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The Southern Standard Goes Local


This marked my second visit to The Southern Standard, although things have changed considerably for the food truck that has now partnered with Me & McGee Market in North Little Rock. Dubbed “The Farmers Market Food Truck,” The Southern Standard has taken up a permanent residence at the popular market.

Chef Josh Smith is operating the truck, and although I enjoyed his Ahi tuna sandwich on a previous lunch, the concept has now shifted to incorporating more local ingredients into the menu, all of which are carried at Me & McGee. Seems like a perfect match. And after trying out most of the new menu’s handheld section, it tastes like it, too.

That includes The Market Burger, a sizeable burger made with local beef, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The beef, which looks and tastes leaner than what you’ll typically find, is dripping with cheddar cheese that melts right onto the accompanying pickles. Standard uses a Serenity Farms asiago and onion bun, a tasty yet slightly denser bun that holds its form throughout consumption. It’s an impressive burger, as is the Vega-Terranean, the meatless counterpart with local, grilled King Trumpet mushrooms from Plethora Fungi.

The Truck Chix Sandwich is another winner, thanks in large part to the inclusion of perfectly grilled Serenity Farms sourdough bread and  Forevermost Farms chicken breast.

I would not hesitate to order any of these menu items again (which are all served with a side salad). But the absolute star of the meal was my order of fried mushrooms. My goodness, this collection of flour-coated, then deep-fried pieces of portabello and King Trumpet had me contemplating whether these were the best fried mushrooms I’d ever eaten. High praise, I know, but it is entirely possible. I just kept eating them while trying to fight off my tablemate who seemed to be equally enthusiastic about the fungi. As someone who visits a lot of food trucks and restaurants, I am always looking for that one item that sticks in my mind, practically calling me back weeks later. The fried mushrooms were it.

Also, if you enjoy specialty drinks, The Southern Standard serves up a delicious Turmeric Latte and Matcha Latte. I never knew those were my bag, but apparently, they are.

The future looks bright for Chef Josh Smith and his crew. Creativity is obviously front and center, and, coupled with easy access to local ingredients, the sky seems like the limit for this food truck with a permanent spot at Me & McGee Market.

Until my next visit, I will be dreaming about those fried mushrooms.

Did You Know?

The Southern Standard also has a variety of take-and-bake meals available each month. Those recently included Wade’s Meatloaf, Asian Meatballs & Fried Rice, Chicken Piccata & Fingerling Potatoes, and Smoked Chicken Salad (available in pint and quart).

The Southern Standard
10409 Highway 70 (North Little Rock)
Phone: 501-918-8600
Hours: Check hours for Me & McGee Market

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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Natalie (12) and Sydney (7). He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, seven years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for almost five years. During that time, he’s written for Little Rock Soiree, Rock City Eats, Treatsie, and Bourbon and Boots.

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