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

Hours
Mon–Sat 7:00am–7:00pm

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

www.meatcheesebread.com

Southeast Portland
1406 SE Stark St.
Portland, OR
(503) 234-1700
Meat Cheese Bread
This creative, excellent sandwich shop begs the question: how did we ever live without the BLB?

As far as sandwiches are concerned, Portland has quickly gone from a town with hardly any decent options to an embarrassment of riches. The secret ingredient that is setting these shops apart is the staff, who is passionate about making the best damn sandwich possible. This leads to innovation and a competitiveness of execution that just benefits everyone. In the case of Meat Cheese Bread, these may include thoughtful combinations of average ingredients like Granny Smith apples, honey butter, and brie; or it may mean raising the bar of the standard sloppy Joe (no longer on the menu) by using a pork-belly Bolognese on a house-made roll.

One can’t help but make the comparison between Meat Cheese Bread (MCB) and Bunk. We like both, but for different reasons. Bunk has a nostalgic dive appeal, whereas MCB feels cleaner and brighter. Bunk tends to use more prestigious ingredients, but MCB seems to prefer to use standard ingredients in more interesting ways. Fear not, there is room in this economy for both.

A breakfast burrito full of smoky green chilies, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs and hash browns makes a delicious amalgam that has generated a passionate following. Maple bread pudding is another favorite morning choice, made with shaved fennel, spicy cheddar, and piquant sausage. This is a terrific breakfast, rich and satisfying, full of diverse textures and flavors—it’s one of the best breakfast sandwiches in Portland.

Park Kitchen’s flank steak salad has been reincarnated as a sandwich here. Moist, thinly sliced tender flank steak is piled high with pickled red onions, blue cheese mayo, greens and piquant vinaigrette. But nothing beats MCB’s take on a BLT, in which tomatoes are replaced, out of season, with golden beets. This BLB is brilliant, with grilled Grand Central sourdough holding in thick slices of smoky Nueskies bacon. Peppery dribbles of bacon fat run across the beets and down into the bread, giving everything a rich meaty taste. A light aïoli adds a final layer of flavor. It is hard to order anything else once you’ve had this.

A small selection of beer and wine is available, including Double Mountain Brewery on tap, along with a nice group of sodas. Portland may be a sandwich paradise, but MCB has a niche all its own.

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