By Tana Kosiyabong
I had my eyes on Meat & Bread, a new fancy sandwich shop on the edge of Gastown long before they even open. While the space were renovating, I thought the place was going to be a high-end butcher shop that also sells bread. What a weird concept!
About a month ago, however, I happened to walk past Meat & Bread during their grand opening. So I went inside to check it out and soon realized that it is actually a gourmet sandwich shop. I felt like an idiot standing in the faux meat packing factory. The hanging sandbag at the far end of the shop reminded me of a cow carcass waiting to be cut. A couple of trophy animal heads completed the décor. Somehow, the interior designer had skillfully turned the gross, negative vibe associated with a slaughter house into a cool and hip sandwich shop.
According to the menu board, the sandwiches are priced around 7-8 dollars. Judging from the size of the sandwiches I saw, however, they were pricey. I could have bought two Subway six-inchers with that amount of money. Unable to justify my spending, I decided to call off my Cheap Appetite Mission.
A few weeks later, I realized that I still have $46 budget left for the last four missions of 2010. Perhaps I can afford a few fancy meals for the variety of the blog. Meat & Bread was the first that came to mind because I couldn’t stop thinking about their pricey sandwiches since my first visit.
So I went back to the fancy sandwich shop and ordered myself a meatball sub ($7 plus HST). One of the staff made my sandwich to order with their fresh baked bread. He first layered the sambal sauce on the bottom; added the meatballs and marinara sauce; then topped it with italian herbs and spices, and some shaved parmesan cheese.
The only annoying thing was that the meatballs somehow got chopped up before added to the sandwich (I didn’t pay attention while the staff made my sandwich). I don’t know about you, but I like my meatballs round, not like Rosanne’s loose beef sandwiches. I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth those balls of joy.
Meat & Bread meatball sub was served on a wood cutting board with some mustard and sambal sauce on the side. Thanks to its pretty presentation, I got a lot of great shots to show you. The sandwich was slightly bigger than my eyeglass case (as seen on the photo below). In order to fill up my stomach, I’d need at least a bowl of soup to go with the sub ($4). Even though I have enough money left to splurge, I didn’t feel appropriate to spend eleven bucks on my lunch. So I decided not to do so. After I finished the photoshoot, it was time for the taste test.
Mamma Mia! The first bite was delicious. The bread was slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The meatball flavor profile was sophisticated. Various Italian herbs complemented the tangy marinara sauce really well. The spicy sambal sauce gave out consistent kicks on my taste buds. Fortunately these little twits love to be tortured. The hot sauce was definitely a great surprise in the meatball sub. Who would have thought the traditional Italian flavors could commingled so well with the South East Asian sauce.
Overall, I enjoyed the Meat & Bread meatball sandwich a lot. I wouldn’t mind paying 7 bucks for its sophisticated flavor profile every once in a long while. However, I don’t think they should ever chop up the meatballs and spread them over the sandwich. It was just wrong to do so. Meatballs should be meatballs. Don’t mess with them.
NOTE: While I was eating my sandwich, I watched a staff prepared a porchetta sandwich. The roasted pork looked juicy. The skin was so crispy that I could hear the crackling sound as the staff sliced his knife through. Crispy pork rind rules!
Meat & Bread Meatball Sub Sandwich: ©©©3/4
Meat & Bread is located at 370 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC (T) 604.566.9003 or 778.997.3079
Remaining Budget: $46.55
Budget Spent: -$7 ($HST not included)
Budget Available: $39.55
©2010 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.