Friendly pub serves filling sandwiches and soups

Sara Benner

“Gourmand” is French for a person who likes to eat. Taking up space in what was an old Tejano club, Gourmands is a family-owned neighborhood pub that offers satisfying sandwiches, soups and a standard selection of beer either on tap or by the bottle.

Admittedly, because of its history, Gourmands’ layout is unusual. Upon entering the red cement establishment, to the left is a black wooden bar and on the right is the kitchen. Though a tad jarring, it allows for pleasantries between customers and bar and kitchen staff who are eager to communicate.

The Second Deadly Sin sandwich is gluttony between two slices of toasted rye bread. With a half-pound of smoked turkey, crunchy bacon, melted Swiss, fried avocado, fresh sprouts and pesto sauce, the sandwich has a light flavor but is texturally appealing. Between the crunchiness of the toast and bacon and the softness Swiss and avocado, this sandwich is bound to have a following.

If the previous sandwich was gluttonous, the Last Supper sandwich has a more lusty character: a warm hoagie bun stuffed with sliced roast beef, bacon, tomato, shredded lettuce and onion adorned with a slightly spicy queso-esque sauce. It’s kind of like nachos on a bun but in the most appealing way possible.

Each sandwich is served with house-made potato chips and pickled cucumbers, carrots and onions, which are worth sampling but only if there’s room after the filling sandwiches or one of the six soups.

The mushroom soup made with portobello mushrooms is herbal and earthy but pales in comparison to the Broccoli Beer Cheese soup. Served in a bread bowl, the cheese soup is one of the best things on the menu. Made with Shiner beer, the crunchy broccoli stalks drenched in golden cheese produce a heart-warming flavor sensation perfect for the impending winter season.

Gourmands isn’t the easiest place on the eyes, with random patches of cracked black marble-tiled walls, sloppy paint lines and the remains of a black-and-white tiled dance floor, but the friendly atmosphere and filling entrees are worth a visit to the East side. 

Printed on Thursday, November 3, 2011 as: Local pub provides open atmosphere, filling meals