Meat & Bread – Seriously Overhyped?
I don’t get it… It’s difficult to go on Urbanspoon without seeing all of the people who rave about Meat & Bread. I think it might be due to the Anthony Bourdain Effect (or the Guy Fieri Effect if you’re more into Triple D). People like the idea of finding interesting eateries in strange locations. And it doesn’t get much sketchier than the Victory Square area of Vancouver.
Don’t get me wrong, I like watching those shows too… but I feel like all of the hype about Meat & Bread is a little misplaced.
Meat & Bread is a very specialized shop… they only sell about 4 different sandwiches… most costing about $8 without any sides. Despite the fairly simple food they serve, their sandwiches are only mediocre at best.
We decided to try their signature Porchetta sandwich and their Daily Special, the Braised Beef with Sauteed Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions.
I remember that I used to make a sandwich like the Porchetta when I was a kid but I used to use plain white bread and leftover Chinese roasted pork. All of the sandwiches at Meat & Bread are served on a rectacular ciabatta bun… not really spectacular and a bit chewy and hard to bite through. The porchetta itself was pretty dry and the “crackling” skin was nothing to write home about… some of the skin pieces seemed to be a little more chewy rather than crispy (usually a sign that it’s been sitting in it’s own oil a little too long). If you want to try a really good version of this, go down to Chinatown and pick up some fresh siu yuk at the butcher’s shop – the meat’s way better and the skin is super crispy.
The Braised Beef was quite messy but tasted better than the Porchetta. My main beef about this sandwich (pun intended) was that the braised beef really wasn’t that tender. There were a couple of large pieces of braised beef that were hard to bite through which made this sandwich pretty messy to eat. The slaw was a nice touch but it did add to the level of fall-in-your-lap-messiness.
If you’re looking for a popular dive that’s more about buzz than great food, this is probably the place to go.
Food: 2.5 / 5
Service: 2.5 / 5
370 Cambie Street