Places where you can eat well and inexpensively don’t proliferate in Cambridge. Fortunately, there’s a branch of Eat, a take-away sandwich, soup and salad shop I first discovered when working in London about five years ago.
At the time, I was working for an art dealer in Mayfair, and there was nowhere cheap to find lunch anywhere. I found an Eat concession in the (usually very expensive) food hall at Selfridge’s, and ended up visiting daily for the excellent and very fresh food, which costs no more than a Marks and Spencer sandwich.
Eat opened a shop in Cambridge (on Petty Cury) a couple of years back, and it’s always packed. Head upstairs and try to get a table by the window for a great view down Sidney Street while you eat your sandwich.
There’s an emphasis on food that’s healthy, with wheatless sandwiches scattered among the filled baguettes and chocolate bars, but no feeling that you should be eating the healthier options, or that eating healthily is a penance. Regular readers will be aware that a consumption of superfoods is not one of my priorities – this said, this Superfoods salad is one of the best thing Eat does, right up there with the hot sausage and mustard mash pie.
This salad is full of lightly steamed vegetables, which have been prepared carefully so they don’t lose any of their crunch or their emerald green. There’s calabrese broccoli in there, some fresh peas and broad beans, and butternut squash, which has been cooked to a perfect, toothsome softness and rolled in poppy seeds. Raw, sprouting seeds feature strongly, with a pinch of strongly flavoured, sprouting onion seeds scattered on top, and crisp baby beansprouts in the mix. A scoop of goat’s cheese, some toasted seeds, raw, shredded beetroot, salad leaves and a sharp dressing made with lemon juice finish the salad.
Of course, I ruined the health-giving properties of the salad by drinking a diet cola with it. Still – yum. If you’re near a branch, drop in and give them a try.