The Baker and The Chef

I’m always looking for a good, inexpensive place to grab a sandwich for lunch.  The places near my office are all surprisingly terrible (yes, it is possible to make a bad sandwich) so I’ve started expanding my search.  Today the plan was to head to Meat & Bread for the porchetta, but with the lineup stretching out the door, down the block and around the corner we decided we just weren’t willing to wait.  Meat & Bread is great, don’t get me wrong, but there is very little I’m willing to wait 20+ minutes for when it comes to two slices of bread and some pork.

So we went two doors down to a cute new spot that just opened called The Baker & The Chef. It looks strangely like every other new restaurant/cafe in Gastown with that retro modern, clean but hipster feel.  They are strictly soup and sandwich, with coffee and some pastries on the side.  They have a menu with a mix of paninis and sandwiches or you can create your own.  I opted for the Main Street which was roasted turkey (like you get on Thanksgiving), pesto, tomatoes, pea shots and it was supposed to have cranberries, but that critical piece was missing on my sandwich sadly.  I picked up the Cordova, a capicola, mozzarella, pesto with siracha hot sauce sammy for my boss which was apparently excellent.  Another co-worker grabbed the Whistler which was a roast beef and cheese panini that she wasn’t impressed with.

Overall the place gets a solid B+ in my book because of quality ingredients, decent service and a good price point ($7.50 per sandwich).  But the thing I didn’t like was that they seemed a bit like the poor man’s Meat & Bread.  They have the hipster stamp and and brown paper wrap which is cool, but no longer original.  I guess I’d just like to see a little more differentiation amongst Gastown venues.  Anyways, give this place a try, you won’t regret it.  It’s better than Subway by a country mile, and in my humble opinion, just as good and probably healthier than the competition two doors down.


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