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lunch in the Delta and dinner in Memphis

Take a look at Central BBQ for Memphis. Very casual, and good Memphis BBQ, but they also have vegetarian options across their menu.

Jan 24, 2010
mamasquirrel in Central South

Chicago to NOLA on I-55

The Velvet Cream in Hernando, MS is a great old-fashioned malt shop/drive thru. It's not far off of I-55 and would be a good stop. You have to stop at Middendorf's in Manchac, LA. It's right off the interstate, and if you like catfish, you will love them. Go for their thin catfish - there's nothing else like it.

Jan 12, 2010
mamasquirrel in Central South

Your Top 10 Tastes of the South 2009

1. Amberjack cheek at Sugano in Lexington, KY
2. Cookies from Kizito in Louisville, KY
3. Collard greens at Africanne on Main in Richmond, VA
4. Tamales at Luna Maya in Norfolk, VA
5. Fresh pasta at Francesco's in WIlliamsburg, VA
6. Samosas and gulab jamun at Mithai House in Cary, NC
7. Queue de boeuf at Chez Carmelle in Marietta, GA
8. Coriander fish rolls at Hong Kong House in Knoxville, TN
9. Sweetbreads at Restaurant Iris in Memphis, TN
10. Goat in yogurt sauce at Layla's in Little Rock, AR

Jan 06, 2010
mamasquirrel in Southeast


Some of my personal favorites for authentic ethnic food in and around Atlanta - Panahar (on Buford Hwy) for Bangladeshi food, Papi's or Palomilla for Cuban, Tasty China in Marietta for Szechuan, Chez Carmelle in Marietta for Haitian, Cafe Alsace in Decatur for Alsatian French, and the Australian Bakery Cafe on the square in Marietta for meat pies. All of these are owned and operated by first-generation immigrants, and they're all decently priced. If you're really looking for authentic, there's no place in the South like Buford Hwy. You'll find reasonably priced, authentically prepared ethnic food from almost anywhere in the world.

Jan 02, 2010
mamasquirrel in Atlanta

Memphis recommendations wanted -- have done some research here

At Central, I love the BBQ nachos, the dry spice jerk chicken wings, the smoked turkey, and any of their sides. For BBQ Shop, I think they have the best BBQ spaghetti and dry ribs. I also love their sandwiches on Texas Toast, especially the BBQ bologna. Alcenia's is great for soul food. BJ cooks everything there with love, and serves all her food in a great atmosphere. I will say, though, that it's a small place, and if you hit it when it's busy, you have to be prepared to wait. Huey's is a Memphis institution. It's one of those go-to places that's always consistently good without being too pricey. You just have to try Dyer's to know whether you'll like them or not. Other downtown food that you don't want to miss would be Beignet Cafe (try both kinds of beignets), Ernestine and Hazel's (they make the soulburger), Market Cafe (a new place serving lunch only, but all local food), the Inn at Hunt-Phelan (great bar & a great place for a more upscale meal). And the three places you listed are gone.

Best Southern Food Trucks

You might want to look at North Charleston. There's a vibrant Hispanic community there with multiple taco trucks in the area. Los Parados is my favorite. They started with a taco truck a few years ago and now have a small restaurant and the taco truck.

Anywhere in TN or AR within reasonable distance to I-40 to get from-scratch country veggies (rutabagas, collards, field peas, etc.)?

The Old Country Store in Jackson, TN sounds like just what you're looking for. It's just of I-40 on the west side of Jackson. It is a buffet, but they make everything from scratch fresh everyday. They even buy from local farmers whenever they can, so they always have the good stuff. Their crackling cornbread was one of Garden & Gun's 100 things to eat before you die. They do them as hoecakes, and they normally have collards, turnip greens, and mustard greens on the buffet, so you can pick your poison.

Old Country Store
56 Casey Jones Ln Ste A, Jackson, TN 38305

ISO information on pork ribs

Dry rub ribs are found outside of Memphis, however, not in any specific region. The style itself is most common in Memphis. Dry ribs can be as tender as wet ribs, but there will be some chew to the bark on the ribs. Memphis in May guidelines judge ribs that actually fall of the bones as being overcooked. Mail order ribs are hard. Even shipped overnight, they're not going to be the same as fresh from the pit. Reheating is going to change the texture and moisture level of the ribs. Rendezvous and Corky's may be resting on their laurels, but if you're going to mail order ribs, they're probably the best bets just because they are used to shipping ribs and providing reheating instructions. Some of the smaller pits make better ribs, but they're not experienced shippers and many of them aren't willing to ship. Central BBQ might be a good choice for shipping since they are larger than some other pits. If you make to Memphis, hit up the Barbecue Shop, Cozy Corner, or Payne's for great ribs.

Payne's Bar-B-Q in Memphis - Wow!!!

The barbecue bologna is also wonderful & unique. And try to get there early for lunch if you want one of their delicious fried pies - those always sell out quickly.

Good French style bread for po-boys in Memphis

Try Viet Hoa market on Cleveland. They keep good bread there for bahn mi. Baguettes from Cucina Bread at the downtown farmers' market on Saturday morning are fairly close in texture.

Memphis Breakfast

Yes. Iris brunch is a different experience. You'll see a couple of the dinner menu items, but there are a lot of dishes that are brunch only.

Driving Hwy 72 east from Memphis thru Corinth, Muscle Shoals, Decatur, Huntsville, Scottsboro and S. Pittsburgh

Yes! There's a great donut shop in Muscle Shoals - they don't fill the donuts until you order them. There's also a great little place called Trobridge's on the square in Florence - it's an old soda fountain with great pimento cheese, hot dogs and milk shakes. In Decatur, there's Big Bob Gibson's - you have to try the chicken with the white sauce - it's a completely different BBQ experience. I don't know about food in Scottsboro, but there is the unclaimed baggage store - that's worth stopping and having a look. As far as South Pittsburgh, my favorite place is the Dixie Freeze - try their Dagwood and a malt. And then you have to go to the Lodge Factory Store for some great prices on cast iron skillets and everything else.

Aug 24, 2009
mamasquirrel in Central South

One Meal in Knoxville, TN

Hong Kong House is the best meal I've ever had in Knoxville, hands down. It's not impressive from the outside or even on the inside, but the food is absolutely amazing. The only possibility I can see for the health department score is the fact that only the front-of-house staff speak English. There might be some translation difficulties in the kitchen. The food is fabulous regardless.

Where to get casual Southern food in Richmond, VA? (or better yet, towards Charlottesville)

I was recently in Richmond and had the best greens in my life at Africanne on Main. It's not strictly Southern food - it's more like Southern food with African cooking methods and seasonings. Really uique stuff, but absolutely delicious.

Best Restaurant (not BBQ) in Memphis?

Since you'll be downtown, there are several options. The Majestic Grille is good for lunch or supper. Encore would be a very nice dinner with clients. Sole in the Westin does great seafood. For a fine dining experience, Chez Philippe in the Peabody is wonderful. If you're looking for more casual options, there's lot available, too. Beignet Cafe is great sandwiches along with perfect dessert. Gus's or Miss Polly's for fried chicken, Alcenia's for soul food, Dyer's, Huey's or Ernestine and Hazel's for burgers. It just all depends on what type of atmosphere you're looking for.

New to Memphis, where to find great sandwiches, pizza, and chocolate?

My favorite special sandwich at Deli Mexicana is the meatloaf - just wonderful. Off the everyday menu, I like the elephant ear - thin sirloin with peppers and onions. Muddy's Bake Shop does great sandwiches for lunch - and then you're right there for a cupcake for dessert. If you just want a good, old-fashioned sandwich, I love Canale's at Houston Levee and Raleigh-LaGrange. Their ham (from the ones they smoke on-site) are beautiful.

Overton Park Pizza Stone does good thin crust pizza with good toppings. The make the mozzarella in-house and smoke it there too.

There is someone whose name I can't remember who sells Belgian-style chocolates at the Wednesday Botanic Garden Farmers' Market. Really good stuff.

Anything to eat in Chattanooga?

Terra Nostra Tapas is really great. We just ate there last weekend and loved it. A little pricey, but good atmosphere and very well-prepared food.

Virginia Beach Recommendations

My family and I were just there last week. One of our favorite places was Luna Maya in Norfolk. The food is mostly good quality Mexican, but the owners are Bolivian and have added some Bolivian dishes to the menu as well. They're a dinner-only restaurant with a great local vibe.

Jul 31, 2009
mamasquirrel in Mid-Atlantic

BBQ Fish--Does it exist?

Actually close to home in Savannah, TN is a great little catfish shack that makes cold-smoked catfish. Pickwick Catfish Farm uses hickory wood and a lot of pepper to make something that's delicious and unique. And they ship. :)

Here's What We've Picked for 1st Trip to Nag's Head

We were just at Weeping Radish in Jarvisburg. Great beer from their brewery and brats for lunch from their butcher shop. It's definitely worth a stop for lunch. And if you're renting somewhere with a kitchen, they provide a fresh-from-the-fields basket of produce to go with the great seafood you can get from the other markets. They do once per week drop offs all along the Outer Banks & you can order from their website.

Local Seafood joints near Williamsburg, VA?

My family and I just had lunch in Williamsburg today as tourists. I would recommend Francesco's Ristorante. It's not necessarily a seafood place, but they do seafood really well. They're also using fresh, locally grown produce and making their own pasta. The chef/owner is Sicilian and makes sure his kitchen turns out great food every meal.

Exotic food in the Mid-South

Cayenne Moon is gone. The owner passed away. If you're looking for game in a nice restaurant, take a look at the menu for Erling Jensen.

What other sort of food would you consider bizarre or exotic?

LA Hound Needs Help With Memphis

I will second those choices as well. Bryant's is the best breakfast in town. I would also throw in the Four Way for soul food for lunch. BBQ Shop is really good - try the BBQ balogna appetizer & a sandwich on Texas toast. Just great stuff.

Vegan or Veg in Memphis

There are actually quite a few options depending on where you are in town. Midtown has a lot of vegetarian options - Jasmine Thai, Cafe Ole, Do and Big Lou's Pizza Pie are all in Cooper-Young and have vegetarian options on the menu. Most of the other restaurants in midtown will prepare vegetarian dishes if you let them know what you're looking for. Central BBQ even has a Portobella sandwich on the menu along with great veg sides. Out in Germantown, Las Tortugas has cheese and avocado sandwiches on the menu and does specials like black bean tostadas and tamales. Downtown, Majestic Grille and Sole in the Westin both do great things with local produce. In east Memphis, Interim, Grove Grile, Andrew Michael and Napa Cafe have vegetarian options for dinner, Lucchesi's would be great for lunch. And don't skip Muddy's Bakeshop for pies and cupcakes.

Hwy 64 out of Memphis...

Hwy 64 out of Memphis...

BBQ is always a good bet along the Hwy 64 corridor. If you go past Bolivar, you start getting into some really great catfish. Brad's BBQ in Oakland is fairly new as far as BBQ places go, but they make good food. Check out Fayette and Hardeman counties on the West Tennessee Culinary Tourism map at The Old Country Store in Jackson put this together with the criteria that the restaurant had to be at least 5 years old, serving traditional Southern food, and not part of a chain. There are some really great places on there.

As far as Hwy 51 north goes, my husband did a piece on that route for Edible Memphis magazine last year. You can take a look at the places we found at The article takes you to Ripley, but if you keep going north to Union City, stop on Main Street for a Flippens fried pie. They're just a beautiful thing.

Best Place for Dinner Downtown Memphis

I love Hunt Phelan. Great atmosphere and great food. I haven't tried Sole since right after they opened, but I've been hearing great things. I've also been hearing good things about the new menu at Automatic Slims if you're looking for something a little more casual.

Vegetarian (Fish OK) in Memphis

I would also recommend Restaurant Iris or Bari if you're looking for something fancier. Neither one is vegetarian per se, but if you tell them that you're a vegetarian, they will accommodate you - actually, they more than accommodate - they'll prepare fresh vegetarian dishes just for you. They also both do fish very well.

New to Mobile Alabama, Where's The Good Stuff?

I LOVE Whataburger!! My son begs to stop whenever we're near one. So sad that they've never come back to Memphis.

Another recommendation for Mobile would be Osman's. It's small and quiet, but the food is delicious. The owners are Bosnian, and while they don't put a lot of Eastern European food on the menu, they do really great continental European cuisine.

May 25, 2009
mamasquirrel in Central South

Looking for Vietnamese food in Louisville

I'll be in Louisville, KY next weekend and am hoping for some good, authentic Vietnamese food. I'm planning to go to Basa for higher-end, fusion type food, but can anyone recommend a smaller, more traditional Vietnamese restaurant? Thanks in advance!