Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Memphis Flyer Margarita Festival June 27th!

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 3:20 PM

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I have solemnly sworn to report the news, and here it is, everybody! The Memphis Flyer Margarita Festival is set for Saturday, June 27th, 3-6 p.m. in the Overton Park Greensward. 

"Basically, we were just thinking about a unique event that Memphis hasn't seen yet," says Jackie Sparks-Davila, the Flyer's event manager. "A margarita competition with some of Memphis' best restaurants seemed like a perfect event that our readers would enjoy!"  

Around 20 different restaurants will compete for the best margarita in Memphis. Guests get samples and text their vote.

Among those signed up for the 'Rita Wars in the Greenwards (sorry!) are Babalu, Swanky's Taco Shop, and Happy Mexican.

Proceeds from the event go to Leadership Memphis' program, Volunteer Memphis.  

It's happening rain or shine. This is a 21+ event.  

Tickets

Memphis Flyer Margarita Festival on Facebook

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oshi's Danger Dog

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 12:02 PM

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Danger, danger! Watch out for this dog! Normally a hotdog is just a hotdog, but that’s not the case with the Danger Dog at Oshi Burger Bar ($10). The Danger Dog is a Wagyu American Kobe Beef hotdog that’s completely wrapped in bacon and topped with crushed avocado, cotija cheese, chili aioli, and pico.

I immediately noticed how fresh everything tasted. The tomatoes, onions ,and cilantro from the pico were finely chopped and the avocado was smooth and creamy. The bacon is lightly wrapped around the hotdog and has a sweet and savory taste to it. The chili aioli reminded me of spicy mayo that you would get at a sushi restaurant… it’s to die for! The cotija cheese was the perfect choice to be sprinkled on top of everything because it was a bit salty and brought all the flavors together well. It’s similar to feta cheese. Even the bread was a nice surprise because it was toasted just right, yet still soft and delicious.

I can’t find one negative thing to say about this hotdog. I could have eaten three more. Maybe that’s why it’s so dangerous?

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 64

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Saturday's bleak morning gave way to a brilliant afternoon — perfect for patio dining ... 

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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 63 is the rootbeer float at A Schwab, and the winner is Alyssa Long!

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Pyramid Vodka's Tasting Room and Tour

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 12:55 PM

Guests who enter the tasting room at Pyramid Vodka are enveloped in the aroma of freshly baking bread and then led through a fascinating lesson on distilling involving corn, Indiana, grist mills, stripping runs, something called a dephlegmator, mash, and taxes. 

The star of the tour is the gorgeous still, which was built specifically for Pyramid in China. 

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From start to finish, it takes about 10 days to make Pyramid Vodka.

And speaking of finishes, the tour ends with a tasting. This is a substantial vodka, with a note of fruit. 

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It's a great tour. Go check it out. Takes about half an hour. And, yep, the vodka is available for purchase. 

Tasting room is open Tuesdays-Fridays, 2-6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Burrito Blues Mexican Grill Now Open on Beale

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 3:12 PM

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Burrito Blues Mexican Grill opened quietly on April 9th in the former site of Johnny G's on Beale Street. 

The soft roll-out was designed to get the new restaurant staffed up and ready for two big events: Cinco de Mayo and the beginning of Memphis in May. 

Richard Magevney of Beale Street Management says they've been thinking about the concept for a few years now. 

"We had the idea, the recipes," he says. 

Burrito Blues is a build-your-own place offering burritos, burrito bowls (served in biodegradable bowls), tacos, salads, and nachos. 

There are four fresh salsas, cheese dip, guacamole. 

The emphasis says Magevney is on fresh, local ingredients, pointing out the rice comes from a farm in Arkansas. 


They offer four beers, two domestic and two local, and Margaritas ranging from 16 ounce to 100 ounce. 

Burrito Blues is open every day — Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. — with some days having extending hours for special events such as Griz games. Food can also be ordered from Beale Street through the take-out window.

Burrito Blues will hold its grand opening on May 5th, Cinco de Mayo.  


Monday, April 20, 2015

La Michoacana’s Pineapple Chili Fruit Bar

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 10:45 AM

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I was told there was one paleta I absolutely had to try at La Michoacana, and that’s their pineapple chili fruit bar ($2.13).

I expected to see chunks of pineapple and chili. I was wrong. You can see the chunks of pineapple. What’s hidden inside the fruit bar are pieces of lime and what appears to be hints of chili powder. It looks like red pepper chili flakes and has the texture of a BBQ rub.

It didn’t taste at all like I expected. When you lick or even bite into the fruit bar, it’s nice and sweet. Then, there it is: The chili flakes add a kick of spice mixed in with the sweetness of the fruit. Is it a fruit bar that I’m eating at a dessert place or am I eating a spicy dish at a Mexican restaurant? My mouth is so confused, but in the most amazing way. Mind, blown!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Strano's Fried Cheese-Stuffed Olives

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 2:14 PM

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When you think of deep-fried food, your thoughts probably go to fried pickles, tomatoes, okra, hush puppies ... What about fried olives? I didn’t think so.

Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar's fried house-brined olives are stuffed with garlic Italian cheese and are served with mushrooms ($8). The plate is small, you get about six fried olives. They’re crunchy green olives, which made the taste salty and slightly bitter. The cheese was nice and gooey but the olives overpowered its flavor. The mushrooms were cooked just right and had an earthy taste.

This dish would be top-notch if there was a mix of black and green olives and more than one kind of cheese. 

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 63

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 10:35 AM

There are worse ways to spend a lovely spring afternoon ... 
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The first person to correctly ID the dish and where I'm eating wins two tickets to two Midtown Opera Festival events on Friday, April 17th: the pre-show dinner by Coletta's and the performance of Dido and Aeneas. The dinner is 6:30 -7:45 p.m. and the performance is 8 to 9 p.m. Both events are at Playhouse on the Square.

To enter submit your answer to me via email at ellis@memphisflyer.com.

The answer to GWIE 62 is Rizzo's Diner, and the winner is John Scruggs! 


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A Visit to Another Broken Egg

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 3:58 AM

Another Broken Egg Café, recently opened in the Park Place Shopping Center off Park and Ridgeway, is a Southern-inspired restaurant that has a little bit of everything on the menu. The one thing that can’t be ignored is the biscuit beignets ($4.99) served with powdered sugar and honey marmalade.

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I was shocked by how many biscuit beignets came with the order. It’s a good thing I brought a friend along to share! These beignets tasted less like biscuits and more like a thick version of funnel cake. The inside is similar to cake batter and the powdered sugar on top gave the appetizer characteristics of a donut. So a mix between funnel cake, beignets, and doughnut holes? I’m in!

The honey marmalade that comes on the side is very sweet, but in a good way. It was refreshing because it broke up the singular taste of powdered sugar and cake with every bite. This appetizer will take you into sugar heaven!
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The “Hey Lucy!” omelet ($11.49), Another Broken Egg signature dish, includes avocado, breakfast chorizo, sautéed onions, green chilies and cheddar jack cheese inside it. The spicy chorizo dominated while the sour cream and salsa on the side makes you feel like you’re eating huevos rancheros. Then there's the English muffin and seasoned country potatoes that come with the order. It’s a lot of food. I actually wrote down "struggling" in my notes … and yes, I finished it.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Party with Memphis Made, Free Ice Cream, etc.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 3:03 PM

A hodgepodge of stuff ... 

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• The Memphis Made tap room will be open on Saturdays and celebrate this as well as its new spring beers, the brewery is holding Hopped, Saturday, April 25, noon to 6 p.m.

There will be food from Food Geek, Fresh Gulf Shrimp, and Aldo's; music by the Mighty Souls Brass Band, and the Bikesmith will also be onsite. Those who ride their bikes to the party and can enter a raffle to win a prize, including the change for a growler of Memphis Made each month for a year.

Among the beers on tap: Waka Waka, All Sewn Up, Rockbone, and McFuggle.  

• The Annual Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's is Tuesday, April 14th, from noon to 8 p.m. Free Cone Day was started in 1979 as a celebration of Ben & Jerry's first year in business. 

You can get your free cone at the Ben & Jerry's near Whole Foods. 

• I was sent a sample of Woodbridge Wine Cue Sauce, a collaboration between Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and sauce purveyor Daddy Sam's

I'm neither an oenophile nor a sauce-ophile (sorry!), but this stuff is pretty good. You can definitely taste the wine in it, while the bbq flavors read more Texas than Memphis. 

It is sold exclusively through Amazon.com, May 15th-September 30th. 

GrowMemphis' annual plant sale is this Sunday, April 12th, 1-4 p.m., at the Idlewild Presbyterian (1750 Union). 

This sale includes a great variety of tomato plants, eggplants, herbs, and flowers. 

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sammy Hagar's Red Rocker's BBQ Veggie Burger

Posted By on Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 11:17 PM

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Sammy Hagar's Red Rocker at Southland Park does push the idea that this is place that, indeed, rocks. There's the cool menu (above) and such menu items as the Red Rocktail (Hagar-branded rum, plus peach schnapps!), Head Banging Shrimp, and the Three Meat Box hamburger. But they're not particularly obnoxious. And while one might expect it to pretty loud in there, and maybe it is at night, at lunchtime, the scene was chill. 

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There's much to admire about the Red Rocker's BBQ veggie burger. The presentation, for one, with its fantastic almost-entire pickle garnish. The veggie patty itself is hearty, with just enough sauce for flavor not mess. It's topped with both pepper jack cheese and haystack onions. Everything works.


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Thursday, April 2, 2015

BBQ Duck Confit Enchiladas

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 10:21 AM

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When I opened McEwen's menu, the first thing that jumped out at me was the BBQ Duck Confit Enchiladas. I had to get them!

When the appetizer was brought out, my eyes immediately focused on the two different sauces covering the enchiladas… BBQ sauce and a pepper jack cheese cream sauce. I was worried about how the two were going to taste together. That worry went away when I took my first bite. It tasted like a smoky, creamy BBQ cheese sauce. Yes, that’s a lot of flavors. The BBQ sauce had a tangy kick to it and the pepper jack cheese cream sauce matches it’s description, cheesy and creamy. It all combined together well to balance everything out.

My favorite part though more than anything was the duck. It was cooked PERFECTLY. The duck was well seasoned and had a rich taste to it. I could tell that a lot of tender loving care went into making sure that the duck was the star of the dish.

The appetizer comes with two duck enchiladas and will cost you $10.50. I wanted more. Maybe that’s the point, though. It’s the quality, not the quantity!

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