Flint Cross sarnie is buttylicious according to expert who visited eight catering vans in one morning
- Credit: Archant
In a food pilgrimage which saw him visit eight butty vans in one morning, one sausage sandwich really caught motoring journalist Stephen Mesquita’s eye.
Every morning Keith Miller pitches up his Smell The Bacon van at his spot of the A505 to dish up Newmarket pork and top quality bacon sarnies, with many customers planning their route to make sure they pass by.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Keith takes so much pride in good quality ingredients, as he worked as a manager at The Cricketers in Clavering – the pub owned by celeb chef Jamie Oliver’s parents – for 16 years.
He said: “I have known Jamie all his life – a lovely boy. We are still in touch, I went to his wedding and see him from time to time. People come back to the van because of the food, it’s all about word of mouth.”
Stephen visited Smell The Bacon as part of a whistle-stop tour of eight catering vans between Northampton and Royston for Philip’s Navigator Britain. He chose this route due to the abundance of A-roads and the many vans dotted along them.
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He said: “Every other year I do an article for the latest navigator launch. Two years ago I did full English breakfasts in motorway service stations.
“It wasn’t a pleasant experience, the service wasn’t terribly good and the meals were quite expensive.
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“When I was doing that I noticed these butty vans. I thought: ‘I’ll do them next’.
“I had this preconception that catering vans were for truck drivers, but it wasn’t bad at all. I’d do it again.
“I was made to feel very welcome as a normal motorist.
“When I was doing the breakfasts, I had a bit of each ingredient, but the butty vans passed the first test – I polished off the lot.
“I would encourage more people to go to them. Each one was pleasant enough. They take pride in what they do.
“They cook it in front of you and the butties are two or three pounds, a cup of tea 50p or 80p.
“One thing I would say is you wouldn’t go there for a nice cup of coffee, they don’t serve Colombian flat whites.”
Smell The Bacon topped Stephen’s list, and 56-year-old Keith who used to run a cafe with his wife and set up the van when she retired, said: “It’s lovely, it’s great news. I’m really pleased.
“I do get an awful lot of compliments. I have been in catering all my life. I think people like it because of the quality of the meat.”
To find a butty van in your area, you can download the app Butty Van Finder, or visit the website at www.buttyvan.com.