Memphis Y'all: Two Months Midsouth

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


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.

Budget Bites: Surprise Fried Rice

June 27, 2010
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I made this recipe for my girls back home and it was a hit. There’s something fantastic about pineapple in fried rice that just makes me say aha! Fried rice is great as left overs and it makes a ton. Don’t be too heavy-handed on the soy sauce, though, you can always more in the individual dish.

Surprise Fried Rice

Surprise Fried Rice is adapted from Take-out Fried Rice on Recipezaar by Chef Dee.


3 cups cooked white rice

3 tablespoons sesame oil

1 12oz package of frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)

1 small can pineapples, drained (I bought the rings and chopped them up)

½ ham steak (divide the rest into individual bags and freeze for later!)

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/3 cup soy sauce


In a large skillet heat the sesame oil. Add the frozen vegetables. Stir ham and pineapple, continue to stir and cook until vegetables have softened. Lower the heat and add the beaten egg, stirring until it is finely scrambled. Add the soy sauce, and rice, blend well. Splash a little more sesame oil over the rice if necessary.

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.


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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