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.


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 Eats: The Edge

July 1, 2010
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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


Memphis Eats: Flight

June 25, 2010
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The womens’ specialty magazine I am interning for treated us ladies to lunch at Flight. This was my first taste of downtown upscale–no ragging on Gus’s, but I’d say it’s more southern kitchen. The restaurant was busy with business suits and client meetings. It’s not quite the place you slip off your shoes and let you hair down. Our waitresses was so sweet and knowledgeable about the menu. She kindly explained that the “flights” on the menu come in three courses served at once. The triads compliment each other and are grouped by city.

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Eating local has NEVER been more fantastic!

June 24, 2010
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visit cute stew

Because of Muddy’s Bake Shop‘s adorable blog I learned about fellow Memphis blogger Cute Stew’s (CS) eat local challenge. It’s perfect. So far as I know this just happened. CS is rounding up all the Memphis foodie bloggers in an effort to get the WORD OUT about local restaurants.

Now my homeskillets in Austin know how to do it right. We rode (have ridden?) through the recession with flying colors because of the amount of support for local businesses in Austin. I’m so thrilled to see the same support in M-town and hello, like I need another reason to eat at the fine dining locations throughout the city. So here’s how the project goes: each week CS will pick a topic such as coffee bars and she will send us like ants throughout the city to photograph and patronize whichever location we choose. The challenge ends on August 1–which is great because my Mid-South challenge end then too with my return to Austin. Oh and Roll Tide Roll.


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Memphis Eats: Central BBQ

June 20, 2010
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Cruising around my neck of the hoods, I spotted Central BBQ. Back in the day when I was still in Austin, when I’d mention Memphis folks would always say, ‘Oh Memphis, there’s a great music scene there and fantastic bar-b-que.’ I aching for my AP Style book right now to get the correct spelling on bbq. There are likely as many spellings for the dish as there are cuts of meat and ways of preparation.

I started asking the locals (the ladies in the office and my roommates) about Central. They all said, ‘mmmm.’ While a moan isn’t quite an Urban Spoon review, it means a lot (in the best of circumstances). My thorough research has also taught me that I should request the Memphis-specialty ‘dry rub.’ Don’t shoot me, but I’m not quite sure what the difference between a wet and dry rub are. The meat in the picture looks juicy, right? Well, that’s a dry rub. I feel the itch of future blog post about the difference between the two rubs.

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Memphis Eats: Restaurant Iris

June 17, 2010
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Chef Kelly English stunned me and the magazine ladies with his creative food creations. The restaurant is in a renovated house in a residential neighborhood. It’s quaint and super location-specific. Restaurant Iris is one of the many locally owned Memphis restaurants I’ve eaten at the past couple of days. Work retreats are great, the food is greater.


Restaurant Iris on Urbanspoon


Memphis Eats: Spicy Chicken Sandwich at the Chick-Fil-A

June 7, 2010
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Today Chick-Fil-A released their long-awaited spicy chicken sandwich. Here it is in all its glory. The meat isn’t as spicy as it could be, but it’s still a nice change to the classic. Has anyone else tried it?


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