Soul Fish Cafe

You guys. I have to talk about this restaurant. It’s been on my list of places to go since I moved to Memphis, but I just never got around to it. There are a few different locations, but I went to the one in Midtown. It’s this rather small, simple restaurant on Cooper, and it has some fantastic southern food. It’s not terribly expensive either. Entrees hover around the $10 mark.

I’ve started this thing that whenever I go to a new local restaurant, I try to get something that screams “MEMPHIS!” So tonight I tried the Memphis Poboy. Pork, bacon, cole slaw, and BBQ sauce. Definitely Memphis and incredibly delicious. I’ve never been a huge BBQ fanatic, but I’m trying to acclimate to my surroundings. I’ve also become mildly obsessed with fried okra, so when I saw that as a side option, I couldn’t resist.

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The crawfish Poboy also looked fantastic. I only ate a little bit of the crawfish, so I can’t give my own opinion of the whole thing. But it disappeared fast enough to be pretty tasty. I also took home some of the caramel pecan pie…but I kind of obliterated it before taking a picture. My sweet tooth gets the better of me sometimes.

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I’m super excited about finding another restaurant that I really enjoy. I’m such a food addict, and it’s nice to have options.

-L

 

 

Brunching It Up

My gorgeous cousin came to Memphis today to visit me. We haven’t seen each other in a very long time, so it was definitely nice to be able to catch up for a bit. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t want to cooperate. It’s rainy, and Memphis likes to flood when it’s just misting outside. Anyway, we went to The Majestic Grille for brunch. I hadn’t been there before, but I’ve been told it’s the best brunch around. Of course I completely forgot to take pictures of the food, but I’ll still talk about it. We seemed to go at a good time. It was a little after eleven, and we had no problem getting seated. It did start to get pretty busy by the time we left a little after noon.

We sat upstairs. This restaurant is pretty fancy, with some some musicians playing live music and movies playing on the projector. Breakfast food is my absolute favorite, so of course I had to order brunch. Biscuits came out first, which were pretty average for biscuits. I ordered the breakfast sandwich, which turned out to be some huge monstrosity with two fried eggs, bacon, and cheddar cheese on a sweet roll. The sandwich came with a side of breakfast potatoes. Both were a little on the greasy side for my liking. I tend to like less heavy things in the morning/early afternoon. However, they were both really good. I got full about halfway through my sandwich. I’d definitely go back, especially since they have $4 mimosas and bloody Marys during brunch.

Frank Grisanti’s

My parents came this weekend and took me out to an awesome dinner at Frank Grisanti’s, which if you live in Memphis it’s outside the 240 loop and Poplar. It’s Italian and delicious. The restaurant was dim -yay mood lighting so I apologize for the picture quality.

First up: Bacon wrapped chicken livers. If you like chicken livers you’d love these. I’m not a fan but my Dad ate 5!

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My entree: Lobster Ravioli -it was divine. I’m dreaming about it already.

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My Mom couldn’t decide and got the sampler : Beef Manicotti, Veal Piccata, and Elfo Special. I didn’t try any but    they looked amazing

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My Dad had the Pollo Florentine. He really enjoyed it as well.

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Dessert! Apple Ravioli with Cinnamon Gelato.  I’m dreaming about eating this one again too.

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Overall, Frank Gristanti’s was awesome. If you’re looking for a place for a nice dinner or date I’d definitely recommend.

~S

Cafe Eclectic

I’m a little late in the game on this one since we’ve been to this coffee shop at least half a dozen times. It’s one of the few places to eat that’s directly on Mud Island, so it gets the vote for convenience every time. As much as I love this adorable local place, I have an internal struggle over the prices. Somehow I overcame this personal conflict and paid a whopping $17 for lunch after my second final. While the food was delicious, it definitely wasn’t worth the $17. Granted, I upgraded my meal and added a shot of espresso to my coffee, so the exorbitance was expected.

The barista was very good at her job. As in, she talked me into buying way too much with her perky, helpful demeanor. I ended up with the chicken pot pie and a side of broccoli cheddar soup. Honestly, the soup was my favorite part of this entire meal. Perfect consistency, deliciously cheesy. The pot pie was also really good. The crust was nice and flakey, and the inside was full of delicious veggies.

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Of course, I also got talked into a pumpkin chai latte, with an extra shot of espresso. Because hey, it was finals week, and I wasn’t really functioning. Might as well start shaking from caffeine overdose before the anxiety and frayed nerves got to me. This drink was recommended to me by two different people, too, so apparently it has a fanbase. It was really good, but I couldn’t finish it. Their mugs seem really big for some reason.

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And I have to show Shelley’s lunch because it looked so pretty! I can’t vouch for the taste of the salad, but that macaroni was pretty good. Super fancy.

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Overall, I like Cafe Eclectic. It’s got some good food options in addition to its stellar, beautiful coffee creations. However, it’s definitely a splurge type of coffee shop. If you’re going to eat a meal there, be prepared to spend more than $5, or split with a friend.

-L

Huey’s Poplar

After a disappointing trip to the food trucks (that weren’t in existence), we ended up at Huey’s for lunch. I’ve been to this burger place before, but I went to the downtown location. I’m not a burger fanatic, but I do like them every once in a while. They have really interesting burgers (and other options as well) and a fun atmosphere. I’ve seen advertisements for live music there, but haven’t gone to a concert yet.

On Saturdays and Sundays, Huey’s has a couple drink options for $3.50. I didn’t manage to take a picture of the mimosa until it was half gone.

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We ordered cheese fries as an appetizer. They didn’t last very long.

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One of the entree options had three mini burgers: one jalapeño and pepperjack, one mushroom and swiss, and one bacon. Or something like that. My memory is terrible.

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Obviously we were starving by the time our food arrived, since all of these have giant bites taken out of them already. These onion rings were really thick and heavy, and they had cheese inside. They’re different than what you would expect from onion rings, but not bad.

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My West Coast Burger was delicious, but I (of course) forgot to take a picture while it was still pretty. My stomach takes precedence over the blog, I suppose.

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So if you’re in the mood for burgers, Huey’s is always a good option.

-L

Aldo’s Pizza Pies

My parents came to Memphis for the weekend. There happened to be a bottle show at the Agricenter, and my dad collects and sells historical glass bottles. Yes, my family has some interesting hobbies. There was also a craft fair and a farmer’s market at the Agricenter, but parking was a fiasco, and I can’t handle crowds of people very well. So while my dad kept his booth at the bottle show, my mother and brother came shopping with me. Wolfchase Galleria is a pretty decent mall, but it was one of those shopping trips where I had no luck.

Once dad was finished at the Agricenter, we went out to dinner downtown. I had been wanting to try Aldo’s Pizza Pies for a while. They have sandwiches and salads as well as pizza. You have the option of a 12″ or an 18″, or you can order by the slice for cheese, pepperoni, vodka, or veggie. My brother and I split an 18″ White Pizza. It had a whole lotta cheese and an oil and garlic base. I could have done without the humongous dollops of ricotta, but it was definitely tasty.

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My parents got a 12″ that was the equivalent of a supreme. I think theirs looked much prettier. It just has so much color!

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Anyway, I liked the whole atmosphere of Aldo’s. Service was really good, which is a nice contrast with a certain restaurant on the Island that I’ve been to multiple times. We ate inside, but it would have been nice to be out on the patio. The pizza was good, but it’s not the best I’ve ever had. I’ll have to try a different specialty pizza next time.

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Molly’s La Casita

Obviously, I’ve fixated a bit on food. What can I say? My schedule revolves around what I’ll eat and when I’ll be able to eat it, so it’s not surprising that the most salient blog post ideas are restaurant reviews.

We had our first exam of graduate school on Tuesday. It was in Language & Speech Development, which isn’t a particularly difficult class, especially for those of us with undergraduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology. However, we were all pretty nervous about it since it was the first test, and we weren’t quite sure how it would go. After the exam, a group of us headed over to Molly’s La Casita for some margaritas (and food, of course).

Thankfully, it wasn’t very busy when we arrived. Somehow we ended up with a party of 12, so the restaurant staff put together a few tables for us to all sit together. A dish of salsa was at every chair (so no feeling guilty about double dipping!), and there were at least five baskets of chips. I was practically starving by the time we sat down, so I inhaled those chips.

Wanting to take advantage of happy hour, I ordered a frozen margarita. $5 margaritas isn’t exactly a spectacular deal, but it could be worse. Strawberry margaritas (my usual go-to drink) were slightly more expensive, and I’m on a grad student budget. The server advocated for their half and half margarita, but I stick to frozen. It was delicious. Definitely had a bit of a kick to it, but it tasted like dessert. Based on my relatively limited experiences with Mexican restaurant margaritas, I’d say these were pretty strong, especially for how good they tasted.

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For food, I ordered a chimichanga. Nothing super special there, and a little on the expensive side. It came with sides of beans and rice. The side portions were really small, and the beans tasted overcooked. The rice was good; there just wasn’t enough of it. I probably wouldn’t order the same thing again.

I’m hoping to try out some more Mexican restaurants around Memphis. Actually, I’m just hoping to try out lots of restaurants. I’m a foodie; I love to eat. I’ve got at least until May of 2015, so I’m sure I’ll get to sample many more local places.

Central BBQ

So it seems I’m The Food Lady. While I’m still wrapping my head around this whole grad school thing, I’ll stick to writing about what I know: food. Today we stopped by Central BBQ for lunch. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, and one of our orientation events catered some of their food. I realize this is a terrible thing to say in Memphis, but I’m not a huge fan of barbecue. It just gives me images of dripping sauce, messy fingers, and a whole lotta meat. Gross. But since I’m living in Memphis (at least for the next two years), I decided I should step outside of my comfort zone.

At Central BBQ, you wait in line to order your food. When we arrived slightly before noon, there was a line out the door. This isn’t all that surprising since standing room inside is severely limited. We waited about ten or fifteen minutes to order our food, then sat down inside. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, but it was quieter and fewer people were sitting inside. The benches and tables were obviously older and well-worn (which is a nice way of saying the stuffing was popping out of the rips and tears in the booth fabric).

My meal consisted of a pulled pork sandwich (complete with mild BBQ sauce and cole slaw), a side of mac ‘n cheese, and sweet tea. I don’t usually enjoy cole slaw, but I thought I should get the whole experience. This sandwich was definitely messy. Next time I’ll remember to ask for the sauce on the side. Pretty sure I went through half the day with BBQ sauce on face. The mac ‘n cheese was pretty good, but nothing spectacular. Almost tasted like a Stouffer’s frozen macaroni dinner (which I find delicious, so that’s not really an insult).

Central BBQ Pork Sandwich

Shelley ordered the pulled pork nachos. These were DELICIOUS. Of course I stole a bite. This is a full-sized order, which is more than enough to share. The half-size order would be perfect for lunch.

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As for cost, the whole place is pretty reasonable. The sandwiches run about $5 each and adding a side is about $2 extra. I’d definitely like to go back and try out more options. Maybe someday I’ll fall in love with BBQ and become a true Memphian.

-L

Mulan Bistro

The most exciting thing about a new city is trying out all the restaurants. Midtown has an excellent selection of adorable coffee shops, bars and other eateries. We decided to sample Mulan Bistro, since they serve both Chinese food and sushi. It had been much too long since my last taste of sushi.

The eel nigiri was deliciously sweet. I would definitely order that again. I didn’t try the octopus nigiri since it managed to get devoured shortly after this photo was taken. The volcano roll was also lovely, and not at all as spicy as the name would imply.

The Pad Thai wasn’t my favorite. The sauce was just too strong, and it lacked veggies to balance out the flavor. Granted, noodles aren’t my favorite to begin with.

Alaskan rolls are pretty much my staple sushi. Delicious, but even with the sauce, something was missing. I guess I would give their Alaskan Roll a 4.5/5.

The chicken fried rice was definitely the winner. Everyone loved it. 5/5, for sure.

I really enjoyed this restaurant and will definitely return. It wasn’t too crowded, we had great service, and the space was clean and inviting.

-L