Review: Wright's Cafe, Bury - 'Elevating the simple sarnie to an artform'
- Credit: Mark Heath
Our food reviewer Mark Heath visited Wright's Cafe in Bury St Edmunds for a Wednesday lunch with his mum Gill. Here's what they made of it...
Ah, the simple sandwich.
I'd argue the humble sarnie is among the greatest inventions of all time. Sure, wheels are great and the internet is useful, but have you ever had a Really Good Sandwich? My case rests, your honour.
Still, I doubt that when visionary John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, decided to slap meat between bread so he didn't have to rise from his gambling table back in 1762, even he couldn't have foreseen just what a gift he was giving to the world.
More than 250 years later, it was in search of a Really Good Sandwich that mum and I headed to Wright's Café in Bury, an eatery fast elevating the simple sarnie to an artform.
And when I say art, I mean it - Wright's range of cheese toasties are very Instagram-friendly, almost as important for a café or restaurant nowadays as a good review.
We headed in for a late-ish lunch (2pm) on a Wednesday, and were greeted with a bustling, busy café, which is always a good sign.
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Wright's is housed in what was, for many years, the Pizza Hut premises in Bury, a short walk from the Cattle Market car park or Waitrose, should you need to collect some organic quinoa or 24-times pressed extra, extra, extra virgin olive oil on your trip.
It operates both a takeaway and eat-in service - the takeaway is immediately inside the door, while the tables are set further back. There's plenty of room, and we were duly guided to a pleasant booth to consider our options.
Having already surveyed the menu online, I'd decided I wanted either the Suffolk Reuben sandwich, the crumpet with potted brown shrimp or the caramelised banana French toast.
It was somewhat crushing then, to be told all three were sold out. Again though, a good sign - and next time I'll make sure I go earlier!
In the end, I went for the Bloody-Mary infused beef short rib sandwich from their fine range of 'Posh cheese toasties', while mum went for the plum, brie and rocket sarnie, having been advised by our waitress that the shakshuka (Turkish-style baked eggs) she had her eye on were pretty spicy, and thus likely to leave her shakshaken. See what I've done there?
We both ordered a side of skin-on fries, while drinks-wise mum opted for a Stella and I went for a Bundaberg ginger beer. It must be noted at this point that the drinks menu is long and varied - from wines, beers and ciders to cocktails and soft drinks, there is an outstanding range of options.
In due course our sarnies arrived, looking as spectacular as social media had led me to believe they would.
Mine, according to the menu, was 'Jacobs ladder infused with Bloody Mary spices and slow cooked in a tomato passata with mozzarella and cheddar melted cheese.'
Just re-read that all and let it sink in. Like I said before, John Montagu is a bloody hero.
As well as looking good, it ate really well too. Delicious hunks of beef, falling apart but being kept together by melted cheese, sweetness from the passata, crunch from the toasted sourdough bread and bits of burned cheese. Good lord!
Mum's was cracking too, the sweetness of the homemade spiced plum chutney working so well with the brie, cheddar and crunchy textures described above.
Friends, these were indeed Really Good Sandwiches. Our fries were great too - and such a generous portion for £3 that one could easily share a single serving.
Cheese toasties consumed - don't think about the calories - it was time for that other staple of good cafes, coffee and cake.
As previously discussed in my review ramblings, I'm a sucker for a Victoria Sponge, so that was once again my choice.
Mum opted for the wonderfully-named passion cake which, despite the name, did not in fact contain passion fruit.
What it did contain was a whole bunch of flavour - think a cracking, moist carrot cake, but with added fruit. Absolutely delicious.
In contrast, my Vicky Sponge was a bit dry, but I guess it was now pretty late in the day, coming up on 3pm.
We washed both down with a couple of decent lattes, and our meal was complete. We'd eaten well - so well, in fact, that mum felt compelled to clamber aboard her exercise bike upon her return home. Like I say, try not to think about the calories....
A word, before I depart, about the range of food on offer at Wright's. Those cheese toasties are what will grab the headlines - and the pictures - but aside from that there's an excellent brunch menu, plus a rotisserie oven if you fancy a big feed.
Our meal came to £38, which, for the quality of the food, plus four drinks, I thought was excellent value.
The sarnies are £7 if you eat in, or £6 if you choose to take one away. Another nice touch.
Oh, and one final point - Wright's is open for evening dining on Friday and Saturday nights, with an absolutely tremendous-looking menu of small plates and sharing boards.
It's my duty to return, I'm sure you'll agree.
Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.