If you’re rushing from one Isle of Lewis tourist spot to the next – and there are plenty sites to see – you might just miss the road-side sign for 40 North Foods.
Based in the small village of Bragar, this small independent take-away business operates out of an old loom shed, and boasts culinary creations straight from the croft. The mantra here is ‘Made at 40’: not only are all menu options homemade, but the ingredients are nearly all local, resulting in a quality you can taste when you take that first bite.
Since 40 North opened in the summer of 2011, it has slowly been building up a steady following, with regulars making their way across the island for their foodie fix at 40 North. I’m one of them: if I ever find myself anywhere that can be considered remotely near Bragar, I can find a reason to make a lunchtime detour to 40 North.
The fresh, filling and oh-so-flavoursome sandwiches are my go-to here (maple and honey chicken with caramelized onion on caraway bread was one of my most recent choices) but my eyes are nearly always too big for my stomach. I’ll order a sandwich and then leave with some extras: a spicy pakora or a venison sausage roll; a salmon spring roll or a doorstep-sized slice of vegetable quiche.
And then there’s the ice cream, which I only discovered this summer. I haven’t tasted ice cream this good outside of Italy: it’s the real old fashioned stuff, homemade with custard, hand-churned, and deliciously, wonderfully, sweet and creamy.
As well as the deli selection and sandwiches on offer at the counter, there is a fully-fledged takeaway menu available for customers to call in and order from (think pizzas, pies, and pastas), and a weekend ‘specials’ menu that is so popular it requires an order to be placed soon after it’s revealed on Facebook.
Every time I visit I’m impressed all over again by the food: the options, the flavours, the quality. It’s all ‘made at 40’ here – and you would be mad to miss it!