Best Part: The Window Seats!
JK Palmers is not particularly ostentatious in it’s persona. It’s easy to sort of miss it, or not quite remember it’s name. In fact, for the last year or so I have been referring to it as JK Simmons, mentally conflating in my mind Simmons the bakers and the psychotic drum tutor from the film ‘Whiplash’. Before that I may have called it JB Priestly. But it always seems busy and exudes a sort of clean sandwichiness that makers it an attractive lunchtime destination.
What the office workers and shop assistants grabbing their quick panini before going to sit in the Vintry Garden may not be aware of is that if you sit down at one of the clean and sandwichy tables inside and open a menu you are presented with a range of options that goes beyond even their massive and far-reaching wall of sandwich combinations. JK Rowling is not a place to go if you are suffer from choice paralysis.
The first thing that greets you on entering JR Hartley are the drinks, varied and colourful and slightly too expensive. Myself and my frequent dining companion both went for a bottle of the Cowboy Cocktails of Arizona. I’m not sure what made them particularly Cowboy, neither Sippin’ Sarsaparilla nor beans being key ingredients, but they were incredibly refreshing. She preferred her Mucho Mango as she found my Watermelon too sweet, whereas I found her choice not sweet enough, but like Jack Spratt and his wife we drank our respective bottles clean, and were much refreshed for it.
I was caught up in the general sandwichiness of the place, so decided to have a sandwich. A New York Club Sandwich to be precise, but in keeping with the theme of far too much choice there were six different types of club sandwich. I was not allowed to have the Indian Club Sandwich despite the tantalising cross-cultural fusion so went for a classic chicken and bacon. When it came it was pleasant enough, but the chicken was grouped together in the middle so that after the first bite you were left with pretty much just a bacon sandwich. But I’m down with bacon sandwiches. The chips were pretty awesome anyway.
Mrs Midweek lunch found the fascinating idea of a vegetarian all day breakfast with HALLOUMI too good to miss. In reality this piece of protein paired happily with the fried tomatoes and mushrooms but had an argument with the baked beans. Tomatoes and mushrooms are happy in either the traditional full English Breakfast setting or the robust and tasty Mediterranean one. Baked beans are a favourite of ours. They are versatile in the full English breakfast context, on toast, in a baked potato, with bangers and mash but next to halloumi on the plate….sorry, no. It did not work. The soupy orange sauce seemed to say “do you mind if I hang out with you?” And the halloumi said “no, I am just too cool!” However we thank Palmers for daring to be different. We are sure that some people love the crazy combination.
So there was plenty of food, it was all very nice and pretty cheap (apart from the Cowboy Cocktails), and we were there early enough to grab the prestigious window seat. We could gaze at the clock tower and imagine all the historic people that had been late for appointments through the years. The décor was actually pretty cool and you could eat there every day for a few years and not repeat yourself. So if you need a nice sandwich just remember to visit JD Salinger.