Ask me about Meat And Bread – and you’ll see me light right the hell up. Meat And Bread has (from first glance even) become one of my favorite sandwich joints in North America.
We were on the Dream Theater support tour, Ashley was wrapping up work at Starbucks (for the free internet), I was in the bus parked off site (there wasn’t room for our bus until a certain time) when she What’s App’d me about a place that looked right up my alley. A short walk from the Symphony Hall (or whatever it was) we were playing – and there it was: Meat And Bread.
Such a subtle name, with subtlety being the theme of the restaurant: minimal, modern decor – a hint of rustic woodsy-ness and modern art-gallery style high ceilings, tall windows, sleek fonts. Slate grays and pristine lines are accompanied by things like natural wood-colored wooden trays, huntsmen-esque decor fixed into some of the walls.
There’s typically always a line of locals out the door – always an encouraging sign of a truly great local establishment; their menu is simple: “Porchetta,” “Grilled Cheese,” “Soup of the day”… reading the contents, you see where the gourmet comes into play. We had the Potato, pork and leek “Soup of the day”; the Veal Braise (Veal, mushroom and onions, bleu cheese, horseradish jus); the ever so simply named “Grilled Cheese” (which is, from my 4 visits – always on the menu); ice cream sandwich to finish.
I think there are merely 4 or so selections a day for sandwiches… that’s it – the same bread, paper, tray, and sambal. I love that. I find places with 50 plus selections always do everything bad to ok at best… a place like Meat And Bread – with 4 simple sandwich selections, you know they’re going to kill each one.
The bread is reminiscent of European bakery bread – this one isn’t hard like French bread – but has a good chew to it – it can nestle that meat nicely. It’s fresh baked, meaty bread – all sandwich bread should be this bread; not the flimsy assembly-line crap you see in other delis. The little yellow dipping mustard-esque sambal is Meat And Bread’s signature condiment – it can typically be found pairing very nicely with each sandwich.
The meat had a nice bbq-pulled-pork texture (not flavor), with bold delicious pork-y goodness. Simple ingredients were laid atop – just enough so you can really focus in on all the components. The Grilled Cheese is probably the best grilled cheese I’ve ever bitten in to (only was able to steal a few bites from the wife… I did however devour the whole Veal Braise, solo). Artisan cheeses, perfectly pressed and grilled – not too long, not too short. If a place can make a grilled cheese this simple and this good – you know they’re doing something right.
The soup was fantastic – and that little ice cream sandwich is insanity. It’s ice cream with little bits of chewy-good bacon inside. The mix of the creamy, natural vanilla ice cream – so sweet in it’s milky, creamy, not overly frosty texture played perfectly with the savory bacon bits. I should have called it quits after the sandwich and soup (pretty hearty portions of sandwich here) – but anything with that sweet and savory mix is a must. Their sandwich alone could cause a line.
Meat and Bread – I love you.