Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sweet Noshings Soft Opening Set for Wednesday

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM

You’ve got all day tomorrow to eat as much turkey and stuffing as you please — why not take today and fill up on candy?

The Overton Square shop Sweet Noshings is finally removing the paper from its windows and will have a soft opening at 10 a.m. today at their space on 2113 Madison. The store is owned by 28-year-old Leena Asbridge, a former field examiner at a bank, who signed the lease on the space in July and has been working hard to turn the one-stop candy shop into a reality.

Though Sweet Noshings' original projected opening date of Halloween was missed, customers can still find pre-packaged fun sizes of Kit Kats, Bit-O-Honeys, and a near-overflowing jar of candy corn.



Going beyond your regular Snickers and M&M fare (though you can get those too), the shop aims to please every type of sweet tooth with a selection that includes classic colored and striped hard candies, chocolate-covered gummy bears, and even dried fruit and nuts, all available by the pound. The kitchen is popping up fresh, sweet-drizzled gourmet popcorn and serving muffins and cake by-the-slice. There’s not just sweets coming from the candy store, though - you can find freshly brewed Ugly Mug coffee or grab a bowl of hot Umpqua oatmeal from the bar.

“We look forward to seeing all of Memphis come out and see what we have,” says Asbridge

The store will be closed on Thanksgiving, but Asbridge says they will re-open Friday at 7 a.m.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roaring Tiger, Memphis-based Vodka, Hits the Shelves

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 12:13 PM


Ryan Hanson and Matthew Brown, the brains behind the new Memphis-based vodka Roaring Tiger, are longtime friends who came to the vodka trade via beer brewing.

"The secret is the water," says Hanson of Roaring Tiger, explaining that he and Brown recognized early on that Memphis has a real asset in its water, one with great potential in the beverage industry.

Hanson says the pair studied the industry, looked at what other distilleries were doing ... and then they put the project aside for a few years before picking it back up two years ago.

The base for Roaring Tiger is made by another distillery, and then sent, at 180 proof, to Roaring Tiger's headquarters near the Wiseacre brewery in Binghampton. The vodka is then filtered and the water added to create an 80 proof vodka.

"It's the key to giving Roaring Tiger a smooth texture," says Hanson of the process.

Hanson and Brown rolled out the vodka for a trial run during this year's Goner Fest in order to determine any wrinkles. The vodka hit area liquor stores — Buster's, Joe's, the Spirits Shoppe, the Corkscrew, among them — in mid-November. (It's $19.95 for 750 ml.) Specialty cocktails made with Roaring Tiger are served at Bari, Mollie Fontaine, Cafe 1912, and Lynchburg Legends. The vodka is also served at the Hi-Tone and Murphy's.

As for the name, Hanson says they put a lot of thought into it before settling on Roaring Tiger. "We're huge Memphis Tigers fans. It really got to what our product is about."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 6

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

For this week's contest, something warm for the cold weather ...


The first person to correctly identify the dish and the restaurant wins his or her choice of 5 Malco movie passes or a $60 gift certificate to Pearl's Oyster House.

To enter, submit your answers to me via email at

Answer and winner will be revealed in next week's contest post.

The answer to last week's contest is The Grove Grill, and the winner is ... Anna Esquivel.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Favorite Place

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I've always appreciated the brazenness and who's-on-second? potential of the name of the Mexican restaurant/bar My Favorite Place. But, given that Germantown Parkway is one of my least favorite places, I had never been before last weekend.

When I got there, a regular was offering suggestions to some newcomers, which was later enthused over. And, indeed, the vegetarian combo platter I ordered — spinach enchilada and stuffed poblano pepper — was exceptional.


The ambiance hits somewhere between comfortable family restaurant and sports bar. Right above head was a poster suggesting the Red Light, which is made with Red Bull and Bud Light.


It's better than it sounds, but not much. It was also $6.50, which struck me as pricy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Visit to Soul Fish's New Location

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 3:15 PM


Soul Fish Café’s third location, at 4720 Poplar in the building previously occupied by Wolf Camera, opened its doors for business on November 14th.

The new Soul Fish has a simple, comfortable interior similar to the Midtown and Germantown locations. It has about double the seating capacity of the Midtown Soul Fish and about a dozen fewer seats than the Germantown location. The open floor plan, bare cement floor, and white wood-paneled walls make it feel like you are dining in a fish market in a small coastal town (minus the fishy stench).

I visited the new location on Sunday night with two family members. There is a large chalkboard listing the daily specials and dessert options, and same as the two other locations, Soul Fish’s regulaar menu features salads, po'boys, fish tacos, fried seafood, and a bunch of home-style vegetables and side items, among other offerings.


Continue reading »

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pumpkin Salsa, Pumpkin Popcorn ... Everything Pumpkin!

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM


17 Pumpkin-tastic Images
17 Pumpkin-tastic Images 17 Pumpkin-tastic Images 17 Pumpkin-tastic Images 17 Pumpkin-tastic Images 17 Pumpkin-tastic Images 17 Pumpkin-tastic Images 17 Pumpkin-tastic Images 17 Pumpkin-tastic Images

17 Pumpkin-tastic Images

'Tis the season for everything — everything! — to be pumpkin-flavored.

Click to View 17 slides

Monday, November 18, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 5

Posted By on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Perhaps a better title for this week's contest is Guess Where I'm About to Eat ...


The first person who correctly identifies the restaurant wins his or her choice of a $50 gift certificate to Gould's Spa or $50 gift certificate to Interim.

To enter, submit your answer to me via email at

The answer to this week's contest and the winner will be revealed in next week's contest post.

The winner of last week's contest is Emily Robinson. She was the first to get all three dishes: Dish #1: BBQ Tofu Nachos at RP Tracks; Dish #2 Tony's Nachos at Imagine Vegan Cafe; and Dish #3: BBQ Nachos at Elwood's Shack.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Clarification on the Cash Saver Name

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Yesterday, on my way into the Cash Saver on Madison, I paused a moment to admire the newly renovated exterior.

Then I saw it. More specifically, I saw "A."


One of the few pleasures I have is saying the full name of Cash Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet. I mentioned it way back when on the day of the store's debut.

But now the new sign clearly reads Cash Saver A Cost Plus Food Outlet. What the what?

Rick James is owner of the Castle Retail Group which runs 5 area Cash Savers. According to James, the name of the store is not Cash Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet and never has been. It's Cash Saver. The "A" on the new exterior sign is a matter of terminology and has been added to the sign to make clear that the "Cost Plus Food Outlet" is a descriptor and not part of the name.

I've been living a lie this whole time! Cash Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet Cash Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet Cash Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet Cash Saver Cost Plus Food Outlet. Whew! I'm done now. I'm ready to move on.

Eb's Cookies: "Best Cookies Ever" and a Pop-Up Shop

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM


What do you get when you cross a new mom with a knack for baking, who is seeking a creative outlet outside of her growing family?

You get cookies ... and you get ideas.

“Baking kind of takes me to a happy place,” says Ebony Clark, who was pondering what to do while on maternity leave once she gave birth to her second child in 2011. She began researching a few recipes online and experimenting with flavors, and arrived at a few prototypes, including what would become her signature milk chocolate and white chocolate Tuxedo cookie.

She began offering her cookies to friends at game nights at her home, and word got out that Eb’s Cookies were pretty good - good enough that she started taking orders from within her circle. Around Father's Day of that same year, Clark, who had worked as an accountant, decided to market herself as a business and created cookie baskets as gifts. “I got several orders, which I thought was pretty good for my first time in the business,” she remembers.

Things have only grown from there, and now cookie connoisseurs from all over the country can place an online order starting at a $10 half-dozen or $20 dozen of cookies, which she bakes out of her home in Cordova.

Ebs Tuxedo cookie
  • Eb's Tuxedo cookie

Sweet Potato cookie
  • Sweet Potato cookie

Flavors range from classic oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and snickerdoodle to her specialty Sweet Potato Cookie that has a pecan crumble on top.If you order in town, she can even ensure a personal delivery if one so chooses.

Clark might be new to the baking world, but her cookies, boldly touted on Eb's website as the "best cookies ever," are not for amateurs.

"Even McDonalds and Subway have decent cookies - but my cookies are created with a lot of care - these aren't just your average cookies for kids,” she says.

As far as longevity, Clark feels that she on the right track. She’s holding a pop-up event the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and is looking at opening up a stand-alone store by the middle of next year.

Her family assists with packaging and sales, and her 4- and 2-year-old girls are always offering to stir. "I have dreams of my daughters being cookie heirs one day," she says.

Clark will hold a pop-up shop on Sunday, November 24th from 2 to 5 p.m., at 6373 Quail Hollow Rd Ste 102.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

First Look at Second Line's Menu

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Second Line, architectural details

Second Line, Kelly English's much-anticipated sister restaurant to Creole-swanky Restaurant Iris is set to open later this fall.

English named the restaurant after the famous "second line" parades in New Orleans, explaining, "Basically, what we have at Second Line is a more casual, rowdy parade that's following this more organized parade that we have [at Iris]."

Rowdy as in the andouille, crawfish, and pimento cheese fries, which appear on the "Eat These Things First" appetizer section of the menu. There, too, is a roasted beet and feta shwarma (!) and crabmeat and fresh corn hushpuppies.

Some of the names of the sandwiches in the "Poboys" section of the menu may ring a bell: We know already that Justin Fox Burks of the Chubby Vegetarian offered input for the Chubby Vegetarian Mushroom Debris, but what Chris Vernon did to inspire the Verno-braised Chicken Thighs & Swiss ... ????

In "Plates," there's Fried Gulf shrimp as well as Mississippi Catfish Sauce Piquant.

Finally there's the "Groceries" section, which features "Hot" Potato Salad, Fancy Ass Cole Slaw, stewed beet greens, and cheese grits.

You can check out the full "opening" menu yourself: secondlineopeningmenu.pdf

Fly Lounge Mixes It Up at FedExForum

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM


The sleek, chic Fly Lounge opened in FedExForum Wednesday and brought an experience world’s away in ambience, offerings, and attitude from the arena’s current mix of bars and restaurants.

Fly Lounge has a glitzy, major-metro feel with a clean and modern design and one meant to offer patrons a range of experiences from the communal at the long, freestanding bar to the intimate at a row of low tables along a wall.

The lounge is the Forum’s grand lobby in the same space that was the former home of the Grizzlies team store.

The small space (1,500 square feet) surged Wednesday with dance music and colored lights over the 150 or so invited guests that filled the room before the Grizzlies shootout with (and ultimate loss to) the Toronto Raptors.

“The idea was to create a destination place in the Forum,” said Fly Lounge founder Steve Adelman, a nightclub maven with properties in Los Angeles and in Asia. “We wanted to build something a little bit more upscale and a little bit different so that it could be a destination - sort of sleek and simple.”

Adelman said the target clientele is really anyone looking for the kind of experience the Lounge offers but it’s clearly aimed at the hip and elite as it can accommodate VIP requests and offers a champagne menu that tops out at $400 for a bottle of Christal.

Memphis chef Kelly English is the man behind the food menu at Fly Lounge, which promises “fresh, health-inspired” fare. The seemingly ubiquitous English is the owner and chef of Restaurant Iris and the soon-coming Second Line. He’s also the chef of the Forum’s Lexus Lounge and serves up po’boys and more at his Crossroads concession stand in the arena.

Michael Hughes, the celebrated Memphis mixologist (and Flyer friend), concocted the cocktails for Fly Lounge. Hughes is the general manager of Joe’s Wines & Liquors and the winner of a long list of cocktail competitions.

“We want guests at FedExForum to begin and end their nights with a memorable experience in food, entertainment, and nightlife,” said Memphis Grizzlies & FedExForum COO Jason Wexler.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

5 Great Dinner Deals of Downtown Dining Week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM


Memphis’ annual Downtown Dining Week is almost upon us (November 17th through 23rd), and as a recent college graduate who is new to the Memphis dining scene, I am looking forward to trying out some of the downtown establishments normally out of my price range. Participating restaurants are offering three-course dinners or two dinners for $20.13. Some restaurants have $10.13 lunch specials, too.

Based on the menus posted on, here is my list of the five best dinner deals (based solely on price) at DTDW.

1) Chez Philippe
A three-course dinner at The Peabody’s Chez Philippe restaurant normally costs upward of $70, so the $20.13 DTDW price point is a steal. While your menu options are more limited, — choose between two entrées: the entrecôte (steak) or seafood and kabocha squash croquettes — it is a great way to taste one of downtown Memphis’ fancier establishments.

2) Capriccio Grill
Another Peabody restaurant, Capriccio Grill Italian Steakhouse serves up premium steaks, seafood, pizzas, and more. Diners regularly pay $30 to $40+ for Capriccio’s steak and seafood fare, but during DTDW you can try a grilled flank steak or seared mahi-mahi alongside an appetizer and dessert for just an Andrew Jackson and some change. (Plus tip, of course.)

3) Bleu Restaurant & Lounge
Bleu’s DTDW menu features three entrées not offered on their regular menu: steak au poivre, downtown mahi-mahi, and downtown chicken. The three-course dinner options reflect savings of $20+, based on average dinner prices.

4) Itta Bena
DTDW guests at Itta Bena can choose among three main dishes not offered on the regular menu: flat iron steak, chicken Marsala, or pan-fried catfish. Itta Bena’s dinner entrées alone cost around $25 on average.

5) The Rendezvous
The Rendezvous’ DTDW deal is nice in that it forces you to enjoy dinner with a friend. Get two beef brisket dinners with two Ghost River or Wiseacre drafts, for just two bucks more than you would normally pay for one brisket and beer combo.

Even if a restaurant’s Downtown Dining Menu does not reflect significant discounts, you should still explore its menu. Many chefs have created special dishes that are not usually offered at their restaurants. Visit to browse the menus of the 35+ restaurants participating in downtown dining week. Advance reservations are strongly suggested.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 4

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

This week's contest is a three-parter. Correctly identify the dish and each restaurant to win a prize.

Dish #1


Dish #2


Dish #3


To enter, submit your guess to me via email at

The winner receives his/her choice of 5 Malco movie passes or $50 gift certificate to Folk's Folly.

The answer and winner will be announced in next week's contest post.

The correct answer to last week's contest was Holiday Deli & Ham. And the winner is ... Kelly Rhea.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Monsieur Demarcus French Crêperie

Posted By on Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM


Monsieur Demarcus French Crêperie opened several weeks ago in the old Neely's site on Jefferson in Victorian Village.

The transformation from barbecue joint to cafe is remarkable. Inside is a pretty, understated space (to be expanded in the future) — tile floors, white walls accented with black trim.

French touches abound — the waitress looking chic in a red beret; the tunes (Edith Piaf?) — but miraculously avoid being hokey.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chubby Vegetarian To Speak at the James Beard House

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Justin Fox Burks at release party for the Southern Vegetarian cookbook
  • Justin Fox Burks at release party for the Southern Vegetarian cookbook

For lunch at Chiwawa with Flyer friend Justin Fox Burks of course we ordered the Chubby Vegetarian, a terrific taco with fried avocados that is based on a recipe from the Chubby Vegetarian blog, which Burks runs with his wife Amy Lawrence.

I also got a Bianca Dog, named after my coworker Bianca Phillips, and as I was biting into this very spicy hot dog, I managed to propel the whole thing onto the floor.

That was bad news for me, but it was nothing but good news, and lots of it, from Burks on the various Chubby Vegetarian endeavors.

First, Burks and Lawrence were invited to the prestigious James Beard House in New York City to appear as part of its Enlightened Eaters series.

"How ridiculous! Such an honor!," Burks says of the Beard event.

Continue reading »

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