Heaven on Bread

Meat & Bread in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood. Photo by Christopher Flett

Meat & Bread opens 
a Seattle outpost.

When was the last time your mouth actually watered?

For me: standing in a line snaking out the door at sandwich shop Meat & Bread in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood. As that line shuttled me speedily toward the register, it passed in front of a low glass-fronted, butcher-block counter. On it, a fat, succulent roll of porchetta was hacked into bite-sized chunks of juicy delectableness, the better to fit on my sandwich-to-be. Next on the chopping block: rigid ribbons of golden cracklings, smashed to bits and sprinkled on the porchetta, then drizzled with a bright, herbaceous salsa verde. By the time I received my sandwich, presented on a simple wooden slab alongside a perfect dollop of mustard…believe me, your mouth would be watering too.

This month Meat & Bread opens a Seattle location in the Central Agency Building in Capitol Hill. The shop will occupy one third of the ground floor, which dominates the block bordered by Seneca and Union, 10th Ave. and Broadway Ct.

The Capitol Hill spot follows the mold of M&B’s existing locations (two in Vancouver, one in Victoria, B.C.)—efficient, assembly line sandwich production, communal seating for 50. Designer Craig Stanghetta, who has created all of Meat & Bread’s sleek, welcoming spaces, designed this one, too; expect white tile, dark metal and unusual wood patterning.

Meat & Bread’s Seattle menu will function the same way as its predecessors: three regular sandwiches, one daily special, a soup and a salad. The porchetta sandwich is the flagship on all menus, joined by one other permanent meat option—co-owner Frankie Harrington tells me Seattle’s will likely be roast beef—and a veggie.

The daily special? Sky’s the limit. Recent examples include “Peace Country braised lamb, brown butter caper vinaigrette, roasted cauliflower, cashews, cranberries, hummus” and “Fraser Valley beef chuck, green peppercorn jus, roasted mushroom, pomme frites, arugula, horseradish mayo.” During my recent Vancouver visit, it was “duck confit layered with thyme bean puree, orange-scented carrots, red wine glaze and cabbage.” I ordered two.

There’s no formula for a Meat & Bread creation, but there is inspiration. “One of our original ideas came from going to nice restaurants—you can look at a menu, dissect it and think of it as a sandwich,” says Harrington, who worked extensively in the restaurant industry before opening Meat & Bread. He and co-owner Cord Jarvie met when they were both living in Dublin (Harrington is Canadian, Jarvie originally from Australia). Years later, they were both in Vancouver.

“One night over a few beers we were talking about doing our own thing and getting away from long restaurant hours,” Harrington says. “We wanted a change of lifestyle and to create really tasty food.” They recruited friend Joseph Sartor as executive chef and Meat & Bread was born. “It’s casual,” Harrington says, “but with that backbone of execution, food and service that we all share.”

See you in line.

Meat & Bread
1201 10th Ave