Thanks to some very unfriendly weather this week, we’ve been backlogged with a few blog posts. So let’s rewind back to Monday for a visit with the San Francisco Bay Area’s first Southern BBQ mobile food business, specializing in North Carolina and Texas-style BBQ. The Southern Sandwich Company was inspired by the childhood road trips of two brothers who share a love of food and old trucks. Raised in North Carolina, the boys at the Southern Sandwich Company bring their hearty, traditional Southern cooking to San Francisco and the surrounding area six days per week. Drawn to the Southern Sandwich Company by the rich aromas of smoked meats at Off the Grid: 5M at 5th St. and Minna in San Francisco, we probably would have ordered one of everything on the menu, but the prices were a bit on the steep side for our taste.

Inspired by the Southern cookin' and the good folks along Interstates I-95 and I-10, The Southern Sandwich Company was born of two brothers from North Carolina.

The Southern Sandwich Company smokes all of their meats Southern style, using either hickory or mesquite hardwoods. The advantage of using charcoal is that it sears in the smoky flavors and adds depth that cold and hot gas smokers cannot. The ending result is flavor through and through with some crisp outside portions. All sides on the menu are vegetarian, except for the pork and beans.

Texas Chopped Beef Brisket $8 -smoked over charcoal fired mesquite. The charcoal sears in the smoky flavors and adds depth. This meat delivered on flavor, with some crispiness on the outside, but was slightly overcooked and dry. A selection of Mesquite Texas BBQ sauce, Eastern Carolina Vinegar, and Cayenne Honey Mustard were available to finish the sandwich, but we did have to do some searching to find it. Good Southern hospitality means showing guests around, and telling them where to find the condiments. All in all, great flavor and a very large portion, but this sandwich fell a little short of delivering a true Southern experience.

Brisket requires long, slow cooking at just the right temperature and a lot of TLC to create a mouth-watering, tender and moist finish. They have a tendency to dry out during the long smokes and certain precautions must be taken to prevent this from happening.A nicely marbled cut is needed at the start, but the marinade is crucial. The brisket smokes for many hours, depending on weight, and must be turned frequently. For example, a ten pound brisket would be smoked for about 15 hours and turned in the marinade about every 90 minutes. Brisket is probably the most unforgiving of cuts on the cow, and it takes a brave chef to master it in his smoker. If it’s cooked right, it’s juicy and tender, and packed with flavor, but if something goes wrong, you can make a pair of shoes out of it.

Picnic Potato Salad - $1 and Juan's Pork 'n Beans - $1. Just like the name implies, the potato salad is rich and filled with a delightful array of Southern flavors, and Juan's Pork 'n Beans comes with generous portions of tender charcoal mesquite smoked pork.

Hickory Smoked Portobello $8 and Pepper Jack Mac 'n Cheese - $2. Portobello mushrooms are sometimes called the steak of the vegetarian world. It's highly versatile with a very rich, strong, earthy flavor. The mushroom is sliced thin and mesquite smoked, locking in the natural flavors and served over shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes. The Pepperjack Mac is a perfect companion to the hearty, earthy sandwich. This unique mac 'n cheese delivers a kick along with its rich, creamy texture.

Just as you’d expect from a true Southerner, the boys at the Southern Sandwich Company are gentlemen. We were greeted with a smile, and watched as the guys handled the busy lunch crowd in stride. The prices may be a bit steep, but they do make up for it in quality, service and most of all, quantity. A truly Southern experience, the food here will satisfy any hungry man’s (or woman’s) big appetite, and we’ll definitely keep these guys on our radar for a return visit.

Service: 3.5
Menu Selection: 4
Quality: 4
Creativity: 3.5
Price: 3
Overall Impression: 3.6 Plates!





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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.