It could be said that at one point, Pickles and Potter had become something of a victim of its own success. Queues could be seen curling well out of the door of the deli and trailing down the insides of the Queens Arcade, with hungry punters salivating in anticipation of some of the best homemade sandwiches in town. Times have changed however, with the shop expanding to cater for the Leeds lunchers with extra time on their hands. Now we can all sit down and enjoy the full range of sandwiches and hot and cold foodstuffs, along with a nice cup of tea or bottle of juice in the homely dining room.
I always find that I get hungrier when I know that the place I’m about to eat at is really quite good, and that is exactly what I found happening to me as I waited in line to place my order on a recent visit to the newly-expanded premises. As I stood, surrounded by other twitchy eaters, I felt my hands getting sweaty and my eyes darting about in my head — taking in the different sorts of homemade tiffin resting on the counter, the piles of cheeses teasing me from beneath the glass and the bowls of salads glistening in the light — not to mention the abundance of meats and chutneys jostling for my attention.
The place is a veritable orgy of good, wholesome, fresh ingredients and you only need to glance around you to realise this. There really is something verging on debauched about the sheer variety of treats on offer — as the painting in the back room of the extroverted owner Lorna wearing nothing but fruit and veg aptly proves.
I was awoken from my gluttonous daze by the charming counter girl who seemed more than happy to whip up a sandwich feast for me and my eating chum. We opted for two sandwiches from the blackboard — me going for the award winning beef (£3.90), and my friend for the roast ham (£3.80), along with a cloudy lemonade (£1.75) and a filter coffee (£1.85). Soon we were sitting at a big wooden table, among other happy diners, my friend making polite conversation as I drummed, wide-eyed on the table, maddeningly jealous of the smug people who were already enjoying the delights on their plates.
We weren’t waiting long though before the objects of my hunger-lust were placed before us, spilling off the plates with fresh salad and I was digging my teeth into some of the best beef in Leeds. If there is a better sandwich in existence than rare roast beef with thick slices of mature cheddar, rocket leaves, mustard, horseradish and red onion marmalade on herby, oily, toasted foccacia, then I’ll happily eat it, and my hat too. My pal made similar squealings about her ham — but I wasn’t really listening — I was too busy enjoying my beef. So if you’re serious about food, and you want your tastebuds to be mesmerised on a lunchtime, then I highly recommend you make your way down to Pickles and Potter for some food porn.
18-20 Queens Arcade, 0113 242 7702