• Somewhere amid the hand-crafted rocking horses, pretty windchimes, shelves and shelves of pottery, sparkling jewelry, fiber and glass art, etc., at this weekend's Pink Palace Crafts Fair is the Beer Tent. As it was described to me: "The beer tent is just a cool place to hang out, watch the entertainment on the stage, have a refreshing pick-me-up and get back to shopping. Bring the men to carry the purchases but don’t make them shop; they can just stay in the beer tent until it is time to go."*
• It's Oktoberfest on Broad, this Saturday, starting at 1 p.m., on Broad Avenue. For the event, Wiseacre Brewing Co. has brewed a special lager for the day, and My Heavenly Creations has created an Oktoberfest beer soap.
More Wiseacre news from Fuzzy Brew: The brewery's Ananda IPA is now available in six-pack cans at the Superlo on Spottswood and at the brewery.
• The first beers from Memphis Made Brewing Company make their debut in area restaurants today. The South Cooper Saison and Parkways Pale Ale will be sold at both Flying Saucer locations, starting today. On Saturday, they'll be available at Young Avenue Deli, Aldo's Pizza Pies, Bardog Tavern, and Slider Inn.
• Though it's not this weekend, it's worth mentioning that the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest returns on Saturday, October 19th, 1-5 p.m.
*May we point to another option? Women, make like Beyonce and "leave your man at home." More beer for you.
The Square Meals on Wheels truck is parked until Saturday, as Clark is now busy with the soft-opening phase of the new Square Meals Cafe at 6745 Lenox Center Court.
According to Clark, a L'Ecole Culinaire graduate and current president of the Memphis Food Truckers Alliance, he became aware of the space at Lenox Center while working in his food truck nearby. The business at that spot was leaving and he was asked if he would be interested.
"I jumped on it," he says.
The soft opening for a Square Meal Cafe continues through Friday. It officially opens on Monday, October 14th.
The menu, which Clark describes as "fine cuisine with a touch of soul," will be an extension of the Square Meal on Wheel's offerings, most notable for its lobster roll and fish tacos.
The cafe will have daily specials, such as New Orleans-style tilapia in a seafood sauce. For vegetarians, there's veggie tacos, sauteed vegetables, and quesadillas. "I cater to all appetites," says Clark.
The Square Meal Cafe will also serve breakfast, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Clark plans to continue running a Square Meal on Wheels Tuesdays through Fridays and bring the truck to special events. The truck's next stop is Saturday's South MEMfix event.
Chef Ryan Trimm is introducing vegetable-focused nightly specials for $8 apiece at his new East Memphis restaurant Southward. The "Farmers" menu selections will change daily depending on what’s fresh and in-season.
“I wanted to do something to showcase all of the hard work that our farmers put into growing the vegetables we use,” Trimm told me over lunch last week.
This afternoon, Bianca and I went to check out the new location of DejaVu, which opened at 51 S. Main (between Union and Monroe) early last week.
Both of us are vets of the Florida location (currently closed for two weeks as a routine gets set on Main), and both of us are familiar with menu. Even so, we struggled for a bit with narrowing it down to a decision.
Chef/owner Gary Williams was buoyant, circulating among the tables to greet patrons. There was enthusiasm, too, among the staff.
More from our visit in the following slideshow.
A visit to the new DeJaVu on South Main.
Greencork charged headlong into the fray, opening on the day of the Cooper-Young Festival. Business has steadily grown since.
The self-serve wine bar, the first of its kind, makes for excellent socializing as diners browse the four machines that dispense 32 wines.
“We tasted over 100 wines before we narrowed it down to 32. We want to have a good balance of types of wines and a representation of the world of wine,” says front of house manager David Bennett.
The wine choices have been popular in surprising ways.
“We picked some well-known wines, but people are drinking a lot of the more unusual wines we have. I love that,” Bennett says.
The selection of wines will change just as the food will change with the seasons. The seasons will also be a reason for further experimentation.
"I want to do different fun events. This month we're going to do a HalloWine. We will have different wines with devil and witch names," says chef Katy Sloan.
Making wine accessible and providing good food are important goals for Greencork. The most important thing, though, is a welcoming place to experience that.
"My grandfather said, 'Be friendly with your neighbors and neighborly with your friends.' I think that's a great philosophy," says owner Robin Brown.
The serve-yourself wine bar is now open.
A recently departed colleague had a list of dishes she wanted to eat before she left town. One was the Slider Inn's lobster roll, with its wonderful brioche-like bun.
This isn't about that (and sorry, catsmeow, it's not about the government shutdown, either).
This is about that fine trio of fried egg sliders ($6.99). Nothing fancy here but good — a perfectly fried egg, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, spicy mayo.
It was a mere two days ago that Fly on the Blog included a post on @MidtownKrogers with the words, "This parody account is a cease and desist order waiting to happen."
Indeed. A visit to that Twitter account now yields the message: "Account suspended."
@MidtownKrogers, the week or so it was up, had gathered a fawning fanbase of 400-plus, with grammatically poor and often nonsensical tweets, such as "There are a lots of midtown grocerys to chose but alike some people we always fresh cereal and no bees. #cost_saver #bees #freshpromise."
Joe Bell, manager of marketing and public affairs for Kroger Delta, confirms that a request was made by Kroger's corporate headquarters in Cincinnati that the account be removed.
Bell deems the situation as "not a huge deal," saying that the main concern was that people might mistake @MidtownKrogers for an official account run by Kroger.
"Someone may say something down the road that really didn't represent Kroger, and at that point, it's a little too late to step in and say that's not us," says Bell.
Update: All tickets have been claimed.
The scoop on this year's Big Scoop is that there will be local offerings from La Michoacana and Mama D's. More cold stuff comes from Yarnell's Blue Bell, Menchie's, Turner Dairy, and Yogurt Mountain.
Big Scoop organizers have generously provided 4 pairs of tickets to be given away to Hungry Memphis readers.
Want those tickets? All you have to do is email me and ask.
Best Memphis Burger Fest 2013
Wild Ophelia is a Chicago-based candy bar outfit specializing in unusual flavor combos and ingredients sourced from farms across the country.
And so ... on to the All Natural Beef Jerky Milk Chocolate Bar.
The description from the company's site: "Flavor Profile: Natural smoked fruit woods and peppered spices perfectly match our rich milk chocolate."
And the reaction from everyone I had try it: It's chocolate-y, but hardly at all beefy. The jerky flavor only comes in the salty, spiced after-taste.
Other Wild Ophelia bars include Peanut Butter & Banana, the New Orleans Chili, and Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips.
I picked up the Beef Jerky bar at the Walgreen's downtown on Union, for $3.99 for a 2 oz. bar.
Sascha Parker, owner of Eggcellence, says she came to the deviled egg business via her office job.
For one of the office's frequent potlucks, she volunteered to bring deviled eggs. "But I didn't want to do just plain-old deviled eggs," she says. So, in addition to traditional deviled eggs, she brought a batch of BLT eggs, topped with tomato, bacon, and lettuce.
Her office workers went nuts for Parker's gussied up version of the traditional party treat, and that led to more deviled eggs with more imaginative toppings. Eventually, her coworkers began asking if they could buy them from her, and so Eggcellence was launched.
Eggcellence's lineup includes the traditional paprika-topped Classic Southern; the BBQ with chicken, barbecue sauce, and cabbage; the Hawaiian with pineapple and Teriyaki sauce-glazed spam; and the California with crab, cucumber, and avocado.
There is no wrong answer.
Many years ago, a full decade before my cooking wasn't just confined to the microwave, I read cookbooks like novels, and this wasn't just the chatty parts either; this included the recipes. We're talking stacks on the nightstands. The Joy of Cooking was my Harry Potter.
These days, I see cookbooks as more of a tool and less as entertainment. Unless I know the author, I don't generally make it past a paragraph or two.
Phillip Rix, of Phillip Ashley Chocolates, is opening a space to make and sell his artisan chocolates.
Phillip Ashley Chocolates Midtown, at 798 S. Cooper in the former Painted Planet space, is set to open November 4th.
"I've been looking," says Rix," but I didn't want to rush into anything."
Rix says the location, in walking distance of Tsunami and Alchemy and other Cooper-Young spots, "really fits."
Rix launched his chocolate business a few years ago as Chocistry before rebranding it as Phillip Ashley Chocolates. His chocolates are imaginative (popular items include the sweet potato chocolate the Mama Jean and the bbq chocolate the Memphis) and striking to look at (some look like geodesic domes, others are hand-painted).
The chocolates are designed to be luxury items, and so Phillip Ashley Chocolates Midtown is presented as a boutique rather than a shop. The chocolates will be displayed in jewel cases.
It is a design studio as well, with the back half of the space set up for on-site chocolate-making.
The boutique will offer around 15 to 20 different chocolates, with the lineup changing seasonally. Tuesday at Phillip Ashley will be by appointment only, with guests having private tastings set up in flights.
Regular hours for the rest of the week will be Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
A funeral for Russell George, the owner of iconic dive Earnestine & Hazel's who died earlier this week, has been set for Friday, September 13th at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church downtown.
Following the service, there will be a celebration at Earnestine & Hazel's.
A makeshift memorial appeared at Earnestine & Hazel's door shortly after news of George's death.
There's a flower wreath and a bouquet on the door. On the ground, is a poster with noisemakers and heartfelt words as well as burning candles and a Miller Lite can serving as a vase for more flowers.
The note with the bouquet pictured above reads in part, "Thank you for the best New Year's Eve of our life. You will be forever in our thoughts. Rest in peace, you sweet man."
I'm a fan of Made from Scratch cookies, but my favorite is the Rich Chocolate Brownie ($4.99 for a package of 3).
Packaged brownies tend to taste like a square of vaguely chocolate-y chemicals, but Made from Scratch's are rich and moist.
Amerlia Young sells the Made from Scratch cookies (which include chocolate chip, spiced ginger, and an excellent peanut butter) and the Rich Chocolate brownies at the Agricenter farmers market and Miss Cordelia's.
She also offers a larger line of cookies, brownies, and dessert bars via the Made from Scratch Facebook page.
Brownies include Nutty Chocolate, Cappuccino, Cocoa-Nut, and Peppermint & White Chocolate. The dessert bars are Lemon, Cheesecake, and Chess.