Meat and Bread offers exactly that, and then some

Culture Food | Drink
Adrian Paradis (photo)
Adrian Paradis (photo)

You might wonder just how good such a simple concept can be. A few slabs of protein between two pieces of carb can only be so tasty, right? Chef Joe Sartor can prove you wrong. After a long-anticipated wait, Meat and Bread’s Victoria location is finally open for business.

After some major renovations to the space between The Patch, and Interactivity Board Game Café, the third location of the franchise is now beautifully bedecked in an excess of laminated wood and long family-style dining tables.

Offering up a humble selection of two standard sandwiches, a daily special, and a weekly vegetarian option, Meat and Bread is keeping sandwiches simple while doing them right. “Everything is made in house,” says Sartor, “except for the bread which we get from Crust Bakery around the corner.”

Sandwiches have no more than a few ingredients; however, what is included speaks volumes. Crust’s bread lives up to its namesake as it works fantastically as a vessel for the fatty pork in the porchetta sandwich ($8) I had. Salsa verde and crispy golden cracklin make up the remaining chosen few ingredients.

After the porchetta is freshly carved and the bread freshly sliced, your sandwich of choice is presented to you on an elegant wooden cutting board and served with a dollop of mustard.

Sliding your board down the long wooden chef’s counter, you’re presented with an option of the daily soup or salad for a measly $4 more. On my visit, a quinoa beet salad was also on the menu, and honestly, this place could have been called Quinoa and Beet and I would have been just as happy. Golden beets were mixed in a flavour-packed salad with crunchy red onion and green herbs.

Having been only open since Sept. 22, Meat and Bread is already a thriving business. “We didn’t do any advertising,” says Sartor, “but we’ve been really busy.” With similar protein-starch model restaurants close by, such as Pig and Hank’s Untraditional BBQ, I asked Sartor if he was concerned about the competition and he confidently replied, “Not at all.”

Sartor helped to open the previous Cambie Street and Pender Street locations in Vancouver, both of which met huge success. The signature sandwich of the previous locations, the porchetta that I had the privilege of trying, has now been brought over to the new location with equal acclaim.

Despite the fact that the business only serves lunch, it seems as though the new Meat and Bread will become a quick staple of the Victoria restaurant scene.