Meat Cheese Bread

By Nino Padova May 19, 2009 Published in the December 2008 issue of Portland Monthly

The flank steak and blue cheese sandwich at Meat Cheese Bread

FROM A DESIGN standpoint, the sandwiches at this Southeast Portland bastion of breakfast and lunch fare are engineered for maximum functionality. Meat Cheese Bread’s owner, John Stewart—who’s donned aprons at Park Kitchen and, most recently, Grand Central Bakery—delivers reasonably portioned meals that feed our demand for carb-encased protein without demanding a lot from our debit cards. Are they the pastrami meatbombs you get at Kenny and Zuke’s Delicatessen? No. But neither are they $14. An impressive BLT made with thick strips of Nueske bacon and Flamingo Ridge tomatoes costs $8.95; it’s the most expensive thing on the menu, and one that won’t send you back to work in a stupor. Breakfast staples, such as a scrambled-egg-and-hash-brown burrito with green-chile salsa ($4.25), also find room on the large chalkboard menu. Any sandwich shop worth its weight in wax paper strives for that signature sammy, and here it’s the Park Kitchen ($7.95). Named after a popular salad served at Stewart’s alma mater, it combines tender slices of cold flank steak, pickled onions, and a creamy blue cheese mayo. The cooks at Park Kitchen used to throw such sandwiches together at shift’s end. Meat, cheese, bread—and just like that, a star is born.