Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grit & Grind/Eat & Drink

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Grizzlies playoffs equal Grizzlies-themed food ...

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  • The Corked Carrot

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.

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  • Gibson's Donuts

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.

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  • South of Beale

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 Vegan Cafe's New Home

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

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We went to Imagine Vegan Cafe last week both to support Dining Out for Life and to check out the restaurant's new spot further east on Young.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Win Tickets to Brooks' Vin-a-Que: The Art of Swine and Wine

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

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.

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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.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ciao Baby! Neapolitan Pizza Now Open

Posted By on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Ciao Baby!, which opened 22 days ago in Collierville, serves Neapolitan-style pizza made in a wood-fired oven.

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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.

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Says owner Adrian Arcuri of his pizzas, "It's an art."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

FedExForum Bringing its A-game, Foodwise, for Playoffs

Posted By on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 2:46 PM

These brats are made with steak, bacon, and beer.
  • These brats are made with steak, bacon, and beer.

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

and ...

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.

Sweet Grass Chef Ryan Trimm to Open New Spot in Regalia

Posted By on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM

What was formerly Circa in the Regalia Shopping Center in east Memphis will soon be Southward™ Fare and Libations, a new concept from Sweet Grass and Next Door chef Ryan Trimm.

Regalia Shopping Center in east Memphis
  • Regalia Shopping Center in east Memphis

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Memphis Brewfest Returns

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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  • Memphis Brewfest
The Memphis International Beer Festival, aka Memphis Brewfest, returns for its fourth year on Saturday, April 27th, 4-7:30 p.m., at AutoZone Park. The first year drew 1,800 — a near-capacity crowd — so getting folks to the event has never been an issue. What is? “The weather,” says organizer Martin Daniel, “is very important.”

No matter the forecast, the Memphis Brewfest happens rain or shine.

Daniel, who has a son with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, founded the festival as a fundraiser for the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, with funds going to the Memphis Redbirds Foundation as well. The festival has raised $100,000 for the causes.

The festival offers 175 to 180 craft and international beers, ranging from Aech Schlenkeria Rauchbier to Yazoo Sue. Tickets are $41, with fest-goers getting a glass for sampling the beers and a map to guide them.

One thing new about this year’s Brewfest is that Budweiser of Memphis is on board as a sponsor. Budweiser of Memphis expanded its craft beer portfolio when it took over Southwestern’s craft beer division and now serves as the distributor for such beers as Ghost River and Yazoo. Beerfest’s other product sponsor is A.S. Barbaro, which distributes Coors products as well as Oatmeal Stout, Asahi, Schlafly, and many others.

Leading up to Brewfest is the first-ever Memphis Beer Week, a series of some 70 tastings, dinners, and other beer-related events being held across the city, put together by the folks overseeing the craft beers portfolio at Budweiser of Memphis.

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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rainbow Panang Curry at Mosa

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM

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.

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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.

Friday, April 19, 2013

It's All About Boiled Peanuts

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM

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.

I'm not a fan, but an informal survey around the office reveals that I'm in the minority. Bianca has a recipe in Cookin' Crunk, another coworker makes a batch once a week for her girls' night.

Sharas boiled peanuts
  • Shara's 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.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mellow Mushroom's Future-Themed Interiors

Posted By on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 2:10 PM

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 ...

so ...

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and really ...

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and just ...

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well, there are not enough exclamation points to describe it.

Owners hope to have the new location open sometime this summer.

James Beard Dinner; Big Plans for Hog & Hominy Patio

Posted By on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

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An elegant table setting for the Friends of James Beard Dinner.
  • An elegant table setting for the Friends of James Beard Dinner.
While Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen was hosting the prestigious Friends of Beard Dinner on Sunday, sister restaurant Hog & Hominy was preparing to give sneak peeks of its next project — a new dive bar on its back patio.

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.")

Three lambs roasting while chefs prepare for the Friends of Beard Dinner.
  • Three lambs roasting while chefs prepare for the Friends of Beard Dinner.
Chef Jeff McInnis of Yardbird stuffs quail with fois gras, grilled peaches, and cornbread.
  • Chef Jeff McInnis of Yardbird stuffs quail with fois gras, grilled peaches, and cornbread.

After the Friends of Beard Dinner, chefs enjoy a late-night dinner on Hog & Hominys back patio.
  • After the Friends of Beard Dinner, chefs enjoy a late-night dinner on Hog & Hominy's back patio.
But I was able to return once the Friends of Beard Dinner wound down, when the chefs and some of the guests moseyed on over to Hog and Hominy to get a taste of what Ticer and Hudman have been working on for the past couple of years since Andrew Michael opened. I hung out by the open kitchen, drinking an Old Fashioned and sneaking little tastes of things, which is how I found out about what Ticer and Hudman have planned for the back patio of Hog & Hominy.

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.

The meticulously tested and fussed over J.T. Burger, to be served at Hog & Hominys new back patio dive bar.
  • The meticulously tested and fussed over J.T. Burger, to be served at Hog & Hominy's new back patio dive bar.

Hog & Hominy staff preparing for chefs meal after Beard dinner. H&H is converting its back patio, shown here, into a dive bar.
  • Hog & Hominy staff preparing for chef's meal after Beard dinner. H&H is converting its back patio, shown here, into a dive bar.

We can't wait for the idea to be fully realized, which should be happening in the coming months. In the meantime, next time you pop over to Hog and Hominy, stick your head out the back door and start imagining late night revelry and cheeseburgers. Don't forget the cheeseburgers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bristerfest Ticket Giveaway

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:34 AM

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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.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Out of the Bleu Week

Posted By on Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM

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:

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There was the hummus trio with edamame ginger hummus, roasted red pepper and chickpea hummus, and black bean and grilled jalapeño hummus, served with fried wontons. Then char-grilled oysters with jalapeno butter and parmesan cheese. Then tender, flavorful bulgogi beef wraps with kimchee:
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And lobster tempura rolls:
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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.

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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.

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The bigger hit of the entrees was Cirillo's play on chicken and waffles, featuring barbecued chicken atop a perfectly savory potato hash with pancetta and set aside fresh jicama slaw.
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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.

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We also sampled a chocolate trifle, a mini lemon ice box pie, and flan served atop a strawberry shortcake and topped with fresh strawberries and mint syrup. Finally, Cirillo had us sample some of his mochi, a traditional Japanese rice cake that Stacey informs me is very difficult to make. (She added that Cirillo's mochi was exceptional, not a sticky mess like some batches she's tried to make at home.)
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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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beer News, etc.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 4:05 PM

updated

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• Coors distributor A.S. Barboro is celebrating the Grizzlies' third consecutive appearance in the NBA playoffs with a free beer giveaway on Monday, April 15th at the FedExForum, starting at 10 a.m. They will be giving away 300 limited edition Memphis Grizzlies 24-oz cans of Coors Light. IDs required for the giveaway.

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.)

From Memphis Stew comes news that the Italian restaurant Lavoro's is closing shop, "barring some miracle," in June.

• 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.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

40 Days to Better Living Cookbook Signing, French Leek Pie

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

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.

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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.

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