Jam Café chef Sean Bodie gets ready to chow down on Meat and Bread for lunch.

M CHEF – Breaking bread with Chef Sean Bodie

Meat and Bread brings the humble sandwich to new heights

The weather outside is frightful, but the staff and atmosphere at the Yates Street Meat and Bread are absolutely delightful as Jam Café Chef Sean Bodie and I meet for lunch.

Despite a typical Victoria downpour, patrons file in at a steady pace to grab a sandwich to go or sit at one of the long tables that fill the warm space.

Meat and Bread gives you just what you expect – amazing, fresh ciabbatta buns and tasty, moist meat. The buns come from Crust Bakery down the road on Fort Street. They are par-cooked, then fresh-baked at the restaurant, creating a perfect bed of chewy richness for them to pack on the good stuff.

We’re greeted at the door by Shae Nakano who gives us the run down. Behind the wood counter stand a line of neatly dressed men with an oven full of ciabatta baking behind them, a plump boneless pork roast sits at the ready. We order and watch the sandwiches built.

The menu at Meat and Bread is simple: four sandwiches, one soup and one salad. “I’m a huge fan of their menu,” says Bodie. “It’s so simple. They change the special daily, but they always have the porchetta and jerk chicken.”

Today, the special is Rossdown Farms Buffalo chicken thigh with iceberg, tomato, red onion and blue cheese ranch, and the vegetarian – which changes weekly – is pineapple curry tofu with pad thai peanut slaw and tamarind aioli.

Bodie orders the jerk chicken and I go for the vegetarian. “This is the best jerk chicken I’ve ever eaten in my entire life,” says Bodie. The sandwich is covered in spicy jerk chicken, jicama cabbage slaw, pickled red onion and cilantro lime aioli.

We skip the chili carrot coconut soup and cucumber tabouli salad. The man behind the roast tells Bodie they just started a Happy Hour: from 3 to 4pm get a sandwich and a beer for $10. “That’s like a buck a beer,” says Bodie. “Nice.”

We take a seat and Nakano checks on us, then introduces Meat and Bread chef Carmen Ingham. “Meat and Bread is a refreshing concept,” he says. “The menu is small so you have to focus, you have to pay attention to the details and produce a great product – that’s led to our success.”

The sandwich shop is the brainchild of Cord Jarvie and Frankie Harrington who opened the first Meat and Bread in Vancouver four years ago, a second Vancouver location followed and the Victoria shop opened last year.

We bite into the sandwiches, Bodie’s face lights up immediately. “It’s heavy on the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice. Normally jerk chicken uses Scotch bonnet (peppers) but I think this is jalepeno … mmm, and pickled onion, that’s nice.”

The chicken is slow cooked, tender and Bodie says, delicious. As he chews he describes the porchetta. “It’s a roast loin with skin crackling all through it with salsa verde – it’s to die for. It’s a toss up with Roast as to who’s better.” As the sound of a gauntlet being thrown fades behind him, Bodie tells me he recently had a turducken sandwich at Meat and Bread. The fare included chestnut stuffing, charred brussel sprouts, pan dripping mashed potatoes and cranberry mostarda. “It’s like Christmas dinner in a sandwich.”

The veggie sandwich is not quite a holiday in my mouth, but delicious and filling enough for me to take home half for later.

We comment on how fast the line of people moves. “It’s the new fast food but healthier and more honest,” says Bodie. “It’s quick, wholesome and delicious at the same time.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Pacific Opera takes music to the streets

Artists travel around Capital Region District this summer for live performences

SKAMpede goes live in July

Beloved annual event returns with changes, pre-registration online

Victoria Flamenco Festival goes virtual for 2020 event

The show will go online from July 23 to 26

Campbell River teen produces quarantine musical

Ryver Santos Cegnar performed for friends and family over Facebook

Nanaimo Art Gallery summer camp moves programming online due to COVID-19

Teenage artists have until the end of next week to apply to Dazzle Camouflage

Symphony pop-up concerts coming to central Vancouver Island

Only 40 tickets available for each Vancouver Island Symphony private backyard show

Courtenay theatre gets support for livestream ‘hybrid’ shows this year

Island Coastal Economic Trust funds help Sid Williams Theatre with infrastructure, training

Virtual film industry career fair offers chance to talk with the experts

Experts in 11 different departments, three film union representative will be in attendance

Victoria Classic Boat Festival cancelled due to safety concerns

Organizers say Inner Harbour doesn’t provide enough space for physical distancing

Infringing festival finds a way to dance during pandemic

Nanaimo’s Crimson Coast Dance Society holding drive-in, micro and physically distanced events

Coastal scenes at the forefront for July shows at Victoria galleries

From sculpture to landscape paintings, summer art is about nature

Most Read