Normally when you think of office talk in a corporate building, you think of hushed gossip about how so and so totally didn't deserve that promotion; but gauging from how popular Earl Canteen is with suits at lunch time, maybe they are swapping favourite sandwiches instead.
It's popularity might also have something to do with it's proximity to Melbourne's Business District. Located just off Little Bourke, between Queen and King, Earl Canteen is all sleek metal and concrete. It's situated in a plaza which makes it feel disconnected from the cool indie bars just below it and feel more like a fancy lunch time retreat for men and women on the go.
Earl Canteen specialises in gourmet sandwiches that err on the pricey side. To be honest, there are plenty of places where you can pay $14 dollars for a sandwich and be handed something that makes you wonder why you didn't just make yourself lunch that day; Earl Canteen's sandwich menu, on the other hand, genuinely makes you excited about what you are ordering.
What was jarring, however, was how Earl Canteen decided to complement their produce. Whilst aesthetically their bread selection gives the place more of an edgy 'eat on the run' vibe, I can't help but think that serving the Pork Belly in a small white bun was a lost opportunity for really utilising the flavour and texture of the meat.
Despite that, the other menu options on display make me keen to return and sample the other sandwiches - and I would probably order the Pork Belly sandwich again because the meat was so good.
For those stuck in office grind looking for a pit stop, Early Canteen is definitely worth trying. It's a cool, unpretentious sandwich bar sufficiently hidden away from the CBD to shield you from the hustle and bustle and let you enjoy a moments peace with your food.