Memphis Y'all: Two Months Midsouth

Memphis Eats: Do Sushi + Noodles

July 26, 2010
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Do Sushi and Noodles in the Cooper-Young district is a bit of a poser. I mean it’s not really Japanese. Here are some reasons:

1. They have sushi featuring bacon

2. There are no lucky plastic cat figurines with bobbing paws

3. The waitstaff was entirely Caucasian

So in conclusion, Do is more Japanese fusion than straight up Japanese. Nothing wrong with that. The building has that old and renovated look, which seems a bit off with sushi. Our table was very small for the three in our party–which would have been fine except my father bemoaned the fact that he was left facing the wall.

If I was rating with stars I would have to give the restaurant a star for treating my family so kindly when we came in 30 minutes before the restaurant closed. My mother ordered a shrimp and fried rice dish which was huge. My father and I ordered sushi.

I was impressed with my strawberry drizzled sushi, however, if you’re looking for non-specialty, non-funky ingredients sushi this isn’t your place. I’d recommend Do as a first date location because though limited, the menu is interesting enough to keep conversation going for a long while. Unless your date is boring. Or doesn’t like sushi. But as a go-to sushi location, I’m still shopping around for a place with more selection.
Noodle Doodle Do on Urbanspoon


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Memphis Eats: Tops Bar-B-Q

July 25, 2010
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After being told about it again and again, finally DB and I made it to Tops Bar-B-Q for a late afternoon lunch. We went to the location in the University of Memphis neighborhood.

On the way over, I asked what I should order. “Well,” DB said, “Either a pulled pork sandwich or the hamburger.”

“A hamburger?” I asked. “How can it be? They serve hamburgers and bar-b-q?”

They do.

We both ordered #1’s which come with your choice of two sides. I chose fries (highly recommended by DB) and beans. He chose fries and chips.

The restaurant was very chilly so we sat by the window. When our order was called, DB went to go get it. It was bagged up.

“Did you want this for here sweetie?” the lady cook asked. DB said “yes.” “Of course you did,” she said and popped the order taker up-side the head. She put our order on a tray and sent DB back to our table.

The sandwich was the best pulled pork I’ve had in Memphis. The meat is topped with slaw. The beans have chunks of meat in them. I suggest spooning them upon the sandwich as I did. Superb.
Tops Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Best of Memphis

July 23, 2010
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The other day DB and I walked into one of our favorite haunts, Young Avenue Deli, and our bartender was jumping for joy.

“Gabe, I like your new haircut,” DB said.

DB, a real Memphian (unlike myself), has grown to know and love Mr. Gabe DeRanzo. Gabe’s been bartending at Young Ave for a while now and he’s, well, the best. Turns out that Mr. Gabe was excited because he’s been nominated and is in the running for best bartender in Memphis.

Around town I see people getting excited for this Memphis Flyer ‘best of’ competition. It supports local business! Yes! and encourages people to get out and try new stuff! Yes! I love that people are excited about this because, brother, print newspaper and magazines are not dead, they’re just sleeping.

Please take a moment to vote for Gabe even if you’ve never been to Memphis. If I knew him better I’m sure he’d be a friend, but he’s a friend of DB and an upstanding guy. Oh yes, and one time he gave me a free PBR, which I then dropped on the floor by accident. And he only laughed a little.

Mr. Gabe also said that if (when) he wins, he’ll throw a BIG party and Young Ave.

Update: Stella Strip Club?

July 20, 2010
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The day I posted about my trip to Stella, the coastal club and lounge announced on their Facebook page they would be closing for business for the next six weeks to complete renovations.

Before I ever stepped through those rhinestone encrusted doors, I heard a rumor-rumor from my coworker that Stella was built to be a strip club but was unable to open as such because of its proximity to nearby schools.

Now, decide on your own what you believe, but have you noticed just how lovely those stick ladies look up on the balcony? After Stella closed I had the opportunity to chat with a Stella employee (or former employee for now I suppose). This person said that rumor amongst the staff is that the club is closing to make changes that would make it a better strip club. She also said that the staff has not been told whether or not it is true, but she did say that the staff has been told that the columns/second story you can see in the picture are not structurally sound to hold ladies, er, people.

The Facebook page neither confirms or denies the dancing claims. Memphis Daily News said on June 15 that the club has filed a few building permits, including on to add an additional parking lot to the space.

Memphis Goes: Stella Marris

July 12, 2010
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Everyone at the club was getting tipsy.

It was a hot night.

We were supposed to go to post-drug-bust Fox and Hound but DB got a phone call instructing us to put our dancing shoes on and head over to the club.

That was supposed to be a strip club.

Even though I am a lady, I did not get in free.

I did the Cupid Shuffle. DB did not want to get down. We left around 2 a.m.. Don’t bring a concealed weapon because they swipe and pat you down before you go in.

The near nut grab DB received from the bouncer was almost worth price of admission.

Memphis Eats: Boscos

July 12, 2010
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“I wanted to seem so at home here that you could slap a 38104 bumper sticker on my ass and call me a Volkswagen.”

I first  heard about the magical place called Boscos from a new friend, B, who is a waiter there. All of the people I was with said, ‘oh Boscos, they brew their own beer, ahhhtastic.’

I wanted to show my parents new places they don’t have back home (which is easy considering home is the big ice block up north) and also show them that I know a lot about where I live. I wanted to do as the locals do. I wanted to seem so at home that you could slap a 38104 bumper sticker on my ass and call me a volkswagen. I wanted my parents to see that I was doing fine on my own.

Returning from a shopping trip to Collierville one evening, my mother declared that she did not in fact want to return to the hotel to change into nice clothes and go to Flemings to eat. Since we’d already visited many Midtown haunts, including but not limited to Do Sushi, Cafe Ole (where we Ole’d a little too hard on Monday bo-go margaritas and had to return to the hotel for a sobering nap fest), and Young Avenue Deli, I suggested we go to Boscos.

We were seated on the porch and handed the beer (pronounced burr round these yonder parts) and eats menus to peruse. It was a lovely evening and I was super excited to suck down some locally brewed beverages. I went with the IPA, my father chose the brown ale and my mother, ever the dandy, ordered a cosmo. The place was a-buzz with big and small groups, a lot of families as well. This is the type of crowd that you would expect to see at Chili’s. I was surprised at the extensive and reasonably priced menu options (few things over $20) that included Ahi tuna, fried calamari and margarita pizza.

I ordered the fried Ahi tuna. I’ve never had battered tuna before and I was delighted at the prospect of having raw fish in a fried casing. I’d recommend this dish, though perhaps with a bit of soy sauce because the sauce was a bit on the bland side. The vegetables were buttery, salty and delicious, definitely not your average push-to-the-side dish. Mom ordered the special of the day, which was some sort of fish encrusted in pecan. We all agreed that hers was the best.

There are additional Boscos locations in Nashville, Franklin and Little Rock, so eating here is not super local but it South local. So get your south on.

It turned out that my friend B was working. He came up to the table and introduced himself to my parents. They were excited that the friends that I have been telling them about are indeed not made up.

Boscos Squared on Urbanspoon

Memphis Flea Market

July 12, 2010
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I’ve got a HUGE backlog of photos since my parents left. No worries. I’ll work extra hard over the next few days to put up LOTS of photos featuring her lady Memphis.

A few weeks ago I went to the Memphis Flea Market. Please note that there is a $2 fee to get in. There are tons of vendors (more than 50) indoors and out. I found that the best deals were at the makeup vendors stands. You can get  brand name makeup for $2 and $3 that would cost you in drug stores upwards of $10. The farmers market only happens once a month but I’d say check it out!

At the Memphis Flea Market you can buy all kinds of things, including a 4 inch plastic husband.

The QVC ring stand was the first place I threw down cash. I loved my David Yurman copy ring that I got. Then the paint chipped off a few days later and I was very sad.

You can even score some bling and something in a can.

MidSouth Story: “Honey, you need more padding than that”

July 8, 2010
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Yesterday afternoon I was mindlessly flipping through the bra rack at Ross in Collierville.

An ederly woman with a spray of grey-white hair tapped me on the shoulder as I examined a  polka-dot brazier.

“Honey, you need more padding than that,” she said with a wink. She proceeded to cup her breasts and say, “But don’t worry, you can have some of mine.”

She laughed and walked away. Only in Memphis.

MidSouth Story: Donut Swipe

July 7, 2010

My parents are in town from Alaska. That means lots of great food and I get to NOT be the out-of-towner for a few days! I’m enjoying showing them the sites and sounds of Memphis.

But who cares about me? Story time.
Donut Swipe

This morning on my way to work I stopped through the lobby of my parents’ hotel to grab a quick bite to eat.

I was amazed that at the early hour of 8:30 a.m. the hotel lobby was already bustling with activity and youths.

I dodged these bite-sized people on my way to the pastry cases. I spotted on my way frosted delights, donuts that were not only glazed but also had chocolate icing up top. The devilish deserts were not present at yesterdays morning lineup–but then again yesterday I did not make it down to the breakfast room until 10:30 a.m. The lineup very well may have changed.

I made it to the pastry case. There were two sandy-haired children stood in front of the two remaining donuts. One grimy youthful hand reached into the case and snatched up a donut.

His younger brother howled in protest because he could not reach the case. I saw an opportunity. I gently booty bumped the wailing child out of the way, reached in and grabbed the last remaining donut.

I hurried out the door, licking the sugar off my lips. Feeling successful.

Memphis Eats: The Edge

July 1, 2010

This post is a response to Prompt #1 of the CKSL Challenge. Please visit and love on fellow Memphis blogheads.

“Welcome home.”

Erica, the mellow, backwards-hat barista  chick greeted me and handed me a menu. The Edge coffee bar is hidden away in a midtown neighborhood. Even TomTom had a tough time finding it. Their were three or four hipsters hanging around the joint, tapping away at their laptops and growing their beards.

Erica suggested that I try an avalanche, apparently it’s where everyone starts. I was feeling more liquid than frappe, so I continued to peruse the menu until I came upon the falling star.

“What’s that?”

She explained that it was the non-frozen counterpart of the avalanche. I was ready-freddy. The shooting star cost me about $6.50 when I added a $2 tip for all of the tour guiding the friendly barista did. She also gave me a frequent buyer card and told me about the cool text-in-your-order deal. This is certainly the type of place where the baristas remember your name and your drink of choice. The owner even came out and introduced himself. The Edge is a labor of love and so welcoming.

Since I went after work I wasn’t quite ready to dive into the meal menu–not to mention that I was overwhelmed by the drink menu alone. I didn’t see it on the menu, but this is the type of place where you’d  order a shot of wheat grass. Both menus are extensive. The Edge has a couple of pool tables in the back and an extensive lending library–I saw a copy of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and knew that I was indeed home.

The Edge has a distinctly Austin feel much like the other midtown coffee shop I love and frequent, Otherlands. Edge is open til 1 a.m. though–hard to beat for late night funkydoodlers such as myself. Every evening they offer events from Tuesday spokenword entertainment, free pool Monday, etcetera etcetera.

I had to run out to my car to get my memory card and found this cool fence. My beverage was not as sweet as I thought. I’ll probably stick to my latte next time, but the shooting star was a very nice change. It tastes like nutmeg and dreams and perhaps a bit chocolatey. They used crushed ice too, which is rad.

visit cute stew

The Edge CoffeeHouse on Urbanspoon

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