Although I love the Breach Candy Sandwich, my recent trips to the Right Place have been awfully disappointing. While it’s still fascinating to observe the efficiency with which the sandwich man makes these triple decker vehicles of (supposed) gastronomical delight, the sorry truth is, these sandwiches no longer taste as good as they look.
So, I’ll speculate: could it be the chutney that lacks that extra zing? The chaat masala that’s missing its magic? Yeah, yeah, whatever, no one really knows, and nor do they care. Except one kind soul, who told me about a new sandwich shop in South Bombay, which is not really new at all, except that no one ever told me about it, despite knowing my obsession with these sandwiches. Until the day that X casually mentioned, oh, I actually prefer the sandwiches behind Bhavan’s College, I never knew about the sandwich man behind Bhavan’s college. Of course, when I mentioned Bhavan College Sandwich Man to my cousins, they were like, oh yeah, he’s really good, and so is the sandwich man near J.B. Petit (their high school). Hmm okay, thanks for never telling me about these men and letting me suffer through disappointing sandwiches, is what I thought, but…the past is the past, and now let me tell you about this sandwich from behind Bhavan’s, and one from Hill Road in Bandra.
Unlike outside the Right Place, there is no line stretching to oblivion for a Bhavan’s sandwich. Which I don’t understand, because Bhavan’s Sandwich Man makes better sandwiches, really. Some elements are strange- like the inclusion of BEETS and RADISHES- but they aren’t necessarily bad and I actually like the slight bitter edge from a radish sandwiched inside an otherwise buttery comfortwich.
Bhavan’s Sandwich Man’s chutney is 600% more flavorful and spicy than the Right Place’s chutney. The whole experience is much more satisfying than eating the Breach Candy Sandwich from the Right Place because each sandwich element functions as it should: chutney= spicy and fresh; cheese= salty and gooey; tomatoes= juicy and sweet; onions= strong and stinky. (In contrast, this is one of the main reasons a sandwich from the Right Place is so disappointing nowadays. Not only did the sandwich used to be excellent, but you would think simply that combining these ingredients would naturally produce something delicious. Yet, the Right Place’s sandwich always falls miserably short of tasty. So good thing there is Bhavan’s.) And located right on Chowpatty, but a little in from the main road, it’s a much more convenient place to hop out and eat a finger-lickin-good sandwich than Breach Candy, which is crowded with roly-poly Guju aunties.
Later in the afternoon on the very day of the Bhavan’s revelation, I went to Bandra with my cousin. After poking around Cottons for kurtis, we made our way to Hill Road for some street shopping. But we never actually made it to the street of apparently dizzying fashion and glittery clothes because we decided to have another sandwich instead. Pure gluttony, I know! But hey, I was on vacation.
This sandwich man, who operates on the border of Hill Road, makes a crispy package. We just had a mini sandwich from him, made on regular, small white bread, instead of the gigantic triangles used to make regular Bombay grilled sandwiches, but those few bites were the best of the day. Mr. Hill Road Sandwichwala’s sandwich was so amazing because not only was the chutney spicy and the cheese hot and melty, but he did what no previous sandwich man has done so far- he slathered an extra coating of butter on the top of each sandwich, post-grilling, which had the effect of making the sandwich moister, saltier, and all together more heavenly. I know these foods aren’t for the faint of heart, or health. They shouldn’t be eaten every day. But once a month would be fine, I think; I only get to eat them once a year.