A Sandwich From the 18th Century Is Now in Megamall
It really is a great story.
As legend would have it, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was in the middle of a card game when he was struck by a bad case of the munchies. Not wanting to fold what was probably a winning hand, he asked for a meal that he could easily consume with his free, non-playing hand. The resourceful English royal demanded some roast beef in between two slices of bread. That is how the sandwich, as we know it, was invented.
The Earl's Club
Centuries later, John Montagu’s descendants realized the untapped potential of their family legacy. Aptly enough, they called on an American businessman named Robert Earl, founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood, to build a food empire based on their ancestor's namesake. Lord John Montagu, the 11th (and current) Earl of Sandwich, and his son, the Honorable Orlando Montagu, are the actual owners of Earl of Sandwich and they will not have their good name tainted by bad bread.
The secret, as their website narrates, is in the freshly baked bread and the “traditional family recipes prepared with fresh ingredients.” Taking a peek into their first Manila outpost in Megamall, the Earl of Sandwich staff explains how there is a magic number in toasting their hot sandwiches. “Around two minutes,” they vaguely say.
Cheese Pizza Bread
Spicy Shrimp Pasta
The specialties are hot sandwiches, and the Philippine stores will offer the complete arsenal save for a few whose ingredients were too difficult to source locally. What's important, however, is that we get to enjoy the Original 1762, which contains a decent amount of roast beef, cheddar, and horseradish, as well as Holiday Turkey, which offers all the comforting flavors of Thanksgiving.
It seems that Earl of Sandwich could not have picked a better time coming to our shores. Sandwiches are locally perceived as “healthy food,” and Filipinos across all demographics have become more conscious of what they eat. Aside from the hot sandwiches, other menu options such as wraps, salads, even pasta, most definitely fall under the “healthier than lechon kawali” category.
Cherry and Blueberry New York Cheesecakes
Local franchisee Sun-Mars Food Corporation—an affiliate of the F & C Group—adds Earl of Sandwich to its restaurant portfolio which includes Sbarro and Buca di Beppo. The owners were pleasantly surprised to see that the market is not as price-sensitive as they initially assumed. While cheaper items such as the tuna melt and grilled cheese were pegged to be their fast movers, those are being outsold by the pricier Full Montagu (roast beef, turkey ham, cheddar, Swiss cheese, lettuce, Roma tomato, mustard sauce). Proof, perhaps, that Earl of Sandwich has hit the sweet spot with its pricing.
You can ignore the cute legend and still have a pure appreciation of the brand, simply because there are good sandwiches to be found at Earl of Sandwich. Yes, there are prettier ones. There are more elaborate ones with luxurious fillings and condiments made by overpaid chefs. But, oftentimes, when the craving for a sandwich hits, you’ll discover you want it simple and good and hot. Now, you know where to find it.
Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong