My last mention of my UK eating adventures is a brief description of Olive’s, a small deli and eatery in Oxford. I was visiting the town for the afternoon to catch up with A, who used to be an eating legend herself while we were all in Hong Kong (Make sure to check out her fun food blog, Endless Potluck, for a joyous collection of recipes, reviews, and ruminations, all written with equal measures wit and lit(erary flair) – way more than what I just came up with right there!). I left my food needs in her very capable hands.
As we walked through town towards her college, she steered me towards this little shopfront, tempting me with promises of hearty sandwiches with all-natural ingredients.
Its location on the high street across from Oxford’s Exam Schools means it’s a popular student destination; indeed, A said we were lucky that afternoon because usually there’s a line stretching down the sidewalk. There’s actually not an eating area in the deli, but plenty of green space in town means an abundance of picnic areas.
In addition to selling deli goods (include many types of olives – surprise! – and cheeses), I have also read they stock ice cream in the summer and champagne during exam time! Their big draws are the gourmet baguette sandwiches written on a chalkboard menu just behind the deli counter. You can pick any of the sandwiches on offer (or any of their tasty, though slightly spendier, specials) and get it stuffed with complimentary additions of rocket, cornichons, tomatoes, roasted vegetables, and a handful of other things. I chose one with parma ham (!) and paired it with rocket, roasted veg, and black pepper. It was massive, and massively delicious as well.
For a wholesome and flavorful meal, this place is a no-brainer.
42 High Street
018 6524 5700
Cost: £ 3-5 per sandwich (the pricier ones are the daily specials; others are more in the £3-4 range)