Friday, August 31, 2018

Trader Joe's Opening September 14th

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 11:50 AM

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Rejoice! Trader Joe's announced today that it is (finally) opening its first Memphis-area store at 2130 Exeter Road, Suite 101 in Germantown on Friday, September 14th.

From the release:

On Friday, September 14th at 8am, Trader Joe’s will officially open the door to its Germantown store—the very first Trader Joe’s location in the Memphis area. Moments before the store opens for business, a brief ceremonial lei cutting will take place, and the celebration is scheduled to continue throughout the morning with music, food tastings, giveaways, and more. Store Captain Noah Stevens, a 15-year veteran of the company, and Trader Joe’s Crew Members will be on hand to greet and assist customers. The new store—which will be the third Trader Joe’s location in Tennessee and is also accessible to customers in Arkansas and Mississippi—will feature murals that pay tribute to local landmarks such as Shelby Farms, the Orpheum Theater, and Wolf River. The store will be open from 8am-9pm, daily and will offer wine and beer in addition to groceries.
The company announced the Memphis store back in 2015, but the project has been met with a number of delays. 

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Best Bets: Lazy Woman's Bread Pudding

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 4:06 PM

MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue

Lazy Woman's Bread Pudding - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Lazy Woman's Bread Pudding

I tried Peggy Brown’s no-cook banana pudding, which is super delicious. So, when she told me also makes her own bread pudding, I had to try that, too.

What made it more enticing was the name: “Lazy Woman’s Bread Pudding.”

“To me, it’s just a shortcut from cooking it the way my grandma did,” says Brown, chef/owner of Peggy's Healthy Home Cooking. “I didn’t want to do a whole lot of work, so I just decided to do it that way.”

The ingredients in Brown’s unconventional bread pudding include instant vanilla pudding. She uses day-old bread, but she also uses day-old cinnamon rolls and honey buns.

“My grandma, she beat all the eggs and she did it step by step. I just use the vanilla pudding. I don’t use the cornstarch. I don’t use the eggs. I don’t use a lot of the stuff they use.

“My grandma made bread pudding all the time. Back in the day, people didn’t throw anything away. We had biscuits every day. My grandma would keep all the old biscuits. When she had enough, she’d crumble them all up and make a bread pudding."

Brown began making her Lazy Woman’s Bread Pudding eight or nine years ago. “It tastes about like the ones she made.”

When Brown poured that custard over the bread, I knew it was going to taste fabulous.

If you’re lucky, you’ll hit a day when she serves her bread pudding at her restaurant. “Every once in a while we serve bread pudding. We don’t serve it a whole lot, but we serve it.”


Peggy’s Healthy Home Cooking is at 326 South Cleveland; (901)-474-4938.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Minh Nguyen Is New Chef at Bleu

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Chef Minh Nguyen - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Chef Minh Nguyen

Minh Nguyen is the new executive chef at Bleu Restaurant & Lounge in The Westin Memphis Beale Street.

“I have never been so excited in my life,” says Nguyen, 48, who was executive chef at Izakaya, owner/executive chef at Rain, executive chef/catering Yia Yia’s European Bistro, and chef de cuisine at BlueFin.

“Bleu is just the golden opportunity that I’ll never get anywhere in Memphis. Bleu reminds me of when you go to Miami, L.A., or New York. The type of food I want to bring will have that flair.”

His cuisine won’t be the food typically associated with Memphis. “You can go get barbecue anywhere.”

Nguyen wants to bring food “that’s new. Something’s that unique. Something’s that very affordable.”

Since Bleu is across the street from FedExForum and near the Orpheum, the restaurant will offer three menus - fine dining, family-oriented, and sushi.

“We are going to be doing sushi, but not sushi you find here in Memphis. The new strain of sushi is more refined. More quality ingredients done in a new way. Old sushi is out. New sushi is in.”

New sushi is made of African couscous, which is a short-grain rice, Nguyen says. "We're going to sous vide a lot of our fish where it will look raw, but you're actually eating a cooked product. A lot of the sauces will be more molecular. We're going to get away from drizzling and keep the plate cleaner."

September 27th, Ngyun says, he will “be in the kitchen.”

"We're just really excited about what he can bring to the table," said Chris Griffin, Bleu director of food and beverage. "We're looking forward to it. I know he's got a great following, so I'm glad to have those folks with us, also."

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Lucky Cat Announces Move to Broad

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 3:50 PM

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Lucky Cat officially announced today its move to the old Jack Magoo's space on Broad. It's been reported that they are shooting for an October 1st opening.

From the release:

This fall, Lucky Cat Ramen will move from its current location at 247 Cooper Street to 2583 Broad Avenue in the former Jack Magoo’s space. Lucky Cat’s new 5,000-square-foot location will feature expansive dining space plus an exterior courtyard and outdoor patio. Owners Zach and Sarah Nicholson plan to fully leverage their new, larger restaurant venue by also featuring live music, holding monthly dinners and adding raised outdoor planting beds. The new space is expected to open in October.

“This is an ideal and meaningful location for us,” says Zach Nicholson. “We did our very first pop-up shop just down the road at City & State and later held regular pop-up shops at The Cove. This neighborhood has been kind and supportive to us and we’re glad to be putting down permanent roots where we got our start.”

Lucky Cat, which began as a pop-up, was originally supposed to move into the Crosstown Concourse. Then they were going to go into the former location of Tart on Cooper.

Jack Magoo's was opened in 2011. It was two stories with half a Cadillac on the outside of the building.

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Lucky Cat serves ramen and a number of bao.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Welcome back, Restaurant Iris!

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 10:45 PM

Guests got a look at the "new" Restaurant Iris at a soft opening Aug. 17. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Guests got a look at the "new" Restaurant Iris at a soft opening Aug. 17.
Restaurant Iris opened its door to invited guests for a soft opening, Friday, August 17th. They got the first look at the re-imagined Midtown restaurant, which has a new look and a new menu.

Guests encounter a new bar area as they enter the restaurant, which has a sleek, elegant feel. Art depicting chefs at work adorn the walls. A large portrait of chef/owner Kelly English hangs on one wall in the front dining room.

As English said earlier, the restaurant is "

going to feel a little different. A little more modern than you remember it. Less walls in the space. I feel like we’re staying exactly true to ourselves by changing. It’s going to be the same focus of what we’ve always done: to tell the story of who we are. Just a little more modern approach to it.”

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