Sandwiched in memories

If you love the way Bumstead stacks his sandwiches, go visit Grapes, suggests RAHUL VERMA

There was a time when I loved reading my Lawrence Sanders. Not for the detective’s method of catching criminals, but because of the sandwiches that he ate. Every now and then, which was almost after every page or two, he would assemble a wonderful snack for himself. First came the whole wheat bread. On this, he would apply some low-fat mayo, and then top it with lettuce leaves, ham, cheese slices, gherkin, roast beef and so on. I have always been fascinated by multi-storeyed sandwiches. When we were kids, we fantasised about potted meat sandwiches after we were introduced to Enid Blyton. In our young adult days, it was a bagel sandwich or a hero and a sub that mesmerised me.


Thus, a little notice about a baked bagel sandwich place in south Delhi in a newspaper some days ago promptly drew my attention. I was informed that Grapes, in Safdarjung Enclave, offered an assortment of sandwiches. I found the number and called them up, and was told that it was on Africa Avenue. The place has just opened, and is undergoing a soft launch. It is attached to a hotel called Parkland. The hotel chain has plans of expanding in the city, so Grapes will soon have branches in different parts of Delhi. You will find the deli very easily, for it’s right on the main road. If you take Africa Avenue from Chanakya, turn left immediately after crossing the Ring Road. There is a lane there, and Grapes is right there, with ample parking space around it.

I looked at the menu — and was quite impressed. They have an interesting breakfast section (for example, for Rs.155 you get a stack of six pancakes with a choice of maple syrup, honey or whipped cream). It has soups, salads and entrees, too. But the sandwich list is truly impressive. I asked for three kinds of sandwiches — bagel and lox, chicken and cheese, and rocket, ham and cheese. Lox, a thinly-sliced, cured salmon fillet, had been served on a bagel. This was appetising, for the salmon was moist, and the bagel was crisp. The rocket, ham and cheese sandwich was rather good, too, for the rocket leaves gave a tangy taste to the Parma ham and cheese, all nicely stuffed in a Ciabatta bread. The Philly chicken and cheese steak had thinly-sliced chicken breasts in a French roll, with mushrooms, onions and cheese. The sandwiches cost between Rs.325 and 355 — but each sandwich is a meal for someone with a moderate appetite. The sandwiches come with a wonderful side dish of coleslaw —crunchy greens in fresh mayo, with bits of fruits and raisins. Apart from that, you get onion rings and fresh pretzels. The sandwiches that I didn’t try seemed pretty good, too – at least on paper.

Grapes has a big foot-long (with, the menu says, loads of pepperoni/chicken and cheese) and a Euro sandwich with mustard, celery, mayo, olives and three cold cuts of your choice in a toasted Ciabatta bread. So if you are an Edward X Delaney fan, or just love your Blondie cartoons and the way Bumstead stacks his sandwiches, go visit Grapes. It’s bound to bring back old memories.(Food enthusiasts can mail me at >

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