Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sekisui East

Posted By on Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 11:51 AM

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Pam and I met up with a friend at the new Sekisui East for lunch.

The place is small with a nice-looking bar. The menu is familiar, with Pam ordering the Nabeyaki Udon noodle soup ($9.95).

It comes with vegetables, shrimp tempura, fishcake, and a wonderful poached egg.

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Our friend ordered another soup, the Kistune Udon (seafood broth and marinated tofu), to warm up on this vaguely snowy day. I stuck with sushi.

We talked movies and books and holiday parties, and as we were winding down the meal, I made a visit to restroom ... and then proceeded to play with the toilet for 5 minutes.

But this is no ordinary toilet, it's the Toto Washlet Toilet ...

Continue reading »

Monday, December 30, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 11

Posted By on Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 10:46 AM

For this week's contest, something to whet the appetite.

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The first person to correctly guess what I'm eating and where wins a $40 Corky's gift certificate.

Submit your answers to me via email at ellis@memphisflyer.com.

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

The answer for last week's contest was the banana creme pie at Frost Bake Shop. And the winner is ... Chris Vafinis.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Grove Grill's Vegetable Plate

Posted By on Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 9:35 AM

When you're out and about post-holiday returning gifts and what-not, you might consider taking a break at Grove Grill for lunch.

I'm a fan of the restaurant's posh vegetable plate. You get a choice of four vegetables among a selection of 17 for $13.

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For this plate, I opted for the grilled asparagus, sauteed spinach, fried green tomatoes, and pimento cheese grits. Very tasty all around. The pepper jelly on the tomatoes is brilliant.

Other options include fried okra, pecorino fries, braised turnip greens, praline sweet potatoes, warm bleu cheese slaw (!), marinated field peas, and basil risotto. I definitely have my eye on the crisp sweet onion and rosemary grit fries for my next visit.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 10

Posted By on Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM

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Something sweet for this week's contest.

The first person to correctly ID the dish and where I'm eating wins his or her choice of 5 Malco movie passes or $40 Corky's gift certificate.

Email your entry to me at ellis@memphisflyer.com.

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

The answer to last week's contest is the Black Bean and Goat Cheese tamale at Boscos, and the winner is ... John Scruggs, the contest's first repeat winner.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Memphis Made Goes Seasonal

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 11:02 AM

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Memphis Made Brewing Co. issued a press release this morning announcing that it will brew seasonal beers.

From the release:

“We’ve enjoyed bringing a variety of styles to the market,” Drew Barton, president and head brewer at Memphis Made, said. “Customers have really responded well to the changing beers so we’ve decided to keep it up instead of focusing on flagship beers.”

The release also included news that Memphis Made would partner with Reverb Coffee to create Reverberation, a Belgian-style coffee stout, set to be released in late December.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Deep-Fried P.B. & J.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Yep, it exists, and, yep, it's at Dyer's.

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And, no, in case you're wondering, it's not made in the same decades' old grease as the famous burgers.

The Deep-Fried P.B. & J. is part of the dessert menu, along with a deep-fried Twinkie and a deep-fried Suzie Q. I would describe it as tasting sort of like stuffed Beignet.

It will set you back $3.29. An extra .99 gets you a scoop of ice cream.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 9

Posted By on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM

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For this week's contest I chose one of my go-to dishes at this particular restaurant.

The first person to correctly identify the dish and the restaurant wins his or her choice of 5 Malco movie passes or $40 gift certificate for Corky's.

Submit your entries to me via email at ellis@memphisflyer.com.

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

As for last week's contest ...

Continue reading »

Friday, December 13, 2013

Madison Growler Shop at Cash Saver Opens Today

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM

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Finally, you can pick up your freshly filled growler along with tonight's dinner at the Cash Saver in Midtown beginning at noon, when their growler station, Madison Growler Shop, opens for business.

Bring your own growler — or purchase one from the store for $5 — and fill up from their selection of 30 beers (Schlafly, Lazy Magnolia, Yazoo, etc.) they have on tap. The cost will range between $4 and $14 for a fill-up, says beer manager Taylor James (pictured), and they will be filling until 7 p.m.

“We’re excited to start pouring,” says James.

Follow the Madison Growler Shop on Twitter, @madisongrowler. Follow Taylor James, @taylorhjames.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Visit to The Second Line

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Last Wednesday, I met up with Pam and her husband Tony at the newly opened Second Line. Our timing was perfect, as even a few minutes later would have meant a wait.

The place was hopping, the vibe was one of excitement.

This was a working dinner for Pam, so we ordered a range of dishes, including the fried oyster salad; the fries topped with andouille, crawfish, and pimento cheese; and the Natchitoches meat pies.

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Continue reading »

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nikki's Hot Ass Chips Too Hot for Whole Foods?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

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Nikki Schroeder, the woman behind Nikki's Hot Ass Seasoning and the newly released Nikki's Hot Ass Chips, says that while she's had no formal culinary training, she is a prolific home cook. She created a go-to seasoning that she would make in big batches, and friends would ask, "Why don't you bottle your hot-ass seasoning?"

Two-and-half years ago, Schroeder did just that, placing the seasoning in stores such as Miss Cordelia's and Whole Foods. In late November, she introduced the latest in the Hot Ass line, seasoned kettle chips. You'll find them at Miss Cordelia's and soon at City Market and area Bass Pro stores.

Whole Foods declined to carry the chips, citing concerns about the packaging.

Continue reading »

Monday, December 9, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 8

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

It's the parking lot edition ... and another three-parter ...

#1

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#2

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#3

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The first person to identify all three restaurants wins his/her choice of 5 Malco movie passes or $40 Corky's gift certificate.

Email your entry to me at ellis@memphisflyer.com.

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

Now about last week's contest ...

Continue reading »

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A. Schwab's Soda Fountain

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Yesterday, I went to check out A. Schwab's soda fountain.

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Isn't it swell?

The soda fountain offers a small lunch menu, featuring your choice of either a pimento cheese sandwich or chicken salad and a selection of sides and salads. (The menu will be expanded later.)

I got the pimento cheese sandwich. The spicy pimento cheese comes from Trolley Stop, the sour dough bread is made from a starter that traces its lineage to bread from the old Jarrett's.

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The sweets menu is a bit more extensive and features sodas made from "antique recipes." (The syrups are made in-house.) Sweet Magnolia gelatos are available by the scoop, and there are shakes, malts, floats, ice cream sodas, and sundaes. There's also a selection of candies and cookies.

I got the strawberry ginger phosphate because it sounded cool. The phosphate was described to me as being similar to a bitter.

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The drink was good, but I've got my eye on trying a shake or a malt for my next visit. The menu brags the beverages are "so thick a spoon is a must — the straw is just for show."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whole Foods Germantown Design To Be Revised

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

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An announcement was posted yesterday on the Bring Whole Foods To Germantown Facebook page alerting the public that a meeting in front of the Germantown Planning Commission had been postponed until January 7th so that concerns with the store design could be addressed.

From the post:

There have been some questions raised by neighboring households that, being a good neighbor, we want to be sure to address appropriately and completely. To rush that would not be appropriate to any of the people involved.

According to Joseph Jarratt of Ford Jarratt Realty & Development Company, which is working on the Whole Foods project, the design of the grocery store will be changed to address to concerns from immediate neighbors. He says the changes are "pretty minor" and tackle two main points.

One of the design changes is the addition of a brick fence along the southern border of the property, which is near single-family homes.

The other change is the addition of a crash gate on Pete Mitchell Road that would restrict traffic on that road.

Jarratt says that the plans are currently being revised, and notes, in an email, that, "The project continues to have tremendous support from the community and we look forward to the January 7 Planning Commission meeting."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Residents Share Concerns and Support at Truck Stop Community Meeting

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Restaurateur Taylor Berger and attorney Michael Tauer, the duo behind the Truck Stop restaurant concept planned for the corner of Central and Cooper, held a standing-room-only community meeting tonight at First Congregational Church to discuss their plans and answer questions.

The latest design for the Truck Stops exterior
  • The latest design for the Truck Stop's exterior

The Truck Stop is a hybrid concept that combines a restaurant serving small plates, adult beverages, and desserts with parking space for a rotating cast of three food trucks. Diners place their order for any menu item at the restaurant or from the food trucks' menus at one counter so no one has to stand in line at a food truck. The trucks will stay on the lot for several hours at a time, and when they leave, other food trucks will take their place.

The indoor dining area
  • The indoor dining area

There are plans for an indoor dining area and a patio seating area in the back facing the existing rail line. The restaurant will be created using 12 to 16 metal shipping containers that will be cut up to create open spaces and areas for natural lighting. Customer parking on the small lot will be kept to a minimum (only 16 parking spaces) to allow for a more pedestrian-friendly design.

While many in attendance expressed support for the concept, concerns were raised about the industrial look of the shipping containers. Tauer and Berger are currently seeking a zoning variance to use the containers on the property. Although the space is currently zoned for industrial use and does allow shipping containers for such uses, a variance must be sought to use shipping containers for commercial use.

Others expressed concern that the Truck Stop would increase traffic at the already busy intersection of Cooper and Central. Currently, the Truck Stop's design has one entrance (on Central) and one exit (on Cooper) for cars. But many residents said the exits and entrances should be switched so that cars exit on Central instead because the lane under the exiting railroad trestle on Cooper becomes clogged during rush hours.

Currently, that property is occupied by Midtown Nursery, and owner Michael Earnest was out of town when Loeb Properties, who owns the property, allowed Tauer and Berger to sign their 10-year lease for the Truck Stop. Earnest's lease was up for renewal, and he claims he had a verbal agreement to renew. Tauer and Berger said they were not made aware that Earnest was being forced out of the property until after they'd signed the lease.

Several residents spoke up about that situation, asking if the Truck Stop could move to another location and allow Midtown Nursery to stay where it is. But Tauer said they have a legal obligation to stay at Central and Cooper now that the lease has been signed.

An especially tense moment came when Earnest, who was at tonight's meeting, and Bob Loeb, owner of Loeb Properties, had a conversation in front of the meeting's audience about the situation. Loeb offered to meet with Earnest in private to discuss the matter further. But Earnest's daughter Whitney Taylor directed her concerns at Tauer and Berger.

"Why would you see an established business there [on Central and Cooper] and think you'd like be there?" Taylor asked.

"We would love to stay. We would love to be there," Earnest told the room.

But despite the situation between Loeb and Midtown Nursery, Tauer said the Truck Stop was committed to the location. He said they were still open to tweaking the design, especially in ways that would ease the traffic congestion concerns.

Tauer and Berger plan to take their zoning variance request to the Board of Adjustment meeting in January.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 7—Updated with a Clue!!!!

Posted By on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 9:30 AM

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You know the drill ... The first person to correctly identify the dish and the restaurant wins his or her choice of a $50 Gould's gift certificate or $40 Corky's gift certificate.

Submit your answers to me via email at ellis@memphisflyer.com.

The answer to last week's contest is the Rice Noodle soup with fresh vegetables, aka Pho Rau Cai, at Pho Vietnam, and the winner is ... Johnny Vo.

UPDATE: This one seems to be a bit tricky, so I've added a clue below.

Continue reading »

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