Monday, March 30, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 62

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:55 AM

This week's contest involves creative recycling ... 
The first person to correctly ID where I'm eating wins a fabulous prize. To enter, submit your answer to me via email at

The answer to GWIE 61 is the Hearty Multi-grain soup at Ecco, and the winner is ... Ashley Phoummavong! 

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Schweinehaus’ Kartoffelpuffer

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 10:40 AM


It’s easy to fall into the habit of going out to eat at the same places over and over again. Then it hits you, the desire to branch out and find something different. Well, at Schweinehaus in Overton Square you can go to Germany without having to even leave Memphis. This German/Memphis restaurant brings the traditional German cuisine and atmosphere to us!

The one thing on the menu you have to try is the Kartoffelpuffer. For just $7, you can have an amazing German-style potato pancake filled with bacon, onions and kraut. It’s served with apple butter and quark on the side to put onto the Kartoffelpuffer. The dish has four medium-sized potato pancakes and is enough to split between two people.

The Kartoffelpuffer itself is fried and crunchy. You can taste the flavor of the potatoes and everything is nicely seasoned. The onions and kraut blend together well and go down smoothly while the bacon adds a small but pleasant change of texture.

As for your sides to spread onto your Kartoffelpuffer, the apple butter is amazing! It’s pretty much a sweeter version of applesauce. The quark tastes like a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream. I couldn’t get enough and devoured both of them! For the brave individual, try putting Schweinehaus’ homemade peach habanero sauce on top of your Kartoffelpuffer! I tried and couldn’t handle it! 


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Growler Now Hammer and Ale

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 3:53 PM


The Growler in Cooper-Young has expanded its offerings and been rebranded as Hammer and Ale. 

According to owner David Smith, the change came about when a partner left the business and wanted to take the name. 

"I always felt the name was too one-sided — [suggesting] come in and fill your growler and leave," says Smith.

You can still get your growlers filled at Hammer and Ale, but the space now has a small kitchen. Changes are being slowly rolled out the next week, but Smith hopes to have a special event involving one of the local breweries on Saturday, April 4th. 

Smith says the menu is "pretty simple." "There's no oven or fryer or skillet," he says. "But nothing is frozen. All of it is made from scratch."

Among the menu items is a pressed Cuban sandwich, a broccoli cole slaw side, pretzels with homemade beer mustard using different local brews, and a vanilla beer float. 

The name came from a local branding company, which emphasized the craft, hand-made nature of the business — from the beer itself to wood elements used in the space design. 

"The main tool of the craftsman is the hammer," went the pitch. 

Says Smith, "I said, I dig it." 

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Belly Acres Owner Ben McLean Takes Steps to Feed Hungry Seniors

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 2:38 PM


Step into Belly Acres, and you’ll spot something a bit unusual, even for freaky-deaky Midtown: a 38-year-old heterosexual male with bright green hair. What’s even more surprising is that the guy isn’t a customer or a waiter…he’s the owner.

“I like it, but my kids aren’t crazy about it,” admits Belly Acres’ Ben McLean. “They asked me not to get out of the car when I pick them up from school.”

Of course, nobody needs a reason to go green. To be honest, the troll doll look kind of suits him. But in McLean's case, it’s more than just a fashion statement. He’s raising money to help feed hungry seniors.

“When I was a kid,” recalls McLean, “my dad drove Meals on Wheels in the church van. I got to see how it would touch these families' lives, how appreciative they were.”

MIFA is helping people who really need it,” he adds, “and I always knew I wanted to be a part of that. It just gives them one less thing to worry about, you know?”

Continue reading »

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Taste Test: Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 3:51 PM


The good folks from the Austin-based Deep Eddy Distillery sent us a bottle of its latest product, Lemon Vodka. 

We put the bottle in the freezer for a few hours and then took a shot ... and that was much too strong. So, we backed up and followed the advice on the label, which advised the best way to drink it was with water. This is true enough. I tried it with Sprite and that was just as fine, and I imagine sipping it later on the summer with something like Orangina and lots of crushed ice.

Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka is available at Buster's, Kirby Wine & Spirits, Caeser's, and Poplar Pike Wines & Spirits.

Lemon Basil Martini
• 2 oz Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka
• 2 basil leaves
• 1/4 oz simple syrup
Directions: Muddle basil in simple syrup. Add vodka, shake and strain into martini glass. Top with basil leaf garnish (optional). Enjoy.

Hops into Spring, Dining Out for Life

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 12:28 PM

• The Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management is hosting Hops into Spring benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on Saturday, April 11th, 6-9 p.m.

The event includes craft beer and gourmet burger tastings. There will also be local breweries on hand, a burger contest, a wine tasting, life music, dancing, a speeding painting show, a photo booth, and live and silent auctions. Whew! 

Tickets are $50 per person or $450 for a table of 10. 

The event will be in the Grand Ballroom at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis. Call 373-5051 or go to for tickets. 

• The annual Dining Out for Life date has been set for Thursday, April 30th. Restaurants all over town will donate a portion of their proceeds from that day to Friends for Life

Among the restaurants generously donating 50 percent of their proceeds: ECCO (lunch, dinner), Fratelli's (lunch), Blind Bear (dinner), Stone Soup Cafe (breakfast, lunch), R.P. Tracks (lunch, dinner), Chez Philippe (dinner), and Grawemeyer's (lunch, dinner). 

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

L'Ecole Class, etc.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 2:01 PM


• Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to how to make fish pudding ... well, that's something else all together. 

On Friday, Chef Emmett Bell will lead a "Fish on Friday" class at L'Ecole Culinaire. Bell, a former chef at Calvary, home of the famous Lenten Waffle Shop, will teach students how to cook fish to perfection and will recreate the Waffle Shop's fish pudding. 

The class is Friday, March 20th, 6-9 p.m. Cost is $95 per person. 

More info here

Another Broken Egg Cafe, a Southern-style breakfast chain, opens its first memphis restaurant on Monday, March 30th. On Friday, March 27th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. it's holding a preview event benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

Reservations are recommended: 759-7020.

• Food Truck Fridays returns to the Dixon, starting with a "Sneak Peek" Friday, March 27th, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 

The trucks on site that day will be Fresh Gulf Shrimp, Fuel, and Memphis Dawgs. 

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 61

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 9:56 AM

This dish comes from one of the restaurant's featured in Memphis magazine's Dining Issue. 

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 60 is the Barefoot bowl at Maui Brick Oven, and the winner is ... Leigh Buck! 

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Get Your Cozy Corner at Encore Cafe

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 3:32 PM

Encore Cafe opened last Monday and serves a menu filled with what owner Monroe Ballard calls healthier choices — chicken, fish, and veggie wraps, salads, sandwiches, smoothies (mango and strawberry!), and coffee.

And starting next Tuesday, it will serve Cozy Corner barbecue. 

"We're helping a neighbor in need" says Ballard. 

According to Bobby Bradley, grandson of Cozy Corner matriarch Desiree Robinson, the pits will be moved to the Encore Cafe, which is across the street from Cozy Corner. Much of the menu will be served, including ribs, barbecue sandwiches, wings, and the cornish game hens.

Bradley says that fund-raising efforts are going well and work on the Cozy Corner building should start next week.

"Memphis has been really kind to us," says Bradley.

Cozy Corner' Go Fund Me page 

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Porcellino's Butcher Box, Majestic at 10

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 2:06 PM


Porcellino's is offering a weekly meat share called Butcher Box. For $35, you receive enough protein for a meal and a half for two people plus other goodies like pasta and sauce, dessert, Porcellino's chicken stock, or pastries. Each box has a theme and is equipped with recipes explaining how to prepare each item. The boxes are picked up at the butcher counter each Monday.

A recent box included: Italian Wedding soup, chicken stock, 1 parmesan rind, 10 meatballs, Rice Crispy Treats for desserts, 2 smoked pork chops, and pickled tomatillos.

For more information, email Matt Farmer at

Majestic Grille is marking its 10th anniversary by holding 10 dinners. 

The "Ten til Ten" series launches on Tuesday, March 24th.

Ten ‘til Ten’ Dinner #1 Menu

Featuring the Estate Wines of Cliff Creek Cellars

Scallop crudo, crispy greens, hot pepper, kumquat & lime

Rousanne/Marsanne 2012

Warm duck salad, goat cheese, hazelnut vinaigrette.

Red Red Wine 2012

Roasted venison, root vegetable cassoulet, truffle reduction

Creek Cabernet 2011

Warm sticky toffee pudding

Claret 2008 

The dinner is $65 per person. Call 522-8555 for reservations. 

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Friday, March 6, 2015

New Beers from Ghost River and Memphis Made, etc.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 10:34 AM


• Madison Growler is hosting a launch Friday night, 6-9 p.m., for Ghost River Hornet's Revenge. 

This is the first release in Ghost River's Brewers series. 

From the event's Facebook page: 
This brew from Cory York is a black pale ale. Cory, who's nickname is Hornet, says that this beer doesn't look or smell like a pale ale but drinks like one. Amarillo hops are used and impart quite a bit of fruity notes on the palate. Make sure you are one of the first to try this brand new beer!
Memphis Made has teamed up with T.J. Mulligan's for a limited edition red ale named Sully. It debuts today at LBOE, Dan McGuinness in East Memphis, TJ Mulligan's on Highway 64, TJ Mulligan's at Trinity Commons, TJ Mulligan's at Kirby and Poplar, and TJ's Pub. 

The beer is named after Richard Sullivan, a Memphis Made co-owner. 

• Memphis magazine's 901 Blog has details on proposed plans from the City Market owners for a new Second street convenience store and liquor store. The liquor store side of the plan would be called Quench Wine & Spirits.  

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 60

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Some healthier fare for this week's contest ... 
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 59 is a Benedict from Strano, and ... no one guessed it.  

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