Confession one: between Vancouver, B.C., Seattle and Portland, Vancouver is my favorite Cascadian city (sorry Seattle).
Confession two: I generally try to stick to a fairly strict vegetarian diet, but I broke my rules to eat at Capitol Hill’s latest sandwich shop,
Meat & Bread.
Originally from Vancouver, B.C., Meat & Bread is wildly popular up in our neighboring country of Canada. But as you might expect, it’s not exactly the most vegan-friendly (or gluten-free-friendly) restaurant on the hill.
Still, the sandwich shop is no stranger to Seattle style. Owner Frankie Harrington thinks of Seattle as “a second home,” he told Eater Seattle.
With its everchanging menu, Meat & Bread gives customers lots of appetizing options they are sure to never get bored with.
Much to the excitement of Vancouverites and Seattleites who are familiar with Meat & Bread, the menu will be similar to that of its northern twin.
An appropriate way to sum up Meat & Bread’s menu—and general attitude—is with the Lou Reed quote they have posted on the wall of their Seattle restaurant: “One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you like jazz.”
Meat & Bread clearly brings a minimalist approach to their menu: they only offer four sandwiches on their menu, one of which is vegetarian (for the friend you drag in who has no interest in meat). They also have porchetta, meatball, and the daily special sandwich available.
Upon entering the sandwich shop, I was greeted by chefs with huge smiles on their faces, similar to that of the one on the hostess who welcomed me when I first walked up the steps. I wandered over to the counter to order my sandwich, where they also offer side soups and salads.
After ordering, I walked to the register to pay. Here, they offer a small selection of drinks: soda, beer and small cartons of Stumptown’s iced coffee. Customers can also pick up one of their specially made maple-bacon chocolate bars if their heart so desires.
My heart so desired. I went for the whole package (not including a soup or salad): a meatball sandwich, a root beer and a maple-bacon chocolate bar. The total came out to be about the equivalent of a meal at Hawk’s Nest Bistro, but the food looked much better.
I perched myself at a wooden table and dove into my meaty sandwich, which was served on a wooden cutting board. I wonder if their full name is “Meat & Bread, featuring wood,” as they also have a wood floor and wooden countertops, a staple they should be known for, as I have not seen that much wood pulled off so beautifully.
Eating the meatball sandwich was almost like eating an elegant Sloppy Joe. The sandwich’s contents—meatballs, lemon arugula and cheese—spilled out onto my cutting board. But don’t worry, enough of the contents stayed in that I was still able to confirm its unparalleled tastiness. I had to give it to them: Meat & Bread knew exactly which ingredients would compliment the meat that I would otherwise not be consuming.
Halfway through my sandwich, I took a break from the protein and sodium to eat my maple-bacon chocolate bar. The bacon was applewood-smoked and mixed with caramel. But that’s not all: this caramel was sitting on top of a toasted almond and milk chocolate nougat, slathered in 63% dark chocolate, with a small bit of smoked sea salt sprinkled on top.
Yes, it is as delightfully delicious as it sounds.
I have to admit, though, as I was finishing the sandwich I felt that the amount of meat was a little bit too much for my stomach. (Rest assured, I still finished it off despite needing a good amount of self-serve water and a cap of Pepto Bismol).
But hey, if a non-meat lover and a rare meat eater can enjoy a sandwich from Meat & Bread, a carnivore sure to fall in love.