Monday, January 30, 2017

On the Scene at Soup Sunday

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 2:15 PM

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Youth Villages held its popular annual fund-raiser Soup Sunday this past weekend, drawing roughly 2,000 to the FedExForum.

Babalu took home the prize for Best Soup, while Nothing Bundt Cakes nabbed Best Dessert. All winners listed below.

Soup Sunday Winners 2017

Best Gumbo
eighty3
⁃lelvin's eighty3 Gumbo

Best Bread
The Peabody Memphis "Ducks out of Water"
⁃House Made Cheesy Cornbread

Best Soup
Babalu Tacos and Tapas
⁃Chicken Tortilla Soup

Best Dessert
Nothing Bundt Cakes
⁃Assorted Bundtinis

Best Specialty Item
Hope Church Memphis
⁃Pimento Cheese with Crackers

Souper Spirit Award
A Moveable Feast & HOG WILD Catering Companies
⁃Chicken and Waffle Fritter with North Memphis White Sauce

VIP Best Presentation
Tuscany Italian Eatery

VIP Best Overall
Nothing Bundt Cakes

VIP Soup
Tuscany Italian Eatery
-Tomato Bisque Soup

VIP Dessert
Rizzo's Diner
-Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding




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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New MemPops Store in Crosstown

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 2:05 PM

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Here's some yay! news: MemPops' owner Chris Taylor confirmed today that he will be opening a second store in the Crosstown Concourse.

MemPops has been throwing out hints via social media for the past couple days.

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Taylor says the store will be near the loading dock by Mama Gaia. At 650 square feet, this location will be smaller than the one out east, but Crosstown will serve as a MemPops central of sorts — all popsicles for both locations will be made in the Church Health Center kitchen.

Late last year, Todd Richardson of the Crosstown Concourse told the Flyer that they were in talks to bring in an ice cream place. Taylor says MemPops is not what Richardson was referring to.

Taylor says he approached Crosstown with the idea. "I live like two blocks away," he says. "I always thought MemPops would work [in Crosstown]."

Taylor says the Crosstown location will serve all MemPops staples, but he doesn't count out creating Crosstown-specific pops. He's shooting for an April opening.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cafe Brooks Debuts, etc.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Cafe Brooks by Paradox, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, opened today.

The cafe is in the space that was once the gift shop. The old Brushmark is now a gallery.

Brooks partnered with Paradox Catering for the venture. Paradox includes chefs Jimmy Gentry and Jessica Lambert.

The menu is aimed for at the patron looking for a quick bite in order to get back to absorbing all the Brooks' art. There is a selection of salads and sandwiches, plus pastries and coffees. Prices top out at $12.  
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• The first local PizzaRev is set to open next Thursday, January 26th.

The restaurant, at 6450 Poplar near International Paper, is an artisan build-your-own pizza place.

And and and ... according to a press release from PizzaRev, it will be the first place in the city with a iPourIt system, which is self-serve beer (!).

To demo the system, PizzaRev is hosting an event on Saturday, January 28th, 5 to 10 p.m. Guests (21 and older) will receive a free pizza with the purchase of a 16-ounce beer.

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• The owners of Sports Junction have finally unveiled its new name: Growlers.

• A permit has been pulled for Philippine Restaurant on Germantown Parkway.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Oshi to Rebrand

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 11:17 AM

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Oshi closed yesterday and will reopen in the spring as a new concept, according to owner Jeff Johnson.

Johnson says he's excited about the move, but won't go into too many details until everything is "on paper."

Johnson will say that he and Farmhouse Marketing started with several ideas for the space and have narrowed it down to one. He says he sees it as a casual place with counter service and grab-and-go.

Johnson wants something "good for downtown," something with "expanded offerings," and not just burgers, which are plentiful downtown.

But don't count Oshi out yet. "We love the concept of Oshi — the design, the menu," Johnson says. They are considering a move. "Out East might work better."

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LYFE Downtown To Go Full Service, etc.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 3:10 PM

LYFE Kitchen announced last month that the Chisca location, roughly a year after it opened, "will be undergoing a transformation ... that will bring new flavors and a new ambience to the LYFE Kitchen dining experience in downtown Memphis."

So what does that mean exactly?

In short, that LYFE Chisca will switch from at-counter ordering to full service, that there will be menu changes, and that the inside is being renovated. This will be first LYFE Kitchen in the country that will be full service.

LYFE in transition
  • LYFE in transition
"We don't look at LYFE as a restaurant chain," says Patrick Noone, who works in branding and marketing at LYFE. According to Noone, each restaurant is treated as its own entity, and as such, the folks at LYFE took note of what was available around the Chisca (certainly Catherine & Mary) and decided "to elevate the menu and the experience."

Noone says they aren't ready to go into too many specifics, except that the renovations will be significant, but the restaurant will ultimately uphold the LYFE idea of healthy, good cooking. "It isn't going to be unrecognizable," he says.

They are shooting for a late-winter, early-spring re-opening.

• Derese Tabor is Cisco's kid. Her father drove a truck and Cisco was his handle.

Both Tabor's parents did catering. Tabor worked for the phone company for 16 years. She wanted to do something different and tested the waters by launching a food truck called Cisco's Kid. Tabor opened a brick-and-mortar spot, also called Cisco's Kid, last fall at 7395 Highway 64 (near Appling).

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Cisco's Kid serves pork shoulder sandwiches, BBQ nachos, turkey legs, and burgers, but their main thing is chicken — wings, fried chicken, half a yard bird. The thing that sets them apart is that they smoke the chicken before they fry it.

It's a "unique niche," Tabor says. But if you don't like smoke flavor, they put the chicken straight in the fryer for you.

* Porcellino's announced last week on Instagram that has stopped serving dinner in favor of private parties and events.
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Its first event is the wine dinner "Pinot Noir & Its Terroir" on January 25th.

• Congrats are in order to Ben Smith, who recently bought the building that houses his restaurant Tsunami.


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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fresh Bagels in Midtown from Dave's Bagels

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 11:48 AM

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Last October, David Scott moved from Portland to Memphis, settling in in Midtown. Shortly after he arrived, he went out for breakfast and couldn't help but notice the dearth of good, fresh bagels in the area.

Scott, as it turns out, was uncommonly suited to address this issue.

Dave's Bagels are currently being sold at Curb Market. Among the flavors are plain, roasted garlic shallot, cinnamon raisin, chocolate chip, and the pizza-stuffed bagel served with marinara sauce. Prices range from $2.25 to $4.50 for a stuffed bagel. Scott's also working on bagel sandwiches (he's thinking German with brauts, Mexican with chihuahua cheese, Italian pinwheels, etc.)

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Scott originally got into cooking and baking while he was traveling around the country. ("Flour's cheap," he says.) Later, he pursued a bagel business while in Las Vegas and then in Portland.

After his move to Memphis, he says he "hit the ground running." He's currently baking out the commercial kitchen at Curb Market. Bagels can also be purchased directly through Scott at davesbagels901@gmail.com.  

Scott is traditional in his approach to bagels — long fermentation, boiling. The goal is a chewy center with a crisp crust. For the flavored bagels, he uses a plain dough and adds a glaze or rolls in ingredients.

Scott is currently building up his business, hoping to get his bagels into restaurants. Ultimately, his plan is to open his own shop.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wimpy's Burgers & Fries Coming to Midtown

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 3:41 PM

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Southaven-based Wimpy's Burgers & Fries, with its hand-pressed, griddle-cooked burgers and batter fries, is opening in Midtown sometime around mid-February/early March, according to owner Jacob Crafton.

This, the second Wimpy's, will be on Poplar in the same center as the Home Depot.

Crafton's first restaurant job was as a dishwasher at Outback Steakhouse in Cordova. He then went on to work at a number of chains before eventually becoming a corporate franchise consultant for Lenny's.

One day, he joined his wife for lunch in Southaven at one of her favorite places for a burger: Wimpy's. Crafton says the place was opened "on a whim" by two brothers with no restaurant experience but big plans. By the time they met up with Crafton, they were ready to move on.

Crafton took over the space three years ago, and among the changes: a swap in food vendors and a few tweaks to the menu. Both the turkey and black bean burgers have been greatly received. As for the mahi mahi burger, "we can't hardly give it away," says Crafton.

One big change was to the restaurant's titular Wimpy, based on the old Popeye character, who said, "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." (Crafton crafted his own tagline for the restaurant, "We'll gladly accept payment today for a hamburger on Tuesday.") The restaurant's image of Wimpy was too close to the Popeye property for Crafton's comfort, so he enlisted an artist to come up with a reimagined Wimpy — younger, trimmer, more millennial.

Crafton had originally wanted a second location in Whitehaven, but couldn't find a place. A real estate agent hooked him up with the Poplar site. The space was once a clothing store, so it's been gutted and a kitchen has been added to the back. It will seat 90 to 100 people.

Burgers at Wimpy's are made to order. The sauces are house-made, the milkshakes hand-spun. The menu has choices but is not overwhelming. That's a lesson learned, says Crafton, from Lenny's Len Moore: keep it simple, stupid.

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