Meat and Bread = Delicious and Addictive
370 Cambie Street, Vancouver, Canada
I have been to the Meat and Bread sandwich shop three times now, and not just because the guys who work there are handsome and charming. Their sandwiches are literally to die for: luscious, juicy, moist meat, bursting and dripping with flavour, piled high on heavenly, fluffy, soft ciabatta bread, served on mini, homey cutting boards lined with a sheet of wax paper.
Meat and Bread is famous for two scrumptious items: their porchetta sandwich and their maple bacon ice cream sandwich. Naturally, I had to try both. Their porchetta is hard to miss, every time that I’ve walked into Meat and Bread, front and center on a chopping board at the main sandwich assembly station is a freshly roasted porchetta with its deliciously glistening crispy skin, pink, tender roasted center, stuffed full with herbs and spices. Sometimes the guys behind the counter will offer bits of roasted porchetta skin to customers: the perfect hot, salty and crunchy nibble during these cold Vancouver days. The porchetta meat is diced, skin included and piled generously on Meat and Bread’s famously soft ciabatta bread. A fellow foodie buddy of mine has said that nothing ruins a sandwich like bad bread. Meat and Bread has certainly concocted the perfect ciabatta bread recipe: rustic rectangular loaves of firm crusty outsides and soft, spongy insides. The salty, herb seasoned cubes of fatty pork, cushioned between two slices of soft bread has now become my biggest lunch craving.
I ate the maple bacon ice cream on my second visit, which happened to be an extremely, cold, windy and snowy Vancouver day but I wasn’t going to let that stop me! There is just something whimsical but seductive about mixing such a savoury and salty item like bacon into a rich sweet maple flavoured ice cream that I had to try it. I definitely was not disappointed, even if I had to keep my toque on while eating it! There were real bits of bacon inside the ice cream, little bursts of delicious saltiness brought out the nutty and smooth richness of the maple in the ice cream. I am also in love with the fact that Meat and Bread uses waffles to sandwich the ice cream instead of cookies, it’s original, tasty and practical. The thin waffles stood up to the ice cream, and didn’t get soggy like traditional ice cream sandwiches.
Also on my second visit to Meat and Bread, I ordered their daily special, braised lamb shoulder with radish, harissa and black olive aioli. The tender and moist pieces of lamb, coated in aioli melted in my mouth. The hint of spiciness in the harissa balanced out the flavour of the meat without upstaging it.
On my most recent visit to Meat and Bread, I finally tried their grilled cheese. Served on regular sandwich bread with gruyère cheese and sweet and colourful, carmelized onions, Meat and Bread’s grilled cheese is just as amazing as their other headliner meat sandwiches. Prepared in a panini press, their grilled cheese sandwich proudly sports the trendy grill stripes that are stylish and appetizing, and the piping hot, melted, gooey, salty cheese is only enhanced by the sweet, juicy crunch of the onions.
The last sandwich I devoured at Meat and Bread was their meatball sandwich with large shavings of Parmesan cheese on top of moist meatballs chock full of ingredients from herbs and spices to vegetables, adding texture and colour to the meat.
Also worthy to note is that the service at Meat and Bread is impeccable, the guys behind the counter make sure they assemble your sandwich to your preference, valuing customer care, attention to detail but also providing speedy, efficient service. Full points for ambiance too, although minimal in decor, the long table in the shop gives the dining area an intimate but casual feel.
Meat and Bread has definitely become one of my regular lunch spots, and I have yet to try their soups and other daily specials!