Lunching in Little Rock: Bray Gourmet


In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the city’s best restaurants – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch at Bray GourmetClick here to read more in this series.

It has been one of those weeks.  One of those busy at work, eat lunch at your desk, busy at home, give the kids dinner in the bath tub kind of weeks. Food is always on my mind, though. You work to eat, so you can always make a little time to run out and grab something, even if you have to eat at your desk. My go-to for a quick lunch, honestly my go-to for most lunches, is Bray Gourmet downtown on Center Street.

Bray’s has been serving up the best deli-style homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps since 2012. Just off a fresh remodel they are looking better than ever. Owner and chef Chris Bray and his crew specialize in smoked turkey spreads in four flavors: jalapeno, Cajun, original and dill. They also have the best salads for the best price in town. The chef salad is heaped with smoked ham and turkey, two kinds of cheese, thick-cut tomatoes and the best croutons I’ve ever had. If you get your salad to go, the croutons come in a bag. I usually ask for an extra bag to snack on later.

There is indoor and outdoor seating available at the restaurant. When I’m there, I always see someone I know, so it’s great for a quick social pick-me-up. Today I order my regular to-go: smoked turkey spread on toasted sourdough with lettuce and tomato. The turkey spread is like a turkey salad, except blended much more finely and made fresh in-house. Couple that hearty, healthy sandwich with some crunchy, salty Fritos and you’ve got your perfect take out lunch. I strongly suggest getting the Fritos as a side. The sandwich is so loaded with turkey spread that you need a robust chip to scoop up the extra filling that spills out. The speed with which the Bray team completes an order always amazes me. Before I have time to read the front cover of a local magazine, they are calling my name. I couldn’t toast bread as fast as they crank orders out.

Barely got time for lunch? Don’t waste your time and hard-earned money on a fast food place. Go see Chris at Bray Gourmet and let him fix you up with some fresh, fast and good food you won’t regret eating. There is also a Bray Gourmet location in CARTI, an app and online ordering that includes a 15 percent discount to save yourself time and money. Spend the savings on that extra bag of croutons and snack happy for the rest of the afternoon.  

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