I'm just going to come right out and say it. I love Food Lovers' Guide to Memphis: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings, written by Memphis magazine food editor and my friend Pam Denney.
The book features some 200 restaurants and markets organized by location, from downtown to the suburbs. It also includes sections on food events, local food writers, pub grub, and more.
But this is no dry recitation. Pam's conversational writing style and her knack for tucking in interesting facts and trivia about the Memphis culinary scene makes the book not only a guide to flip through when one asks, "Where do you want to eat?" but a good sit-down read starting at page one.
A couple of samples below ...
On Jack Pirtle's Chicken:
A mechanic, millwright, and brakeman for the railroad, [Jack] Pirtle didn't get into the restaurant business until his early 40s. When he built his first restaurant in 1957, he catered to blue-collar workers like himself, offering steak sandwiches and foot-long hot dogs, and staying open 24 hours to accommodate the nearby Firestone plant. A fortuitous meeting with Colonel Sanders pulled him into the fried chicken business. He adopted the colonel's signature recipe, but broke ties with the chain in 1964 because he didn't want to to standardize his menu.
On Sharon's Chocolates & Bread Cafe:
On a recent visit, here's how a customer explained her decision not to buy a loaf of rosemary focaccia: "Usually, I eat the entire focaccia before I get home and then tell my family Sharon was out, but tonight I have to zip up a dress."
Pam will be selling the book at the Tsunami Winter Farmers Market Saturday, November 17th. The book is also available locally at the Booksellers at Laurelwood, Burke's Book Store, Barnes & Noble, and Trolley Stop Market.