Everyone's favourite thing to complain about in Sydney is pricing, and it's not just bemoaning the RRP on a two-bedroom apartment. It doesn't take much to get people lamenting the cost of fancy dumplings, extra guacamole and parking fines (fair cop on that last one). So you can imagine what certain quarters of the internet had to say about the $26 French dip sandwich at Continental Deli, Bar Bistro CBD. Yes, it's a $26 sandwich, and yes, comments about brown-bagging a sanga from home and saving the remainder abounded.
But not all sandwiches are made equal, and there are a few very good reasons why you should consider dropping your hard earned on this tasty baguette.
1. It's straight-up delicious. This should always be the most compelling reason to spend good money on great food.
2. There's no filler. This is a sandwich constructed from the best bits in every category. The layers of roast beef strike the perfect balance between that rare, pink blush and edges of caramelised fat. The meat is uniformly tender and flavoursome and over the top they've melted just enough cheese to bind everything together. Even at this point it's juicy enough, but the bowl of pan juices for your to dip each bite into is what makes this unlike any other sandwich in town.
3. You can share it. It's undeniably rich and filling, so why not consider splitting one if you don't mind sharing the broth bowl? That leaves room for a cheese and charcuterie plate, or just more wine.
4. Location matters. Yes, you can get cheaper sandwiches in every food court in the CBD. But you can't sit on a beautiful bentwood chair, rest your elbows on a marble-topped bar and wipe your (understandably) messy hands on a proper fabric napkin in any old sandwich bar. You're paying for the beautiful design, the opportunity to order a beer or a coffee to accompany it, and the kind of service that ensures you're offered olives while you wait, your water glass never runs dry, and hot sauce is forthcoming if you like a little spice to cut through the richness.
5. There is no universe in which you can DIY this. It's not a sandwich that will travel. It needs to be hot and fresh and to capture it at its peak, you need to eat it in situ.
When all's said and done, Sydney loves a cult menu item as much as they love a whinge, which is why things like the Porteño Brussels sprouts caught on the way they did (see also: the Snow Egg; A1 Canteen's muffaletta; Black Star's watermelon cake; LP's pudding chômeur; Golden Century's pippies in XO). So if you love eating the next Instagram sensation, and you can spare the cash, you should totally splash out on this very fine sambo for a CBD lunch.
Want more tasty things between bread? Give these ace Sydney sandwiches a whirl.