Restaurant Review: Meat Cheese Bread

meatcheesebreadI want to write a brief review of one of the most exciting new restaurants in Portland. I think it’s a part of a broad-scale movement towards smaller, less expensive — but still high-quality — food options. A sandwich shop revolution, if you will.

The sandwiches at Meat Cheese Bread are simply great. The roasted beet and bacon sandwich, in particular, is delicious. The beet provides a surprising sweet flavor and the bacon serves as a crisp and peppery counterpoint.

There are a fair number of vegetarian options (including a great PB&J) and the soup is always tasty. Not to mention the hand-made chocolates and brownies.

They’re open early in the morning (7AM) for a quick green chile and hashbrown breakfast burrito. This item, in particular, is popular. The chiles give the burrito spice and a pleasant smoky flavor; the hashbrowns give it depth and texture.

John Stewart opened Meat Cheese Bread on a shoestring — roughly 40,000 dollars. Part of that shoestring was provided by Mercy Corps, the Portland-based grant-making organization.

Meat Cheese Bread is exactly the kind of local business that can offset the destabilization of our American economy. It starts local, and stays local — creating a chain of economic benefits, here in Oregon.

Sure: It might be a small chain. But if businesses like Meat Cheese Bread keep opening — walkable, community-based destinations where people can gather and eat good food — Southeast Portland will be much better off, economically and socially.

Plus they’re open fairly late (7PM) if you want a sandwich and a beer.

Meat Cheese Bread: On Stark Street, near the corner of Stark and SE 14th Avenue.

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