Thursday, February 21, 2013

Smoked brisket sandwich from The Southern Gourmasian

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 10:05 AM


Fewer foods inspire as much loyalty and contention as barbecue. It’s a matter of pride that we Southerners take very seriously—a passion and tradition that is unrivaled in terms of the dedication held therein. As Arkansans, we sit in a rather unique geographic position, being circumscribed by regions with very particular notions on how barbecue should be done correctly. Texas, Kansas City, Memphis and a number of other barbecue hot spots are all within arm’s reach of central Arkansas, but we’ve also developed a bit of a tradition of our own, something I’ve tried to accurately pin down since my arrival in Little Rock. We are undeniably a pork-heavy people, but beef is often an availability for those who prefer its savor. I may be revealing too much about my barbecue upbringing, but I firmly believe that doing an exceptional brisket is probably the most challenging feat in the barbecue world. The meat requires more attention, more care, more time, and more know-how to appropriately smoke in order to perfectly render its fats while sufficiently tenderizing and flavoring the meat. It’s a persnickety process, so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the best brisket sandwich in Little Rock is being served by a food truck.

The Southern Gourmasian, who puts their Asian touch on every classically southern dish emanating from their truck, makes no exception when it comes to brisket. While visually it appears to be a rather simple sandwich, its flavor is complex and refined. They start with a pillow-soft, thick challah bun—light, but sturdy enough to support its juicy insides. Then a hearty portion of shredded and smoked brisket gets piled on high. The meat is tender, rich, and beefy with pronounced smoky notes in each bite. While I typically prefer my brisket sliced, I find that in this instance, shredding the meat provides a more uniform texture throughout the sandwich and also increases the surface area available to its fantastic sauce. The sauce in question is a thick, tangy brew enriched with sweet Asian plum. It’s this interplay of flavors, between beef and fruit, that truly makes this sandwich stand out—indeed, I can’t think of much this sauce would not be delicious on. Finish with housemade pickles and you’ve got one of the finest sandwiches in central Arkansas. It’s not a particularly “traditional” preparation, but even the most vehement barbecue purists are not complaining in this instance. And let’s not forget about their thinly sliced, truck-made, golden potato chips. It would be all too easy for these guys to just shove a bag of Ruffles in your maw, as seen at any number of reputable delis and sandwich shops, but Gourmasian’s dedication to premium product would never allow such tomfoolery. As it is, they’re also some of the finest potato chips to be found in Little Rock, whether on a truck or otherwise.

The Southern Gourmasian truck is no stranger to attention in Arkansas, and they’re even starting to make waves nationally, recently being voted one of the best trucks in the south by Deep South Magazine. No surprise to me or any of the truck’s other dedicated fans, but it’s nice to see exceptional work being recognized on a larger scale. We are quite fortunate to have people like the folks behind Southern Gourmasian pushing food trucks along in central Arkansas. We may not have the sheer volume of trucks as a city such as Portland, Austin, or L.A., but in the Southern Gourmasian, the quality, ingenuity, and flavors are every bit up to snuff.

(You'll find The Southern Gourmasian all over Little Rock. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to track them down)

Tags: , , , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Daniel Walker

  • The Kraft Mac & Cheese Food Hack

    Recently, we held another food hack competition, taking another childhood classic, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and tried to turn it on its head, creating something entirely new and unique. Again, the results were pretty awesome. The rules were simple: Use a whole box of mac and cheese, both noodles and cheese powder, and turn it into any sinister monstrosity imaginable. We had a vote via the Eat Arkansas Facebook page to crown a winner. Here's what was submitted:
    • Jul 30, 2014
  • Food Feedback Friday: The "We need your vote!" edition know the drill with Food Feedback. Tell us what you're eating this week and what you thought about it. I love to hear all the suggestions and I'm frequently looking back through your recommendations to determine my next meal. So share away! Happy weekend, y'all.
    • Jul 25, 2014
  • Looking in on the new Le Pops, now in the Heights

    Le Pops is a wonderful addition to the Heights neighborhood. Laurie Harrison is incredibly dedicated to her product, she still works here 7 days a week and is constantly experimenting in the kitchen to develop new flavors. Check them out the next time you need a cool down.
    • Jul 24, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Maddie's Place makes a believer out of a skeptic

    After a long hiatus, I return to Maddie's Place in Riverdale and find the food is a lot tastier than I remembered.
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • The Lemon Cakery is pure bliss

    In the eternal and often epic battle between "cake" and "pie," I normally come down on the pie side of things. The Lemon Cakery puts that rule to the test—deliciously.
    • Oct 1, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Most Recent Comments



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation