DesBrisay Dines

DESBRISAY DINES: Meat in the Middle

Anne DesBrisay is the restaurant critic for Ottawa Magazine. She has been writing about food and restaurants in Ottawa-Gatineau for 25 years and is the author of three bestselling books on dining out. She is head judge for Gold Medal Plates and a member of the judging panel at the Canadian Culinary Championships.

Meat in the Middle's smoked meat on rye with potato salad. Photo by Anne DesBrisay
Meat in the Middle’s smoked meat on rye with potato salad. Photo by Anne DesBrisay

If you like your smoked meat piled high and served neat with ball park mustard on soft light rye, you shouldn’t look past item number one on the blackboard menu. If you like your potato salad not at all like Mom made it (that is, better), you’ll want to try Meat in the Middle’s skin-on red spuds rolling around in a great aioli with a gremolata topper. Put them together and you have quite a meal for $12.50. You can even wash it down with a Beau’s Lug Tread poured on tap.

But I was really taken with the slightly more complicated smoked pork sandwich. Thickish slabs of warm, fragrant, roast pork tucked into a ciabatta bun with a pile of arugula and superior lubricants — grainy honey mustard and more of that good aioli. I’d get rid of the wan January tomatoes in the wheatberry-kale-feta salad, and would love to eat it at room temperature, but these are minor moans.

Meat in the Middle pork sandwich with wheat berry salad. Photo by Anne DesBrisay.
Meat in the Middle pork sandwich with wheat berry salad. Photo by Anne DesBrisay.
Meat in the Middle. Photo by Anne DesBrisay

Meat in the Middle moved in when a Quiznos on Bank moved out. The principals — chefs Jeremy McDonald and Bruce Robitaille — clearly take the brining, spicing, smoking, and roasting of meat seriously, and the proof is between sliced bread. Plus, there are veggie options that don’t feel like an afterthought.

Sandwiches, $7.95 to $9.50. 

Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

311 Bank St., 613-422-6328