Q: How do you make a Sausage Roll. A: Push it down a hill. So goes the old English joke anyway, probably lost on many of you reading this right now. You see a sausage roll is actually an English snack food: sausage meat wrapped in a light flaky pastry and baked. Sausage rolls are just one of a few English treats available at Elizabeth’s Bakery and Tea Shop.
Elizabeth’s has long been on my radar, what with practically living off baked pies, pasties and such stuff during my high school and college years. I was especially intrigued by their proud claims of all the baked goods being made fresh in-house. If I recall correctly, the baker-in-chief is a UK ex-pat.
Elizabeth’s is located right next to the English Market, the English import store on 7th East opposite Trolley Square. Inside Elizabeth’s is a relatively sparse affair. The back of the eatery features long display cases of cakes and the like. Simple tables fill the relatively small space, while exposed brick supports the seemingly endless array of teapots that circle the dining space:
I wasn’t sure what to expect initially from Elizabeth’s; quick, simple food with no fuss seemed to be the order of the day. You place your order at the counter, are given a number, and then seat yourself while you wait for your food to come up. The staff were relatively young, very eager and friendly. We took a seat by the window and were pleasantly surprised as our selections began to appear relatively quickly.
Since our last trip to the UK, Wendi is an ardent fan of the traditional “Cream Tea”, so she decided to try Elizabeth’s version, a pot of Tea with Scones, Clotted Cream, and Jam ($6.95):
Wendi went with a pot of Earl Grey from the decent selection of teas. The scones were heavy traditional English affairs (Wendi’s note – like most of my fellow native Utahns, I think of fry bread when I think of scones, but “real” scones are baked, sort of like Bisquick biscuits, but sweeter and denser). Provided with the scones was clotted cream and jam. Wendi gave the thumbs up to scones.
A quick side note, Elizabeth’s doesn’t provide what many would consider a traditional afternoon tea, which consists of a pot of tea, petite crust-less sandwiches (usually cucumber, salmon, and egg), a small array of cakes, and a scone or two. Some of the options are available on their own. Some find afternoon tea to be the quintessential English experience, and omitting it from the menu seems like a great marketing opportunity missed.
To drink, I opted for a glass of Ribena ($1.75), a fruity English cordial. To the bemusement of a couple of staff members, I decided I would take it upon myself to taste a good selection of Elizabeth’s savoury baked goods. As such, I went with three items, namely, the Sausage Roll ($2.50):
As mentioned earlier, a sausage roll is a quite common English snack food. Something you can pick up, on the go, and happily munch on whilst going about your business. Elizabeth’s take on this was quite good. The sausage meat was nicely seasoned and the pastry was flaky and light. It was a little on the greasy side, but that is common to be fair.
The Meat Beef and Onion Pie ($5.95) was what I was most looking forward to:
Unlike their sweeter American counterparts, pies in the UK are savoury affairs. A quick confession, I myself come from a small town in the UK where the locals are affectionately referred to by the rest of the country as “pie eaters”, mainly due to the predominance of pie shops at every turn. (Wendi’s other note – Yay! Wigan!) Instead of 7-Elevens dotting the American landscape, think the equivalent number of pie shops when visualizing my home town. Anyway, my point being, I know a thing or two about pies…
Sadly, I wasn’t very impressed with this particular version. The flavour just wasn’t right for me personally, nor was the cut and texture of the meat. I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what, but something was certainly missing. They also offer a Steak & Lamb Kidney pie plus a Chicken and Mushroom pie. I’d certainly give these a whirl on a return visit.
I was far more impressed with Elizabeth’s Cornish Pasty ($5.95):
Cornish Pasties (PA-STEE, not PAY-STREE) are one of those foodstuffs much like sushi rice and Greek retsina wine, items that evolve strangely over their life. Essentially a Cornish Pasty is a thicker shortcrust pastry encasing basic fillings of potato, vegetables and minced beef. The pasty started life as a miners meal, the outer pastry shell protecting the innards from the mess and dust of the mine. Over the years, the protective outer pastry shell was also eaten, giving way to today’s Cornish pasty.
Elizabeth’s rendition of the venerable pasty was quite nice. The pastry was rich and the fillings of potato, swede and beef were hearty with a pleasing kick of black pepper. The only problem I had with eating all this baked pastry, was that it was all a little dry. My suggestion would be to get some real English gravy on the menu, poured over the sausage roll or pasty would be great. The menu does list baked beans as a side mind you ($1.25).
In addition to the baked goods, Elizabeth’s offers a sizeable selection of Cakes and Pastries, all appetizingly on display:
Moreover you can grab a quick “sarny” (sandwich), fresh quiche, beans on toast, crumpets and more. Elizabeth’s isn’t without the odd fault or two (e.g. you pay before you receive your food, making additional food and drink orders laborious) but with the low pricing, eager staff and comfortable setting, Elizabeth’s could make for a fun place for a quick snack on the run. Especially if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary compared to the regular run of the mill burger and burrito joints or just a nice afternoon snack.
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I am not aware of a website for Elizabeth’s Bakery & Tea Shop. They are located at 575 S 700 E, Salt Lake City, UT. Their telephone number is (801) 433 1170.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
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