Monday, September 26, 2016

Plans for Second Slider Inn Downtown

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 2:00 PM

  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Aldo Dean

Aldo Dean confirmed plans for a second Slider Inn in the South Main district. 

Dean, who owns Slider Inn, Aldo's Pizza Pies, and Bardog Tavern, says he currently finalizing the purchase of a building at 363 Mulberry. 

The building includes the bocce ball court, and Dean envisions the green space as outdoor seating, outdoor bar, and community gathering place. 

"I've seen how that area has sprung to life," Dean of South Main. "I looking forward to getting involved and helping add to it."  

Dean hopes to have the restaurant open by next spring. 

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How a Beer Becomes a Can: Memphis Made's Gonerfest XIII

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 10:53 AM

They made it. They canned it up. And you've been drinking the shit out of it. 

Gonerfest 13 starts Thursday. For the last two years Memphis Made has created a special beer for the festival and bottled it. 

This year, they went cans. It's better for the beer and all that but more than anything — it's in a can, that sweaty little booze bullet melting right there in your hand. Ah, yes.

The beer this year is a session IPA. IPA means it's (deliciously) bitter and this year's is pretty dry. "Session" means the beer is low alcohol. That means you can pound the hell out of 'em.

Gonerfest XIII (the name of the beer) is available in finer establishments all over town. 

(Music is "Rat King" by NOTS)


Friday, September 23, 2016

Huey's Downtown to Mark 20 Years, etc.

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 11:20 AM


Huey's downtown is celebrating with a day-long party on October 16th. The event will include live music, drink specials, signature T-shirts, and more.  

Proceeds from the party will go to the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. 

Sprock n' Roll Party Bikes has added three new tours: Progressive Dinner Tours, Brunch Tours, and the Artsy Fartsy Tour. 

Among the restaurants participating in the Progressive Dinner Tour are the Rendezvous, Spindini, and Aldo's. For the Brunch Tour, there's Blind Bear, Local on Main, and Tin Roof downtown; in Midtown, it's Slider Inn, Strano, and Local on the Square. 

The Artsy Fartsy Tour includes a stop for crafts at the Vergos' Art Project in Overton Square. 

Collierville Brewfest is happening Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 and there's beer, food, live music, games, and more. 

Proceeds go to Le Bonheur Chidlren's Hospital. 

Some 18 breweries from around the region are participating. There will be about 50 beers to sample. Among those are locals Wiseacre, Memphis Made, High Cotton, and Boscos. Regional breweries include Diamond Bear, Jackalope, Tennessee Brew, Tin Roof, and Fat Bottom. Bernoulli Brew Works, Memphis Filling Station, and Bluff City Brewers are offering a taste of their own brews as well. 

AND, there will be giant game of Beer Pong. 

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Look at Catherine & Mary's Menu

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 3:34 PM


Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman's fourth restaurant, Catherine & Mary's, is set to open Monday in the Chisca building. 

The fall menu for the restaurant looks pretty fancy to me. It includes grilled quail, pate, oysters, and lamb Bolognese. 

Check it out below ... 


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Monday, September 12, 2016

BreakFest Set for September 24th

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 3:24 PM


In 2015, Andy Wells and Christin Yates went to the Memphis Italian Festival. The next day, they went to brunch where the thought occurred to them: Why didn't Memphis have a brunch festival?

"Memphis loves food, and Memphis loves festivals," says Yates.

And, so the pair set about making that brunch festival happen and they did it just four months later.

The second BreakFest is set for September 24th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Water Tower Pavilion on Broad.

 They describe the festival as sort of a mini BBQ Fest, with teams (both restaurants and "amateurs") competing in the categories Omelet, Bacon Lovers, Breakfast Sandwiches, and Anything Goes. There's also a Bloody Mary contest. 



Food trucks will be serving a breakfast menu. French Truck will be there with free coffee, and Bedrock Eats is providing a waffle bar. 

There will be games as well and live music from Southern Avenue, Brennan Villines, and others. 

In addition, BreakFest has formed a partnership with the BikeSmith. The first 50 people who park their bikes at the BikeSmith will receive a glass and a free beer. 

Last year, they sold about 550 tickets. This year, they've upped the number to 750. Proceeds from the event go to the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry


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Friday, September 2, 2016

A Peek at Zaka Bowl's Menu

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 11:01 AM


"Almost there," says Ed Cabigao of the opening Zaka Bowl, a create-your-own veggie bowl restaurant in East Memphis.

Cabigao, who owns South of Beale with his wife Brittany, says they are putting the finishing touches on now — painting, testing menu items, training the staff. If permit process goes well, Zaka Bowl could be open as early as September 16th. 

Of Zaka Bowl, Cabigao says, "Our mission here is to show that compassionate choices can lead to a cleaner, happier, healthier you and planet!"

Here's a peek at Zaka Bowl's menu:  


Zaka Bowl is located at 575 Erin Drive. 

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Another Best Memphis Burger Fest in the Books

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 1:37 PM


The 5th Annual Best Memphis Burger Fest took place on Sunday, Aug 28. Over 40 teams competed in Bloody Marys and various burger categories, and also provided samples to the general public. The event was a fundraiser for Memphis Paws, a local non-profit dedicated to generating support for animal care and rescue organizations around Memphis. In addition to cooking burgers, the event also included a Kids Zone, a pickle eating contest, a slider eating contest, live music, food trucks, and a corn hole tournament.

The winners were:




1 – LBOE (Last Burger on Earth)


Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016
Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016 Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016 Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016 Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016 Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016 Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016 Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016 Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016

Best Memphis Burger Fest 2016

Frank Chin on the scene at the Burger Fest. 

By Frank Chin

Click to View 48 slides

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Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 110

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 10:27 AM

Oh my goodness ... 


The first person to correctly ID the dish and where I'm eating wins a fabulous prize. 

To enter, submit your answer to me via email at

The answer to GWIE 109 is the Southwestern salad at Wild Beet Salad Co., and the winner is ... Michael Erskine! 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Korean BBQ To Open in Cooper-Young, etc.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 11:42 AM


Jun Lee says the original plan was to open the second DWJ Korean Barbecue in Oxford, but then real estate agent Robert Taylor turned Lee on to the old Greencork space in Cooper-Young. 

The original DWJ is on Hacks Cross and is three times bigger than the Greencork space. Lee estimates that the new restaurant will seat between 30 and 40. Lee and his brother/business partner are doing much of the work on the new space themselves while still running the Hacks Cross restaurant. 

Lee says the Cooper-Young DWJ menu will offer about half the dishes that the Hack Cross one offers, but diners should expect such signature dishes as the Korean pancake, pajeon, and, of course, barbecue. And while Lee says he doesn't plan to compete with his Cooper-Young neighbors cocktail-wise, he does plan to serve soju, which he describes as a liquor that is like "a sake-slash-vodka." 

Tables will be outfitted with a grill/warmer that were ordered specially from Korea. 

"We'll try to follow a similar footstep as the old restaurant," says Lee. "It's a different scene here [Cooper-Young], a different crowd. We'll be as authentic as we can, but the style of service will be slightly different, a bit more faster-paced." 

Lee hopes to have the restaurant open in time for the Cooper-Young Festival on September 17th. The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. 

• Cristina McCarter of City Tasting Tours is looking to expand. She wants to offer the tour during weekdays and is looking for someone to help lead the tours. Interested? You can contact McCarter through her website, The ideal candidate, says McCarter, is "somebody who loves the city." 

McCarter is also hoping to add a supper club on Thursday nights. 

Indian Pass Raw Bar, based out of Florida, is opening its second location in the old Chiwawa space on Madison. 

From the press release: 

Ralph Roberson and Ralph Rish (managers of the McNeill’s Indian Pass Raw Bar) along with two silent partners, with the agreement of the McNeill family decided that Memphis is the perfect setting for bringing a piece of old Florida history to Tennessee. The mix with Memphis cuisine and music will be a great combination. The Chiwawa building location on Madison Avenue at Overton Square will be the perfect place to re-create the rustic atmosphere of an old Florida seafood dive, and to treat Memphis to a great, fun experience. Seafood, music and sports in a great, fun, casual place. The Chiwawa building already has a rustic appearance and with modest renovations we can create a great atmosphere for a raw bar. The deck is a big part of why we selected this building. The outside deck is important to our raw bar concept. A place in the outdoors where we can enjoy great seafood, live music, sports on big screen TVs and other events. This will be more than just another place to eat.

We are still in the planning stages for design and hope to begin renovations within the next few weeks. We hope to open around the first of December.

There is an old family tie to Tennessee. Mr. James T. McNeill Jr. (family patriarch – deceased 2010) attended the University of Tennessee while training to be a bomber pilot in WWII. The McNeill legacy returns to Tennessee.

The Farmer is now open in the space formerly occupied by Just For Lunch. Check out my vegetable plate above. 

Porktoberfest is set for October 7th-8th at the Memphis Botanic Garden. The event will feature a barbecue cooking contest, food trucks, and pork-centric dishes from 20 area restaurants.


• Hollywood Feed Bakery recently opened at the Union Avenue store. Offered are fresh-baked biscuits, cookies, and cakes, such as the strawberry almond cake ($20) pictured above. Everything is wheat- and white sugar-free. 


* The 2nd Annual Wine on the River is set for October 1st. The event benefits Youth Villages. and features a "World Tour" of wines. Tickets are $49. 

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 109

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 10:56 AM

Something a little lighter for these hot summer days ... 

The first person to ID the dish and where I'm eating wins a fabulous prize. 

To enter, submit your answer to me via email at

The answer to GWIE 108 is a) Gay Hawk Restaurant and b) Loflin Yard, and the winner is ... Actually, no one got this one. I think this is the third time this has happened.  

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Kooky Canuck Announces Move

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 11:06 AM


The owners of Kooky Canuck announced they are moving their downtown restaurant after 11 years. 

The restaurant is moving next door, to 87 S. 2nd.  

From the press release: 

The Dankos expect to make the transition to the new location at the end of October. The new restaurant space requires a full build out and Graham Reese Design Group will play a large role in the design. The Dankos plan to keep many of the original lodge elements of the restaurant while giving it a more updated look. There are plans to expand the number of draft beer offerings which will include more local brews and there will be some menu changes along with the addition of a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. The new space will also feature several large doors which open up to Second Street creating a patio-like environment. 

The Dankos will be hosting several large events to launch the new location. 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sushi Jimmi To Open Restaurant, etc.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 4:12 PM


Sushi Jimmi
's Jimmy Sinh confirmed plans for a new restaurant at the old Wendy's on Poplar across the street from Senses. 

He hope to have the restaurant open by October or November. 

Sinh says the restaurant's menu will be the same as the food truck, but there will be more wiggle room. He envisions having a Taco Tuesday or throwing in specials like fajitas. 

Sinh is also starting a second food truck that will serve Vietnamese sandwiches (!). He hasn't settled on a name for the venture yet, but he's been busy training staff, so expect to see it on the road soon.

Pink Diva Cupcakery and Cuisine is switching its focus and will now concentrate on catering and its food truck. The restaurant on Florida is now closed. 

Pink Diva's Cassi Conyers says she hopes to have the food truck operating in the next month. She says that traffic to the restaurant was often slow. With the truck, she can go to the traffic. 

Also in the works is a vegan cupcake mix. She says a mix is much easier to ship than a cupcake. 

"I'm taking it in a new direction," says Conyers of Pink Diva. "In the last year and a half, I've accomplished a lot." 

Pink Diva caters corporate events, birthday parties, etc. More info here

Frost Bake Shop will hold a ribbon cutting for its second location in Collierville at 1016 W. Poplar on Tuesday, August 16th, 11:30 a.m.

The new shop is considerably bigger than the East Memphis location, and there are plans for classes as well as private parties in the space. 

Celtic Crossing recently announced some changes, including the installation of a new mosquito repellant system (!). 

They also have a couple new menu items (Irish nachos!), a seasonal wine menu, and a new manager, Christopher Darling, who has an eye toward efficiency. 

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

4 Dumplings Closed, more news

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 1:15 PM

4Dumplings has shut its doors. 

From restaurant's Facebook page: 

After a year's preparation and two and half years of operation, we have decided it's time to close 4Dumplings. We are proud of what we had done for our community, proud of the small impact we had made for eating clean, but we also realized that being the restaurant owner/ operator is a little too much of a job for us... We have sacrificed too much meaningful family time together. We are sad that we started something wonderful, but couldn't carry it to the end, but we know we need a more balanced life so we can do some other things that could be even more important and more rewarding from many levels. 4dumplings has taught us so much and we will always be grateful. Last but not the least, we want to thank all our guests for allowing us the opportunity to serve you!!!
Another Broken Egg opens its second Memphis location on August 8th, but biscuit beignet lovers can get an early and free (!) taste on Friday, August 5th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturday, August 6th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Both days are set as fund-raisers. Friday's proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House and Saturday's go to St. Jude. You can book reservations at

$15 at Pho Binh
  • $15 at Pho Binh

• The second BreakFest has been set for September 24th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., on Broad. Includes a bloody mary contest and a waffle bar (!). 

Proceed go to the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. 


• Have you checked out Blooming Bubble Tea at the Wolfchase Mall? 

Blooming Bubble offers an extensive list smoothies and milk teas, plus sno cones and macarons. You also get a choice of tapioca pearls or popping boba (and, yes, these pop in your mouth!). 

• The first Fourth Bluff Friday is set for August 12th, 4:30-9 p.m., at Memphis Park near the law school. There will be a pop-up beer garden courtesy of Tap Box and food from Monkey Train and Stick'em. 

Continues on the second Friday of the month through October. 

Paradox Underground is a new dining club from chef Jimmy Gentry. The first event is set for August 26th, and the dinner will include five courses plus wine, cocktails, and beer. 

There will be at least five dinners a year, with special guest chefs cooking with Gentry. 

More info here

99 cent Soul Food Express is now open. All dishes are served a la carte. Guests make their way through line, pointing out what they want, sorta like Picadilly. 

Seen above is the lima beans, mac n cheese, fried green tomatoes, and a corn bread muffin, about $6. 

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 108

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 10:03 AM

A two-parter this week. One old, one new. 



The first person to guess BOTH places where I'm eating wins a fabulous prize. 

To enter, submit your answer to me via email at 

The answer to GWIE 107 is Gus's fried chicken, greens, and mac n cheese at Gus's, and the winner is ... Elizabeth Ennis!

Thanks to Cristina for the image! 

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Relevant Roasters To Become French Truck Coffee

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 3:48 PM

Geoffrey Meeker of French Truck Coffee
  • Geoffrey Meeker of French Truck Coffee

Geoffrey Meeker of the New Orleans-based French Truck Coffee has entered into a partnership with Jimmy Lewis of Relevant Roasters

Relevant Roasters will be rebranded French Truck Coffee, with Lewis in charge of the Memphis operation. The rebranding is set for September. In addition, they will open a roaster and cafe in the Crosstown Concourse building. 

Meeker started French Truck out of his home in 2012. He says he got into coffee via his cousin.

"She brought me a bag of coffee from a San Francisco roaster that was roasted the day before she got on the plane, and it was an epiphany," Meeker says. "I couldn't understand why coffee could be so good and I had never had it before. I then set about reverse-engineering to see how it could be done."

Meeker, who has a background as a chef, started the micro-roaster out of his laundry room. The coffee was delivered to customers' homes via a vintage truck. 


French Truck outgrew the laundry room. The business was moved into a warehouse with a coffee bar like Relevant's. There is now a French Truck Cafe as well.

It sells 14 types of coffee — 8 single-origin, 6 blends. 
According to Meeker, Lewis first contacted him to compare notes on the roasting business, and, eventually, Lewis asked him he was interested in a partnership. Meeker initially told him no before reconsidering what combining the brands might mean. 

As for the rebranding of Relevant into French Truck, Meeker explains the reason, "It's twofold: We feel, and Jimmy is of this opinion, that our brand is a really strong brand and it's got a lot of legs. And number two, if we were to remain two separate entities as far as naming goes, we wouldn't be able to capitalize on some of the efficiencies of having a larger operation because we would be buying two kinds of bags, two different websites, etc., etc., etc."

"Some of the steps that we've already taken and some of the lessons we've already learned get added into what Relevant was doing. We wouldn't have done this if Jimmy hadn't stayed on board," Meeker adds. 

The Crosstown Concourse French Truck will be a roaster/cafe with large windows on all sides so customers can get a peek into the roaster. The cafe will serve a European-inspired menu and beer and wine. Meeker envisions for the space coffee-centric education events, pop-up restaurants, and cuppings. 

Says Meeker of the partnership, "Jimmy already has amazing equipment. With our background in buying coffee and his background in roasting and us putting all that together, it just means that the Relevant Roaster product when it becomes French Truck is going to take one step forward as far as quality goes and the coffee that we're going to be selling in Memphis is world class, on par with what you might find in San Francisco and New York." 

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