I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I saw this sign ...
And I still didn't quite believe it as I held the messy and glorious Tops Bar-B-Q meatless burger ($4.95) in my hands.
I may have to go get another one just to make sure. Fact-checking, you know.
If you've been to a corner store around these parts, then certainly you've seen Eric's Momma Homemade Butter Cookies.
The "Eric" of Eric's Momma cookies is Eric Davis. He says his mother used to sell the cookies at church and sell so many that he decided to launch a business. Eric's mother, who has since passed away, wasn't interested in the venture, so Eric, using her recipe for butter cookies, started the company with a partner in 2006.
"We started going store to store," says Davis, "and it took off."
Davis says he has the cookies in 313 stores and sells an estimated 200,000 3-cookie packages a year. (The cookies cost between .99 and $1.09 depending on the store.)
According to Davis, the company has a bakery in Midtown that employs three workers who make and package the cookies. They make roughly 1,500 to 2,000 cookies a day.
Davis says that Eric's Momma has stuck to the corner stores because the difficulty in dealing with the multiple channels of larger, chain stores.
"It's easier with mom-and-pops," Davis says. "You walk in the store, and chances are, you're talking to the owner right there."
Still, Davis would like to expand Eric's Momma Homemade Butter Cookies into a nationwide brand, "something like Famous Amos," he says.
You can find Eric's Momma cookies at Roxie's Grocery (520 N. Third), the Hop-in at Poplar and McLean, and many other locations.
The thing about the Nutella ice cream made by the Clarksdale, MS-based Sweet Magnolia is that it doesn't taste overwhelmingly Nutella-y. What it most brought to mind was a chocolate malted, which is A-okay by me.
Sweet Magnolia Ice Creams, in flavors from French Vanilla to pound cake and salted caramels, etc., are available locally at Miss Cordelia's, High Point Grocery, and Square Beans. A pint at Miss Cordelia's costs $7.99.
It seemed like a perfectly reasonable request to me. I wanted to make a Vine of Hannah eating a Hannah's Pickled Egg.
She refused even after I backed off of the suggestion that she wear overalls and red pumps for the video.
Hannah's Pickled Egg is distributed by the local company Monogram, which also distributes the King Cotton line bacon, bologna, and sausage.
I report this news as a public service. The croissant donut, available at the Kroger on Union, is not the same thing as a Cronut, the donut-croissant hybrid that's sparked a craze (long lines outside the bakery! black market! TV appearances!).
Indeed, the croissant donut is simply a donut shaped like a croissant. According to Linda England, of Kroger manufacturing, the donut is made by an outside party and has been available for the last 4 or 5 years. (It's up to individual stores whether or not to offer the item.)
England said she was not familiar with the cronut but was going to look into it, suggesting that it was not outside the realm of possibility that Kroger might try to concoct their own version.(This is not a zero-sum situation ... in other words, there are croissant donuts at Kroger!)
"If there was a problem/Yo, I'll solve it" — "Ice Ice Baby," Vanilla Ice
There are those among us who approach a box of Lucky Charms like anthropologists, carefully combing the cereal to unearth the treasures of dehydrated marshmallows.
Those folks are the target audience for Magician's Cereal Marshmallows, which is 100% marshmallows with none of the cereal.
The product was launched in 2010 by Germantown resident Craig Rich through his company CMRI. Last spring, Rich scored a deal with Walgreen's that placed Magician's Cereal Marshmallows in stores nationwide.
On part two, we wrap up the judging by dissecting and discussing Sno Balls, Suzy-Q's, and Zingers. Who will win? Watch the award-eligible video at the end of the post to find out!
The Hostess headlines sent the masses into a panic, leading to a run on snack cakes at convenience stores. Wall Street speculators and plucky entrepreneurs took notice, and what followed was the creation of an unregulated black market, a smorgasbord free-for-all. Don't eat that Twinkie, you mad man! Might as well be eating a Honus Wagner!
It was a dark time that saw the unholy combination of arbitrage, credit default swaps, insider trading, hedge funds, and short sells: All of those bad things you read about and don't understand. They happened again. And this time the powers that be were messing with our precious.
Where's the bailout on this one, Washington? The people had spoken: Hostess was too big to fail. Someone may have heard, because Hostess and the unions are meeting with a mediator to try to settle their dispute. (And thus, the Twinkie bubble burst, leaving only carnage and tears in its wake.)
We at the Memphis Flyer, ever mindful of our civic duties, found upon our heads the helm of public trust, falling to us the great and terrible responsibility to mark this moment in American history.
How to do so in a sober and appropriate fashion? Taste test, nerds!
We did, however, come across six prime goodies for our experiment: Orange Cup Cakes, White Powder Donettes, Honey Bun, Sno Balls, Suzy Q's, and Chocolate Zingers. And, minus Twinkies, at least we had a control group, a golden mean with which to compare our results.
The judges assembled: Greg Akers, Anna Cox, Michael Finger, Louis Goggans, Hannah Sayle, Chris Shaw, and Bruce VanWyngarden
Snack cakes were judged on a 1-10 scale in the categories of presentation, color appeal, texture/tactile, taste, collectability, and overall. Collectability was defined as "hoard-worthiness and value on the black market." In other words, how highly would you rate the item if your life depended upon it in a post-apocalyptic world.
Without further ado, part one of the Great Hostess Taste Test.
As a native Memphian, I couldn't help but want to test Burger King's summer barbecue menu to see how it held up. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to it, the Memphis BBQ pulled pork sandwich was not on the menu, so I decided to drown my disappointment with a Bacon Sundae ($2.99).
I got a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomatoes, and for 50 cents, the fine people at Tops threw an ounce of their pulled pork on top. An ounce of pork isn't enough to drastically change the taste of the burger, even with BBQ sauce, but it is enough to act as one of the best toppings I've had on a burger.
Tops burgers range from $3.15 for a 1/4 lb hamburger to $4.95 for a 1/2 lb cheeseburger.
As the 5 o'clock hour approached last Friday, Coworker C was getting a little antsy to get home and prepare a batch of Cheladas — a tradition he keeps before each Tiger appearance in the NCAA tournament.
I had never heard of Chelada. A little googling brought up the words "beer" and "clam juice."
Spotted at Walgreen's: Jelly Belly sodas, 4 for $4. The flavors are sour cherry, lemon drop, and green apple.
Was chocolate gravy part of your childhood?
I have never had it or seen it, just read about it. Seems this thick sauce — cocoa powder, butter, sugar, flour — was a staple in some but not all Southern homes.
In any case, former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson is getting mileage out of the treat to promote the release of his book Teaching the Pig to Dance.
3:15 p.m., Saturday. Tom Lee Park.
Today was the first day that teams could start "loading in" for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.
Well, "glamorous" isn't the word I would use to describe Memphis, be it the city or the hamburger from the new Glamburger line from the Cheesecake Factory, but to each his own.
The Memphis burger (pictured top left) is a beef patty topped with shredded pork, melted cheddar, cole slaw, pickles, and mayonnaise.
Other place-inspired Glamburgers: Sonoma Burger (herbed goat cheese, mushrooms, oven-roasted tomatoes, arugula, red onion, and mayonnaise) and Monterey Cheeseburger (avocado, melted jack cheese, arugula, red onion, and honey-mustard mayonnaise).