Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

bulldogx2's Profile

Title Last Reply

Please critique Memphis choices (researched!!)

For downtown late night food/local bars, you might check out Earnestine & Hazel's and see if their new cooperation with Kelly English (owner/chef at Iris) has kicked in by President's Day. There were articles in the local paper back in December that he was opening up a spot adjacent to E&H. If it is, I'm sure it will be great. If not, E&H is still a fun local bar and their "soul burgers" are a Memphis institution.

I think Hog & Hominy might fit your bill better than Iris anyway. I love them both, and this is not meant to be a knock on Iris, but think H&H is maybe a bit more unique. I think you can find things closer to Iris in NYC.

Agree w/ Clarkafella on Bryant's for a breakfast and Bar Dog as another downtown bar option (their bar food is actually very good for being just that - bar food). I would suggest dropping one of your 4 bbq places for Bryant's. If Bryant's is inconvenient, the Arcade downtown has good southern breakfast, too.

My favorite coffee place downtown is Tap & Tamp. The best coffee in Memphis right now is probably at Porcellino's, which is next to Hog & Hominy and owned by the same folks - it's a butcher shop/bar/coffee shop (basically heaven for me, in other words).

I may be in the minority, but if I'm staying downtown, I'm not sure Gtown Commissary is worth the drive - particularly if you're going to BBQ Shop, Payne's, & Central.

aloha all- second of many questions - 2 breakfasts, preferably smaller, so i can eat more BBQ during the rest of the day

Bryant's is a great choice. My personal favorite is thick-cut bologna and cheese, but bacon and country ham are also good choices.

I like Brother Juniper's but generally think of it as a place for huge, leisurely breakfasts - and there's generally a pretty decent wait. But they may have a breakfast sandwich - I just haven't focused on that before.

Elwood's Shack is another good choice for biscuits, etc. It is just a few minutes east of Bryant's.

Tart in midtown has very good French-style pastries and coffee, if you're looking for something different from a heavy southern breakfast.

If you're downtown, the Arcade is a fun option.

aloha all- first of many questions - i see chowposts saying that the original location of gus' fried chicken

Not sure on how many franchisees or what the deal is with the websites. They claim that all the batter is still made in Mason and shipped to the franchises. I believe the one in Mason is the only one owned by the original family. I think the one in downtown Memphis was the original franchise location, but could be wrong on that. I've actually never been to the one in Mason but have always liked the downtown one. Agree that the Mendenhall one is good as well (I believe that is a different franchisee from the one downtown). I've only been to the one in Collierville once and it tasted fine but the atmosphere is not quite the same.

aloha all- first of many questions - i see chowposts saying that the original location of gus' fried chicken

That is odd. I'm guessing it is because the others are franchised - though in my opinion the one downtown is generally very good. mason is a long drive. Not sure it's worth the marginal difference if you're here for a short trip. I'd say go to the one downtown and have a good time. Others may disagree.

Alchemy in Memphis?

I think Alchemy was more food-focused when it first opened. They started with a chef who had come over from Erling Jensen. Not sure what happened, but she left before too long. Now I think it's more of a drinking/scene place. The menu still looks somewhat interesting, but I'm not sure how well they do it. Your review below seems to match what I've heard.

Twelve hours in Memphis, TN- tees, gifts, and delicious eats!

You want to do all this in 12 hours ?

Tamp and Tap and Otherlands are good for coffee. Maybe look at Republic. I'm not aware of an Ugly Mug shop/store.

Memphis Made makes good beers that you can find around town and you may be able to find a shirt, but they don't have a tap room. You might check out Wiseacre and/or High Cotton, both of which have tap rooms (though only open Thursday - Saturday, I believe). Wiseacre has some good t-shirts.

Gibson's is great. Bryant's on Summer is another dive-y/great breakfast place.

I would probably skip Dyer's and Leonard's. Maybe swap Leoonard's for Cozy Corner or Payne's.

See also the Cove ? - (pirate themed hipster bar)

Solo Dining in Memphis

Around Overton Park/midtown, I think eating at the bar at Bari (Italian) or Cafe 1912 (French bistro feel) might fit the bill. Both are friendly places. You might also look at Ecco, on Overton Park Ave. It's also sort of in the bistro vein, but maybe has more of a Mediterranean / Italian feel than 1912 (but is not an Italian restaurant, per se).

Good places to eat close to I-40

Shallots is right, unless there's something I'm not aware of, the stretch from Memphis to Nashville is pretty stark as far as good places to eat.

In Memphis, you can get off I-40 at Exit 1B shortly after you cross the MS River. Go North on Danny Thomas and turn east/right on North Parkway. Cozy Corner BBQ is on the right. Very close to the highway and great ribs.

Philadelphia CH in Memphis April 10 and 11th, pre-cruise, with travel limitations

There are plenty of good places on and around Main St. and Second St., many of which will be within a few blocks of your hotel and most of which are pretty accessible by the trolley (be patient - sometimes it's slow). There's a trolley stop at Jefferson & Main, right by your hotel. Cabs to any of these places should be cheap as downtown is compact.

Lots of places are clustered near Main and Monroe, about a 3-block walk south (blocks are fairly short) or a short trolley ride to either Madison or Union and then about a 1-block walk either way. Felicia Suzanne's is an upscale New Orleans-ish place a little north of Monroe. You might try that for lunch - they're only open for lunch on Friday, and it's fun (and cheaper than dinner). They have $0.25 (small) martinis, if that sounds interesting.

Flight is nice at the corner of Main & Monroe.

If you walk about a half block east on Monroe, McEwens has good, somewhat upscale, southern food for lunch and dinner.

Little Tea Shop and Blue Plate Cafe are both in the general area for southern meat & vegetable lunches. Blue Plate has good breakfast, too.

A little further down Main, Local Gastropub and Aldo's Pizza are good casual options. Also check out Majestic Grille at Main & Peabody Place - it's in a renovated old theater and I really like the atmosphere. .

If you want barbecue downtown, I'd go with Central Barbecue. It's further south, near the Civil Rights Museum (which you might check out - it just reopened yesterday after a $28 million renovation). You'd probably want to catch a cab to go there.

Alcenia's, further north on Main St. (take a cab) is another fun place - good homemade southern/soul food and the owner gives everyone a hug and good conversation. It can be a little slow, though.

What's the best Italian in Memphis?

As far as fancier places go, those are your best bets. Some people really like Pasta Italia, which used to be in Collierville and is now in Cordova, but I've never been. It is also supposed to be more of an authentic place.

Ciao Bella, mentioned by Clarkafella, is good in the Italian-American/pizza/pasta vein, and I also like Amerigo (a small chain) for that sort of thing - but I don't think there are any places besides Bari & A/M (and maybe Pasta Italia) that are fine dining/"real" Italian.

I'd check out the menus for A/M and Bari and just decide based on that. I lean towards Bari personally, but like both. Bari is heavily seafood-focused, though their ribeye has been really good before. I tend to like the appetizers, pastas, meats, and cheeses at Bari - the entrees can be kind of underwhelming.

I actually think I like A/M's younger brother Hog & Hominy better, but it's a different sort of thing. That's also not really a knock on A/M - I just really like H&H.

2 Nights in Memphis & 3 Nights in Nashville

Iris and Andrew Michael are very good thoughts for Memphis. Flight is upscale and nice but not really my favorite for food. Erling Jensen is another very good upscale option - maybe not as trendy as some newer places but check it out. AM and Iris both generally require reservations a couple or 3 weeks in advance because they are small. EJ not as much. Interim, Felicia Suzanne's, and Tsunami other places you might consider.

Creative Ideas For Slow Cooker Rosemary & Garlic Pork Butt

I like the pasta sauce and taco ideas. Or in the taco vein, maybe try a mexican style torta instead of an italian pork sandwich ?

Not sure if the rosemary would clash (maybe not), but I like the momofuku bo ssam recipe for pork shoulder that has been printed in a couple of places - on martha stewart's website and the NYT website, I think. Basically pulled pork done as lettuce wraps with a couple of pretty interesting sauces (or, if you can't find all the sauce ingredients, I think a simple mix of soy, chile garlic sauce, and maybe some sherry vinegar and oil works pretty well). This won't have the sugar/salt dry brine that the bo ssam recipe calls for, but it still might be a good use for a lot of extra pork shoulder.

There's always southern-style barbecue sandwiches - again, the rosemary wouldn't really be traditional and these won't be smoked, but maybe not a bad idea.

Feb 21, 2014
bulldogx2 in Home Cooking

Publican with kids ?

Wife and I really enjoyed dinner at Publican a couple of years ago. We are making another trip to Chicago in April - this time with our almost 5-year old and 1-year old. We take them out to eat pretty regularly, so they are reasonably well-behaved. While we'd love to eat there again, we obviously don't want to bother other diners or be somewhere that is uncomfortable having us.

Any thoughts on how they view kids at the restaurant and whether an early (5:30-ish) dinner might work ? Do you ever see kids there ?

Feb 15, 2014
bulldogx2 in Chicago Area

One night in Memphis

There is also a Central BBQ downtown, near the Civil Rights museum - not too far from the Peabody.

Valentine's Day weekend in Memphis

I would second Flight. Also would consider Majestic Grille and McEwens. Maybe DeJaVu for something more casual (BYOB).

Christmas in Memphis!!!

Christmas day is always tough. You will probably have to call around. A few general thoughts -

Most family-owned places, such as most of the barbecue places, are going to be closed. Most of the higher-end, locally-owned places are also probably going to be closed.

Many chains now open in the afternoons/evenings.

Pizza places seem to be open a lot. If you're downtown, Aldo's Pizza on Main is good and might be open.

I think Huey's, a local standby burger/bar spot is usually open on Christmas. I know they are open on Christmas Eve, at least.

Most hotel restaurants will be open. Not sure where you're staying, but 83 at the Madison downtown is nice and worth checking out. I haven't been to Bleu at the Westin, but that's a nice place and another possibility. They just landed a new chef. The restaurants at the Peabody will most likely be open.

Many places that are as much or more bars than restaurants will be open - I think people need a break from their families by Christmas evening ! So there will probably be some places downtown and in Overton Square and Cooper Young (both areas of midtown) worth checking out.

A google search found the following link. It's from 2009 but might still be useful, as a number of these places are still open. I bet your hotel can give you some guidance.

Acre or Iris for one great meal in Memphis?

Iris is far and away #1 for me. You do often need to make reservations 3 or 4 weeks out there for a weekend. It's pretty small and they try to do 2 seatings or so. They do have several patio tables and I have seen them empty before. So it might be worth showing up as a walk-in and seeing if something is available. But if you're coming from out of town you might want more confirmation than that. After Iris, I have trouble picking a clear #2. I used to like Erling Jensen a lot, but it is a more "old school" style of place and cooking than several of the others you hear about. Haven't been there in a while. In addition to Acre, Interim, Bari, and Andrew Michael are other favorite nice places that would probably come up in the conversation - at least for me.

Incidentally, Andrew Michael's cheaper / casual offshoot Hog & Hominy has been getting the best press in town lately, including several national pieces.

Memphis Dim Sum

We like it a lot, too. Golden Coast in Cordova is also excellent. I may actually like it better lately, but it's farther from my house, so we often go to Asian Palace and are very happy with it.

Planning a trip to Nashville and Memphis over Thanksgiving... will everything be open?

Thoughts for Memphis -

Re: breakfast, Arcade and Blue Plate make sense because they are relatively close to the hotel. I don't think Barksdale is worth the drive to midtown. Haven't been to Blue & White (the place in Tunica ?), but find it hard to believe it'd be worth the drive unless you're staying a night at the casinos. If you want to drive to a local, southern style breakfast spot, I'd suggest Bryant's at Summer & Graham over Barksdale.

Otherwise, wow, that's a lot of barbecue. I would probably skip Leonards, Rendezvous, Interstate, and A&R, but that's just me. If you are looking for another one or two, I would suggest Barbecue Shop on Madison in lieu of one of those. Central Barbecue downtown is another one to consider - and fairly close to your hotel.

I would drop Coletta's.

If you are looking for dive-y/road food-y kind of stuff, would suggest you take a look at Lunchbox Eats (downtown, near FedEx Forum) and Deja Vu (awesome cajun/creole just south of downtown) for lunch one day.

What are the best ethnic markets in Memphis?

Fino's came to my mind for Italian. It's a great Italian deli with delicious sandwiches, but the market is not that impressive. Lucchesi's has good food as well, but again, not a big "market." Not sure where you are coming from - we unfortunately do not have a lot of great Italian/Eastern European grocery stores - not like St. Louis, for instance.

Re: Mediterranean (and by that, I guess I mean more Greek/Middle-Eastern than, say, Italian, French, or Spanish), there is a pretty good one at Park and Highland in east Memphis - Mediterranean Grocery, I think, and a smaller one called Jerusalem Market on Summer near Graham, also east Memphis.

Winchester makes tortillas onsite. There's also another place with a couple of locations called Tortilleria La Unica - I have seen them but haven't stopped in.

What are the best ethnic markets in Memphis?

In addition to Winchester Farmer's Market, Viet Hoa on Cleveland in midtown and the Cordova Farmer's Market (same owners as Winchester) in Cordova are also very good. Coming fro MS, Winchester is on the south side of the city and might be the closest.

Not sure about ethnic markets, but there is a lot of really great food in Oxford, MS. That will be a closer drive than Memphis, I think.

Clayton/St. Louis questions

We stayed at the Moonrise hotel a couple of years ago and liked it. Agree with hill food on Pi across the street if you have an extra meal. We ate at Niche (apparently it has moved since then) and were mostly impressed - however, while maybe not "precious", I'm not sure I would call it "relaxed", especially from a high school senior's perspective. But again, I haven't been to the new location. For what it's worth, we are from Memphis and were seriously impressed with Bogart's.

May 23, 2013
bulldogx2 in Great Plains

4 days in Memphis, what not to miss

Central Barbecue recently opened a place downtown, off South Main, very close to the Civil Rights museum. That is probably the best bbq option downtown. Other places that I like a lot that are a bit further out are Cozy Corner (actually sort of downtown, but north of the core), Payne's, and BBQ Shop. Corky's is a long way east and, in my mind, not as good as any of these.

Felicia Suzanne and Flight are good spots for a "nice" meal downtown, if you're looking for that. Iris is probably my favorite nicer restaurant in town - they are also in midtown.

Not sure where you are from or if you are a sports fan, but the Grizzlies are still playing (NBA) and the Redbirds (AAA baseball) start this week. Both stadiums are downtown and are usually a lot of fun. Redbirds games can be very cheap - and the stadium has a lot of fun food options.

Casual catering for bridal shower in Memphis?

Second Another Roadside Attraction as a great caterer, but they may be fancier than you want and typically do larger events, I think. I would look them up, though, and see what they can do. I've had some very good and interesting food from them.


Another simpler, locally-owned option is Cheffie's. They have good sandwiches and salads, and have a catering website - you might look at that.

Weekend trip - first time with my 3 year old

Thanks for the tip on American Sector. We heard the same from several other people. Cool-looking place with great drinks and better-than-expected-for-a-museum-restaurant food. Did a great job of catering to the kid - meal comes in a lunchbox and includes a plastic toy soldier, crayons, coloring items, etc. With that said, the place wasn't overrun by kids or anything - just nice to have a chance to eat at a real restaurant without feeling like you are bothering the staff or other patrons.

For anyone else interested in this question, we did end up hitting Cochon Butcher and it worked out great for us, but I can see how that might not always be the case. Our guy was in a good, laid-back mood at the time so the wait didn't bother him - and he loved the hot dog.

Jan 22, 2013
bulldogx2 in New Orleans

Weekend trip - first time with my 3 year old

thanks, good tip.

Jan 15, 2013
bulldogx2 in New Orleans

Weekend trip - first time with my 3 year old

Wife and I are coming down for the long MLK weekend. While we've been to NOLA a number of times and have our favorites, this will be our first trip with our son so I'm looking for some new (to me) family-friendly ideas. We love Casamentos, so I'm sure we'll hit that. I've wanted to try Cochon but haven't made it - thinking Butcher should probably be casual enough for the little guy. Smaller, neighborhood places would probably be great. He's reasonably well-behaved and used to going out, but he's 3, so fine dining's obviously out. Any thoughts ? We're staying in the CBD, but I'm comfortable driving most anywhere in town for a good meal.

Jan 15, 2013
bulldogx2 in New Orleans

Memphis - new Central BBQ open downtown

People often post on here asking for BBQ options downtown, so I thought I'd make a note of this.

A new option opened today, as there's now a Central BBQ just of S. Main, right across the street from the Civil Rights Museum parking lot. I ate lunch there today and it seemed up to par with the other locations.

I think it's a better choice than Pig on Beale, Rendezvous, or A&R, which were previously the main choices in the downtown "core." I still am probably a bigger fan of Cozy Corner, but that requires a car and is north of the main downtown area.

Quick weekend trip food report

I apologize in advance if this is somewhat repetitive of other posts. I sometimes think CH can end up with out-of-towners going to the same 5 or 6 restaurants in cities with many great options, leaving plenty of good meals on the table - but you do the best you can in your limited vacation time.

We were recently in town for a 3 day weekend without our 3 year old - a quick getaway before our second little one comes in April. We toured pretty hard and, by the way, had a great time in your city. While I didn't post a question in anticipation of my trip, I reviewed this board thoroughly and appreciate the many commenters who take time to give advice.

We planned the trip somewhat spur of the moment, so I wasn't able to get reservations at Alinea, Next, etc., but I think we did pretty well anyway.

Friday breakfast - Xoco - fun and relatively inexpensive, for a Bayless place. Churros with chocolate were tasty. I've had better chilaquiles. But a good, quick stop.

Friday lunch - Topolobampo. I wanted to try a Bayless restaurant, and when we were able to score reservations, we snatched them up. I really enjoyed the "aguachile" with octopus starter. So many octopus dishes are tough - this was sliced razor-then and wasn't chewy at all. It actually had great flavor, unlike so many bad octopus nigiri at middle-of-the-road sushi joints. I had an amazing cocktail with chile-infused mezcal, lime, and honey - can't remember the name, but if you see it on the menu, go for it. The smokiness of the mezcal balanced out with the heat of the chile, the acid of the lime, and the sweetness of the honey was great. Main course was the lamb with oaxacan mole. It was good, but didn't blow me out of the water (neither did my wife's ceviche appetizer or stuffed squash blossom entree). The mole was very deep and complex, but the meat and accompanying sides were not that special. Total for lunch for 2 with one drink was over $100 with tax and tip. While I enjoyed it and am glad I tried it, I thought it was too pricey for what it was.

Friday dinner - Naha. Really liked the room and were made very comfortable by our waiter. Wasn't too hungry at this point, so I tried the oyster appetizer - they were very nice and clean. The roast squab with slow cooked bacon, figs, foie gras, lentils, and a red wine sauce was as rich as it sounds and was a nice early Fall dinner. Martinez cocktail was a first for me - the carpano antica formula vermouth sort of overwhelmed the gin; I might try it at home with a less powerful vermouth. Still, based primarily on the squab and some bites of my wife's dishes, this was one of the better meals I've eaten in a long time.

(By the way, it was just a coincidence that all 3 of our meals this day were at the same intersection in River North - but what a neighborhood !)

Saturday breakfast - Do-Rite Donuts in the loop, just down the street from our hotel. These are amazing, especialy the pistachio with meyer lemon glaze. Went back for breakfast on Monday as well.

Saturday lunch was, of necessity, a hot dog with everything from a stand outside the Field Museum. It was actually really good - and the price was right. Can't remember the name, but it was on the Soldier Field side of the museum.

Saturday dinner at Publican - very enjoyable. Beer list is very well thought out, and server was very helpful in choosing. I'm from Memphis and we know pork pretty well here, too, but the country rib, in particular, really stood out.

Sunday lunch - pizza at Giordano's in River North, near Michigan Avenue. We picked this because we happend by it on our way to the Red Line to catch a Sox game, and I remembered it from trips to Chicago as a kid. It was ok. Not my favorite pizza ever, but pizza of some sort is probably a must-do in Chicago. Next time I'd try somewhere else.

Sunday dinner was the Purple Pig. Arrived about 6:30 and waited about 90 minutes. Given the great weather and the fun atmosphere, no problem at all. By 7 they were telling people an hour and 20 minutes, though. I enjoyed all the small plates - the morcilla sausage was probably my favorite, though everything we ate was good. Our waiter was very friendly and helpful with the wine list, and really didn't seem to care how much (or little) we ordered. There were several infants in strollers - despite the noise level, it seemed to be a fun, casual, and fairly family-friendly place. I'd love to go back and try more of the menu.

Oct 02, 2012
bulldogx2 in Chicago Area

BBQ in Memphis near Costco

Agree with Michael, that's your best bet out east. You are probably 10 - 15 minutes from Corky's on Poplar there, too, but I think most who post on this board would say Gtown Commissary is better than Corky's. If you're willing to expand your driving range to 20 - 25 minutes, you could probably take 385 to 240 then end up at one of the good midtown spots like Central BBQ, Barbecue Shop, or Payne's, but those wouldn't really be in the neighborhood of Costco.