Late night soul

Sometimes you’ve got to have barbecue; nothing else will suffice. After a recent Second Saturday art walk, I got such a hankering and, after fruitlessly driving around the Downtown/Midtown grid and Del Paso Heights, I hit Touch A’Class on Stockton Boulevard south of 14th Avenue. The club is a live-music venue (r&b, hip-hop) with a soul-food kitchen on the side, but they serve food until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. After a quick pat-down at the door, I entered the restaurant side and ordered beef brisket and links dinners with sides of yams, greens and potato salad, and sweet-potato pie for dessert. The brisket was exquisitely tender and spiced just right, the links had a pleasant afterburn, the yams tasted like they might have been cooked in spiced maple syrup, the potato salad was pretty close to perfect. Only the greens were merely adequate, but they were more than redeemed by the pie, which was just short of heavenly. For a town where the sidewalks roll up early, here’s an option for fine late-night food with a Southern twist.