You can know plenty about the city you call home and still have giant gaps in your knowledge of the place.
Until today, May 16, 2017, I’d never been to Brooks’ Sandwich House. The truth? Until yesterday, I’d never even heard of it. This is despite having driven literally within a block of it, oh, let’s say maybe 50 times, at least.
But when I posted on Facebook that I was headed out at lunch in search of livermush, friends swarmed my page like honey-bees to hollyhocks. They were pretty much equally divided between two camps:
2. Go to Brooks’ immediately.
Figuring I could deal with Group 1 later, I followed the command of Group 2.
Near the extension of the light-rail line in Charlotte’s busy NoDa neighborhood, Brooks’ is just steps from booming breweries and new residential developments.
The tiny, cinderblock building painted red is legendary. Its burgers land on "Best Of" lists over and over. It appeals to old-school-Southern-food fans and trend-watchers alike. It’s got shady trees where you can eat in your car after you pick up your order from the walk-up window.
While I was ordering my first-ever livermush sandwich, the Facebook comments continued to roll in. Dozens of them.
"You can have it on bread, plain, like a BLT, with mustard or with cheese."
"Words cannot express how much I miss livermush now that I live in the UK."
"Let me tell you, my hubby makes the world’s greatest…"
Come to Shelby! We have it in Monroe! You can buy it at Aldi now!
It was a liver love-fest. But was it warranted? Did the sandwich make me swoon?
Yes. Oh my, yes. It surely did.
And here’s why: The square slice of pork liver blended with cornmeal and spices was perfectly fried. The outside was crisp and hot. The inside was buttery and warm, rich and melty.
It was tasty and memorable, but it was more than that: It was a new experience for a long-time Charlottean. In the future, I’ll try to keep in mind that there are always secrets hidden in our hometowns – even if we need our friends to point us in the right direction to find them.