Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cheap Eats Lunch - The Bread & Meat Co. CBD

One of the more interesting casual meals I've had in some time was over at the Bread & Meat Co in Fortitude Valley.  I remember it being quite a chore to get to at the time, but it was definitely worth the wait when I finally did get there (see post here).   I recently learned that the team had opened up a CBD outlet of their popular meat based restaurant and of course I had to get in and check it out.

I have to warn you though, if you’re a vegetarian, then the Bread & Meat Co is probably a place best avoided, but if you’re a diehard carnivore like me, then you might just have found your mecca.  The Bread and Meat Co started its life as a Food Truck in Canada before making its way into the Valley. Owner Royce Crown has taken his experiences in Toronto as well as some other tricks picked up during his time at NYC’s most famous sandwich shop, Katz Deli (see post here), to create our very own Bread & Meat Co, which pretty much became an instant hit.

Being a sandwich restaurant that specialises in meat, the menu at the Bread & Meat Co is very focussed, that is, they do a couple of things, but do them well.  The menu covers most of the best bits of pigs and cows, including BBQ pulled pork, pork loin and belly, as well as corned beef.  I probably exaggerated when I said that vegetarians should avoid the place, there are some salads available, but mainly to offset the massive hit of meat that comprises each meaty sandwich!

I was dining solo for my lunch at the CBD version of the Bread & Meat Co, so I had to judiciously choose my lunch, sure, I could have easily went crazy and ordered one of everything, but then someone else would have been writing my obituary ‘he died with a smile on his face and a meat sandwich in his hand’…..  I was greeted at the front door by a waitress who asked if I’d eaten there before and once I told her I was an old pro, she quickly recommended the Porchetta, pork loin and belly with herb stuffing, crispy crackling and salsa verde on a ciabatta.

It sounded tempting, but I couldn’t do it, once I’d seen the thirty six hour slow cooked roast beef brisket with Swiss cheese and an aioli on baguette, I was sold.  I placed my order at the counter, handed over my cash and then waited at one of the outside tables for my food to arrive.  If you’re planning on eating in at the Bread & Meat Co, you will have to be quick, there are only two big share tables available and I’m sure they would fill up quickly during the lunch hour!

Due to my penchant for early lunches, I’d placed my order at just after 11am, so my food was delivered in quick time.  My order of slow cooked beef brisket was completely overflowing from the baguettes and I could see the wonderful beef juices starting to soak up the bread.  Hardly able to contain myself, I jumped straight into my sandwich and after a massive first bite, was transported to carnivore heaven.  The brisket was soft and cooked to absolute perfection and with those beautiful juices soaked into the bread, the flavours were intense.  It wasn’t until I’d taken a few bites until I noticed the Swiss cheese and the aioli, which thankfully didn’t take away from the beefy tastes.

The last time I’d been to the Bread & Meat Co in the Valley, I’d also got a side of the chilli fries, which were pretty good, but this time I wanted to test the "vanilla" version.  Whoa, they were good, probably in the top five fries in town.  What I loved about them was the colouring and the flavour that came from the fries being cooked in their skins.  I’d even rank these up with my favourite fries in Melbourne, Lord of the Fries.

While I loved my visit to the Bread & Meat Co in the CBD, there was a minor problem.  In the second half of the brisket sandwich, I found a piece of tinfoil about half the size of a five cent piece.  It had been lucky that I’d spotted it before taking a big bite, it could have damaged my teeth or worse if I’d swallowed it.  I took the offending tinfoil to the waitress, who a few minutes later came and apologised.

I’ve already told half a dozen people about the CBD Bread & Meat Co and there is some genuine excitement about from the carnivores and some rolling of the eyes from those few vegetarians that I know!  I left from my lunch completely sated and really happy.  In fact, I still had the flavour of the beef brisket on my palate for a while after lunch, it kind of matched my daydreaming of a lunch hour well spent.

The Bread & Meat Co is down in Mary Street, just around the corner from Market Street and the Eagle Street precinct.  Do yourself a favour and get on down!

The Bread and Meat Co is open for breakfast in the CBD too!
I loved the wooden containers that held the cutlery 
Look for the Rams Head - you can't miss it
The dipping jus looked good and the finger test was great, but I didn't dip my brisket at all...
The brisket and chips was more than I was able to eat for lunch!
The food all came out on a wooden cutting board and a cool wooden bowl - there is a lot of wood about!
The menu is very focussed - meat focussed! 
And what spot in town would be complete without a coffee cart!

Bread & Meat Co on UrbanspoonBread & Meat Co

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