Simple Solution: Meat & Bread

The idea of a very simple meal is intriguing. Meat & Bread, a restaurant based in Vancouver, has approached the idea of sticking to the bare basics (hence the name). Founders Cord Jarvie and Frankie Harrington have created a place where one or many can gather to select an M&B creation from the well-executed menu. Cord Jarvie graced us with a few moments to discuss the inspiration behind the restaurant, food principles, and the hopes of bringing a Meat & Bread shop to the States.

A&H: The name of the establishment—Meat & Bread—is extremely simple, straight-forward, and to the point. How did you and your partner come to the conclusion of this name?

Cord Jarvie: Our name comes from us seeking to keep things as basic as possible. We immediately ruled out any grandiose statements or fancy pants names for the shop. It’s no bullshit—it’s Meat & Bread.

A&H: What made you and your partner start Meat and Bread?

CJ: The idea of using quality cooking techniques to roast, braise, comfit meats, and stick them in a sandwich was something we hadn’t seen in Vancouver, where we both now live. Frank and I met in Ireland. We missed the carvery lunches and hot roast meat rolls we used to eat in Dublin, so we opened up a shop to sell them.

A&H: There’s the Cambie Street location and the Pender Street one. How are menu items chosen on the day-to-day basis? What is the decision-making process behind them?

CJ: Besides the porchetta, the menu changes daily. Most of the sandwiches are based around a dish that one of the boys has eaten or loves: curry chicken, hot wings, Moroccan lamb, veal tonnata, et cetera. Joe Sartor is our Executive Chef and comes up with the majority of sandwiches we sell.

A&H: What is one of your favorite menu items?

CJ: The aforementioned chicken hot wing, based on Frank’s red hot chicken, blue cheese dressing, and celery carrot slaw gets a lot of requests.

A&H: What menu items do the locals purchase?

CJ: We sell 3 to 1 porchetta to everything else. It’s roasted rolled pork loin and belly. Stuffed with herbs and served with chopped crackling skin and salsa verde.

A&H: Who is behind the interior design of the two locations?

CJ: Craig Stanghetta. We were lucky to get him early; our shop was one of the first he worked on. Now he has about 6 places in Vancouver (all awesome) and is working on some places in the States too.

A&H: Do you and your partner follow any specific food principles? 

CJ: We only carry local meats supplied by Two Rivers. I would never serve any feedlot beef or battery hens. We only sell local beer and wine too, so I guess that’s one principle.

Other than that…we cook food we would love to eat.

A&H: Do you gentlemen plan to bring Meat and Bread to the U.S.A.?

CJ: We have been approached so many times. We have yet to find the right fit yet, but maybe one day.