During my holiday abroad to London back in February, I soaked in every sight and sound of the city, as it was my first trip abroad. While the historic buildings, incredible museums, and London’s general buzz were memorable, a large part of how I explored and experienced the city was through the variety of foods and dining experiences I had, spanning humble fast-casual fare to a lavish, unforgettable high tea.
Of all the restaurants and products I tried, I have to admit that one of the MVPs of my week abroad was Tesco, the British grocery chain whose Tesco Express micro stores are ubiquitous in the city. As the penultimate post from that February trip, I wanted to dedicate this review not only to Tesco, but one particular product: their gluten-free sandwiches. If you’re wondering why I would dedicate so much real estate on the blog to one product, read on and discover why this humble offering was a reliable and convenient companion for my travels.
Just in time for my trip (or so I’d like to think), Tesco announced the launch of two gluten-free sandwich offerings earlier this year (read more about them via Gluten Free Heaven magazine). These new offerings were a cheese and onion sandwich (not dairy-free) or a chicken, bacon, and lettuce sandwich, the latter of which is dairy-free.
Boxes sandwiches are totally a “thing” in London (not so much in the US), with most convenience outlets and food shops offering an array of grab-and-go sandwiches. It was such a novelty to be able to walk into any Tesco, at any time (some locations are 24 hours), and be able to pick up a gluten-free sandwich without having to worry about cross contamination or communicating my dietary restrictions to staff.
As a gluten-free diner, it gives me the greatest joy to fly under the radar and not have to explain myself every time I want to eat, and Tesco’s sandwiches certainly fit the bill in this department, leaving me floored by just how simple and “normal” picking up a sandwich made me feel.
The sandwiches themselves feature thick-sliced chicken, which is seasoned with black pepper, paired with smoked bacon. The latter doesn’t have the satisfying crunch I prefer for my bacon, but did have the salty smokiness that was satisfying. Fresh lettuce adds crunch and a token vegetable to the mix. The three toppings are supported by hearty seeded bread that has a satisfying springiness and was durable enough to last several bites without crumbling.
While the sandwich isn’t perfect (it is a bit dry and could use a nice spread of mustard or another sauce for a burst of flavor), it more than satisfies when you’re looking for a substantial snack or lunch while on the go. I consider it an equal opportunity sandwich for any hour of the day, as I picked one up for breakfast, lunch, and a late afternoon snack several days during my visit.
The ingredients are clearly listed on the back with allergens noted in bold.
Even better, the sandwich is included with Tesco’s £3 meal deal, which includes a bottled beverage and snack. Every time I picked up a sandwich, I took advantage of the meal deal, choosing a protein bar or fruit as my snack for their portability and sturdiness to stash in my backpack for later enjoyment. On it’s own, the sandwich is £2.80.
There is absolutely nothing comparable to the quality and value of this deal that I’ve found stateside, and it absolutely blows my mind how affordable this sandwich is! If only convenience stores and/or grocery stores on this side of the Atlantic could take note…
I really hope Tesco expands their gluten-free sandwich line in the future, and look forward to enjoying many a chicken, bacon, and lettuce sandwich in the future. It powered many of my adventures in London, and was a perfect introduction to the UK’s boxed sandwich industrial complex.
Disclaimer: This review is current to the original publication date. Updates will be noted. Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Each product should be reviewed for individual nutritional needs. Feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I purchased the product independently and this review is a reflection of my personal opinion.