1405 Gerstner Memorial Dr., Lake Charles • 564-5162
The Local Grubscape • By Justin Morris
A few months ago, I happened to find myself with a specific hankering for some BBQ, and I decided to make my way over to Guillory’s Famous Foods over on Hwy. 14.
If you have been a resident of this community for any portion of the last 20 years or so, I would certainly hope that you have tried not only their BBQ, but also their boudin, hard and soft n’ hot cracklins and plate lunches at some given point in time. If not, fix that. And stay tuned. I’m sure I’ll get another such hankering and be writing about them again before long enough.
During this particular visit, I was told by the friendly young lady at the counter that the Guillory clan was in the process of starting up another culinary venture just next door in the coming months. Outside I saw the building already emblazoned with the 2 Good Sandwiches logos and made a mental note to go see what was cooking when they got up and running.
Well, I’ve slept since then, and said mental note got buried under some mental folders and mental papers on my mental desk. Fortunately, our good Mayor Nic Hunter stopped by the other day and posted pics to Facebook that helped dig said mental note out of the heap. Not only was my palette curious, but this fresh face to the local grubscape was one that I thought you might all want to know about as well.
I made my way over on a Friday afternoon after the coolness of what fall season we get had seemed to settle in. For now, 2 Good is only open through lunch, closing at 2 pm, which left me getting there past the lunch crowd but far closer to closing than I had expected. Fortunately, everything moved really quickly, including the ordering.
I was a bit surprised when I looked at the menu and saw only three primary menu items: the pork roast sandwich, the beef roast sandwich and their hot dog, all broken down in a couple of topping variations.
Along with beverages and sides of chips and fries, that was the extent of the menu. So even if you are indecisive, this really shouldn’t take you long.
I thought the designation of “beef roast” as opposed to “roast beef” sandwich was interesting, certainly, when I thought about the idea of “pork roast” and the general style of food that the Guillory’s are known for cooking. I had a feeling that this wasn’t going to be some plain-Jane sandwich. No way.
Of the menu options, I opted for the beef roast sandwich, but I was a bit interested in the list of available toppings: mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, spinach, relish, onions, jalapenos, sauerkraut and spicy sauce.
I understood that this was the toppings for both the burgers and the hot dog, but they all sounded good to me and, knowing it was getting close to closing time, I wanted to hurry, so I just ordered it all the way, which drew a curious look from both the girl at the register and the guy manning the kitchen, a fellow whom I’d seen at Famous many times in the past. She confirmed that I did indeed want it all the way and put the order in.
As I waited, I took the place in. Quaint, but very clean, nice and new. The grey and light-yellow color pattern was consistent inside and out, and the L-shaped dining area looked like it could comfortably sit 2 and a half to 3 dozen at a time. As it was late in their business day, I was the only one seated, but a couple of other customers came and went with their to-go orders. As I said, the wait was short, and within a matter of minutes, my sandwich sat before me.
As suspected, this was indeed beef roast, and I mean the kind Maw-Maw used to make: tender and dripping with a gravy that held captive visible chunks of onion and spices to the thickly sliced slab of meat.
This beefy decadence was joined by all the litany of toppings mentioned above, and all of it was nestled into a wonderfully toasted brioche bun. I felt the eyes of the staff on me as I sized it all up. I had a feeling that this had something to do with the fact that I had asked for all the toppings, and they were as eagerly awaiting the results as I was.
As much of an anomaly as it seemed to them, the amalgam of ingredients actually worked brilliantly. Fresh and clean flavors from the lettuce and spinach and the tangy accents of the mustard, spicy sauce, jalapeno, relish and kraut gave a great balance and contrast to the deep savory flavors of the meat, yet they took nothing away from that amazing roast. The toasty, buttery soft brioche was an excellent call, as well, rounding all of this flavor madness out beautifully. Having that, along with a sidecar of soft, skin-on French fries, and I was more than set.
As I sat staring at the remaining crumbs of what had previously been the epic lunch, the friendly gal from behind the counter came by to tidy up and asked how everything was. As we chatted, I quickly found out that in the first month and a half of operation, I was the first customer to order any of their items “all-the-way,” and they were all really curious as to what I thought about it. As tempted as I was to tell them to read all about it in Lagniappe Magazine, I decided to keep my anonymity, and just tell them how much I enjoyed it and why, and it was with smiles and pleasantries that I was politely thanked and welcomed back when it came time for me to go.
Having been a fan of Famous Foods for as long as I have, I figured that I wouldn’t be disappointed in 2 Good, but it still exceeded my expectations. It was a merger of the fancy, fresh and new vibe of a lot of restaurants, but there was still that home-cooked sensibility to the food, and the place was as welcoming as a family member’s living room. The latter two aspects are most certainly the Guillory family wheelhouse, and they didn’t sacrifice that to create something different and fresh in this new venture.
While lunch service is all you get at the moment, the staff did inform me that afternoon and dinner hours are planned in the future, so sit tight. Until then, if it’s midday munchie time and you can make it by, go see what I’m talking about. It’s 2 Good not to!