When I moved into the city to work, I was thrilled to be earning more money and joining the CBD crowd. As time has gone on, and I have visited more and more lunch spots, I am starting to think that maybe I am actually not taking home more money each week, as more and more of it seems to flow out of my wallet to pay for meals. Luckily, there are a few spots where a quality lunch can still be merciful on the hip pocket, for those days before payday when there is nothing left in the fridge. Meat me in the City is one such spot, Le Vietnam is another, and Toastface Grillah also makes it in, with extra points for being super close and oh-so trendy.
Walking in off Grand Lane, you are greeted by a giant sandwich dripping with bling (and cheese), painted on to the side of an outhouse, informing you that you have reached your destination. The small courtyard is bright and welcoming, with a few spots to sit and chat with friends over a morning coffee or lunchtime sandwich. There is some funky decor happening, like plants growing out of old toasters and tyres filled with foliage hung on the wall, and despite the grungy fit out the bright light, wooden floors and colourful cushions make it feel quite clean and comfortable.
The sandwiches here aren’t just any old toasted sandwiches – they are some of the finest slices of carbohydrates that you will ever put in your mouth. If there were a royal family of sandwich joints this place would be the Queen. Or maybe they are like the Biggie Smalls of the rap world, that seems to fit the vibe better. There is a notorious B.A.G on the menu, and the name of the cafe is adapted from that of a Wu Tang Clan member.
The menu is written on the chalkboard door as you walk into the (tiny!) cafe – it changes occasionally but not by much. You can normally be guaranteed to find your favourites, although sometimes they disappear (I still do reminisce over the pear grillz days. Sigh). So get them while they’re hot!
A range of bickford’s fizzy drinks, juices and some pretty damn good coffee is available to quench your thirst. You can buy the coffee beans as well, although I can’t guarantee you get the bling with it.
Having tried almost everything else on the menu, today’s sandwich of choice was to be the Steaks Is High, whilst the other girls went with a Danny Zuccho and The King, as well as kale, spirulina, apple and lime juices. These crazy kids and their juices these days, I just don’t get it. Although to be fair, I had a sip of this one, and and it was actually quite pleasing to the palate. I was much happier with my sugar laden lemon lime and bitters though, thank you very much.
Not much to say about the sandwiches, except that they were AMAZING. But seriously, you need to go try them. You can tell they are toasted patiently, not like when you are really hungry and you microwave the sandwich first so the cheese melts then the bread goes all soggy, but lovingly cultivated in a sandwich toaster on a medium heat to get that perfect crunch following by a hot tasty cheese. With herby, buttery bread and generous fillings, these tick all your sandwich boxes.
Sandwiches were followed by these amazing desserts that I haven’t seen there before, but would be extremely happy to see again – they were sort of like a cookie dough base, but less moist and dense and more crumbly than cookie dough would normally be. I’m not sure I explained that too well, but it was really tasty. The solid chocolate top held it together, and I chose the one topped off with honeycomb.
If you ever find yourself a little bit peckish in the city, I advise you get yourself over the Grand Lane, look for the bling-laden toasted sandwich painted on the wall, and get yourself inside for some seriously affordable hunger relief!