A Stroud Green restaurant selling large-scale sandwiches designed to be a meal in themselves.
When Woody Allen was asked whether sex is dirty, he replied: ‘It is if you’re doing it right.’ A similar principle applies to eating at Max’s. If you don’t get your hands dirty, you’re not doing it right.
Max’s sells just three sandwiches, all conceived as complete meals. For instance, one combines ham hock, fried egg, piccalilli and miraculously thin shoestring potatoes. Another comprises braised short ribs, sauerkraut, deep-fried broccoli and ‘very slutty gravy mayo’. They are large. They are cheap, £7 a pop. They are deeply complex and tasty. And they are very, very messy to eat.
What else does Max’s sell? Not much. There’s one dessert, a brioche bun encasing ice cream from Gelupo (£5), and a short, well-chosen drink menu of exceptionally low cost. There is also one guest sandwich, and sometimes ‘my Mum’s guacamole’ with fried eggs. The guacamole is great.
The décor is endearingly and artlessly scruffy, apart from some lovely lampshades. The random selection of coffee cups filled with Allpress filter brew (free refills) came from the local charity shop. (On opening day in December 2014, a customer ordered coffee and they realised they didn’t have any mugs.) Everyone covets the World’s Greatest Granny mug, but we liked our X-Files just fine.
The key ingredient at Max’s is Max himself, Max Halley, who has worked at top-end London restaurants including Arbutus and the Salt Yard group. When he opened his own place, he wanted to keep it simple: a small space in a cheap location where prices can be kept low; closed Mondays and Tuesdays so he can have a life; a single employee, his chef, whom he variously calls ‘the Greek’ or ‘the big Greek’. He has even avoided the need for washing dishes by serving the sandwiches on greaseproof paper secured with rubber bands.
And he wanted a place where he can be not just the boss but a part of the scene. If you want a quiet meal, Max will not get in your way. But if you feel like a chat and a laugh, you’ll get one (ask him about money laundering).
Great food, good drink, and prices so low you could get properly full and lightly hammered for around £20 a head – there’s plenty to love here. But the magic ingredient is the personal touch that Max himself brings – literally, if you want it – to the table. You’ll leave happy. And messy.
|Venue name:||Max's Sandwich Shop|
19 Crouch Hill
|Transport:||Crouch Hill Overground|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £30.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
- 5 star:16
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
Max’s Ham Egg and Chips Sambo is the best sandwich in London. Their chicken wings are pretty good too. Nice little neighbourhood place with friendly staff. Follow me on Instagram for more foodie treats: Www.instagram.com/larrycadden
the cheese shop in muswell hill recommended this place! It is fantastic, great food not expensive such a find! will be returning!
Great friendly owner... Fantastic food! and massive portions... the best thing is you can also drink booze while getting a sandwich =)
My friends are bored of hearing me talk about Max's sandwich shop - but I feel I need to spread the word. Oh. My. Goodness. The deep friend mac'n'cheese balls are artery filling goodness, the sandwiches are ram packed with high quality mouth watering ingredients, and the pudding... the pudding was a game changer. Lime caramel on chocolate brownie.. who knew? Well Max certainly did. He brought my sweet tooth, hidden for many a year, back to life with a bang.
Yep - the food is epic.
I also really enjoy the atmosphere of this place, it's not too hipster yet, and just has a very relaxed and welcoming vibe. Crouch End boarders seems like a very odd choice for this sandwich restaurant, it would suit Dalston better - but I'm so glad it is where it is. I just hope it doesn't put off non-north Londoners pilgrimaging to the best sandwich of their life, as it's about 15 mins from FP station. Then again... more sandwiches for me?
Wow this place is overpriced, sandwhich's are average. What out for the mozzarella balls which is actually just a single ball...
not just enormous sandwiches (the word sandwich doesn't really do them justice) but also the tastiest fillings EVER. And they're so accommodating with special vegan versions if you ask nicely
Just waddled out of there. After reading all the great reviews, thought we'd check it out. It's so good. Simple food, prepared well, in a very pleasant atmosphere. It's more than reasonable for what they deliver. Two massive gorgeous sandwiches, a couple of beers, 21 quid.The whole place has been pared down to the essentials, and is a lot more of a treat than many of the other, more established eateries in the area. Would definitely recommend, will definitely be back.