12 Oct2011

Braised Lamb’s Neck with grilled vegetables, aoili, sprouts on crusty bread. THAT is the reason we had MEAT & BREAD on our list of places to visit in Vancouver on our recent trip. Located on the fringes of “Gastown”, a historical district, we figured we would stroll around the neighborhood and take in a sandwich when we got hungry. This was the same day we did the Granville Public Market and JAPADOG visits and we started our expedition to Gastown at 3pm, so you can imagine that working up an appetite was a bit hard despite having walked some 6-7 miles by then…

A modest sized establishment done in a very spartan black and white theme, with stainless steel and wood accents, this place was definitely something I could relate to. They only offered a few sandwiches, a soup and salad daily, and that’s it. More surprisingly, they only opened at 11am and closed at 5pm. Yikes. How does one make money or even pay the rent and staff with hours like that? With a large communal table and a few tables for two, they couldn’t have accommodated more than 30 at a time. I gather a lot of folks buy their sandwiches to take out.

Simple industrial lamps, new wooden (or were they veneer?) flooring, worn brick walls with distressed white paint…

…a large functional kithcen with nice rectangular white tiles on the walls, stainless steel tables and industrial induction cookers and one oven off to the right…

…and a menu board that is SHOCKINGLY sparse. I like places like this. They do a few items well and that’s it. Take it or leave it. They either do it good and survive the competitive food scene or they die quickly. I wish Manila and Cebu had more places like this…

The sandwich was delicious. The melt in your mouth tender lamb’s neck was braised in a tomato based sauce, but they broke it up into nice big meaty chunks. I found it even more appealing than properly cooked osso buco. Piled on some grilled vegetables and pea sprouts and slathered the crusty bread with mayonnaise. Lamb’s neck is incredibly tender after slow cooking and it has just the right level of lamby-ness, probably dictated by the age of the lamb…

Mrs. Marketman ordered this “apple cider” drink which turned out to be fully alcoholic, just like a beer. It was good, just unexpected. Paired nicely with the sandwich; I drank most of it. :)

MEAT & BREAd is actually most famous for it’s porchetta or roasted pork belly sandwich. A large belly and possibly a loin of pork inserted within is slathered with their salsa verde and slowly roasted in an oven until it has a golden crackling not unlike lechon. They slice the porchetta very thinly, almost shredding it and place it on a crusty ciabatta with a dollop of salsa verde…

The precious crackling is carefully apportioned to each sandwich…

…and a tray of crackling was kept under the oven, presumably to keep it warm and crisp.

The sandwiches are made to order, so the bread doesn’t get soggy. Then quickly wrapped up in waxed paper and bagged for take out. If dining in, they place the sandwiches on a wooden plank with a dollop of mustard. Very nice. Loved the place. Will have to try my hand at doing a similar lamb’s neck sandwich soon. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. millet says:

    oh, joy! but i would be looking for rice to go with the porchetta!

    Oct 12, 2011 | 6:27 pm

     
  2. Joseph (Vancouver) says:

    It’s funny, it looks like there’s a Pinoy na-extra in your picture of the menu. Meat and bread is one of the specialized sandwich shops that have recently sprung up in Vancouver, along with a number of ramen shops and Neopolitan pizza places. Just like in the Phils, pag nag-click dami gumagaya. But I think its better for us. More choices for sure.

    Oct 12, 2011 | 6:40 pm

     
  3. Joseph (Vancouver) says:

    BTW, love the shot of the biker passing in front of the shop. Did you plan that shot seeing a biker is driving by or did it just happen?

    Oct 12, 2011 | 6:59 pm

     
  4. betty q. says:

    One of my mentors told me ages ago that should I open a place one day, have 1 or 2 products that no one else has or specialize in them that people will flock to your place for they know that is where they can only get what they are seeking. The best ad is also word of mouth…Sandwich places like Meat and Bread cater to office people around downtown and wise to close at 5 pm for I will think twice about going there to eat sandwich at night unless I am around in the area.

    I know a very successful Vietnamese lady who has a little corner tucked in a Vietnamese grocery store close to where I used to work at VPD. All she made and sold were Vietnamese sandwiches and she sold 240 sandwiches per day and sells out by 4 to 5 pm. each day. She is close to retiring and I asked her when she retires to teach me what she makes (she makes everything herself like the Vietnamese headcheese and white ham and etc.) for which she agreed!

    Oct 12, 2011 | 9:51 pm

     
  5. natie says:

    simple and delicious, just like the panino con bollito in the Mercato Centrale, in Florence…!! you have got to have a very good sandwich in your restaurants, MM…the green sauce makes the difference.

    Oct 12, 2011 | 10:46 pm

     
  6. lee says:

    the first photo is amazing. Nice lighting and composition!

    Oct 12, 2011 | 10:58 pm

     
  7. JE says:

    Thought that was a lemon up there. Looks very appetizing, and I echo the sentiment of places having few items being very appealing; sometimes variety just means lack of focus.

    Oct 12, 2011 | 11:17 pm

     
  8. la emperor says:

    This I got to try one of these days. hmm…. perhaps, the lurkers of this blog who are working in downtown Vancouver will join me this Friday after work. With the weather forecast being reasonable, this is good reason for us to stretch our legs.

    Oct 13, 2011 | 12:48 am

     
  9. betty q. says:

    La Emperor….how about the lurkers of this blog stretch our legs all the way to where you are one of these days and bring different sandwich fillings …like instead of lamb neck, beef neck cooked like mechado, ADOBO, or anything barbecued…..thinly sliced boneless short rib like Korean ribs, slow roasted pork, chicken,…NO CHICKEN SALAD, EGG SALAD OR BLT, etc. I know where to get the ciabatta…bring enough also to make baon for everyone the next day!

    Oct 13, 2011 | 1:48 am

     
  10. natie says:

    oh, my…That sounds so GOOD!!!

    Oct 13, 2011 | 4:12 am

     
  11. wolverine says:

    La Emp, like yours, BettyQ’s offer is hard to resist :). I’ll try to make myself available to both events.

    Oct 13, 2011 | 7:07 am

     
  12. ami says:

    MM, did you get to explore the sights around Gastown such as the steam clock?

    Oct 13, 2011 | 8:09 am

     
  13. Laura says:

    We checked out Gastown too when we were in Vancouver. We ate a late lunch at Water St. Cafe which was just across the touristy steam clock. So many restaurants to try (I bet most of them are good) not enough time. Our meal at Water St. Cafe was very good. We were looking for the Salt Tasting Room where they serve artisanal cheeses but it was located in an alley that we didn’t feel safe (just from the looks of it). I was also looking for the Terra Cotta modern Chinese restaurant & the Brioche Urban Baking. Both sounded interesting…oh well maybe next time :-)

    Oct 13, 2011 | 10:43 am

     
  14. PITS, MANILA says:

    THAT LOOKS SO GOOD! REGULAR SANDWICH OR OPEN-FACED. THOSE ARE A LOT OF KNIVES …

    Oct 13, 2011 | 12:45 pm

     
  15. Lambchop says:

    The breads look gorgeous! Argghh now I’ve a hankering for a crusty sandwich

    Oct 15, 2011 | 5:35 pm

     
  16. Ros-Anna says:

    Sorry La Emperor, am only reading this now but just say when – – – I have to try their Porchetta.

    bettyq, what an excellent suggestion. La Emperor is one gracious host ;-)

    Oct 17, 2011 | 2:56 am

     
  17. BessYS says:

    Hi MM

    We’re here in Vancouver, BC. We went to Meat and Bread earlier and I ordered their Lamb neck , my husband had Meatballs. Unfortunately, they ran out of Porchetta. :(
    They closed early bec. of a wedding reception. ;-)

    I love the Lamb sandwich! and the Meatballs? – Huge in size and taste! Very good!
    People working at Meat and Bread are very nice too – a big plus.

    We’ll go to Granville Island Market tomorrow ( Oyama’s) Japadog? we’ll try it too. I bought a
    cross-body leather bag and a male Roots jacket for my husband from Roots Canada store.

    Btw, we’re from CA.; took the plane from SJC to Seattle WA. and Amtrak Cascades to
    Vancouver BC. Next up, we’ll be in Seattle after a couple of days here. I have all your readers suggestions ( I didnt see yours ) to have and try while in Seattle.

    Thanks for sharing all your travels with us. Take care!

    Nov 6, 2011 | 2:16 pm

     
 

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