Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jerry Lawler's Deep-fried Ribs

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2016 at 1:45 PM

Memorial Day Weekend marked one month since King Jerry Lawler’s Hall of Fame Bar & Grille opened up their doors on Beale Street. Did you know that they serve deep fried ribs?


I got the 3 Rib Special ($9.95). It comes with three ribs and you have the choice to get them wet, dry, Cajun-style, or deep-fried. Beans, slaw, fries and Texas toast accompany the ribs.

We're talking the real-deal here: The ribs are crispy when you bite into it, but the meat underneath is tender. The BBQ sauce was sweet and tangy — a great dip for the ribs. Plus that coleslaw — fresh, crunchy, creamy, and light. A favorite! 

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 102

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2016 at 10:30 AM

I think this one is pretty easy ... 
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 101 is the charcuterie plate at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, and the winner is ... Molly Polatty! 

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A Peek at Zaka Bowl

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2016 at 8:50 AM


Vegetarians take note: There's a new restaurant in town.


South of Beale owner Ed Cabigao recently experienced a transformation, and he wants to extend it to his community. First for ethical reasons, which then turned into health-related incentives, Cabigao became a vegetarian and later, vegan.

His passion for this lifestyle and the impact he would like to have on the world caused him to consider opening a vegetarian restaurant, and a trip to D.C., where he discovered a successful build-your-own bowl-style restaurant sealed the deal for him.


Cabigao and his wife will open Zaka Bowl in late July/early August at 575 Erin Drive, with the concept of using locally produced food to create build-your-own veggie bowls with ingredients such as quinoa or wild rice, tofu or meaty vegetables. banished such as roasted corn or apple slaw, and a choice of house made sauces. 

Cabigao is working with Loaded for Bear for his branding and design. The 1,500-square-foot property is leased by Loeb Properties. He hopes to begin construction June 1st.

Stay tuned for more information in the Memphis Flyer coming soon.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

National Burger Day, etc.

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 3:09 PM

Frozen drinks at Celtic - KATIE MCWEENEY POWELL
  • Katie McWeeney Powell
  • Frozen drinks at Celtic

Huey's is celebrating National Burger Day Willy Wonka-ish style. On Saturday, May 28th, at all locations, guests whose burgers are adorned with a gold frill pick get their meal for free. 

Backyard Burgers on Goodman Road in Southaven is holding a burger-making contest on Monday, May 23rd, 4-6 p.m. Notable citizens make the burgers, and then customers vote on their favorites via a donation to No Kid Hungry.

Celtic Crossing just unveiled two new frozen drinks: Frozen Irish Coffee with ice cream, Irish whiskey coffee liqueur, and whipping cream; and the Redbull slushy with Red Bull, raspberry vodka, triple sec, and orange juice.

• Saddle Creek announced earlier this morning that Sur La Table, a very nice kitchenwares store, is opening in 2017.  

And now for a photo-dump ... 

Donuts from the Donut Factory
  • Donuts from the Donut Factory
Upside-down Pineapple Cake from the Sweet Cake Shop, the new place upstairs at Maciel's. There's a bar up there too, that's set to open soon.
  • Upside-down Pineapple Cake from the Sweet Cake Shop, the new place upstairs at Maciel's. There's a bar up there too, that's set to open soon.
A crown at King Jerry Lawler's Hall of Fame Bar & Grille. Lots to see here, folks.
  • A crown at King Jerry Lawler's Hall of Fame Bar & Grille. Lots to see here, folks.
The Chocoholic boozy shake at the Arcade, $7 during happy hour
  • The Chocoholic boozy shake at the Arcade, $7 during happy hour

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Donut Factory Now Open on South Main

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 2:20 PM

"Well, it's funny how this came about," says Alele "Paul" Ayanru. "First there was the space and what best to do with the space." 

Ayanru was an electrical engineer who had gotten into real estate, he says. A chance meeting with the landlord of the building at 8 S. Main eventually led to The Donut Factory, which opened last Friday. 

"I wanted to diversify," Ayanru says. "There are three things people always need: food, clothing, and shelter." 

He knew he wanted to do food, but wasn't sure exactly what to focus on. He began visiting restaurants around downtown. 

The small space limited what he would be able to do. He considered a deli, before landing on donuts. 


Ayanru says he researched what makes a good donut a good donut. The donuts so far have been cake, with lemon being a popular flavor. They may have yeast donuts as soon as this weekend. 

Other breakfast items include stuffed French toast and farmer's omelets. 

The Donut Factory is open 24/7. "Well, we have to be here until midnight at least prepping for the next day," Ayanru explains. 

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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Chubby Vegetarian Announces 2nd Book

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 3:34 PM

The Chubby Vegetarian (TCV) — aka Flyer friends Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks — recently announced their second cookbook, titled The Chubby Vegetarian

It will be published in November by the local Susan Schadt Press


The subhead of The Chubby Vegetarian will be "something like '100 Creative Vegetarian Recipes from Anywhere & Everywhere,'" says Burks. 

Note the wording there. TCV's first book, The Southern Vegetarian, focused on Southern dishes. But even while doing that book, Burks says they realized that Southern means a lot of things. So for this book, they're taking the global approach. 

Smoked Carrot Lox
  • Smoked Carrot Lox

Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli
  • Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli

"This is a reflection of how we cook at home," says Lawrence. And as such, they are taking dishes that are in their regular rotation — be it weekly, monthly, or only for special occasions. 

"We want to help people cook at home more," she says. "To take a little break to cook and share a meal. There's nothing like it." 

For the cover, there's a butternut squash steak with Montreal seasoning and chimichurri. There will be tacos and sushi and, perhaps, even a dish called Smushrooms.

Butternut Squash Steaks with Mushrooms and Chimichurri

Cauliflower Wings
  • Cauliflower Wings
An incident from last summer also influenced the book. A faulty dishwasher had ruined the floors and other sections of TCV's kitchen. The repairs took months, and meanwhile, they were without use of the kitchen. This turn of events made them think of cooking in a new way.

As a result, Burks says the recipes are both simpler and with better results.

Past books from Susan Schadt Press have included the lush coffee table books Wild Abundance and Memphis: Sweet, Spicy and a Little Greasy. Burks assures that The Chubby Vegetarian will be a cookbook in every way. 

"It's going to be soft cover, matte pages," Burks says. "Break the binding, get some red wine on it. Use the book." 

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On the Scene at Barbecue Fest

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Congratulations to this year's winners of the Memphis in May World Championship Cooking Contest. 

Grand Champion: Jack’s Old South

Whole Hog: Jack’s Old South

Shoulder: Lillie’s Q

Rib: 10 Bones BBQ

Patio Porkers: Phat Chance

Kingsford Tour of Champions: The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint

Grilling Green Award: Sloppy Chops  

Check out more from the Barbecue Fest:


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Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 101

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 10:46 AM

This starter was just about gone before I thought to take a picture ... 

The first person to ID this 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 100 is the coconut paleta at La Michoacana, and the winner is Cory Prewitt! 

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Red Koi's Kentucky Roll

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2016 at 9:35 AM

Ladies and gentlemen ... here's a sushi roll with FRIED CHICKEN IN IT!


Red Koi's Kentucky Roll ($6.75) consists of chicken katsu, cream cheese, avocado, and honey sauce. The chicken katsu is lightly fried, making the roll crispy. The cream cheese quickly messes with you though, as the roll changes from crunchy to creamy. Then there's the avocado and the great honey sauce with the perfect amount of sweet. 

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Two New Barbecue Books Hit Shelves

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2016 at 10:45 AM

It’s that time of year again when the skies of Memphis take on a similar look to that of L.A., but instead of smog generated from an overpopulation of single-occupancy vehicles filling the atmosphere, an inundation of smokers, pits, and cookers cover the Memphis skyline in a haze of heavenly swine-scented smoke.
Two books just hit the shelves, and the matrix, Tuesday, and they offer a couple of ways you can contribute to the seasonal pork-infused smog, either by way of cooking cob roller yourself or by educating dilettantes on original authentic barbecuing.


As if winning multiple world barbecue cooking championships, opening several successful barbecue restaurants, and publishing her own cookbook weren’t enough, pitmaster Melissa Cookston is at it again, this time with a new cookbook. Smokin’ Hot in the South (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $22.99) serves as a collection of grilling recipes that takes traditional Southern ingredients and recipes and approaches them from a new angle.

There’s grilled coconut cake, green tomato pizza sauce (with smoked chicken and truffle crema!), butterbean pate, and green tomato salsa.

“I’ve taken simple Southern ingredients and kicked it up a notch so that they are used in unique ways,” Cookston says. “For most people, the kitchen is their comfort zone. I like to take cooking outside. That’s what it’s all about.”

Before there were divisions and categories and sections and parts, and before there were options such as gas and electricity, there was wood and coal and a 200-pound hog and a man (and probably a woman, too). And with those minimal elements came stories and scars and hazards and a culture, and Louisiana native Rien Fertel fell in love with all of it.


Fertel recently released The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog (Touchstone, $25), a hybrid travelogue, history, and homage to the disappearing culture of pitmasters who cook whole hogs over wood-fired coals.

“I fell in love with and romanticized what they did, and I became obsessed with the barbecue that they made,” Fertel, of New Orleans, says. “The book is about the process and the food, but really it’s about the people who stick with the tradition and stubbornly adhere to a culinary art form that doesn’t really make sense.”

There are stories of scarred arms from grease splatters, exploding pigs from a combination of grease hitting the fire in just the right way, and the fact that there are only 10 traditional whole-hog pitmasters left in the U.S., including the two children of Ricky Parker who run their father’s barbecue restaurant, Scott’s Parker’s BBQ in Lexington, Tennessee.

Fertel will appear at the Booksellers at Laurelwood Sunday, May 15th at 2 p.m. for a book signing.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

City Tasting Tours Take Off Saturday

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2016 at 11:53 AM

"I love barbecue," says Cristina McCarter. "That's so Memphis to say, but it's true." 

McCarter (full disclosure: she's a sales assistant at the Flyer) says she's a foodie and a connoisseur of good food. And she's taking that appetite to the streets with City Tasting Tours, starting this Saturday. 

Each tour stops by five downtown restaurants, where participants will split one of the establishment's signature dishes. That may mean barbecue nachos at Central BBQ (a McCarter favorite) or the peach cobbler at Ray'z or the Soul Burger at Earnestine & Hazel's. Along the way, McCarter shares points of interest.

Tours are Saturday, 1:30 p.m., and start on South Main, go north, and end up on Beale Street. They take about 2 1/2 hours. The cost is $55.  

City Tasting Tours is an offshoot of a tour that McCarter worked for back in 2010. "It was something to do every weekend," McCarter says. "I got paid to eat." Last fall, McCarter was contacted by the tour owner who suggested she take it and make it her own. 

So far, she has 12 downtown restaurants signed up. She hopes to eventually expand to Midtown and Cooper-Young.

Participants should come hungry. "You'll definitely get full from this," McCarter says. 

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Barbecue Fest: Clint Cantwell To Lead Grilling Classes

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Clint Cantwell grew up in Texas, married a Memphis girl, and spent some time in Kansas City, so he’s got all his barbecue bona fides covered. A few years back, he was hired by Kingsford to edit their web site, and he develops recipes for meat and grill companies and for his own site, grillocracy.com.

During Barbecue Fest, he’ll be leading classes on grilling on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in partnership with Men’s Journal and GoRVing.

“The first day is barbecue since Memphis in May is the Super Bowl of Swine,” Cantwell says. “The second day is the basics of steak — things you can do at home to elevate your steak grilling to compete with steak houses in your own backyard. And the third day is focused on hamburgers and grilled chicken — techniques to amp up your grilling game.”

Cantwell says that the thing about mastering grilling is not so much learning the techniques as much as unlearning bad ones.

“There are certainly things that people inherently do wrong because that’s the way they were taught. A lot of people have become convinced that they need to take the spatula and smash burgers while they’re grilling. All you’re doing with that is releasing all the fat and juices and drying out your burgers. Little things like that that you can change,” he says.

Good tools are essential, too. Long-handled spatulas and tongs keep you away from the heat. Another one is a nice thermometer. “If you’re spending good money on a steak and doing a nice rub, the last thing you want to do is cook it to well done and then it’s dry like shoe leather,” Cantwell says.

“Ultimately it’s about teaching folks that grilling doesn’t have to be just about hot dogs and hamburgers,” he says. “You can do desserts, appetizers, side dishes. The possibilities are pretty limitless.”

Full schedule below. He’ll be located between the food vendors and the merchandise tent.

Thursday, May 12 (1-2pm, 3:30-4:30, 5-6)
Basics of Low-and-Slow BBQ
· BBQ vs. grilling
· How to cook low-and-slow on a grill
· Balancing meat, spice, and smoke
· Competition cooking versus home cooking
· Demo: The perfect Memphis-style Pulled Pork Sandwich
 Prepping and smoking pork butt
 Injecting meats
 Wrapping meats
• Demo: Grilled coleslaw
• Demo: Making a signature BBQ sauce
 Knowing when the pork is done
 Assembly (pulled pork sliders with grilled coleslaw and signature BBQ sauce)
· Demo: Grilled pizza on the KettlePizza grill insert
· Demo: Grilled desserts (Grilled red, white, and blue poundcake)

Friday, May 13 (1-2pm, 3:30-4:30, 5-6)
· Demo: Grilled appetizers (Grilled and chilled gazpacho soup)
· Intro to grilling steaks
o Grading beef
o Dry aged vs. wet aged
o Choosing the right cut
o Alternative steak cuts (butcher’s cuts)
o Cutting costs: Trimming your own steaks
• Freezing meat – makeshift cryovac
o Pre-salting steaks
o Seasoning steaks (coffee and cocoa dry rub)
o Grilling a frozen steak
o Reverse sear grilling
o Knowing when the steak is done (the horror of cutting into steaks to check doneness)
o Completing the perfect steak (compound butters)
· Demo: Grilled coffee-cocoa rubbed cowboy ribeyes with roasted garlic butter
· Demo: Asian marinated flank steak
· Demo: Grilled Desserts (grilled peach crumbles)

Saturday, May 14 (11-12, 1-2, 3-4pm)
· Demo: Grilled appetizers (Bacon wrapped “MOINK balls”)
· Demo: Simple Sides
o Grilled corn salsa
o Grilled guacamole
· The basics of grilling the perfect burgers
o Selecting the perfect beef blend
o Grinding your own meat at home
o Overworking the meat
o Forming the perfect patty to fit the bun
o Adding an indention
o Seasoning
o 2 zone cooking
o Pressing burgers with a spatula
o Cooking to the correct temp (USDA recommends 160 degrees)
o Selecting the right bun (showcase all bacon bun and mac-and-cheese buns)
o Customizing burgers and burger bars
· Demo: Pimento cheeseburger sliders
· Demo: Smoked herb-citrus salt rubbed butterflied chickens (moving beyond beer can chicken)
o How to spatchcock a chicken (removing the backbone) and benefits
o Rub: creating an herb salt rub
o Smoking to perfection, resting meat, and slicing

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 100

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2016 at 11:07 AM

To celebrate the 100th entry in this contest, we're offering a super-cool prize this week: 2 tickets to Margarita Festival

The festival, hosted by the Flyer, features local restaurants competing to win the Best Margarita in Memphis title. Guests get to sample and vote for their favorites.

The event sold out last year.


A nice treat for a hot day ... I managed to get this all over me and my car. 

The first person to correctly ID the dish and where I'm eating wins the 2 tickets. 

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

The answer to GWIE 99 is the Mellow Mushroom in East Memphis, and the winner is ... Jenny Robertson! 

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

South of Beale's Bar Pie Special

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 11:32 AM


Once I saw the South of Beale's Bar Pie Special ($11.50), I knew that I had to be adventurous for once.

This week, the bar pie is gator sausage, garlic, roasted red peppers, gouda, green onions and a chili-lime crème fraiche.

I have never tried alligator and was worried about how it would taste. I LOVED IT! I would compare the alligator meat to chicken and sausage. The meat tastes like chicken but better. It’s more flavorful, chewy, and it has the firmness of sausage. It fits right in on the bar pie. The roasted red peppers and green onions are fresh and the Gouda is nicely melted on the bread that is soft and grilled like a Panini. Lastly, the chili-lime crème fraiche adds a great kick of spiciness. If you like it spicy, you will love the sauce.

Grab it before it’s gone on Monday.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Guess Where I'm Eating Contest 99

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM


Peace ... 

The first person to guess 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 98 is the Triple Decker from Say Cheese food truck, and the winner is ... Meredith Taylor!

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