Friday, June 23, 2017

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman to open restaurant at Old Dominick Distillery

Posted By on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 9:14 AM

Old Dominick Distillery
  • Old Dominick Distillery
Chef/restaurateurs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman will operate a restaurant in Old Dominick Distillery.
The restaurant, slated to open in late November or December, will be on the North side of the 50,000 square-foot facility at 305 South Front Street. Windows in the 100-year-old warehouse will overlook the Mississippi River.

Restaurant construction has begun and is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Ticer and Hudman, owner of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Porcellino’s Craft Butcher, Catherine and Mary’s and Hog & Hominy, were finalists for this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef Southeast. They were Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2013.

The chefs and beverage director Nick Talarico will cater a private dinner Friday June 23 at the distillery. Accompanying the menu for the dinner, created for the evening by Ticer and Hudman, will be craft cocktails made with Old Dominick vodkas and the award-winning Memphis Toddy.

The dinner will be held the night before the distillery’s “Memphis Spirit Returns” grand opening celebration, which will be open to the public. The event, which will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. June 24, will commemorate the 150th anniversary of when Old Dominick Whiskey and D. Canale settled on Front Street.

Jose Gutierrez from River Oaks, Felicia Willett from Felicia Suzanne, Kelly English from Restaurant Iris and Second Line and Patrick and Deni Reilly from Majestic Grille will prepare food for the June 24th event. Craft cocktails will be created by Memphis bartenders Brad Pitt from Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Miles Epley from Cafe Society, Daniel Lynn from South of Beale, Colby Jones from Catherine and Mary’s and Dan Price, creator of Undercurrent Memphis.

Tickets are $30 per person and are available at

Old Dominick Distillery opened May 1. “We’re in distribution at all your favorite local liquor and wine shops and your favorite bar,” said Old Dominick director of sales Clark Schifani.

Monday, June 19, 2017

UberEats Now Delivering McDonald's

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 12:44 PM


McDonald's has partnered with UberEats for what they're calling  McDelivery.

This is a relatively new development. UberEats launched a pilot program in Florida and then rolled it out to other cities such as LA, New York, and Chicago.

UberEats will deliver from 30 area McDonald's restaurants and will cover Midtown, East Memphis, the airport area, and some of Germantown.

The entire menu will be available, save for soft serve ice cream, and there's no minimum delivery. Folks have ordered just a coffee, a rep tells me.

They envision people ordering late-night, and busy families having dinner brought to them. They see deliveries being made to Little League games or to a park. They think the all-day breakfast promises to be a hit.

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Wahlburgers Opening on Beale

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 10:59 AM

  • Nicoletta Amato Photography

Announced this morning: Wahlburgers, the burger place run by chef Paul Wahlberg and celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie, will open at 349 Beale this fall.

From the release:

“We recognize just how lucky we are to bring Wahlburgers to Beale Street, the most iconic street in America where legendary artists have performed for decades,” said Mark Wahlberg. “We look forward to opening our doors and contributing in our own way to that rich history.”

Wahlburgers Memphis will boast 6,900 square feet over two floors and feature a wide selection of creative burgers as well as sandwiches, salads, vegetarian options, and home-style side dishes, such as Tater Tots, Mac N’ Cheese with Smoked Bacon, and Alma’s Classic Macaroni Salad. All burgers are made with a proprietary blend of beef, ground fresh, and topped with house-made condiments – 15 in total, including Chef Paul’s signature Wahl sauce, dill pickles, honey-garlic mayo, butternut squash, tomato jam, avocado spread, and more.

At Wahlburgers Memphis, guests will be able to choose to sit down and enjoy full table service, order quick-serve style at the counter, or grab take-out. A full-service bar with wide screen TVs will offer a wide selection of wine and beer, specialty cocktails, and an assortment of adult frappes.
Wahlburgers will occupy the space that was to be Sweetie Pies before that deal went kaput.

  • Eric Luciano of SOUSA design Architects

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Curb Market Opens Quietly in Crosstown

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 4:33 PM


The new Curb Market opened today in the Crosstown Concourse. The space at 9,000 square feet is over three times the size of the old Cooper market at 2,200 square feet.

Owner Peter Schutt says the old building didn't have the floor space to facilitate a simple truth about most shoppers: they prefer one-stop shopping.

So, in addition to all the local goods Curb is know for (Judy's Pound Cakes, Dr. Bean Coffee, loads of local produce, Crazy Good items, and on and on), they now carry dry and can goods. But it's a carefully curated selection of dry and can goods — lines like Amy's and Amish and European butters, and organic and whole grain goods.

They also have a salad bar and a hot-food bar.

Schutt says once they get the kinks ironed out of the operation, they'll have a proper grand opening and start having classes.

One thing Schutt says is notable about the new Curb Market is its meat counter, which features local meats and corned beef and pastrami and bacon.

"It's the finest butcher between Nashville and St. Louis," he says.

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Is Meddlesome's 201 Hoplar in Bad Taste?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 11:29 AM

Y'all Meddlesome Brewing is opening in Cordova on June 30th, and among their their offerings will be an IPA called 201 Hoplar.

And, well, there's been some mixed reaction ...
Does the name cross the line? Or is it cheeky in a Rockbone sort of way? Where do you stand?

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Best Bets: Brisket

Posted By on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 4:04 PM

Barbecued brisket at Stanley Bar B Que - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Barbecued brisket at Stanley Bar B Que

I watched David Scott Walker prepare a brisket at the recent Memphis in May World Championship
Barbecue Cooking Contest. I wasn’t able to return 13 hours later to taste the finished product, but Walker told me the preparation and the cooking process was about the same as the way it’s done at his restaurant, Stanley Bar B Que in Overton Square.

Well, the restaurant version brought back memories of that smoky-meaty aroma and all the fun on the banks of the Mississippi River about a month ago. Except this time, I could linger over my meal at one of the long wooden tables inside Walker’s air-conditioned restaurant.

His brisket is cooked in the “hill country” style, Walker said. Ninety percent of his family lives in Texas, so they visited several cities there on summer vacations when he was growing up. “For the most part it’s salt and pepper and then you rely on A - having real good meat. And B - having real good wood. Those are the two flavor components. You really don’t want to add too much in your rub. A little paprika, whatever, that’s fine. But it’s mainly salt and pepper. And you let the meat and the wood shine through. That’s what we do on the river.”

You almost could cut Walker’s brisket with a feather. I asked him how he cooked it.

“We do it the right way,” he said. “We’ll start off in the morning with a charcoal chimney and let the creosote of the charcoal burn off. And then the rest of the day it’s nothing but wood. Depending on what meats we’re cooking depends on what kind of wood we’re using.”

With brisket, they start with cherry wood, Walker said. “That helps get a good smoke ring around it. Then we move to a fruitwood. We love peach. We love apple. Really love pear, but pear’s tough to get. Then after a few hours of that we switch over to hickory.”

Final cooking stage is to wrap the meat in parchment and plastic wrap and let it cook for 12 to 16 hours depending on the size of the brisket.

Walker learned how to grill growing up in Raleigh-Bartlett. “It was a really close-knit neighborhood. We had block parties all the time. We’d do Fourth of July parties. All kinds of things. Fireworks. But we were always grilling, whether it be barbecue or just straight-up grill - hot dogs, hamburgers. We built a pool so we were the house that everyone came to. So, I think that’s where it all started.”

I asked how popular his brisket was at the restaurant. “The pork is, obviously, king of Memphis, but there are a lot of people who really do love brisket. And you can’t really find it in a lot of places. And if you do find it, hopefully, it’s done right.

“If you’ve never had really good smoked beef, I think you’re missing out. A lot of people - especially around this area - when they visit Texas they’ll diss the barbecue. It’s mainly because they’ll try some pork barbecue in Texas. Which is their first mistake. Get what they do right. Go to Texas. Try some beef barbecue. Get their beef ribs. Get their brisket. And I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

Walker originally opened his restaurant as a German restaurant, Schweinehaus, but switched to the barbecue format last April. People constantly told him they wanted a barbecue restaurant in Overton Square, he said. “They missed the Public Eye. They missed that something they’re familiar with. This town loves barbecue and we grew up doing it. So, we said, ‘Let’s follow our passion.’”

And, he said, “My father passed away at Christmastime. And he was a big barbecue guy.”

His dad was the one who did most of that grilling when they were growing up. “His name was ‘Stanley.’ Hence the name. I hope he’s smiling down on us. I hope he’s proud.”

Stanley Bar B Que is at 2110 Madison in Overton Square; (901) 347-3060

Brisket - Walker style from Michael Donahue on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Cottage Becoming Thai Cottage

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 11:11 AM

  • The Cottage, Facebook

The Cottage restaurant soon will be known as “Thai Cottage.” Owner Lisa Prewett sold the restaurant at 4085 Summer to Tom and Tanatip Tongumpun of Collierville.

The restaurant, which opened 60 years ago, will continue to serve home cooking at breakfast and lunch. At night, the menu will change to Thai and Chinese food. Karaoke also will be featured.

In 2014, The Cottage moved from its long-time former location at 3297 Summer to the present location. “ I’ve had it since 2012,” Prewett said. “My dad, Billy Franks, had it from 2009 to 2012. I just wanted a boutique for a couple of years. I was trying to get out of the restaurant and, finally, someone wanted it.”

The Tongumpuns are excited about their new restaurant venture. “We’re going to switch over on June 15,” Tom said. “Then I’m going to start opening in the evening on July 1st.”

Tom will do the cooking at night. “This is my first restaurant, but I used to work in the food business in Johnson City, Tenn. I’ve been wanting to get The Cottage for the longest. That’s what I wanted. I don’t know why. But I’ve been wanting to own it. It took 10 years.”

Tom, who retired from teaching three years ago after working 25 years, taught math in the Shelby County School system. He taught at Humes Middle School and Cordova Middle School.

His wife is going to bring some appetizers to the restaurant before the change-over, Tom said. “She wants the customers to have some of the taste of Thai.”

Prewett and her daughter are opening the boutique, “Lisa Morgan,” which will feature women’s and some men’s clothing as well as accessories. Opening date is slated for July 28, but Prewett said they’ll probably open sooner.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

On the Scene at the Italian Festival

Posted By on Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 3:23 PM

The 28th Annual Memphis Italian Festival was held in Marquette Park last weekend and photographer Frank Chin was there. Think grape-stomping, bocce ball, live music, cornhole, cooking demos, and gravy, gravy, gravy!


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Farmers Market News and more

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 12:59 PM


Memphis Farmers Market will launch a Wednesday afternoon market, 4-7 p.m., at Court Square downtown, starting Wednesday, June 28th.

It will be called MFM² and will run through September 27th.

• The famers market at the Memphis Botanic Garden is taking a "planning year," which means no market this year. They're looking for a better site for the market and hope to revamp their vendor list.

* Now done with its renovations, Tsunami will begin hosting Pau Hana Time, a happy hour Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m. "Pau hana" is Hawaiian and means to "done working." It's a nod to chef/owner Ben Smith's time in Hawaii and, in keeping with the theme, Smith will offer new dishes with a Hawaiian inspiration.


• The Hard Rock Cafe is bringing back its World Burger Tour for National Burger Month.

Among the burgers on the menu:

Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – shake it up with andouille sausage, Certified Angus Beef®, salsa criolla, garlic aioli, Monterey jack cheese, fresh arugula and a fried egg to top off the burger

Olé Burger (Barcelona, Spain) – a fury of red peppered Romesco sauce, roasted vegetables, with goat cheese crumbles and arugula, dancing on a Certified Angus Beef® and between a toasted bun

And and and ...

Tennessee BBQ Burger (Tennessee, United States) – like a good country ballad, this Certified Angus Beef® burger brings happy tears with BBQ dry rubbed premium beef topped with pickle slices, Memphis slaw, pulled pork, pig sauce, crispy onions and cheddar
The burgers will be offered through June 25th.

Ruth's Chris is hosting a five-course wine dinner with the historic Chateau Montelena Winery.

The dinner will feature the rare 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and the 210 Napa Valley Petite Sirah.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Ghost River's Grindhouse Headed to a Can Near You

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 10:16 AM

The Ghost River crew spent Thursday and Friday canning its popular Grindhouse Cream Ale.

Once only available at the FedEx Forum, Grindhouse is now now headed to a can near you. (Look for it in stores in the next few days.)

Brewer Tyler Nelson told me all about it, showed me his sweet new shirt, and said "sessionable" (even though he hates that word).

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Shipt Launching June 1st

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 10:59 AM


, an app-based grocery delivery service will launch in Memphis June 1st.

Shipt will deliver from Krogers initially and hopes to add other stores later. Subscription to the service is $99 a year, with free delivery of orders over $35.

Right now, they are offering a special $49 membership deal for those who sign up before June 1st.

Shipt is a Birmingham, Al, based company currently in 40-plus cities. Julie Coop, a rep with Shipt says the company is always looking to expand. They determine which cities would make a good fit through member feedback. She says the Shipt customer is "time-starved," busy.

Shipt was originally supposed to launch in Memphis last winter, but, according to Coop, the timing, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, was bad. But she says, the company made a commitment to Memphis.

Coop says the key to Shipt's success is its shoppers. Shoppers must be food-savvy and have the availability. Deliveries are done within an hour of ordering.

Customers select what they want through the app and can leave specific instructions as far as brands or if they want green bananas. They then schedule a time for delivery. A shopper can let customers know if a product is out or ask for more information through the app. The shoppers' training and the use of UPC scanners leaves little room for error, says Coop.

Shipt will deliver throughout the city, reaching some 400,000 potential households. And one final think to note, Shipt cannot deliver beer or wine or prescriptions or tobacco. Coop says Tennessee law doesn't allow it.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On the Scene at Barbecue Fest

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 3:19 PM


Another Barbecue Fest is the books, folks.

Here are the winners:

Big Bob Gibson's took home the World Championship prize for a record fifth time.

Patio Porkers: (1) Bad Pig BBQ, Bartlett, TN; (2) It’s About Time, Memphis, TN; (3) 4UWEQUE, Memphis, TN; (4) Smokin’ Spiders, Memphis, TN

Whole Hog:
(1) Yazoo’s Delta Q, Hernando, MS
(2) Mac’s Smoke Shop, Charlotte, NC
(3) Southern Hoggers BBQ Company, Germantown, TN
(4) Will-Be-Que BBQ Team, Cordova, TN
(5) Salty Rinse BBQ, New York City, NY
(6) 3 Taxi Guys, Pittsburgh, PA
(7) The Shed BBQ, Ocean Springs, MS
(8) Jack’s Old South, Unadilla, GA
(9) Grilla Grills, Cunningham, KY
(10) Whole Hog Café, Heber Springs, AR

(1) Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Decatur, AL
(2) Red Hot Smokers, Olive Branch, MS
(3) Cool Smoke, Richmond, VA
(4) Pork Illustrated, Memphis, TN
(5) Moe Cason Barbecue, Des Moines, IA
(6) Pork Me Baby, Southaven, MS
(7) The Pork University, Memphis, TN
(8) Delta Porkers, Marion, AR
(9) Sweet Swine O’ Mine, Olive Branch, MS
(10) Victory Lane BBQ, Olive Branch, MS

(1) 10 Bones BBQ, Olive Branch, MS
(2) 901Q, Arlington, TN
(3) Emily’s Tennessee Prime, Chicago, IL
(4) Dirk Piggler’s Porkographic BBQ, Memphis, TN
(5) Blues Hog, Washington, MO
(6) Pitmaker- BBQ Addiction, Humble, TX
(7) Rowdy Southern Swine, Oxford, MS
(8) Meat Mitch, Mission Hills, KS
(9) Fat Side Up, Collierville, TN
(10) Slabs A’ Smokin’, Memphis, TN

Kingsford Tour of Champions:
(1) The Shed, Ocean Springs, MS; (2) Too Sauced to Pork, Grand Island, NY; (3) Blue Collar Smokers, Olive Branch, MS; (4) The Other Team, Olive Branch, MS
Poultry: (1) Smokin’ with an Attitude, Rossville, TN; (2) Greaseland Porkers, Arlington, TN; (3) Bryce Boar Blazers, Memphis, TN
Seafood: (1) Uncle Murle’s BBQ Team, Cordova, TN; (2) Fat Side Up, Collierville, TN; (3) Smoking Yotes, Memphis, TN
Exotic: (1) Swinos, Memphis, TN; Sweet Brown Smokers, Memphis, TN; Ribdiculous Bar-B-Krewe, Astonia, NY

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bluefin's New Korean Menu

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 2:07 PM

Bluefin recently added a new Korean menu, and the owner Mr. Woo invited us to check it out. 

There's spicy chicken Korean tacos ...

And Korean beef barbecue ...
We sampled the vegetable dolsot bibimbop ... This dish was stacked with veggies and tofu and served with a hot sauce. The broccoli was nothing less than perfect.
Bluefin also serves beef and chicken bibimbop and dolsot bibimbop (dolsot refers to the stone pot).

We went a bit off script, as well, because, of course, we did ...

Veggie tempura and fried rice ...

I not a huge sweet potato fan, but this fried sweet potato roll is fantastic ...

Here's a pretty salad with grilled tofu. Served with a fine ginger dressing ...

Go try it yourselves and let me know what you think!

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Lucky Cat Opening in Crosstown

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 2:53 PM

  • Lucky Cat, Facebook

Zach Nicholson and Sarah Pardee, owners of the pop-up ramen restaurant Lucky Cat, announced today that they are opening a permanent restaurant in the Crosstown Concourse building.

But, first, Lucky Cat will open another pop-up in corner space at Cafe 1912, which served briefly as a wine and tapas bar. The pop-up is set to open on June 2nd.

Nicholson and Pardee, who are married, are both trained chefs with experience in high-end dining. Nicholson worked for Erling Jensen. It was move to Austin that opened their eyes to ramen.

Nicholson says he's eaten in the best restaurants around the country, but the really good ramen he was eating in Austin was like a brand new cuisine. And it was affordable.

The pair eventually returned to Memphis (Nicholson is from here). Pardee designed the menu for the Hollywood Feed bakery, Nicholson worked for Catherine & Mary's.

They wanted to work for themselves, though, and a food truck seemed viable financially. Before they could get a loan, however, they were told to do some pop-ups first to test the concept. The first was in December 2016, and it's been gangbusters since.

  • Lucky Cat, Facebook
  • Lucky Cat, Facebook

The success can be credited to those tasty ramen bowls that range from traditional to creative —  Tan Tan, Miso Pork, Yuzu Veggie. Nicholson says he sometimes goes Southern with a bowl featuring collard greens and bacon or with the Memphis BBQ Pork steam bun.

The pop-up restaurant will offer five to six bowls (3 or 4 pork, 1 or 2 veggie, and a rotating chicken bowl), plus a vegetarian bun and a pork bun. The space seats about 50 and will have at-counter ordering. The decor will have an Asian look and dim lighting.

The pop-up will be open for dinner Thursday through Sunday.

Nicholson says the Crosstown restaurant will be more polished, refined. It will be located at the front of the building near the Cleveland entrance. They hope to have it open in about 8 months.

Nicholson considers Erling Jensen as sort of a father figure. It was Jenseon who hooked him up with Glenn Hays of Cafe 1912. Jensen thinks of Glenn as his own father figure.

As for what Jensen thinks of the ramen, Nicholson says he loves it and has given Lucky Cat his blessing.


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mama Gaia Announces Second Location

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 9:00 AM


The folks behind Mama Gaia, the all-organic, vegetarian restaurant in Crosstown Concourse, announced today that they are opening a second location in Ballet Memphis' new headquarters in Overton Square.

Diners at the new location can expect the same menu, though more compact. And, the Ballet Memphis location will offer organic wine and local beers, perhaps some cocktails as well.

The new Mama Gaia will be open concurrently with Ballet Memphis' new headquarters, sometime in August.

From the release:

Visitors will have something extra to look forward to when they visit Ballet Memphis’ new purpose-built headquarters scheduled to open this summer in Overton Square: Mama Gaia, a Memphis-based, fast-casual organic vegetarian restaurant, will operate the cafe inside.

This will be the second location in Memphis for Mama Gaia. Mama Gaia at Ballet Memphis will offer a select food menu each day (including breakfast items) as well as coffee drinks, wine and beer. The cafe is open to the general public.

“Part of my vision and mission for this new building always has been to provide creative and imaginative experiences for everyone in the community. By bringing more people to Ballet Memphis, we are providing not only the experience of our art form but also the opportunity to spend time together and to encourage exploration, whether it is watching the professional company rehearse, taking a child to ballet class, or attending one of our special creative events or movement classes,” Dorothy Gunther Pugh, CEO/Founding Artistic Director, said. “It was always an important part of this vision to have a food and beverage offering; to have the right partner was critical.

“Mama Gaia’s food is delicious, healthy and made with care and commitment; it’s the perfect complement to Ballet Memphis’ programs. It’s also the passion and dedication to the brand that drew us to them.”

Created and owned by Philipp and Cru Peri von Holtzendorff-Fehling, Mama Gaia opened its first location in the Crosstown Concourse in March 2017. The inspiration to launch Mama Gaia came after Cru was diagnosed with Lyme disease. After she self-prescribed changes to an all-organic and plant-based diet as part of her treatment, Cru noticed a remarkable difference in her health. The couple wanted to provide delicious fast-casual options for the marketplace.

“Partnering with Ballet Memphis to bring Mama Gaia to the new headquarters fit wonderfully with our mission,” Philipp said. “We have already seen tremendous success in Crosstown Concourse, so to open a second location where more community members can experience healthy and delicious food at an affordable price was an easy decision.”

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