New: The Baker and Butcher
Butcher's Cut sandwich (left) and lemon and berry tarts at The Butcher and Baker
When you spend your days downtown, there never seems to be enough lunch options, even with everything that’s out there. Roger Meier got that memo. The former Honolulu Coffee Company pastry chef opened his new grab-and-go lunch place, The Baker and Butcher, last month in the tiny (but newly bright and shiny) space in the Remington College food court at 1111 Bishop St. where Lil’ Soul used to be.
And the timing is so right. With the impending closure of gourmet sandwich king Bruno Iezzi’s Mix Café, the artisan sandwich niche is begging to be filled.
With about 10 sandwiches, a few salads, as well as a few warm entrees like ox tail stew and roast Jidori chicken—and everything already packaged and ready to go—there’s plenty to choose from for a quick midday meal.
The sandwiches are made with fresh, local ingredients when available, and all the bread is baked in-house. The Baker and Butcher’s signature sandwich is the “Butcher’s Cut,” filled with tri-tip steak au poivre, grilled shitake mushrooms, caramelized onions and a cognac aioli. The cognac aioli is a perfect addition to the steak, and we wanted more of it just to punch up the flavor a notch to match our curried chicken salad sandwich, which is bold with curry and cumin and nicely balanced with a tart-sweet mango chutney. The tombo tuna sandwich, though a touch dry, didn’t want for flavor thanks to the addition of preserved lemon slices—the best thing to happen to tuna salad since someone starting throwing capers into the mix.
Generally, though, the sandwiches lack oomph—they sound more distinctive than they really are. And because the sandwiches are pre-packed and kept in the fridge, you end up with cold foccacia, such a shame for fresh-baked bread.
With everything they have going on — butchering, baking and sandwich making — it’s the baking that makes the biggest impression. The house-made tarts (lilikoi, lemon and berry), perfectly portioned crème brulee, the salted caramel brownie sandwich and the rotating menu of assorted patisserie, are a very good reason to start lunch with dessert.
The Baker and Butcher
Sandwiches and salads from $6.50 to $8, entrees from $9.25 to $12.50, assorted pastries from $2.50 to $5
1111 Bishop St. in the Remington College food court, 537-4140
For now, The Baker and Butcher is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with plans to open earlier in the near future for breakfast and coffee.