Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Cheap Eats Lunch - Meat and Eat in Brisbane Square


The construction around Brisbane town continues with a brand new food development at Brisbane Square replacing the tired old food court.  If you've not been up to Brisbane Square in a while, you will surely be surprised, with a handful of new eateries opening up spiffy looking new venues.  It's been a slow transformation, with most of the old fast food joints closing down and the area looking like a bit of a construction zone for what seemed like an age.

Of course, once I knew that the space had opened up and the new restaurants were trading, I headed down for a sticky beak, which lead to a quick bite to eat at Meat and Eat, a sister venue of the Cutting Board (see post here) in George Street and Hive Coffee and Eat House over at Eagle Street (see post here).  General Manager of the group, Anthony Attard, has been a busy lad, not only opening Meat and Eat recently, but a number of other venues at Brisbane Square.  Anthony (great name by the way) is clearly a man who loves his meat, as each of his venues focus on different parts of my favourite animals (to eat, that is).

Meat and Eat is pretty much a carbon copy of the Eagle Street eatery Hive Coffee and Eat House, its nice and casual and it targets the lunch time eating crowd.  With a menu that focuses on meat based sandwiches and cuts of meat that come with salads, it's not a place that will be mistaken as a vegetarian hang out.  I guess the title of the cafe says it all....  Those of you that love your Reuben sandwiches will love this place, the Reuben takes pride of place as the first item on the menu.  Other sandwiches include the Watson (rare beef), the Spaniard (chorizo) and the Corporate (ham), each catering to a different animal.

Now, if you know me and my foodie preferences, you're probably thinking I went with the Spaniard, right?  Wrong! As much as I love chorizo, I'm not a fan of the delicacy in a sandwich, chorizo is best eaten on its own or with octopus!!  No, I went for something a little simpler, and definitely in tune with the theme of Meat and Eat.

My choice was the slow cooked beef brisket, which came in two options - on a plate with a side of two vegetables (nope, nope, nope) or in a roll....  No surprises which I opted for.  There are not a lot of things better than slow cooked beef brisket in a bread roll, and the best in town at it are the Bread and Meat Co (see post here).  If the Meat and Eat version of the brisket was anywhere near as good, I would have been a happy man.

I was there a little early and the brisket was not quite ready for sale, so I had to wait around for about fifteen minutes before I could get into my brisket roll.  I wasn't at all upset about the wait, these things take time and it's better to get the meat perfect than too soon and be disappointed about it.  The time finally arrived and the big bain marie of shredded brisket came out of the kitchen bathed in its meaty juices - I started salivating as Anthony heaped the brisket into a roll. Just before it was handed over, I was asked if I wanted gravy, which I declined, and then I was away!

Sitting at one of the free tables in Brisbane Square, I opened my brisket roll and dove right in. Ahh, simplicity, meat in a roll, it doesn't get much better.  The brisket was really nice and tender, with a full meaty flavour, but there was something missing.....  It was hard to put my finger on exactly what it was....  Maybe, just a little sweetness that really great brisket has?  Maybe, just a little lacking in seasoning?  Maybe it just needed something to help give it a boost, like lashings of butter or a bit of cheese?  Whatever it was, it just needed that little extra oomph to take it from pretty darn good, to simply amazing.

Given that Meat and Eat is a lunch time carvery, it definitely sits at the upper end of places to eat, and the redevelopment of the area has turned out great.  Modern looking and aligned with the handful of other eating spots in the square, it's a spot that's going to pretty popular.

For a simple lunch at the top end of town, especially for a meat lover, you now have a couple of great choices.  It's a great spot, but given it's such a long walk from my office, I'm probably more inclined to head over to the Bread and Meat Co.


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