And he’s definitely the hero Memphis needs. CondomMan has made prophylactics his priority. He’s a guy who spends his free time wearing a cape and visiting community centers, churches, and local businesses and handing out free condoms. He does all of this in proper super hero attire.
He’s the superhero memphis needs, and I think he deserves some support. Add him on facebook, and, although I don’t believe he’s officially affiliated, a donation to Planned Parenthood of Memphis is never a bad idea if you’re into the cause.
Just like last time, I went to Belle Diner and forgot to bring a decent camera to take pictures with. Luckily I now have a Nexus 5, which has a much better camera than the Nexus 4. Anyway, we actually went for the wine tasting I mentioned last time, but it turns out they only do that once a month now. Oh well, I think the next one is supposed to be next Wednesday, I’ll try to make it there.
Our waitress was the bartender, Shametrius, and she was absolutely awesome. I told her I liked dark beer and to pick one for me and she brought me a High Cotton Biere de Garde. Really interesting beer, looks like an amber, drinks more like a stout. If you aren’t in a big group, sit at the bar and hang out with her, you won’t regret it.
I decided to order the roasted chicken again, because quite honestly I was craving the shit out of it ever since the last time I had it.
I did decide to mix it up a bit though, I got the mac and cheese instead of the okra.
My friend went with the salmon and the broccoli
Overall everything was very good. The dinner rolls and cornbread are great, I had to make myself not fill up on them. The chicken was perfectly cooked, a little crisp to the outside and very juicy and tender inside. The sauce on it works really well with rice too, that was definitely a good decision. The salmon was also good, the remoulade on it was particularly delicious, just the right amount of spice without overwhelming everything else.
There were a few minor issues though. Both of our sides were pretty tasty, but both of them came sitting in soupy sauces. My picture of the sauce on the broccoli didn’t turn out, but it was basically the consistency of water. The mac and cheese was also tasty, but something was also going on with the sauce. I’m not sure if their cheese sauce broke or if the cheese they put on top just gets super oily when melted, but whatever the root cause was, the effect was less than appetizing:
But like I said, the food was still good, we just had to rescue the sides from their watery/oily doom and move them to our entree plates. I’ll definitely be going back, I just might avoid the mac and cheese until I see someone else try it first.
I’ve been whining about this forever. I want an easy place to get my hair cut. I kept trying different places but they were easy crazy expensive, like Gould’s or had insane hours, like Revolution on front street. I’m actually pretty convinced revolution is a mob front or some shit, because they’re NEVER open. I stopped by today, a wednesday, at 4pm to find the door locked and the closed sign up.
Upon seeing this, I decided to finally take a friend’s recommendation to go to Epiphany. They’re located right at the bridge over to mud island, at the corner of Front and A. W. Willis (North Parkway). They have parking around the back. I walked in with no appointment, and after a very brief wait, I was in a chair having Lindsey shear my locks.
I was in serious need of a haircut and she made short work of it. It looks and feels much better, and was super cheap at $15. I think I’ve finally found my spot.
In the interest of maintaining the classic before and after trope, I’ll post two pictures with multiple differences for my before:
I was actually on opentable.com making a reservation for Flight when I got an email about this, so the timing couldn’t have been better. Flight is doing a benefit dinner for the Southern Foodways Alliance, a University of Mississippi based non-profit that documents and studies the food culture of the south. The menu sounds pretty amazing. Here’s the gist from the press release they sent me:
MEMPHIS (January 8, 2014) – Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar is delighted to host a Piggy Bank Dinner benefitting the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi (SFA), on Thursday, January 23. Led by chef-partner Joshua Perkins, the evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. and continue with an innovative five course meal featuring Muscovy duck and braised Wagyu short rib.
“My team and I are proud to host an event like the Piggy Bank Dinner that not only pays tribute to the southern culinary landscape, but also benefits such a worthy cause. The vision of the Southern Foodways Alliance aligns with our goals at Flight and I am privileged to help further their celebration of southern culture,” says Perkins.
The evening’s menu will include five courses highlighting dishes from both land and sea. Beginning with a Hawaiian big eye tuna carpaccio, the second and third courses will feature Benton’s bacon and poached apple salad and scallop and lobster benedict. Entrees will include Muscovy duck with pumpkin ravioli, brandy jus and cranberry-orange sauce, slow smoked Newman Farms pork shoulder served alongside a sweet garlic tamale tart and topped with a barbecue demi-glace, and braised Wagyu short rib with sweet and sour collard greens and cornbread croutons. A pineapple upside down cake with sour cream cake and topped with rum basted pineapples and tres leches ice cream will end the meal on a sweet note.
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. A member-supported non-profit based at the University of Mississippi, the SFA stages symposia on food culture, produces documentary films, collects oral histories and publishes compendiums of great writing. For more information please visit southernfoodways.org and follow SFA on Twitter, @Potlikker.
Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased by calling 901.521.8005. Proceeds from the evening will directly benefit the SFA. For more information, please visit www.flightmemphis.com or www.southernfoodways.org.
I decided to not make a reservation this weekend, and instead make a reservation for this. See you there!
I had never thought about ordering takeout from Majestic Grille until a visiting friend suggested it.
Now I’m going to order there way, way too much.
Tonight we picked up a bowl of tomato basil soup, a grilled chicken flatbread, and the smoked salmon appetizer.
The flatbread was honestly my least favorite of the three, I didn’t really care for the parmesan cream sauce, but it still wasn’t bad. The smoked salmon I have had a few times at the restaurant, and as always, it was fantastic. The soup was great too, though I didn’t take any pics, because it’s not very visually appealing in a takeout carton, and I didn’t feel like plating it because I was starving.
I’m absolutely in love with the salmon, I’m going to live off this for the next few weeks.
Reasonably cheap too. I’ve been walking the block or so to City Market before walking back to my car in the mornings instead of getting raped by Tamp and Tap over an (admittedly delicious) $6 muffin.
Also, I’m in love with my new camera.
Earlier this summer, when they first open, I said I wasn’t really sure how well Belle would do, being as there are already established restaurants serving good food in the same genre and price range. I was a little bit wrong. I still contend that Rizzo’s has better food, and for less money to boot, but I wouldn’t count Belle Diner out. We just stopped by and had a fantastic time. I’d like to go ahead and apologize for the photo quality. I’ve been using my Nexus 4, waiting on the Nexus 5 to come out, since my HTC One is up for sale. The N4 camera isn’t the greatest. I have a QX100, but I got sick of waiting on Sony to make me some decent software for it, so I ordered an RX100M2. Point being, the photos don’t really do the place, or the food, justice.
Anyway, I took the day off and my girlfriend and I decided to go walk around and play Ingress. After a couple of hours of walking around pwning noobs, we were famished. I suggested going to Kooky Canuck so I could see my friend Dustin, but Christine wanted to try something new. We were standing right outside of Belle Diner, so why not?
First, I was a big fan of the place when it was Rio Loco, and might have even been a little bitter about it being something other than Rio Loco. When it was Rio Loco though, it was kinda closed off. The first thing the new owners did was open the space up, and it honestly looks MUCH better.
The server came over and let us pick our own table, which is pretty cool to me. I understand how this won’t work on a super busy night, but it’s nice to have a choice when the restaurant is slow.
We picked the second table from the door, and were seated next to an Aussie couple on a roadtrip through the states. They were heading back to LA via I40, a route we frequently take, so the first few minutes of our experience consisted of swapping road trip stories and giving tips to them, very cool.
We got menus and waters, then the server (who was awesome), mentioned they were doing a wine tasting that night, and for $10 (!) you could get 5 glasses of wine. I obviously took them up on this offer.
While we waited for food, the guy doing the wine tasting, Chris, came over and gave me my first glass. He was friendly, knowledgable, and not a douche, which is a pretty rare trait in wine tasting. Even though we looked borderline homeless after wandering around downtown for a couple of hours, he still gave us amazing service and exhibited an intricate knowledge of the product. The server brought out bread, and some cheese and fruit to go with the first wine course.
The smoked cheddar was especially tasty.
Not long after, our entrees came out, I got the roasted chicken with basmati rice.
Christine got the Crab Salad.
CRABBY, like my girlfriend
Both we great. I didn’t try the crab salad, but my girlfriend totally cleaned her plate, which rarely happens. The Chicken dish was an airline cut chicken breast (airline cut is when they leave the wing attached) with basmati rice and brandy pan jus. The sauce was very thin, but worked very well with the rice. The chicken was perfectly cooked, well seasoned, and moist. I got a pretty good buzz thanks to Chris. and left very happy, armed with a new wine I will buy often.
I think this is going to be my new Wednesday spot. The wine tasting price is fantastic, a great way to start a night out or just a great deal for a nice dinner with wine. If you haven’t checked it out yet, Belle Diner is definitely worth the time.
I recently bought a Sony QX100, and given my usage model, I decided the best way to test it was to go to Rizzo’s Diner and take pictures of my food. We were seated in a new to me extension of Rizzo’s, through the back door and around the corner, with a door on main street. Nice space, and a little more mellow than the small dining room at Rizzo’s proper. I think I prefer the energy of the small space on G.E. Patterson, but the extension was by no means a bad experience.
Our server was awesome, I showed him the QX100 and a few sample pics of it and he was digging it. Unfortunately I’m fucking terrible at names, so i don’t remember his. Tom maybe? My shitty name recollection notwithstanding, he was a great server.
We started with the pork spring rolls. I actually neglected to take pictures of these. They were very refreshing, very clean flavor. Chilled, with a spicy yet sweet plum sauce. I should have been on top of things and snapped a pic, but at the same time, it’s a spring roll. It’s stuff wrapped in rice paper. They looked like any other spring, just tasted much better.
Before our meal, Chef Mike sent out a treat, a dish he entered into the DishCrawl BattleDish (Which I was supposed to judge but was too stupid to remember to do it, sorry Kim). He sent us a fried grit dish with duck confit and goat cheese. It was as tasty as it was pretty, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
My girlfriend, Christine, had the chicken pot pie.
Pretty awesome, I’ve had it before. Puff pastry instead of a pie crust. If you like the OG version, you’ll like his take on it.
Christine’s sister, Tori, had the Confetti Pasta. Chicken, sausage, pasta. Pretty tasty.
I told her to move her boob out of the way but she refused. I think it runs in the family.
I had the brisket. I don’t suggest it. It’s a lot of food, and it’s really, really good, so you’ll eat more than any normal human should eat and you will hurt yourself. At least I certainly did.
Even the beans, which would be an afterthought at most places, were quite tasty. I barely got halfway through it though, it’s a seriously large serving, and you WILL eat more than you should.
I guess that about wraps it up. To the surprise of no one I’m really happy with Mike Patrick’s food. I know it sounds like a broken record, but his food is really just that good. Since I do have a new camera, I’ll try to post a more. Check out some of my pics on Google Plus.
Lots of stuff to cover with this update. First and foremost, I need to do a proper review of my new apartment at Van Vleet Flats. It will probably be after my trip to LA before I can really do a thorough review, but suffice to say, it will be very, very positive. In a similar vein, I intend to do an exit review of Metro67. It will most certainly not be positive. I’m going to save most of it for the full review, but suffice to say my time there went from one of the best experiences I’ve ever had to one of the worst.
Next up, the podcast. I’ve been threatening to do a podcast for years, and it’s finally happening. Me and a couple of my friends did a “beta” podcast. A dry run if you will. It’s not exactly downtown Memphis specific, though we’ve all spent a bunch of time here and a lot of stories revolve around the area. I don’t know exactly how this will play out. I might steer it more toward a downtown Memphis perspective and make it a regular feature. I might do it as a general interest podcast and maybe do another, shorter one just about downtown Memphis. Who knows? But you can listen to our first, totally unedited, totally unscripted, totally NSFW podcast HERE. Let me know what you think in the comments.
As I said earlier, I’ve been living at Van Vleet since April, and just a few days ago a new restaurant opened on the ground floor; Tamp and Tap. To be honest, their business model seems a bit odd to me. I get the coffee shop part, but I’m not really entirely sure why they carry beer. I guess for people who want to have a good beer with lunch? Or maybe they plan to do happy hour stuff? They close at 9pm, so it doesn’t seem like they’re really going for the bar crowd, but if they do a solid happy hour, I can see that being popular.
Slightly muddled business model notwithstanding, their coffee is very good, and the space is well done and looks really nice. I stopped by and got a latte the other night and the service was top notch. Coffee is definitely better than the chain places, and I honestly liked it more than Bluff City. I have yet to eat there, but their menu looks pretty good. I plan to give them a try this week, and I’ll update this when I do. I do have to say I’d like to see a few more breakfast options, seeing how this is (I think?) a coffee shop, but again, the stuff on the menu, especially the salads and sandwiches, look fantastic if they live up to their descriptions.
Speaking of new restaurants, Belle Diner is now open in the old Rio Loco ( =( ). I linked to it’s Yelp page, as it doesn’t appear to have a website yet. I walked by today and grabbed a copy of their menu:
I’m not really sure what to think. The reviews on yelp are mixed right now (though, in all fairness, there are only two), and some of the menu options are questionable to me (I will personally punch you in the face if you “chicken fry” a fucking ribeye), but I’m not one to judge a book by it’s cover, or menu, so I’ll certainly give it a shot. My initial reaction is that is seems to be priced pretty high for a “Southern Diner”, especially when you consider that they’re pricing themselves pretty damn close to Felicia Suzanne and Rizzo’s Diner territory. I was honestly hoping for something closer to a Blue Plate Cafe, but hopefully their food quality is on par with their pricing. If their food is on par with Rizzos and Felicia Suzanne’s, I’ll definitely be a regular.
I guess that’s all for now, just trying to fit in a general update before I leave for LA on the 19th. I’ll try to maybe complete my Metro67 review while I’m out there, and I’m going to try to post at least a few times a week when I get back, but I’ve definitely said that before, right?
I missed the first one, on the 26th of June, but I’ve heard good things. There’s another one going on July 10, you can find more info here.
In short, for $45 you visit four restaurants, and sample a dish at each one, as well as meeting the chef. Pretty solid deal, and I’m going to try to get to this one.