Today, I had my lunchtime sandwich from Fresh: The Baguette Bar in the Royal Arcade, Cardiff. Freshly-made sandwiches and a huge variety of fillings is their thing. There were around 30 baguette fillings (over 10 of those being vegetarian). In addition, there were nearly 20 panini fillings, and a range of salad bowl options. An appetizing selection of cakes, Millionaires shortbread, brownies and flapjacks are on display.
The Baguette Specials include Chicken and Bacon Caesar; Cajun Chicken with BBQ sauce; Pastrami, Salami, roasted Onions, mild mustard mayo and lettuce; Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese with Mustard and Dill sauce and salad; and Greek Feta Cheese with homemade sundried tomato and fresh basil pesto, olives and salad. I went for the Malaysian Chicken Satay in a multi-seed brown baguette with a coffee (one of the most expensive baguettes; total bill £5.15). The bread was indeed very fresh, and it was a sweet spicy treat.
Fresh does a lot in a very small space. A spiral staircase goes up to the kitchen on the floor above. There is no internal seating, but there is a table and some seats outside in the covered Arcade.
Fresh was Sandwich/Snack Bar of the Year 2006 in the South Wales Echo Food and Drinks Awards. The husband and wife team behind Fresh have kept up standards. The place is friendly, efficient, has loyal regulars, and is obviously a popular alternate to a cheese and pickle from Greggs.
Fresh should not be confused with Ffresh [Welsh spelling], the popular café in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.
Fresh: the Baguette Bar
32 Royal Arcade, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AE
(029) 2022 3158 (telephone orders before 10.30am)