Wednesday, April 27, 2016

City East's Matzah Brei

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 2:20 PM

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It’s Passover this week, and City East has something on their menu that you can eat to celebrate the holiday. It’s their version of matzah brei and it’s on the menu year-round! The matzah brei is served with hash browns and you can get it topped with syrup or jam ($6.35) or with salami ($8.35). I got mine with salami.

Matzah brei is matzoh fried with eggs. The matzoh was broken into pieces and it was crunchy but softened. It mixed well with the eggs and the salami was nice and hearty. A simple but delicious dish!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 9:14 AM

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When Diane Grover gave birth to her youngest child, Mary Ellen, more than a decade ago, she learned what it meant to be a champion for people with intellectual disabilities. Mary Ellen, or ME, was born with Down syndrome.

Over the years Grover advocated for her daughter and others with intellectual disabilities in a variety of ways, including founding the International Down Syndrome Coalition, but her most successful was handing out jam. On March 21st of last year — March 21st being world Down syndrome day — Grover handed out jam produced by a Colorado company, Steamers, that employed people of all abilities in an effort to create awareness of the disparity in employment rates for those with intellectual disabilities.

It has been reported that only 17 percent of people with disabilities were employed in 2015. Grover's efforts to bring these numbers into the forefront took her on a path of advocacy she never anticipated. Requests for more jam grew into greater demand for gift baskets which transformed into developing her own coffee roast which turned into running her own company.

Grover now owns Dreamers Merchants, a business which facilitates the vend of products either created or sold by people with disabilities. It started when Grover included coffee in her gift baskets which she sold to raise money for the Down Syndrome Foundation. She contacted J. Brooks and told them about her efforts, and the company encouraged her to create her own blend to both raise awareness of her efforts and funds for her cause. The Dreamers blend was born, which she advertised on her Facebook page.

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Soon friends across the country were asking to sell the coffee too, and Dreamers Merchants was born. That grew into selling artwork created by her vendors, or Dreamers, or products made by other advocacy companies, and most recently, Grover's first brick-and-mortar shop.

Sometime around Valentine's Day of this year, Grover and team cut the ribbon on their first coffee shop, Dreamers Coffee, located at the Vantage Point Golf Center on Macon Road in Cordova. Grover now works to help her merchants develop skills running their own businesses, either setting up tables at events to sell their wares, and Dreamers coffee, working in the coffee shop, learning how to frame their artwork, and other tasks. She now works with 25 Dreamers across the country, eight of them locally, and helps with 26 online stores in nine national locations.

For more information, visit dreamersmerchants.com or call 849-7111. Dreamers Coffee is located at 9580 Macon.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

On the Scene at the Southern Hot Wing Festival

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 2:41 PM

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Wing lovers packed in Mississippi River Park for the annual Southern Hot Wing Festival. 

Frank Chin was there to get in his shots. 


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Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 98

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 11:18 AM

A pretty day in Court Square with something good to eat ... 
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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 97 is the huevo torta at Maciel's, and the winner is ... Kim Gullett!  

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Old Venice's Lucky Luciano

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 1:37 PM

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Meatballs on pizza? Why not? Old Venice takes on that challenge with one of their specialty pizzas, The Lucky Luciano ($17.99 for a large). There’s pizza sauce, Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, red bell pepper, meatballs, and it’s topped with shredded parmesan and fresh oregano.

The meatballs! Soft, flavorful, and juicy. And not messy ... which I wasn’t expecting. I also thought it was going to be heavy. Not the case at all.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

At the Rajun Cajun Crawfish 2016

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 1:23 PM

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Downtown got crawfish crazy Sunday at the annual Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival. Photographer Frank Chin took in the scene. 


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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bluefin Looking Ahead, etc.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 4:29 PM

BLUEFIN, FACEBOOK
  • Bluefin, Facebook
Karen Barrett started at Bluefin roughly a week after a staff-wide walk out in December. Where there were once some 30 employees, only 4 remained. 

Since then, says Barrett, who is Bluefin's manager, things have been looking up. They've been busy rebuilding the staff and have some changes in mind. 

(The reason for the walk out, according to those involved, was due to a language barrier with new owner Mr. Woo, and the fact that Woo had asked all employees to reapply for their jobs.)

Much of the change is in the menu. Gone are the flatbreads. There are new sushi rolls. There is a hibachi grill. There is a plan to add Korean dishes as well.

 They also plan to move the bar, which is in the front on the north wall to where it was originally — in the front foyer section. The area where the bar is now would be converted into a coffee bar. 

• The Flyer's Margarita Festival returns to the Overton Park Greensward on June 18th. Tickets sold out last year; get yours here

• LA-based Pranom Pop Up will be at Earnestine & Hazel's on Thursday, April 21st, selling Thai street food. On the menu is Tom Ka Gai (a chicken coconut soup; $10) and there will be a vegetarian option as well.

They'll be there from 7 p.m. til they sell out. 

Huey's is offering new spring specials, including Jalitos (cheese-filled jalapeno peppers); chicken salad sandwich and salad plate; and Fish N Chips. 

McAlister's is offering a Banh Mi sandwich for a limited time. It has pulled pork, pickled veggies, sriracha mayo, and cucumbers. Get it through June 28th. 

Phillip Ashley Chocolates has introduced its Love You Mom collection just in time for Mother's Day. The collection features 12 different chocolates and sells for $45. Flavors include rosebud caramel with pink flake salt, lemon poppyseed; and chocolate mint cookie. They can be preordered online on in the shop. 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On the Scene from Bacon & Bourbon

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 1:52 PM

The Flyer's first-ever Bacon & Bourbon was last Saturday (everything was last Saturday!) at the Memphis Farmers Market downtown. 

Says Events Manager Jackie Sparks-Davila, "We had 500 people, not a single drop of bourbon was left over, and so much bacon, pork belly, bbq, pizza, bacon cupcakes were eaten!"
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See all the pictures, taken by Don Perry and Cole Wheeler at the Flyer's Facebook page. 

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 97

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 10:57 AM

A new favorite ...  
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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 96 is LYFE Kitchen, and the winner is ... Jenny Lee Wilkins!

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Big Weekend Ahead: Crawfish, Bacon, etc.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 12:47 PM

Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival
  • Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

This weekend is jam-packed with food-related events. 

• The granddaddy of them all — the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., at Riverside Drive between Union and Beale.

Benefiting Porter-Leath, this festival attracts some 25,000 with its 16,000 (!) pounds of crawfish, live music (Marcella & Her Lovers, FreeWorld, etc.), gumbo contest, crawfish bob, crawfish races, and crawfish eating contest.

You can even get their crawfish to-go at a special area set up at Union and Riverside. If crawfish isn't your thing, no worries — barbecue, hot wings, and more will be sold. 

Tennessee Swamp VIP Tent tickets are $100 ($175 per couple) with unlimited crawfish and drinks from noon to 5 p.m.

• There's the first-ever (and sold out) Bacon & Bourbon event Saturday at the Farmers Market, presented by the Flyer. Check back here for pictures from this event. 

• The annual Memphis Brewfest is Saturday at AutoZone Park. This one benefits Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

• Kelly English's Le BonAppetite, benefiting Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, is an all-star affair featuring John Currence, John Besh, Aaron Sanchez, and others. Happening Saturday at the Pipkin Building.

Healthy Memphis Festival is Saturday on Broad. Vendors include OC Vegan Foods, Fresh Market, Relevant Roasters, and more.

• It's Streetdog Adoption Day at Memphis Made Brewing Co. Dogs and beer? A match made in heaven.

• The Harbor Town Crawfish Festival is Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m.  

• Sunday it's the annual Grow Memphis Edible Plant Sale at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, 1- 4 p.m.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Underground Kitchen Coming to Memphis

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 2:45 PM

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Six years ago, Micheal Sparks and his partner moved to Richmond, Virginia. They didn't know anybody, so they started inviting their neighbors to dinner.

"It got out of hand," says Sparks.

Those dinners, highlighting local ingredients, grew into community events, which eventually led to Sparks founding the nonprofit Underground Kitchen last year.

Underground Kitchen is described as "an outrageous community-oriented secret dining society, enlisting the most talented chefs in their field and pushing them to the limits of their culinary creativity while serving a menu in an unexpected, stunning venue." It's currently in 15 cities. Underground Kitchen will make its way to Memphis in May or June.  

First, a venue is selected — past venues have included a hat factory, an art gallery, and a mansion — then a chef is selected. The chef may be local or may be recruited from another one of Underground's cities. One thing's for sure, the chef may not cook his usual menu. "We give them the outlet to blow it out," Sparks says. 
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Dinners are held once a month, and each one has a theme. For one event held at the Virginia Fine Arts Museum, the site was transformed into a fishbowl. The menu was surf and turf. Another, in a distillery, incorporated bourbon in each of its six courses. 

Sparks describes Underground Kitchen as the "Cirque du Soliel of food." Everything from the music to the decor, is curated. "I'm pretty much a bitch about it too," Sparks says.

Memphis is part of Underground's Silk Road 95 series, which highlights purveyors (wineries, fisheries, farms, etc.) along Interstate 95 and its offshoots. 


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Guests sign up for a free membership at theundergroundkitchen.org, and then they are informed when tickets go on sale. They are given a little hint of what the dinner may entail ("saffron," perhaps) and that's it. Forty-eight hours before the event, they are given the location. Guests learn the chef and menu at the event. 

Underground Kitchen hosts three types of dinners: UGK Dine ($85), three courses and highlighting new restaurants; the regular UGK ($150) with six courses; and UGK Bespoked, which is tailored to corporate or nonprofit events. Proceeds from the dinners go to programs geared toward food education and getting vegetables to those who need them most. 

The dinners, Sparks says, allow people to explore food. "Picky eaters," he says, "It's not for you." 

Images courtesy of Underground Kitchen

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Andrew Michael's A|M Breakfast

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 3:14 PM

Our waitress let us know that one thing Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen prides itself on is a starter, the A|M Breakfast ($11).

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The A|M Breakfast is made up of a poached egg, pork belly, polenta, and  pork rinds. The pork rinds are crunchy and spicy while the pork belly is juicy and smokey. The polenta is creamy, cheesy, and goes well with the poached egg. After trying everything separately, I mixed everything all together, which made it taste even better because the pork rind gets softer and changes texture. Delicious.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 96

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 10:47 AM

You know this logo? 

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The first person to correctly ID 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 95 is the Berry Good smoothie at the I Love Juice Bar, and the winner is ... Sarah Cummings!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kroger Gets Wine Ready

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 12:59 PM

Kroger officials gave media tours of the Germantown Kroger store Tuesday. - TOBY SELLS
  • Toby Sells
  • Kroger officials gave media tours of the Germantown Kroger store Tuesday.

Wine will soon flow in the aisles of many Tennessee grocery stores and on Tuesday Kroger officials showed the media just what that will look like in stores in Memphis.

One long aisle in Kroger’s Germantown store was draped in large vinyl banners that read “Coming…July 1st,” the day wine sales will be legal in some Tennessee grocery stores. That aisle was featured prominently by the close to the front door and right in the middle of the Germantown store. It was also set close to the beer aisle, which now features a growler station.

While you couldn’t buy wine at the store yet, of course, you could buy wine bottle openers, wine glasses, and sundry other bar accouterments. But Kroger officials gave a tour of the store that would show what the public can expect when they will, in fact, be able to buy bottles there. 

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Stops along the tour included the meat department, the Murray’s Cheese shop, the dessert section, and the floral department. At the tour stops, wine distributors said that they will work with Kroger stores to help them
with seasonal selections and showed off some of the wines that will be available. 

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Prices from the various vendors varied, of course, though the different ranges included everything from a (possibly) $3.99 bottle up to high-end wines in the $80-$90 range. But all distributors said they would work with customers and get them anything they asked for, including Cristal champagne which can costs in the hundreds of dollars per bottle.

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Stoney River's Deviled Eggs

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Yes, Stoney River is known for their steaks, but you shouldn’t ignore the other items on their menu.

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I stumbled upon one of their starters, deviled eggs ($8). These are deviled eggs with a twist, finished with sugar-cured bacon and homemade pickle relish. The deviled eggs taste similar to a creamy egg salad. Thanks to the bacon on top, there’s a crunchy factor that you don’t expect and it’s sweet. If you like deviled eggs that taste like creamy, smooth candy, these are for you.

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