Review: Philpotts, Leeds city centre

FAST: Expect speedy service with a smile at this busy lunchtime venue.
FAST: Expect speedy service with a smile at this busy lunchtime venue.
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Speed is of the essence in modern food culture, with a need for grab-and-go bites that feed busy workers on lunch breaks.

If Subway wasn’t the first of its ilk, its prominence and seeming popularity on the high street, has inspired others to replicate the conveyor belt, sandwich-building customer experience.

Philpotts, St Paul's Street, Leeds.

Philpotts, St Paul's Street, Leeds.

This is the concept at Philpotts, an outlet that was doing a very swift trade on a recent lunchtime visit.

Here, there is not just one food counter to approach but three to choose from. One offers soups and salads, another further up the shopfloor is where you can select from a mass of ingredients to make up cold sandwiches and at the far end there is a hot food counter where you can order sandwiches filled with roast meat, baked potatoes and noodles.

And if that wasn’t enough to make a choice from, there is a fridge by the entrance with chilled pre-made sandwiches and cold drinks.

A wide selection of teas and coffees is also available by the till.

This isn’t a place to dwell too long, there is nowhere to sit and eat, bar a few stools and I was a bit overwhelmed by the options in front of me.

I did however opt for a chicken, bacon and avocado sandwich on brown bread and an Americano for the reasonable total sum of £4.90.

At the cold sandwich counter alone there were so many fillings to choice from, around 30 or so combinations, such as peppered mackerel, brie, bacon and cranberry and pastrami and stilton.

There is also about a dozen combinations of salads available, including the Philpotts Signature Salad comprising of a choice of mixed leaf, pasta, cous cous or rice base, roast chicken breast, basil, red onion, flaked Parmesan, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and green pesto dressing.

The service was cheerful and friendly despite the team of staff having their work cut out amid a tide of hungry customers.

I was however underwhelmed by my sandwich which was lacking in taste, though the coffee was nice.

Sometimes more is less and I was left with the impression that perhaps the array of choice came with a limitation on the quality of ingredients.

Leeds city centre certainly offers a proliferation of more premium priced outlets that offer better quality, but for a cheap bite on the go, served with a smile, the busy trade suggested it does the job for plenty of customers.

Ratings: 2/5

*****

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The Skyrack, left, and The Original Oak public houses at Headingley, Leeds.

Pub review: Original Oak, Headingley