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Gourmands revels in the details

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

Just a mile or so east of downtown, you'll find Gourmands Neighborhood Pub, a new restaurant filling a similar but entirely different niche as Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden.

Located in a former Tejano club, the family-run eatery that specializes in gourmet soups and sandwiches opened in October to much less fanfare than some of the other gastropubs that have opened recently, but co-owner Mike Russell is serving some pretty serious sandwiches, soups and salads. What really elevates the food at Gourmands are the small details that most pubs overlook. From-scratch potato chips, pickled vegetables and salad dressings accompany the sandwiches and salads. They make to order the egg salad that goes on the Cool Hand Luke sandwich, and the broccoli in the beer cheese soup doesn't get overcooked because it doesn't go in the soup until it's ordered. All the soups are made from scratch, and they slice their own deli meat and cheeses.

At the bar, they've recently expanded their taps to include 18 draft beers, half of which are from local brewers including Hops and Grain, Austin Beerworks, Real Ale, Independence, (512), Circle Brew and Thirsty Planet. In addition to pints, you can get a 32-ounce schooner to go with your Goodfella (chicken, provolone, roasted garlic mayonnaise) or Cleopatra (Havarti cheese, artichoke, olives and cucumber) sandwich.

Trivia nuts beware: Gourmands' trivia night on Wednesdays has "blown up" in recent weeks, says co-owner Tiffany Russell, so call ahead to reserve a table if you plan to go. Also, they've teamed up with Franklin BBQ to offer brisket sandwiches made with Franklin's famous meat on Super Bowl Sunday.

Gourmands is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. 2316 Webberville Road, 610-2031, LoveThySandwich.com .