandwichwala seems to have a story and loyal fan following, and some, so much more than others. Here are 2 spots that we think are different but delicious examples of the perfect Bombay Sandwich spots.
Near National College, Just off Linking Road, Bandra
This place is hugely popular and hugely crowded. The signs at this shop say it all. The two signs below roughly translate to ‘we will not serve you in your car. You will need to get out of your car and come to the counter.’ and more importantly, ‘Please only order if you have time’.
You can’t say they didn’t warn you. They’re upfront about the fact that there sandwiches take time. But they are well worth the wait.
They have a long menu covering the basics but the thing to order at Jay Sandwich is their Pizza Sandwich. This variation on the standard Bombay Sandwich is, in a word, amazing. The filling is onions and capsicum, diced really small, tossed in a special tomato sauce, and topped with more cheese than you want to know about. The sandwich is grilled, making the cheese melt into the rest of the filling. And of course there is that slathering of Amul butter, melting away on top of the hot, grilled sandwich. So tasty.
Opposite Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Just off Linking road, Bandra
Not far from Jay Sandwich, Pappu Sandwichwala is a much smaller operation. Just one cart, he’s been around for over 15 years selling his sandwiches. Now we aren’t generally fond of the masala sandwich, but Pappu’s masala sandwich is unbelievably good. For one, the color immediately tells you that it isn’t going to be loaded with tongue-numbing quantities of red chili powder.
The masala here is a mellow, beautiful, brighter yellow that immediately entices you. This mix of soft potato, turmeric, salt, mustard seed and a few other spices, is a light and delicious masala that tastes a lot like the inside of vada pav. This simple sandwich of masala topped with sliced cucumber and tomato, pressed between generously buttered slices of white bread, is fresh and delicious. Toasted or soft, either way, this is a fantastic Bombay Sandwich.