Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wiles-Smith Soda Fountain To Remain Open a "Good Possibility"

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Wile's-Smith chocolate malt
  • Wile's-Smith chocolate malt


Charlie Smith, owner of Wiles-Smith, says that he's in talks with additional people about keeping the beloved soda shop open. "It's a good possibility," he says.

In September, Smith announced he was closing the drug store and soda fountain, which opened in 1944. The plan was to sell the pharmacy and keep the soda fountain open until late November. The drug store part of the business is now closed, but the soda fountain, serving breakfast and lunch, is open.

Smith says the potential partner does not wish to be named at this time, but is someone he deems reliable.

If the deal goes through, Smith says, the soda fountain will remain as is, with a little refurbishing. The menu would be expanded.

As of now, Smith still talks about the last day of Wiles-Smith. If the partnership doesn't work out, the shop will close at the end of December, Smith estimates.

"We've been talking about giving a trophy to the person who gets the last milkshake," he says.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ugly Mug Coffee Shop Opening Monday

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

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Memphians who prefer to buy local now have a new spot to grab a cup of joe. Ugly Mug Coffee is soon to open at the corner of Poplar and Perkins Extended, in the space formerly inhabited by the Poplar Perk’n coffee shop.

The café will have a soft opening on Monday, December 1st, with a grand opening to follow at a later date. 

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Continue reading »

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Thanksgiving Upgrade: Try this Delicious Recipe from Chef Armando Gagliano

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Ecco chef Armando Gagliano - JOHN KLYCE MINERVINI
  • John Klyce Minervini
  • Ecco chef Armando Gagliano

Johnny Carson once said, “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. We travel thousands of miles to be with people we only see once a year—and then discover that once a year is way too often.”

But hey, at least the food is good—right?

This year, upgrade your Thanksgiving dinner with a recipe from Ecco chef Armando Gagliano. On its face, it’s a creamy soup of butternut squash. But what sets this dish apart is the inclusion of Bartlett pears.

“I’ll admit, the combination is unusual,” says Gagliano. “But I think it works well together. You get the creamy, savory flavor of the squash and the sweetness of the pears. Garnish with a few toasted walnuts for an earthy crunch, and some micro-greens for a green, citrusy taste.”

Maybe you're digging the soup, but don’t want to make it yourself? Starting next week, you can order it off the menu at Ecco ($7). Chef Gagliano recommends serving it with a whole roasted chicken and a glass of viognier. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

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Armando Gagliano’s Butternut Squash Bisque
90 minutes
5 servings

Ingredients

3 medium butternut squashes, halved and seeded
1 bartlett pear, slightly underripe, peeled and seeded
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 cup toasted walnuts
micro greens or parsley

Preheat oven to 450. Fill the bottom of a baking dish with a small amount (½ inch) of water. Roast squashes in baking dish for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until tender when poked with a fork. Meanwhile, in a pot, combine sugar with 8 cups water and bring to boil. Poach pear for 20 minutes in boiling water.

Allow squashes to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh, discarding the skins. In a large pot, combine squashes, pear, and cream. Add spices and stir to combine. Puree in a blender. Return to pot and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with toasted walnuts and micro greens. Serve immediately.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 47

Posted By on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 10:19 AM

This week, GWIE-ers, I'm asking you to guess the dish after it's been eaten ...  
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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 ellis@memphisflyer.com.

The answer to GWIE 46 is the apple dumpling from Blues City Cafe, and the winner is Tim Francis! 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

A Visit to LBOE

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I went to recently opened LBOE (Last Burger on Earth) last week, and I don't think I could have been more pleased with what I ate. 

Among the more elaborate burgers are the Love Stinks (roasted garlic cream cheese, garlic aioli, onions) and the Lava Me or Lava Me Not (a burger marinated in Nikki's Hot Ass bloody mary mix and topped with Nikki's Hot Ass chips).

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I stuck with the Classic ($7.95), which comes with a choice of cheese and lettuce and tomato. (You get a choice of patties: beef, turkey, or black bean.) The burger was well-done, with satisfying crush. 

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The burgers come with chips, but you can order the fries as side ($4.95, feeds 3 to 4). They come with a ketchup-mayonnaise concoction (excellent) and a tzatziki sauce. 

Read more about LBOE in next week's Food News column, on the stands Wednesday. 

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In Memphis this Weekend: Acclaimed Cookbook Author Eugenia Bone

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Bone will sign copies of her new book tonight at The Booksellers.
  • Bone will sign copies of her new book tonight at The Booksellers.

Eugenia Bone grew up around food—and we’re not talking Kraft Mac and Cheese. Her father, Edward Giobbi, is a renowned artist and cookbook author in New York who kept company with the likes of Craig Claiborne, Pierre Franey, and Jacques Pépins.

(How’s that for an intimidating potluck? I’ll bring the wine, thanks.)

Bone herself is no slouch. The author of five critically-acclaimed cookbooks, she has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Martha Stewart Living. She says her early exposure to haute cuisine helped her develop a discerning palate and an inquenchable curiosity in the kitchen.

Not to mention, she’s goshdarn funny.

Bone’s new book is called The Kitchen Ecosystem. It’s full of recipes that play well together while making the most of what’s in the cupboard. Take carrots: no longer just for dipping in hummus! In Bone’s world, carrots appear in dishes as diverse as veal stew and pasta genovese. Heck, you can even make a delicious green pesto with the carrot tops!

Wanna see for yourself? Over the weekend, Bone has three events in Memphis:


The Flyer
recently caught up with Bone to talk about little white lies, beet water, and the wrong way to cook mussels.

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Flyer:
What was it like growing up around chefs?


Bone: Being someone who loves to eat, it was fabulous. I would get these wonderful jobs like, go and get Pierre some parsley out of the garden, or keep an eye on the fried white bait for Jacques. I was like a little kitchen maid for these guys.

Do you remember the first time you cooked something?

I do actually. I was maybe 8 years old, and we used to summer in Provincetown. And when the tide would go out, there were a bunch of rocks that had mussels growing on them. So I hatched this plan that I was gonna dig a hole and build a fire in it, and that way I was gonna cook the mussels. But I had a problem getting matches.

Surely that didn’t stop you.

(Laughs) No. What I did was, I went to the hotel on the beach. I told them my mother smoked cigarettes—which she didn’t—and that she needed matches. And it worked! So my first cooking experience was aligned with an early lie.

How did it turn out?

OK, so I got the matches, lit the fire, threw the mussels in. And it was tough, because my sister and brother kept trying to kick sand on the fire. But the mussels did eventually cook, and as I recall, they were very, very sandy. It taught me an important lesson about always washing shellfish before you cook it.

Where did you get the idea for this new book?

Many years ago, I wrote a book called At Mesa’s Edge. And my friend threw a party where she invited all these people to try making my recipes. Kind of a potluck. And the dishes were good—but secretly I was a little disappointed, because their versions weren’t as flavorful as what I was making at home. They just weren’t as punchy.

What was going on?

A couple of phone calls later, I figured it out. Whereas I was using home-made chicken stock in a recipe, they were using store-bought. Whereas I was using home-made mayonnaise, they were using Hellman’s. And that’s where I got the idea of a kitchen as an ecosystem.

An ecosystem? What do you mean?

Just like in nature, the health of any ecosystem is dependent on the health of its individual components. In the kitchen, that means your ingredients. The better each ingredient is—the more home-made, the more regional and fresh—the more delicious these recipes are going to turn out. The book is mainly about helping people make better ingredients, and doing it in a way that fits with their lives.

What is one way you can improve the health of your kitchen ecosystem today?

Look at what you buy the most often. If you frequently buy chicken broth, that means you use a lot of chicken broth. If you replace something that you frequently buy with a version that’s fresher or home-made, then your food will taste better. That’s really it.

What if I told you I don’t have time to make chicken stock?

I’d say, just make it while you’re making dinner! Turn on one more burner on the stove. Chuck some chicken bones in a pot with a little of this and a little of that—a carrot, a piece of celery. It could even be just water and half a lemon. And let it simmer while you finish cooking and eating. Done. Two pints of chicken stock.

I’ve heard you’re supposed to roast the chicken bones a second time before you use them to make stock. Supposedly it bumps up the flavor. What do you think?

Why would you make it more complicated than it has to be? I figure, no matter what you do, it’s still gonna be better than what you buy in the grocery. To me, it is more important to go ahead and do it, rather following a bunch of complicated rules that are going to keep you from ever getting started in the first place.

What’s one creative reuse for a food scrap that you’re particularly proud of?

You know when you boil beets? And the water gets all ruby-red and aromatic? So I’m staring down at this beet water, and I’m thinking, you know, this stuff has got a ton of flavor in it. So what the hell can I do with it?

Ha! Got me. What on earth do you do with beet water?

Well, first I tried it as a warm drink. And it was OK, but it was a little too health-foody for me. Then I tried it with vodka, which was really vile. But then I made granita with it. That’s like an Italian ice that you would serve after dinner. And it was delicious! And this is beet water that otherwise would have been poured down the drain.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Elegant Farmer Name Change

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM

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You may have noticed from this Commercial Appeal story that the Elegant Farmer is no longer elegant. The name of the restaurant is now The Farmer

According to Mac Edwards, the change came about to avoid a copyright dispute with a market named the Elegant Farmer in Wisconsin

Edwards, who says he named his restaurant after his parents' favorite place in California, said it was much simpler and cheaper to change the name to the Farmer. He says that's how most customers refer to it, in any case. 

In other news, Edwards says he currently working with Jennifer Dickerson on opening two new restaurants by year's end. 

The Firefly Southern Kitchen in Brighton will have a heavy Farmer influence, says Edwards, while The Chandelier Cafe & Cater in Jackson, TN, will be more of a reflection of Dickerson's global influences. 

The Chandelier is near the train station in the bottom floor of the Murphy Hotel, which used to be a regular stop of traveling salesmen, according to Edwards. 

Stay tuned ... 

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Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 46

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM

My oh my ...

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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 ellis@memphisflyer.com.

The answer to GWIE 45 is the falafel pita at Petra, and the winner is ... Keith Knowles!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Opening Date Set for Memphis Made Taproom

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 4:40 PM

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Memphis Made Brewing Co.
has announced the opening date for its new taproom: Friday, November 21st. 

The taproom will be open that day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Hot Mess food truck will be on site serving burritos.

The taproom will serve Memphis Made's year-round Lucid Kolsch and its seasonal and limited edition beers in 20-ounce pints, 10-ounce half-pints, and growlers.  

The taproom will be open on Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. Hours will be expanded later. 

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wiseacre To Offer Tours, Expands

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM

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Wiseacre Brewing Co. has announced it will begin offering weekly behind-the-scenes tours starting November 15th.  

The tours will be on Saturdays at noon. Reservations can be made at wiseacre.com

Wiseacre also announced that they have expanded into North Mississippi (DeSoto County, Oxford, Tupelo, Starkville, and Clarksdale) and Jackson, TN. The markets will get cans and kegs of the Ananda IPA, Tarasque Saison, and Tiny Bomb American Pilsner, as well as seasonal and limited edition offerings. 

They've also expanded the taproom hours. They will now stay open until 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Live on the Scene at the First Annual Taste the Flavors Brew Festival

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 5:31 PM

On Saturday, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee hosted the first annual Taste the Flavors Brew Festival. - JOHN KLYCE MINERVINI
  • John Klyce Minervini
  • On Saturday, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee hosted the first annual Taste the Flavors Brew Festival.

Last year, Ghost River Brewing co-founder Chuck Skypeck raised a few eyebrows when he suggested, in an interview with the Commercial Appeal, that Memphis might not be able to sustain its new crop of craft breweries.

His reason? Black people don’t drink craft beer.

“There are about a million people in the Memphis area, Skypeck began. More than 60 percent of them are African-Americans who…largely prefer higher-end alcohol (if any alcohol at all) to beer.”

Oh really?

I decided to run that comment by Trevor Thompson. Besides being black and loving craft beer, Thompson is the CEO of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee. On Saturday night, his organization hosted their first annual Taste the Flavors Brew Festival. Held at Just For Lunch, the event gave Memphians a chance to sample delicious local brews while raising money for those who suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia.

From left: Steven Whitney and Trevor Thompson - JOHN KLYCE MINERVINI
  • John Klyce Minervini
  • From left: Steven Whitney and Trevor Thompson

“Really, it all goes back to exposure,” said Thompson, sipping from a glass of High Cotton ESB. “I think it’s true that African Americans have historically participated in the craft beer movement at lower rates. But already tonight, I’ve had two people come up to me and tell me how much they love this beer or that beer.”

For those who don’t know, Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited blood disease that primarily affects people of African and Caribbean descent. One out of every 350 Memphians has sickle cell, and the crowd at the event—which numbered about 150—was equal parts black and white.

When I caught up with Claire Gentry, she was enjoying a cup of Ghost River’s Honey Wheat Reserve.

“I’m usually a light beer kind of person,” confessed Gentry. “You know, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Michelob. But I liked it! It wasn’t heavy at all, and it was kind of sweet.”

Taste the Flavors featured three Memphis breweries—Ghost River, High Cotton, and Memphis Made—plus a few beers from farther afield—notably Schlafly and Lagunitas. And hey, what’s beer without some food to wash it down? Texas de Brazil was serving steak, and Aldo’s Pizza Pies brought some of their addictive garlic knots with vodka cream sauce.

The event was conceived and chaired by Steven Whitney, an enterprising 23-year-old at the University of Memphis. Whitney, who works with sickle cell patients at St. Jude, says he has always had a passion for craft beer. Combining those interests gave him an opportunity to help introduce craft beer to Memphis’s black community and while helping sickle cell patients in the process.

“Craft beer is blowing up here in Memphis,” says Whitney. “So I figure, let’s knock down the walls and bring everybody in. I mean, why not? It’s a huge untapped market.”

The event gave Memphians a chance to sample delicious local brews while raising money for those who suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia. - JOHN KLYCE MINERVINI
  • John Klyce Minervini
  • The event gave Memphians a chance to sample delicious local brews while raising money for those who suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia.

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Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 45

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Is it lunchtime yet?

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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 ellis@memphisflyer.com.

The answer to GWIE contest 44 is the cheese dip at Pancho's, and the winner is ... Tim Riley!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

A Cuppa Joe with Reverb Coffee’s Jeremy Harris

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

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Everybody has an aha moment. For the Apostle Paul, it came on the road to Damascus. For Reverb Coffee founder Jeremy Harris, it happened one night in a tiny village in the Dominican Republic.

“I was having dinner at a friend’s house,” recalls Harris, “and our hostess brought out this old metal cafeteria tray covered with shot glasses. And I was like, what is this old lady doing?”

The shot glasses, it turned out, were full of espresso—but not just any espresso. The coffee had been grown and roasted right there in the village. The espresso was brewed on a stovetop with brown sugar, and the flavor, says Harris, was out of this world.

“I’d never had that level of coffee before,” he continues. “I thought, you know, why don’t we have this where I live?”

Continue reading »

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Soul Food Restaurant Opening in Rizzo's Spot

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 2:05 PM

The site of Marie's Eatery with mock-up of sign
  • The site of Marie's Eatery with mock-up of sign





Carl and Marie Bonner are opening a soul food restaurant called Marie's Eatery in the old Rizzo's space at 106 G.E. Patterson. 



The tentative date for opening is November 24th. 



According to Carl, the  restaurant is one part of a two-part plan. The couple, who have a background in catering, hope to run a tour company in conjunction with the restaurant. Tourists would be taken to the river for a drink with a view and then to Marie's for dinner. They would finish the evening on Beale Street. 



The menu features daily specials, like Wednesday's salmon patties with white rice, cabbage, and a roll or cornbread. Prices hover around $10.



Menu: Marie_s_Eatery_updated__menu.pdf




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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Taste of the New Menu at Sweet Grass

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Fried oysters
  • Fried oysters

Did you hear? Sweet Grass got a new menu, and chef Ryan Trimm says it’s all about fall:

“I always love the first burst of fall produce,” Trimm confesses. “Butternut squash, pumpkins, collards, mustard greens. Right now I got brown crowder peas coming out of my ears.”

Who could resist an invitation like that? So yesterday, I flung a warm scarf over my shoulder and headed down to Cooper Young for a taste. It all started with a cocktail.

Continue reading »

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