Friday, July 31, 2015

Lunch at Cafe Pontotoc

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 2:46 PM

Cafe Pontotoc, which opened last June, recently started serving lunch. I, for one, welcome a new lunch option along that stretch of Main. 

The lunch menu has many of the same items as the dinner menu. The chief difference, as far as I can tell, is the addition of sandwiches, including a cheeseburger, grilled cheese, club, and reuben. There are a number of hot dogs as well — the Mexican Dog (with guac and jalapenos), Japan Dog (seaweed!, daikon), and the South Main ("If we'e got it, we'll put it on there), etc.

I went pretty simple with soup and a salad. 

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The soup was the Cucumber Avocado ($7) served with pita triangle. I liked the soup a lot — creamy, fresh crisp flavors, served cold. I don't think it's substantial enough to serve as a main part of the meal, but as a starter, it would certainly rev up the appetite. 

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Opening set for Heritage Tavern & Kitchen

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 4:23 PM

HERITAGE TAVERN & KITCHEN FACEBOOK
  • Heritage Tavern & Kitchen Facebook


Heritage Tavern & Kitchen
is set to open Monday, August 3rd. 

The restaurant, in the old Southward Fare space, is being opened by Patrick's owner Mike Miller. From the website: "Our goal at Heritage Tavern & Kitchen is to celebrate American culture and culinary heritage. Our menu is built on simple, classic dishes from around the country." 

The menu is split into five regions, serving specialties from each: Midwest (Kansas city strip, wedge salad); Northeast (crab dip, lobster roll); South (bbq shrimp, gumbo); Southwest (stuffed jalapenos, tamales); and West Coast (shrimp tacos, smoked salmon). 

Heritage Tavern & Kitchen will be open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. They serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mosa's Banh Mi

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 3:19 PM


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This was my first time at Mosa Asian Bistro, and it was quite the memorable visit. They just rolled out a summer sandwich special last week, so I had to try it. It’s called the Banh Mi ($9) and you can get it weekdays during lunch. It’s Mosa’s very own specially marinated pho beef in a Korean BBQ sauce with a fried egg, pickled Asian slaw, cilantro, and a sriracha and aioli sauce all on a toasted Ricki’s Cookie Corner challah bun. The sandwich is served with the chef’s choice of a seasonal summer fruit salad.

On the first bite you get a hint of spiciness right away. There’s a lot of flavors and textures going on, but in a great way. The softness of the bun is so nice, especially when the crunchiness of the pickled Asian slaw kicks in with it. Now let’s talk about the Korean BBQ sauce. I don’t know how it’s made but… give me more of that sauce! It’s pretty much a light BBQ sauce and it was delicious. The pho beef is tender and the pieces are thinly placed on the sandwich. It’s delightful to eat this way. My mouth isn’t overwhelmed with chunks of thick beef. I must admit, I thought this sandwich was going to be heavy. Not at all. It was light, yet very filling. I didn’t taste the fried egg until I was more than halfway through the sandwich and it was a yummy, creamy surprise. I can’t decide what my favorite part of this sandwich is. The beef alone would be great by itself, but I’m so glad that Mosa Asian Bistro came up with this fusion creation!

The fruit salad was pieces of mango and fuzzy white nectarines. It was juicy and extremely fresh. I gobbled it up. Sometimes, the chef will mix it up and give you plums!

There wasn’t one piece of the sandwich left on my plate. I don’t know who was more satisfied... me, who did all the damage… or the owner Mr. Eddie, who personally made my sandwich. We were both smiling ear to ear. 

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 73

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 11:49 AM

I think this one is hard. Maybe too hard? 

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The first person to ID what I'm eating 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 72 is the bloody mary at Local, and the winner is Sam Powers!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Visit to Mac's Burgers

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 4:48 PM


I spontaneously took the day off from work on Monday and found myself at Mac's Burgers sometime around 1 p.m.

The occasion called for day drinking .. 

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This is the Mac Jack Lemonade ($8). I could smell the booze even before the drink was set on the table and thought maybe this isn't such a good idea after all. (It was a great idea!) Made with Mac's house-made frozen lemonade, this is made for summer. Delicious and refreshing. 

Other drinks include a Frozen Bellini and the Arnold Palmer Freeze (!).

Mac's bills itself as a gourmet mac n' cheese and burger bar. There are 15 burgers and 12 mac n' cheese selections.

David Chang wrote a great Burger Manifesto, in which he says "My ideal burger is bun, cheese, burger" — except when it isn't. I admire Mac's creativity in the burger field (same folks own LBOE). There's a burger topped with hot dogs, one dressed in Fritos and bacon, and one, of course, with mac n' cheese. The most-straightforward burger has a mere three toppings: two types of cheese and butter

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Porcellino's Food Cart

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Food delivered on carts? You don’t see that everyday! That’s why I wanted to check out Porcellino’s. The cart offerings are during dinner only and change frequently. What caught my eye on the cart when I went was a dish that had multiple colors on the plate. It was spaghetti squash with a tomato paste, chicken gravy and a poached egg ($12).

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What’s great about the cart offerings is that you can see the food before you buy it. You eat with your mind first and see what your money is getting you — two big bonuses for me. The spaghetti squash is served at room temperature. It doesn’t fall apart when you put it on your fork and it’s very light. There’s a hint of several different spices throughout the dish alongside a tomato taste. The poached egg melts into the food, making the dish slightly creamy. There was also what appeared to be tarragon on the plate. It was salty, crispy and a nice change of texture. I don’t know how the chicken gravy was made, but I liked it. Overall, the dish had a very Italian feel to it.

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Our waiter Tim recommended the nitro coffee ($4.25) to go with my dessert. He was well versed with the menu and really knew his facts when it came to how everything was made in the kitchen. Tim told me that the nitro coffee is a cold brew that steeps overnight. The creamy coffee is pushed through a keg with nitrogen. It’s pretty much cold black coffee with a thin layer of foam on top. The nitro coffee is very similar in taste to Guinness, but lighter. I actually had to remind myself that I was drinking coffee, not beer. It was smooth on the way down. I casually sipped it, enjoying the flavor every time.

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I finished with the fire roasted peach tart ($7), which is thyme shortbread, honey and mascarpone. The tart shell was warm and the crust was crunchy, like a pie. I could taste the peach but it wasn’t overpowering. In fact, if I didn’t know the flavor beforehand, I would have guessed that it was fig. The sweetness kicks in at the end and it’s just the right amount. The mascarpone isn’t rich. Instead, it’s airy and tastes more like fluffy whipped cream. I rubbed the honey on the plate onto some of the pieces of the tart before I ate it, which made the dessert even better.

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Porcellino’s is a great dining experience, from the wide range of food choices to the excellent wait staff.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pink Diva Cupcakery Opening New Location

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 4:43 PM

Last Sunday, Cassi Conyers of Pink Diva Cupcakery invited friends and customers to the DeJaVu on Florida. She was going to make an announcement. 

Only the DeJaVu on Florida is no longer a DeJaVu. It's the future site of Pink Diva Cupcakery. 

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But, let's back up a bit ... 

Conyers, who had been operating the vegan cupcake bakery out of Midtown Crossing Grill, says she had recently been approached by someone about opening a place in Collierville. Some friends weren't too supportive of the move, but she loved the space. Her mind was reeling. 

She made a decision ... to eat tacos. 

She went to the DeJaVu on South Main to get the tacos and was approached by Chef Gary Williams, who asked what was going on. She told him about the place in Collierville. According to Conyers, Williams said, "I'll just give you [the place on] Florida Street. I believe in you. I'm going to give you a chance." 

So now, Conyers has been busy with getting the place in shape (painting pink over the purple, among the tasks). She hopes to be open by mid-August. 

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The space still has all the DeJaVu cooking equipment, which includes a deep fryer. She plans on having donuts on Saturday.

She also plans to take advantage of the DeJaVu buffet set-up by offering vegan items for dinner and lunch.  

Those who can't wait until August for their Pink Diva cupcake fix can get them at the Cash Saver on Madison. 

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 72

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 10:08 AM

Last week, I had multi-GWIE winner John Scruggs take over the contest. This week, I've turned the reins over to four-time winner Dabney Ring. 

She appears to be brunching ... 

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The first person to correctly ID the drink and where Dabney is eating wins a fabulous prize! 

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

The answer to GWIE 71 is Front Street Deli, and the winner is ... Brad Parrish! 

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Visit to Agave Maria

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 4:10 PM


Some weeks back, roughly around noon, Anna and I crossed the threshold of the recently opened Agave Maria. It was already busy, but not enough for a wait. I felt like we had timed it just right. 

What was amazing, considering the crowd, was that due to a gas leak across the street, the restaurant had no gas for cooking. Each new arrival was informed of the situation and shown an abbreviated menu. No one appeared to be discouraged. 

The walls are a pretty, stimulating rosy pink, there are booths along one wall, two-tops and four-tops in the main room with addition seating off in the side room bar. The place isn't large by any means, and one can imagine the designers using a ruler to work out valuable floor space to the last inch. 

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Fun, kitschy touches abound ... 

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Continue reading »

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Best of Memphis: How to Make the Best of It

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM



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Friends, you're going to want to clear your schedule because it's Best of Memphis time. 

All those things you love about Memphis, now it's time to show 'em your support. Voting continues through August 4th. 

If you or your business is vying for the title of Best of Memphis, you can give your fans a nudge by using these illustrations on your website or Facebook page.

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Kooky Canuck's Signature S’mores Cocktail

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 1:50 PM



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Holy 32 ounces! That’s what you get when you order the Signature S’mores Cocktail ($9.99) at Kooky Canuck. It’s huge! This concoction is made up of chocolate vodka, whipped vodka, milk, and chocolate. There’s even graham cracker dusting on the rim of the glass. Whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and three s’mores decorate the top of the drink with more graham cracker dusting.

First you taste the vodka followed by a light hint of chocolate. Everything is nice and cold. There’s a lot of ice and I liked that a lot. A bit of chocolate with a bit of a zing? I’m in! To no surprise, I couldn’t come CLOSE to finishing this cocktail. How does one person drink this? You need at least three people. For the price, this drink is WELL worth it. My favorite part was grabbing the three s’mores on top and eating them one by one with a little whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

This is a cocktail for Thor!

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 71

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 11:54 AM

Actually, that title should be Guess Where John Scruggs is eating.

If the name is familiar, that's because Scruggs, a true-blue champion of Memphis food, is also reigning champ of this contest, having won 8 times. 

 
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The first person to correctly ID where John is eating wins a fabulous prize.

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

The answer to GWIE 70 is Gibson's Donuts, and the winner is ... Allyson Dormois!

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Vendor Deadline for Crafts & Drafts July 15th

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 12:27 PM

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Can you throw a pot like no other? Is your cross stitch the most subversive? Do your paintings evoke the runaway spirit of Zimm

Then you'll definitely want to be a part of the first Crafts & Drafts being held at Crosstown Arts on November 14th. There will be lots of crafts, lots of food, lots of beer. 

The vendor deadline is fast approaching. Last day to apply is next Wednesday, July 15th. You don't want to miss out on what's shaping up to be a very cool event. 

Apply here

Chubby Vegetarian Pop-up Restaurant this Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 3:14 AM

Grilled watermelon salad with goat cheese, tomatoes, and honey-lime vinaigrette - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Grilled watermelon salad with goat cheese, tomatoes, and honey-lime vinaigrette

Exciting news for our friends Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks of The Chubby Vegetarian On Saturday, July 11th, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., it's the Chubby Vegetarian Pop-up Restaurant at Iris Etc. at 62 S. Cooper. 

The event is the first of what may become a series, according Shawn Mitchell, who is chef at Iris Etc., the catering arm of the Kelly English's various culinary ventures.   

Mitchell says there has long been talk about collaborating with Lawrence and Burks, plus such an event would showcase the Iris Etc. space.

At Saturday's pop-up, the space will be set up with mingling in mind. There will be a long farm table, some high-tops, and outdoor seating. Mitchell envisions diners eating standing up as well, with the pop-up having a street food event vibe. 

"It's going to be a fun, busy Saturday," Mitchell says. 

The all-vegetarian menu will be small plates, and features dishes such as andouille eggplant poboys, cabbage kimchi dumplings, and carrot corndogs. High Cotton will provide the beer. 



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A five-course Delta Sol wine dinner has been set for July 21st. Mitchell says if things go well they hope to have three or four more events in August. 

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Germantown Commissary's Banana Pudding

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 8:35 AM


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It’s safe to say that Germantown Commissary is known for their fantastic BBQ, but their big secret is that their desserts are equally amazing. From lemon icebox pie to coconut cake, I’ve heard mumblings of how everything is a must-try. The biggest talk revolved around the homemade banana pudding ($2.50).

All I could think of when I tried the banana pudding for the first time was, oh my gosh… creamy amazingness! Is amazingness even a word? Who cares! The banana pudding was thick and not runny, just how it should be. The vanilla wafers are soft and melt in your mouth. The wafer becomes soggy and doesn’t dry out on your tongue! The hint of vanilla from the wafers goes perfectly together with the sweetness of the big slices of banana that sneak up on your spoon. The whipped cream on top was light and airy.

Do yourself a favor. The next time you hit up Germantown Commissary, make sure you don’t skip dessert!

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