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20 November 2012

A Hot Bed of Hot Breads: Firebox Review

Update (2015): Alas, Firebox closed down in 2013.

Tucked away on one of those unassuming King's Cross streets, south of the Euston Road, but not quite as far as the Brunswick Centre, is an interesting new cafe/political project called Firebox. A place where you can sit and plot your next demonstration or host your next leftie book launch, while you enjoy your Molotov Mocktail. I just wish I had known not to wear pink that day, because Firebox is as red as, well, the Red Square.

Firebox London

For an autumnal Friday lunchtime, Firebox was bustling, and there was definitely an interesting crowd--we figured some of the more studious types had wandered over from UCL or even the British Library. They only opened about six weeks ago and they still have a few kinks to work out. We showed up for lunch on Friday and there was a bit of a queue. By the time we got to the front, we discovered that most of the 'hot bread' sandwiches that constitute the bulk of the lunch menu were sold out. A shame, because interesting, indoor purveyors of light lunch near King's Cross are still relatively hard to come by and I was looking forward to either the mozzarella, prosciutto and tomato option, or the mozarella, sun-dried tomato and pesto. Instead, the cheerful, efficient hot bread-ista offered to make me something based on the small overlap between the set of ingredients that I like and the set of ingredients they had. The bread was nice, but the sandwich didn't taste as good with cheddar, and the tomatoes weren't very premium. I probably should have had the Spanish omelette or the veggie special of the day, a daal with rice. The food was reasonably priced--most items on the menu were around £4 to eat in.

The 'Moscow Mocha'

As well as your standard coffee drinks, Firebox offers a few leftie-themed options. I'm not entirely sure why the mocha with Nutella merited the title 'Moscow Mocha' (it was probably the optional red chilli powder), but I can never say no to Nutella, and it was pretty good. Next time, I may try the hot ginger beer, and to do due diligence, I ought to test out the coffee too.

You can wear any colour you like, as long as it's red

.It's the kind of light, airy cafe where you could get a few hours of work done--they have free wifi and a student discount--and you can also rent out some of the space for meetings. Although the menu isn't yet on their website, they do have their event calendar up there, so next time you have some time to kill near King's Cross and the Brewhouse on York is that bit too far to go, check out Firebox.

Firebox. 106-108 Cromer Street, London, WC1H 8BZ (Tube: King's Cross). Website. Twitter.

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