Dear Vickery Park, Just Say No To Cheese Abuse

This Sunday at Vickery Park the weather was warm, the breeze was stiff, and the brunchers were out in full force. I joined a small crew late in the afternoon and tried to make sense of their Crispin and whiskey lubricated ramblings. (They'd arrived several hours before me.) I was hungry, and there was talk of a decent burger, some delicious migas that the kitchen stopped serving an hour ago and a chopped brisket sandwich that made a few eyes get wild.

So I ordered a brisket sandwich, and I sipped on some cider, and maybe 10 minutes later a plate holding the meat and cheese orgy pictured above was brought to my table. The poor defenseless and delicate bun never stood a chance against the glacial flow of oozing melted cheese. A wet brisket mixture soaked the bread, weakening it against the slow-motion avalanche of viscous milk fat.

I was completely overwhelmed, and I hadn't even picked the bitch up.

Maintaining the integrity of Vickery Park's brisket sandwich was no simple task. The meat was absolutely suspended in cheese, which was shifty and constantly drawn to whatever side of the sandwich was facing downward. I had to take one bite, then quickly spin the thing around to take another bite from the bulge that was squishing out the other end, only to have to invert the hot mess to keep the bottom bun from giving way.

As the sandwich cooled a little (and I ate half of it) it became more manageable, but I had to wonder: Why the hell was there so much cheese on the thing in the first place?

Cheese abuse is common in bar food -- I've had some Reubens that were all out gushers, and burgers that get two slices of American when they don't even need one -- but Vickery Park's brisket number may be the most lacto-laden sandwich I've ever consumed. The dairy lobbyists that pushed Domino's to add more cheese to their pizzas would be quite pleased, I'm sure, but I think all that goop distracts from what should really be the star of the show. I mean, it's a brisket sandwich, right?

As I got closer to the finish line someone mentioned sriracha as a necessary condiment so I pulled back the bun and shot an arc of crimson chili sauce. While I could wax poetic on how the acid and piquancy brightened the sandwich, it would be much more simple to just distill that verbiage down into three simple words -- so, fucking, good.

But it would be better with a little less cheese.


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