Grizzlies playoffs equal Grizzlies-themed food ...
The newly opened Corked Carrot is offering this lovely Go Grizz! lemon macaron. Available now. It's $1.95 per cookie or $19.95 for a dozen.
Gibson's Donuts offers a number of team-colored options. The striped vanilla donuts are 71 cents; sprinkles in chocolate or vanilla (pictured) are 76 cents; and cream puffs are 81 cents and available only on game days.
For those who want to go big, there's the Texas donut, a monster at 8 to 10 inches that can be decorated to read "Grit and Grind" (or anything, really). The Texas donuts, $8, must be preordered a day ahead. You can have one just in time for Friday's game.
You'll need something to wash it all down, so we'll point you to South of Beale's Grizz shot ($3), made with vodka, peach schnapps, and blue curaçao.
Imagine is now in the former site of Fork It Over, which has moved to Lindenwood Christian Church on Union. This old house is perfect for Imagine. It's owned by a husband and wife who keep their kids on-site, and they've developed a group of tight-knit regulars who add to the family feel.
There are three dining rooms and a front porch with additional tables. A larger cooler, displaying drinks and desserts, is where customers place their orders.
Much of the menu is the same, but there are some new items, including Tony's Nachos ($6.99), which can be upgraded to full-on vegan BBQ nachos by request, as those pictured above were.
Also new is the Southern Staple ($9.99), a huge plate of collards, black beans, and rice drizzled with a garlic sauce and served with cornbread. Worth a visit to Imagine alone.
To top the meal off, we could not resist sharing a piece of Boston Creme Pie cake ($5.75) made by Stephanie Roy, of the vegan Swell Baked Goods, who joined us for this lunch. This is one of many dessert options Roy provides for Imagine.
Roy is basically an evil genius of baking. That near inch-high layer of impossibly perfect chocolate ganache ... still thinking about it.
Roy will bake for you. Go here for more information.
The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is giving 1 Hungry Memphis reader a pair of tickets to Vin-a-Que: The Art of Swine and Wine event being held Friday, May 10, 7 p.m.
Enter to win here. One entry per person. Winner will be notified by email on Tuesday, May 7th.
DON'T MISS VIN-A-QUE: THE ART OF SWINE AND WINE
This second annual event will be held at the Brooks featuring snout-to-tail pork barbecue and other delicious fare, even vegetarian items, along with craft beer (pairings provided by Budweiser of Memphis), Oregon wines, and specialty cocktails from Alchemy and Buster's.
Live music by Star & Micey out on the terrace!
Snout-to-tail pork BBQ by Chefs Andy Ticer & Michael Hudman of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy, Chef Ryan Trimm of Sweet Grass, Chef Jackson Kramer of Interim, Bar-B-Q Shop, Central BBQ, Garibaldi's Pizza, Mosa, and Rendezvous.
More information: memphiswineandfoodseries.org.
Ciao Baby!, which opened 22 days ago in Collierville, serves Neapolitan-style pizza made in a wood-fired oven.
I ordered the Margherita (9-inch, $9.33 including tax). It's topped with house-made mozzarella, and the rustic-style crust is thin but not at all skimpy. Wonderful.
Says owner Adrian Arcuri of his pizzas, "It's an art."
Tonight at 6:30 p.m., there's Plaza Party, a pep rally and cookout at the FedExForum to get fans rev'ed up to cheer on the Grizzlies during this evening's playoff game.
At the event, fans will get a taste of two new dishes created specifically for the playoffs by chef Thomas Winklebleck of Levy Restaurants, which runs concessions at the Forum.
Those new items are:
The Grizz Big Bear Beer Brat, a brat made with steak trimmings, bacon, and beer
The Grizz Fully Loaded, a hot dog topped with pit beans, fresh cole slaw, fried onion straws, and BBQ sauce.
Other regular-menu items include the Grizz Leg, a huge turkey leg served with your choice of sauce and the Slam Dunk Chicken, which Winklebleck calls a "picnic on a plate." It's a focaccia sandwich with blackened chicken and boudin sausage. It's served with fried green tomatoes and a cheese fondue for dipping.
"It's not what you expect at a sporting event," says Winklebleck.
Which team won tonight's game will be seen easily enough on the jumbotron, and Winklebleck says it's just as easy for him to determine when he's scored points with his food: "I see empty plates."
There will be another Plaza Party before Saturday's game at 1:30 p.m.
In January, John Bragg announced he would be moving Circa westward, with Sekisui leaving its Humphreys location to move into Regalia. The arrangement with Sekisui fell through.
Now Trimm and his team, Shady Grove Restaurant Group, are set to open a restaurant in the 3,700 square foot space by mid-June.
The new restaurant will cater to the area's large business community, offering a sophisticated Southern lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and brunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday. Trimm says the restaurant will be similar to Sweet Grass in style and French in technique, but will expand beyond his familiar low country cuisine into a wider "tour of the South." With a more executive bent, Southward™ will cater primarily to business lunch, happy hour, and private dinners, and the full bar, which will include wine and craft beer, will focus on "interesting and unique" cocktails with plenty of infusions.
Dinner should run around $20 to $30 and lunch around $15 or less.
Southward™ Fare and Libations, Regalia Shopping Center, 6150 Poplar Ave
Beer Week started Sunday and runs through April 27th. Events include the Yazoo Beer lunch on Friday, April 26th, at South of Beale. The lunch includes a selection of Yazoo beers paired with food. Yazoo beer will also be on special during the lunch, until 4 p.m. You can find a full schedule of Memphis Beer Week events on the excellent beer blog, fuzzybrew.com.
My picture doesn't do it justice, but the Rainbow Panang Curry ($11) at Mosa is one of the prettiest things I've ever eaten.
This is a slightly sweet curry made with snow peas, mushrooms, and zucchini and your choice of beef, chicken, or tofu, and spiced to your preference.
When I read about Hog & Hominy converting its patio area into a bar with a menu serving only oysters, burgers, and boiled peanuts, my first thought was, Memphis is saved!
Now that I look back on John Branston's 2011 post 50 Little Things for a Better Memphis, I see that my memory may have inflated the importance put on boiled peanuts.
Paul Daddy's Boiled Peanuts sells boiled peanuts at the Agricenter International Farmers Market on Saturdays and the Millington Farmers Market on Saturday. (Both markets open for the season the first week of May.)
Larry Duncan is in charge of Paul Daddy's Millington operation. "I got into it an odd sort of way," says Duncan, who retired from Dupont after 37 years. He, with a "semi-partner," took over the business a couple years ago from the original Paul, who he describes as his "husband-in-law" (Paul is married to Duncan's ex-wife.)
Paul Daddy's sells regular and Cajun flavor for $5 for a quart bag. Duncan starts each batch on Thursday morning, beginning a 36-hour process that begins with brining green peanuts for 24 hours and then boiling them in 25- and 30-gallon pots over propane burners for 12 hours.
Duncan says he raised the price from $4 to $5 a year ago after bad weather and other factors saw raw peanut prices soar and availability shrink. Duncan drives to Birmingham, Alabama, to get the peanuts. (Duncan says he thought about charging $4.50, but he didn't want to mess with quarters.)
Duncan says they'll sell anywhere from 20 to 40 bags at the Millington market and between 75 to 125 bags at the Agricenter.
Duncan, who has cooked on competitive bbq teams, first tried boiled peanuts only a few years ago.
"I've developed a taste for them," he says.
Check out Runaway Spoon's boiled peanut recipe here.
Hannah mentioned that the second area location of Mellow Mushroom, in the old AAA on Park Avenue, would take advantage of the building's cool round shape, with a "decor will be sort of retro-future: what the future looked like to Memphians in the '60s and '70s."
Renderings of the space have been released Grinder-Haizlip Construction Company, and they are ...
and really ...
and just ...
well, there are not enough exclamation points to describe it.
Owners hope to have the new location open sometime this summer.
For Sunday's Friends of Beard dinner, Chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman welcomed five up-and-coming guest chefs from across the country to Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen: David Posey of Blackbird in Chicago, Jason Fox of Commonwealth in San Francisco, Jason Stanhope of Fig in Charleston, Jeff McInnis of Yardbird in Miami Beach, and Stephanie Prida of Manresa in Los Gatos, CA.
The theme of the evening was "Know Your Food, Know Your Roots," an exploration of hometown, ancestry, or childhood inspirations. And while the prep work was a fascinating display of some of the country's best chefs buzzing around the Andrew-Michael kitchen, the actual dinner cost $300 a person, effectively pricing out this writer. (Proceeds went to support the James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to "celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s diverse culinary heritage and future.")
What was formerly a fairly lackluster patio is already being transformed into a side concept for the restaurant: A no-frills dive bar with a seriously pared down menu. There, surrounded by distressed wood and corrugated steel, patrons will suck down oysters on the half-shell, boiled peanuts, cheap beer, and the J.T. Burger — Ticer and Hudman's homage to Oxford's ambassador of Southern cuisine, John T. Edge.
(Hudman says he and Ticer have been working on perfecting this burger for a long time, settling on a classic cheeseburger with American cheese, onions caramelized into the patty, chopped lettuce dressed in pickle juice, tomato, mustard, and ketchup. The result is close-your-eyes-and-sigh good.)
And that's it: Three menu items, cans of Schlitz and Pabst, white and brown well liquors, and old records spinning in the background. Ticer and Hudman plan to close in the currently open-air space, adding large barn doors that will open in nice weather and stay shuttered for winter use.
Bristerfest is coming back to the Levitt Shell on April 27th and 28th and you’re invited.
They want you to be there so much that they’re offering two free 2-day tickets to two lucky Hungry Memphis readers.
The tickets will grant you admittance to the festival to enjoy two days of live local music. You will also be able to participate in any of the festival activities, like hookah lounge, photo booth, and silent disco.
Kids 10 and under get in free, so this makes fun for the whole family. There will also be a moonbounce for kids.
Headliners include Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, FreeWorld, Blind Mississippi Morris, Agori Tribe, and Incredible Hook.
To eat there will be food trucks serving everything from BBQ nachos and funnel-cakes to hushpuppies and fried Oreos. For health-conscious visitors, Balewas Vegan Gourmet and Cosmic
Coconut will be serving vegetarian and organic food options.
The festival benefits a local nonprofit, GrowMemphis, with a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales, so invite your friends if you win. Even if you don’t, come out and support the cause! Last year Bristerfest raised over $3,000 for GrowMemphis to help build and support urban community gardens to ensure all Memphians have access to fresh, healthy, local food. Bristerfest has plans to become the most environmentally friendly festival in Memphis.
Enter to win here. Multiple entries are accepted. Winners will be selected by a drawing on Friday, April 19th and notified by email.
Last night, my pal/foodie comrade Stacey Greenberg and I enjoyed a tasting of the new menu at Bleu Restaurant and Lounge in the downtown Westin Hotel. I won't mince words: We gorged ourselves.
The evening began with some signature cocktails, including the sweet and tangy Blueberry Lemon Drop (like the traditional lemon drop but with fresh muddled blueberries thrown in the mix). Then, Chef Robbie Cirillo started churning out tasting plates:
We probably could have stopped there, but there was watermelon salad to be had, garnished with feta, red onions, and drizzled with a mint basil oil and kiwi vinaigrette.
And then the entrees began. Perhaps the most impressive concept of the evening was the dashi, a soup made with snow crab legs, smoked turkey, carrots, mushrooms, noodles, and nori, all topped with an egg. Chef Robbie came to the table to pour the broth over the other ingredients and the result was an eclectic mix of flavors steeped in a rich broth, though it needed a pinch of salt.
For dessert, we managed to continue our streak of overindulgence with a sampling of five, count them, FIVE desserts, including a delectable trio of whoopie pies in chocolate peanut butter, watermelon kiwi, and raspberry mint chocolate.
Though we practically had to be rolled out of the restaurant, we agreed the meal was an impressive showcase of Cirillo's talents and his creative spirit. If you haven't made it to Bleu yet, don't pass it by. And if you have been there, now is the time for a return visit.
Bleu, 221 S. Third, 334-5950, www.downtownbleu.com
• The Beer Tax Reform Act passed the both the Senate and House and is now headed to the governor's desk for signature. Background on the tax here.
•The Sweet on Sweden event, a fundraiser for the Church on the River, is Friday, April 12th, 5:30 p.m. There will be an auction as well as a menu of Swedish eats, including Swedish meatballs, pickled herring dip, and a salad with a lingonberry vinaigrette. Available at the cash bar will be Tuborg Gold, a popular Swedish beer. (Sweden this year's Memphis in May honored country, fyi.)
• The annual Dining Out for Life is set for Thursday, April 25th. Participating restaurants donate a certain amount of proceeds from that day's dinner or lunch service. This is a national event benefiting HIV/AIDS service organizations across the country, and in Memphis, specifically, Friends for Life. There's a great crop of restaurants participating this year. Full list here.
• The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale will have a presence in Memphis again this year, Friday, April 26th, 6-9 p.m., in front of Grawemeyer's during the South Main Art Trolley Tour. Last year's sale raised $700 for the Memphis & Shelby County Humane Society.
Just a reminder about the 40 Days to Better Living Cookbook signing happening tonight, Tuesday, April 9th, 6-7 p.m., at the Booksellers at Laurelwood.
The book, part of the Church Health Center's "40 Days to Better Living" series, features recipes designed to be easy to make, with ingredients that all can be found at Kroger.
"The dishes are very simple," says Carolyn Nichols of the Church Health Center. "We want people to go home and actually make them."
I'm all about the no-fuss approach, and, I actually did go home and make the cookbook's French Leek Pie.
And, yep, it was easy as pie. Five ingredients, minimal chopping, 30 minutes bake time. The next dish I have my eye on is the Garden Paella.