Every once in a while you see a concept distilled down to essence and executed with near-perfection. In car terms I would be talking about say a Lotus Elise or perhaps an Ariel Atom.
|Ariel Atom driven by...hang on a minute!|
Lunch wise however, it has to be Meat and Bread. These guys have taken the sandwich experience to its basic concept and executed it brilliantly. They make a porchetta that is rolled up with herbs, grilled to moist perfection and warpped in crisp crackling. They then serve this on a freshly baked Panini bun with some salsa verde, on a wooden board with a dollop of home made mustard. They have three other sandwiches on the menu, one meatball, one daily special (today it was turkey leg confit with argula and chipotle mustard, so good) and a grilled cheese for the vegetarians.
The restaurant itself is minimalist, one large communal table that seats about 20 dominates the room and there is a small bar off the main counter, also communal and plus are about 4 tables. This is very smartly done, people are less likely to linger during the very busy lunch hour so they can have the high turnaround that they need. I came there today for lunch to find a lineup out the door. Normally I would swivel and go somewhere else since I am allergic to lineups but here I know it never takes more than 10 minutes regardless of the size of the lineup. They have such an efficient assembly line for their sandwiches that take less than 20 second to put together. The place is packed but spaces open up all the time, I have never been forced to stand and wait for a seat.
The food itself is always satisfying, they offer a bowl of soup and a salad as condiments. Those are also top-notch, I usually go for the soup that ranges from a simple tomato soup to a rich chicken-vegetable soup I had today which was very welcome given the sudden cold and wet turn the weather has taken here in Vancouver.
Concept, essence, execution. Meat and Bread nailed it. I love it!