Saturday, 21 April 2012

Katsouris Cafenion, Bury

When considering the increasingly strident debate about the future of Leeds Kirkgate market, it's worth taking a little look at Bury. What irritates me the most about the situation in Leeds is this insidious idea that there are two implacably opposed sides.

In the red corner we have the saviours of the people's market, aiming to preserve the market in existing form in perpetuity, a haven of cheap goods for the deserving poor. Piled high, prices low.

In the blue corner we have the evil peddlers of 'gentrification', those who dream of plush, anodyne food halls for the well-heeled elite. A sanitised ciabatta, olives and fine wine emporium, the prices high, the tone higher.

As if it were that straightforward. There are plenty of valid points on either side of this debate, but turning it into some sort of class war isn't going to help. What with the national government being rather keen on this approach we don't need people joining in at a local level. Which brings me back to Bury, and in particular, to Katsouris.

Katsouris is a deli of some renowned. The Bury outlet is the original, but they've also branched out into ('gentrified') Manchester. Bury Market doesn't appear to be particularly gentrified to me, but here it is. A delicatessen piled high with olives and capers and ciabatta and cured meats, many of which are cheap but some of which (the horror) are quite expensive.

Bury market: sneering poshos eating caperberries. Possibly.

Adjacent to the deli is the Cafenion, and ooh look the theme continues here. There are sandwiches on quality breads, stuffed with quality meats, served with good, proper coffee. The prices are fair, not dirt cheap, but fantastically good value. Everyone eats and drinks here, from suited office workers to chain-smoking grannies, I'm not detecting any silly them and us segregation.

There's an extensive display of cold sandwiches, all of which look excellent, but I was drawn to the hot sandwich list. They are all available on ciabatta as either 'half' or 'full', and greedy pig that I am I couldn't resist ordering the full club sandwich.

The club: less than half of it is visible in this photo

It was absolutely enormous, at £5.40 I should have realised. That might sound like a lot, but it's really two or three sandwiches. I ate half of it and took the rest home for tea. Packed with good quality sliced chicken, smoked ham, cheese and stuffing it was a beast. The stuffing was a little unnecessary though, I'd give that a miss next time, but other than that a great sandwich. Meat, more meat and cheese, decent bread. Simple but effective.

The coffee hit the spot too, strong but not bitter and less than two quid for a large Americano. If you've not been before I'd recommend a visit to Bury market, there's plenty more to it than Katsouris alone. Be sure to get your hands on a black pudding barm while you're there.


Katsouris Delicatessen and Cafenion
23-25 Market Square

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