It’s time to talk about that most important of subjects – bacon sandwiches at York train station. It’s unbelievable that a scandal of this proportion has not been picked up by the national media. I blame the Tories, myself.
For the weary traveller, there is nothing quite like a bacon sandwich to help kickstart your day (with tomato ketchup as the first stretch goal). So important is the bacon sandwich to the national psyche, that even vegetarians who fancy one every now and then would find that everyone else turns a blind eye, whistling, while pretending there’s something really interesting in the corner of the room – right there, by the ceiling.
It is with much regret, therefore, that I have to inform you that a good hot bacon sandwich is nowhere to be found at York train station.
Oh, it’s not for want of retail outlets – there are several options if you fancy a nibble of a bacon sarnie. No – the problem is that none of them are any good.
Let’s take a look at the main contenders:
The West Cornish Pasty Company
These sell bacon rolls by the bucketload. Unfortunately, they make so many, so far in advance, that they have to keep them warm under a heat lamp. This means that by the time you get to the station to buy one – even before 6.00am – the rolls have crisped up under the heat, feeling dry and stale, even if they were fresh that morning. Every now and then you’ll get one where the bread is soft and fresh to the touch, but it’s a game of Russian Bacon Roulette – and are you really willing to gamble on this most important of breakfast snacks?
I’m one of the 1.07% of people that actually like Burger King breakfasts. Unfortunately the York station Burger King is never open when I get to the station in the morning. I know they do open – I’ve seen them after my return journeys. And on the (extremely) few occasions where I’ve bought anything from them they’ve always appeared to cook the food to order, which is a good thing in a sit-down restaurant, but less-so in a (theoretically) fast-food takeaway.
The Upper Crust
Everything always seems fresh at this stand. Good news for the bacon aficionado, surely? Oh, how I wish! Upper Crust bacon sandwiches come with scrambled egg (yay!). Unfortunately, the scrambled egg is of a powdery consistency that crumbles out of the sandwich when you bite into it. Not that it’s any great loss, as the flavor appears to have been extracted from the egg with scientific precision. And what of the bacon? Ah, well here’s where the real disappointment lies. The pieces of bacon in Upper Crust sandwiches are so thin one can only assume that they must have been sliced under laboratory conditions using unfathomably expensive equipment. Just because we can cut material to two atoms’ thickness, doesn’t mean we should! And the bread? Well, the baguettes they present are perfectly acceptable, but they are never sliced all of the way through – or even most of the way. This means that half of the width of the sandwich is bread only, and the other half is overfilled with the powdery egg stuff, on which is balanced the less-than-paper-thin rashers of bacon. Disappointing. The bread is responsible for most of this sandwich’s score.
One of those pre-wrapped microwavable sandwich things, beloved of no-one, and only ever purchased out of sheer desperation. Feels like it’s been grown in a vat and been given the all-clear by a quality control specialist who only ever once read about a sandwich in an old book.
East Coast Trains’ on-train sandwiches
Until recently these were perfectly adequate snacks. Freshly toasted bread in a choice of white or brown, with optional slices of tomato. Nothing wildly exciting about them, but they were decent enough. Unfortunately, East Coast must have realised that their bacon sarnies were not universally despised, and decided to do something about it. Now, instead of a choice of bread you get a panini. Nothing wrong with a good panini, of course, but now they’re not toasted – they’re microwaved (and nothing says fuck-you to your customers quite like microwaved bread). Microwaved paninis are tough to eat – rubbery, with a soggy undercarriage (and a soggy undercarriage is beloved of no-one). So, no choice of bread, and an inappropriate method of heating. Anything else? Oh, yes – they’ve taken away your tomato option. You can’t have it, you’re not to be trusted with it. And in removing your choice of bread, your choice of tomato and the grilling facilities they’ve increased the price by 50p! Well, they’re going to have to pay for extra customer complaints staff somehow, aren’t they?
Previously 6.5/10 but now
And so concludes this exposé of York train station hot bacon sandwiches. I’m surprised Louis Theroux didn’t get here first!