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First Bite: A Global Diner

Lafayette’s Batch and Brine offers great brews and bites.


The L.E.S. sandwich, featuring house-made pastrami, Swiss cheese, and slaw on rye bread. Photo courtesy of Batch and Brine.

The whole world’s a stage when it’s tucked into a roll and served with house-cut fries. Batch and Brine’s bold concept is built around bread—with Latin, French, Middle Eastern, and Asian sandwiches listed as casually as pulled pork and Southern fried chicken. The crafty menu at the new Lafayette eatery urges pairings, such as a sassafras-laced Dafty Laddie cocktail with your duck confit sandwich, or a straight aged rye when ordering the spicy lamb merguez on a pretzel roll.

With its airy, urban design and playful local brews, Batch and Brine is America’s latest riff on the homey diner. Does it work? Our classic house-made pastrami on grilled rye was a cut above, while the chile verde and eggs (from the weekend brunch menu) had just enough kick to keep the hefty portion compelling to the last bite. We were less taken with the starters. The buffalo wings were average, and the shaved cauliflower and pear salad simply didn’t work. A more tried-and-true salad of roasted beet and goat cheese was a success.

Bottom line: This is a family-friendly spot worth checking out for brunch or a gourmet sandwich—whether or not you go global.

3602 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 298-5687, batchandbrine.com. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat.–Sun.