Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nacho Ordinary Coffee, etc.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Gary Cluck traveled a lot for his job, and while on the road, he got hooked on good coffee. He joined some clubs, took some classes. Then, he bought his own roaster. He began giving away bags to family and friends, who urged him, "You need to get this to people," he says. 

And so he did. He recently launched Nacho Ordinary Coffee, which sells small-batch coffees online for about $14 per bag. 

Nacho is the family dog. "She's such a sweetheart," Cluck says. "She's not your typical chihuahua."

Cluck says the coffees he offers tend to be medium roast. He will typically offer two coffees from two different countries and never blends. 

• Barbecue champ Melissa Cookston is opening a steakhouse in Southaven, Steaks by Melissa

* Downtown Dining Week is set for November 7-13. 

• Jeff Johnson's Green Room is holding its first pop-up restaurant this weekend. Chef Daniele Zucca will lead the meal. Dinner includes Lasagna Alla Bolognese and pumpkin ravioli in brown butter. Details here

Pimento's Kitchen and Market is set to open at 6450 Poplar on Wednesday. This is a sister restaurant of Holiday Ham and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Crosstown Arts to Open Cafe

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 10:17 AM


Crosstown Arts has announced that it will be opening a cafe in the Crosstown Concourse. It will primarily serve Crosstown Arts staff and artists participating in the organization's residency program but will be open to the public. 

While the plans are subject to change as the project develops, the idea now is that the cafe will serve "plant-based" meals, though there will be some meat options. 

From the press release: 

Crosstown Arts will operate a plant-based cafe featuring innovative, health-conscious, and affordable meals inside its contemporary arts center inside Crosstown Concourse. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2017, the cafe will prepare meals for both Crosstown Arts’ multidisciplinary artist residency program and the general public.

Rather than feature a fixed menu, the cafe’s chef will offer a flexible, simple menu for each meal of the day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), depending on what is in season and available from local growers. Menus will be posted weekly each Sunday.

The cafe will provide daily meals to Crosstown Arts’ resident artists, who will dine, family-style, at a communal table inside the cafe, but the general public are also invited to dine in. The cafe will be open Monday through Friday and for brunch on Saturday. It will be closed on Saturday evenings and all day on Sunday.
By my count, this is the sixth food or drink venue scheduled to open in the Crosstown Concourse. 

I Love Juice Bar announced last week that it would be opening its second location at Crosstown. The others are the Ktichen-related Next Door, the vegetarian restaurant Mama Gaia, French Truck coffee, and Crosstown Brewing Co. 

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On the Scene at Taste of Cooper-Young

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 11:37 AM

Participants got a taste of 12 Cooper-Young restaurants during this fund-raiser for First Congo's outreach programs. 

A Taste of Cooper-Young
A Taste of Cooper-Young A Taste of Cooper-Young A Taste of Cooper-Young A Taste of Cooper-Young A Taste of Cooper-Young A Taste of Cooper-Young A Taste of Cooper-Young A Taste of Cooper-Young

A Taste of Cooper-Young

Frank Chin at last Thursday's Taste of Cooper Young. 

By Frank Chin

Click to View 37 slides

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Vegetarian Restaurant to Open in Crosstown, etc.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM


An all-organic vegetarian restaurant will open in the Crosstown Concourse, it was announced this morning. 

Mama Gaia ("Mother Earth") will feature pitas, quinoa bowls, salads, and soups as well as options for the kids. 

Cru and Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling, along with two partners, are opening the restaurant. Cru, a professionally trained chef, will lead the kitchen. 

Mama Gaia is guided by three principles: health consciousness, ethical obligation, and environmental stewardship. 

From the press release: 

“Our goal is to inspire people to be more conscious about what they are eating and encourage them to incorporate high-quality, organic foods into their regular diet to promote healthy living and a sustainable environment,” Philipp said. “Right now, we are focusing all our efforts on building our brand with this Crosstown location, but we hope to make it an emerging trend for future generations.”
* Petra Cafe is joining the Highland Strip at 547 S. Highland, with an opening date set for early 2017. 

• The Flyer's Crafts and Drafts is returning November 12th at Crosstown Arts. 

As the name suggests, there will be lots of crafts and beer. This is a fun one, folks. 

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cafe 1912 Tapas Wine Bar Changes Focus, etc.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 4:00 PM


Cafe 1912 Tapas Wine Bar, an offshoot of Cafe 1912 which opened in early June, will change its name and focus starting next Tuesday, October 19th. 

Cafe 1912 Tapas Wine Bar, says owner Glenn Hays, "never had an identity." 

When the restaurant reopens on Tuesday, it will be Peabody Point Cafe. The menu will be composed of large dinner salads (nicoise, lyonnaise) and pasta dishes (lasagne, mac and cheese). There will be some dishes for children as well, says Hays. 

Prices run from $8-$10. 

The decor will remain the same. The cocktail list and wine list will be carried over from tapas bar as well. 

• October 17-21 is Memphis Seafood Week.

From the event page:

With October being National Seafood Month it was only right to highlight our seafood partner restaurants for Memphis Seafood Week 2016. Eating healthy is a good way to keep a healthy heart. The national non-profit, Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is doing its part by building a coalition of community leaders, restaurant owners, and other influencers that will help spread the message of the health benefits that come along with consuming seafood.

Participating restaurants include DejaVu, Sekisui, Flying Fish, Mardi Gras, and others. 

• The first-ever King Cotton Beans and Bluegrass Festival is this Sunday at the Landers Center, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It's a Ozark-themed festival with mountain music from Tennessee Ripple and bean-themed activities, including bean races (no clue!) and a bean bag toss. 

There will be a pinto-bean cooking contest and a cornbread cooking contest, as well. 

Benefiting Porter Leath. 

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Updated: Cozy Corner Set to Reopen Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Updated: According to the Cozy Corner Facebook page, they are now opening on Tuesday. 

Cozy Corner
is set to reopen in its original location tomorrow. It will be in a soft-opening phase for a two-week period, with a grand opening set tentatively for October 22nd. 

Bobby Bradley, grandson of Cozy Corner matriarch Desiree Robinson, says they need the soft-opening time to work out the kinks.

Cozy Corner, at 745 N. Parkway, closed after a fire on January 8, 2015. In March of that year, the restaurant moved across the street to share space with Encore Cafe. It eventually took over the space.

Both Bradley and Robinson say they are excited to be back in the old space, though Robinson notes she's no longer involved in the day-to-day operations. Bradley and his mother run the show, and says Robinson, "I let them." 



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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Imagine on the Move, other news

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 3:29 PM


Imagine Vegan Cafe
announced last week on its Facebook page that it is moving from its current location in November to a new space very close to where Imagine originally opened.

The restaurant is moving east to 2158 Young in the same building where it opened, only a few doors down. 

From the announcement: 

We're hoping to be up and running in the new location the first part of November, but until then we are still in our current location. We ask for everyone's patience as we journey into this new adventure. Also, look for our Go Fund Me that will be starting soon to raise money for our very own SOFT SERVE VEGAN ICE CREAM MACHINE!!!!!! Yes, you heard right! We'll keep you all updated as we move along. Thank you!
• I sorta love hate Gilmore Girls. I love any show I can bingewatch 8 million episodes in a row, but I sorta suspect Lorelei had a cocaine problem (don't @ me). Whatever ... the reboot is coming in November and in anticipation of that, on October 5th, starting at 7 a.m., Netflix is turning 200 cafes into a Luke's Diner for the day! In Memphis, the locations are: both Tamp & Taps, City & State, and 387 Pantry. 

• The annual Mid-South Great Steak Cook-off is returning to Southland Park Gaming and Racing on October 15th. Participants compete in the categories Appetizer Challenge, People's Choice, Showmanship, and Steak Cook-off. 

It's a lot of fun, and entertainment this year includes Ratt! 

• Starting today Hard Rock Cafe is running a special, limited-time vegetarian menu, and, son, it looks good. 

It features Buffalo-style wings made from cauliflower, a ratatouille wrap, and a cauliflower burger with garlic, egg, goat cheese, oregano and breadcrumbs, topped with zucchini, squash, Monterey Jack cheese, arugula, tomato and garlic aioli, served on a toasted brioche bun.   

Through the end of the month. 

Malco Ridgeway Cinema Grill is hosting a fall-themed wine tasting with reds and whites on Thursday, October 13th, 6-7:30 p.m.

Animals from the Humane Society will be there and admission is $13. 

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Visit to Zaka Bowl

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 12:35 PM

Earlier this week, Bianca and I were invited to check out Zaka Bowl

Zaka Bowl is a build-your-own veggie bowl restaurant that is 100% vegan. There are no appetizers or desserts. 

The design, from the decor to the logo is spare, without frills — a visual nod to the menu with its emphasis on whole foods. 
But don't equate this with boring or flavorless. Guests can choose such veggies as smoked portabella, an excellent roasted tofu, mustard herb cauliflower, lemon-garlic broccoli, and sesame eggplant to build on a base of either zucchini noodles, quinoa, wild rice, or spinach. Garnishes include charred corn, roasted beets, edamame, pineapple pico, and rosemary carrots. All this topped by sauces — creamy avocado, green tea vinaigrette, coconut curry, sriracha bbq, sesame soy vinaigrette, and Zaka sauce (a spicy mayo).

There are two featured bowls, and the owner says he's thinking about creating more. I went with the Zaka Zen with the broccoli, tofu, eggplants, carrots, beets, and pico. I thought it sounded perfect for the recently cooled weather, and it was. Earthy with dashes of sweet from the pico and the beets, and totally filling. Try as I might, I couldn't quite finish the bowl. 

Bianca went the build your own route and chose quinoa, tofu, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, carrots, and jicama slaw with the Zaka sauce. She also got a mango pineapple lemonade — very tart and very fresh!

I have to say I'm sold on this concept — to eat well and simply with no loss of taste. 

Bowls top out at $11. 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Alchemy Owner Takes Over Sports Junction

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 2:31 PM

According to Tony Westmoreland, it was a deal too good to pass up. 

Westmoreland, who owns Alchemy with other partners, has taken over ownership of Sports Junction — starting tomorrow. A new name, he says, will be announced in 45 to 60 days. 

According to Westmoreland, he worked with the Sports Junction owner as a consultant about a year ago. He had recently checked in with the owner who told him he was increasingly busy with other projects … and one thing led to another. 

The hookahs and cigars will be going, Westmoreland says. There will be a new emphasis on draft beer, and the menu will be brought up a notch. He plans to add a patio to the front sometime in the spring. 

With the zoo and Levitt Shell across the street in mind, they'll be going for a more family vibe. And, they plan to pay respect to the old Hi-Tone by having music and comedy shows. 

Those 30 TVs and five projection screens? "They're there," says Westmoreland. "We're going to use them." 

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On the Scene at BreakFest

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 10:27 AM


The 2nd Annual BreakFest was held last Saturday, with multiple teams competing in the categories Best Bloody Mary, Breakfast Sandwich, Omelets, Bacon Lovers, Breakfast Sweets, and Anything Goes.

Proceeds from the event went to support the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry.

The winners in each category were:

Breakfast Sandwich

1st Pirates of the Grillibbean, 2nd Masters of Breakfast, 3rd Squeal Street


1st Dos Eggys, 2nd Pirates of the Grillibean, 3rd Team Tart

Bacon Lovers

1st Elevensies, 2nd Team Tart, 3rd Masters of Breakfast

Breakfast Sweets

1st Team Tart, 2nd Squeal Street, 3rd Masters of Breakfast

Anything Goes

1st Team Tart, 2nd Masters of Breakfast, 3rd Elevensies

BreakFest 2016
BreakFest 2016 BreakFest 2016 BreakFest 2016 BreakFest 2016 BreakFest 2016 BreakFest 2016 BreakFest 2016 BreakFest 2016

BreakFest 2016

It's a festival devoted to brunch. What's not to like? 

By Frank Chin

Click to View 41 slides

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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'm 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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