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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
8.1
6.0
$15
Sandwiches
Counter service

Hours
Mon–Sat 8:00am–3:00pm

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer
Credit cards Visa, MC

www.bunksandwiches.com

Southeast Portland
621 SE Morrison St,
Portland, OR
(503) 477-9515
Bunk Sandwiches
Pick a sandwich, any sandwich—and come hungry for flavor and fat

You set the bar pretty low when you call a place “Bunk,” and it’s especially funny given the warm and confident mustard-and-ketchup-colored walls and ceiling. The checkerboard linoleum floor reminds us of the ubiquitous sandwich dives all over the East Coast, except that this one is clean and the sandwiches are mostly good. A huge chalkboard seems to change every day, so don’t get too attached to any one sandwich. Items also get crossed off as ingredients start running out.

Breakfast sandwiches are intensely satisfying, all variations on simple, buttery, flaky biscuits with egg or meat, always with cheese. At lunch, one of our favorite sandwiches features moist, flavorful meatballs that somehow hold together until bitten into, then melt on the tongue. The bread is slightly toasted to stand up against the sauce, which is flavorful and herbaceous without being overpowering. A Spanish sandwich that pairs salt cod with olives and a spicy chorizo is as unusual as it is successful. Roasted eggplant with red pepper, fresh mozzarella, and basil is drizzled with fragrant olive oil and a bit of salt; it’s substantive without being too heavy, clean-tasting, and wonderfully aromatic. Again, the hoagie-style bun is the right choice to hold the wet innards.

There’s this consistent heaviness here, which can be fine except when it occurs where you’d least expect it, like in a grilled albacore sandwich whose mayonnaise and Swiss cheese are just way too rich. It’s saved (just barely) by an add-on of good pickled hot peppers. Even vegetable sandwiches and sides can sometimes whack you over the head with fat; potato salad with bacon and egg is good, but too weighty for lunch. These preps are more conducive to curing insomnia than recharging your batteries on a workday.

Still, the bread here is first-rate and the pressing of the sandwich is done expertly. Ingredients are obviously top quality, and meats are smoked, roasted, and sliced with great care.

Bunk is painfully hip, with bands playing overhead that are out of style as soon as you say their name, and Miller High Life mimosas. Thanks to some zealous reporting by media and bloggers, the waits here can get up to 30 minutes, and the counter service has a certain you-should-feel-lucky-to-be-here attitude (the “Soup Nazi” phenomenon.) But the fervor isn’t entirely unwarranted—this is definitely not your dime-a-dozen sandwich joint.

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