A Sandwich a Day: Burnt Ends at Southern Soul in St. Simons, Georgia
In this great nation of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year--so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. --The Mgmt.
It wasn't long ago that a person on St. Simons Island who was looking for a good barbecue sandwich would drive up to Brunswick for pulled pork at the tin-roofed Georgia Pig. The Pig is gone now; in a testament to how run-down the old building was, the county condemned it almost immediately after the restaurant closed.
Southern Soul, which opened twenty minutes down the road in 2006, has replaced it as the local favorite. It's as good a case study in new barbecue as the Pig was in old, from the passionate young owners to the tattooed employees to the diversity of meats and sauces on the menu. And it's been featured everywhere from Southern Living to TLC to Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
It goes without saying that Southern Soul makes a good pulled-pork sandwich. I have family in the area, so I've stopped in for pulled pork many times. On assignment from Serious Eats, I wanted to try something a little different, so I ordered the burnt end sandwich, with mac & cheese and fried green beans as sides.
South Georgia isn't known for its brisket, but Southern Soul does it well. Smoke and seasonings are prominent but don't overwhelm the taste of tender beef. The burnt ends (chopped brisket tips; read more here) are saltier and slightly drier than the sliced brisket with a crispy bark. The meat is still moist, and dissolved in my mouth as easily as the toasted sesame-seed bun.
I don't sauce brisket, and this brisket doesn't need it, but Southern Soul does make a tasty, tomato-based hot sauce that complements beef better than the sweet and mustard sauces that are also on each table.
The sides were good; I'd also recommend the Brunswick stew, which is some of the best in a part of Georgia that claims to have been its birthplace (though it almost certainly wasn't), and the BBQ beans.
2020 Demere Road, St. Simons, GA 31522 (map) 912-638-7685http://www.southernsoulbbq.com/