Friday, November 16, 2018

Little Italy Opening Downtown

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 2:35 PM


The third Little Italy will open in South Main Downtown sometime in December, according to owner Giovanni Caravello. It will be in the old Scoops site at 106 GE Patterson.

“It was a good opportunity,” says Caravello, noting the coming movie theater and hotel. “In that part of Downtown, there’s not really authentic pizza.”

By authentic, Caravello means New York-style, which is what he specializes in. He says what makes their pizza so good is their high quality ingredients — the best cheeses and finest flour. His lasagna, he swears, is “like my mom made it.”

Caravello says that the menu for the Downtown restaurant will be smaller. He’s thinking of offering fresh mussels with marinara sauce, imported cold cuts, and a cheese platter.

There will be seating for 35 to 40 inside, with an additional 20 to 25 seats outdoors. Caravello hopes to host games outside.

Ultimately, he’s feeling pretty confident about this latest venture.
“We’ve been in business 15 years,” he says. “People know what we can do.”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Nine Now Open

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 2:52 PM


The Nine, in the old Bangkok Alley space at 121 Union Downtown, opened November 1st. Owner Chalee Timrattana says the Burana family, Bangkok Alley owners, helped him by providing the space free of charge and have been nothing but supportive.

Timrattana worked for Bangkok Alley for 16 years and has served as kitchen manager for all the locations.

The nine of the Nine refers to the king of Thailand, who recently passed away. Timrattana is using it as a lucky number.

Construction and the upgrade took longer than expected. The inside looks much like it did before, with a bar at front with some seating and banquet seating along the walls.

Also similar is the menu with such Thai favorites as Pad Thai and Drunken noodle.

Timrattana says he doesn’t have a specialty, per se. “I can do it all good,” he says.
Drunken noodle with tofu
  • Drunken noodle with tofu

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gordon Ramsay's in Memphis to Save a Restaurant!

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 1:11 PM

Just when you think it's going to be another typical Wednesday in Memphis, snow starts to fall from the sky, and you look out your window to see Gordon Ramsay's "Hell on Wheels" 18-wheeler rounding the corner of your office building. The truck is part of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares reboot: 24 Hours to Hell and Back
  • Matthew Preston

Gordon Ramsay's revamped restaurant renovation/intervention show is essentially the same as the original Kitchen Nightmares, but the makeover has been consolidated into a single day, replete with a countdown timer for good measure. The show purports to be a simple kitchen renovation show, and installs known and hidden cameras to record the restaurant in action. Some time later, Gordon Ramsay will show up with a group to dine at that restaurant, in a prosthetic makeup disguise, only to reveal his identity and berate the awfulness of the food mid-meal.

The "Hell on Wheels" truck dishes education and shame in equal measure. It unfolds to become a kitchen where Ramsay's team teaches the chefs of the restaurant in question how to cook the new menu, and produces a large video board where the restaurant's staff and patrons witness the hidden footage captured before Ramsay's arrival. Those videos typically feature pretty gross things, ranging from unsanitary kitchen practices to toxic workplace exchanges, outbursts at patrons, animal infestations, and structural issues with the building.

The Flyer isn't aware of the restaurant that'll be featured on 24 Hours to Hell and Back, but candidates on Ramsay's show tend to be restaurants that were once considered good, located in a desirable and lucrative part of town, and frequently have a strong-headed owner or chef that's in denial about the business failing, and contributing to that failure with their apathy or toxicity.

As a big time Gordon Ramsay addict, I'm thrilled for Memphis to get airtime on the show. As a dude who works downtown, I'm hoping to become a lunch regular at a revamped restaurant nearby.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Old Venice to Morph into Venice Kitchen

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 9:33 AM


Old Venice Pizza Company is getting a makeover. It will now be Venice Kitchen. The revitalized Venice is set to open November 19th.

"We became dated," says Ben McLean, who is partnering in the project with David Buescher. "It's time for a refresh."

If McLean's name is familiar, that's because he founded Belly Acres and Tennessee Taco Company.

Part of that refresh is a revamp of the menu. Pizzas have been pared down to 11. New menu items will be added as well.

The space has been opened up, with walls removed, new fixtures, and a new color scheme.

Rob Ray will be in charge of the kitchen. New ovens, ranges, and a grill for steaks and salmon have been put in the kitchen. Ray emphasizes high quality and fresh ingredients.

"We're not doing this for us," says McLean, "we're doing this for our customers."

Friday, November 9, 2018

Church Health's Jewish Cooking Classes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 2:18 PM

Next Thursday, November 15th, Church Health will host a Hanukkah cooking class as part of its Jewish Cooking series. Cutoff to sign up for the class is Monday, November 12th.

Church Health's Jenny Koltnow took some time to answer questions about the class.

What will be the structure of the class?
The Jewish Cooking Series is set of five, mini cooking classes designed to introduce and expose participants to the history, traditions, and food associated with major Jewish holidays. Each 90-minute class consists of an introduction to the holiday, a discussion of the foods and reflection on their symbolism, and a hands-on cooking experience. Participants taste test and enjoy pre-prepared items while there, then take home the items they made to enjoy at home!

What will the students be making?
The November-15 class is focused on Hanukkah, so participants will make latkes and brisket. YUM.

Is there a trick to Jewish cooking?
It depends on who you ask! But honestly, the “trick” is “enjoy with friends.” I marvel at the community, connections, and hospitality so natural to our Jewish brothers and sisters. It seems, no matter the meal, food is always better enjoyed in the company of others.

Info on Church Health cooking classes

Thursday, November 8, 2018

5 Memphis Food Scandals!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 11:48 AM

Y'all sure do like a good scandal — with its accompanying sputtering WTFing.

So, today, friends, we look back at 5 Memphis food scandals.

1. Gibson's Donuts and Marsha Blackburn

Who doesn't like a good donut? Apparently, hate merchant, newly minted senator Marsha Blackburn loves them. So much so that she made a stop Tuesday morning at the beloved Memphis fixture Gibson's Donuts. Welp, folks let owner Don DeWeese know they did not appreciate it, and DeWeese responded that he did not invite her and everybody deserves a donut.

So did the donut clinch Blackburn's win? Only the devil knows for sure.

2. Taylor Berger vs. Midtown Nursery


Taylor Berger's plans for his Truck Stop at the corner of Central and McLean were doomed from the start. First, to some controversy, the plan ousted Midtown Nursery, then the plans met with resistance from the neighborhood and Code Enforcement.

Ultimately, Berger and his partner ditched the plan after working on it for two years. As for Midtown Nursery, it got booted from its next location due to plans for apartments.

3. Kelly English denies Tony Parker service

Restaurant Iris owner Kelly English raised a ruckus (and affection from Grizzlies fans) when he suggested he denied NBA player Tony Parker a seat at his restaurant.

Ultimately, this scandal fizzled out when it was reported that the restaurant was booked up anyway and couldn't accommodate the request.

4. Imagine Vegan Cafe's Butthole problem


Ah, Butthole Gate. Such fond, fond memories. Imagine Vegan Cafe's owner Kristy Jeffrey reacted badly to a reviewer who noted that a child's dirty feet and bare bottom were not appetizing. Also, yodeling was involved.

The furor raged on for days and made national news. Jeffrey tried to capitalize on the situation, but the situation ended like many on social media, it faded away.

5. That Creep Jason Doty


Local baker/foodtruck owner Jason Doty was always present on the food scene and he was a known abuser. With every new project he undertook, critics took to social media to decry his continued opportunities. A project with Cash Saver was cancelled after such an effort.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison early this year after an incident that harmed his infant child. 

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Vote, then Go Eat

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 10:41 AM

Farm Burger, the burgeriffic chain with a location in the Crosstown Concourse, announced last week that it's opening late today, 12:30 p.m., to allow its employees to vote. That's cool. Cooler still, customers who show up with an "I Voted" sticker get free fries.

Those who stop by Celtic Crossing with an "I Voted" sticker can enter to win a $25 gift card.

Chef Kelly English is also encouraging his employees to vote. In an article in Food & Wine last week, he writes,

They are us and they don’t know it yet, so it's our duty tell them that they are. Challenge them. Ask them what the single biggest political or social issue is to them. They don’t have to answer, but make them think about it. Let them know that as hard as it is on you to be down a set of hands, that in 27 states (including my own state of Tennessee) they can be paid for time if they are scheduled on voting day. Get your team together to hammer out a schedule that works for everyone, so that people have a chance to vote and no one gets too badly in the weeds. Show them that business and humanity can coexist.

In our restaurant group we have made an agreement with Sweetgrass, another restaurant here in Memphis, to give a gift certificate to each other’s employees who vote, to encourage our communities and to give them a place to go that isn’t where they work. Make sure the people you work with know this is their (sometimes first) opportunity to feel seen and to be part of a huge decision. Encourage them to share their thoughts with a vote the same way they share their culture with your team to make it stronger. These types of sharing and strength are no different from each other. Tell your teams that they are you, and you are going to vote.
Socially responsible? Count us in. And go vote, then go eat. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

A New Asian Restaurant - fam - to Open Downtown

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 4:54 PM


A new restaurant - fam - a fast, casual Asian restaurant, is slated to open November 13th at 149 Madison.

The name is short for “family,” says Ian Vo, an owner.

He describes the restaurant, which is staffed by veteran Memphis sushi chefs, as a modern, fast-paced take-out restaurant, which will be open for dining in or for curbside service. The restaurant also will deliver. And catering will be available.

They’ll serve a variety of rolls and bowls, including sushi hibachi-style grill rice bowls, noodle bowls, sushi rolls and spring rolls.

Their sushi will be in half rolls so customers can choose more options.

“Everything is roll or bowl,” Vo says.

Orders will only take 10 to 15 minutes, he says.The restaurant, which will serve beer, will be open for lunch and dinner and will be open Monday through Saturday.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Don't Forget About BurgerFest!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 1:41 PM

BurgerFest is happening this weekend — Saturday, October 27th, noon to 10 p.m., at Tiger Lane.

It's got a new owner and a new name, but don't you fret, there will be plenty of burgers for you to sample.

Great Smokey Mountain Burger
  • Great Smokey Mountain Burger
The Show Stopper
  • The Show Stopper

Tamara Eddy of Chef Tam's Underground Cafe has created six burger options for you to try at the festival. They include the Great Smokey Mountain Burger, the Tennessee Whiskey Burger, Grizzlies Chili Burger (!), a Fiesta Black Bean Burger, The Show Stopper, and the Bluff City Classic Burger.

These will be available for purchase. There will be a burger bar as well and food from Pronto Pups, Yancey’s Cool Things, and Ms. D’s Hot Wings.

Admission is $10; sampling card is $15.

If you've got a burger itch that needs scratching, this is the event for you. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Downtown Dining Week Coming At Ya

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 10:33 AM


It's one of the best times of the year for the culinary curious. Downtown Dining Week is happening November 5th-11th.

This year features a stellar lineup of all of Memphis' Downtown heavy-hitters:

117 Prime
Aldo's Pizza Pies Downtown
Automatic Slim's Memphis
B.B.King.Blues Club n Grill
Bardog Tavern
Bedrock Eats & Sweets
Belle Tavern
Bleu Restaurant & Lounge
Blind Bear Memphis
Bluefin Restaurant
Blues City Cafe
The Brass Door
Capriccio Grill at The Peabody Memphis
Carolina Watershed
Central BBQ
Charlie Vergos Rendezvous
Chefs diner
Cupcake Cutie Etc.
The Dirty Crow Inn
Evelyn & Olive
Felicia Suzanne's Restaurant
Front Street Deli
Grecian Gourmet
Havana's Pilon
Huey's Downtown
Kooky Canuck - Memphis
Lisa's Lunchbox
Loflin Yard
Margie's 901 IceCream
McEwen's on Monroe
Pontotoc Lounge
Primas Bakery and Boutique
Regina's Cajun Kitchen
Rizzos Diner
Silky O'Sullivan's
Sleep Out Louies
South of Beale
Terrace at the River Inn
TGI Fridays *Downtown
The Arcade Restaurant, Memphis' Oldest Cafe
The Majestic Grille
The VAULT on GE Patterson
Trolley Stop Market
Tug's Casual Grill
The event was launched in 2009 as a way to recognize and celebrate the restaurant community's camaraderie as well as get some butts in seats during a traditionally down time.

Dinners are $20.18 (for 2018; it was $20.09 in 2009) for a three-course meal and $10.18 for two-for-one lunch deals. It's a great and economic way to try a new place.

Reservations are recommended. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

On Crosstown Cafe's Look

Posted By on Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 12:29 PM

A view of Today and Always Cafe
  • A view of Today and Always Cafe

When the Crosstown cafe, Today & Always, opened in September, it unveiled a plant-based menu and lots of — how to say it? — lewk. I mean, lots. It's ’50s and ’80s and everything.

Crosstown co-founder Chris Miner's wife Amanda Sparks, with help from residency coordinator Mary Jo Karimnia and Stacy Wright, took charge of the design of this very large, winding space. Karimnia took some time to answer some questions about the design.

What was your thinking when you set out to design the Today & Always space?

It really began as a way to feed our resident artists delicious, nutritious, filling, and varied foods. Food is such a wonderful thing to build relationships around, and we hoped to encourage interaction and build relationships through food. Next, we wanted to invite the public into this nurturing environment. The cave-like atmosphere that the architect designed in the East Atrium feels like a great big hug — one that is big enough to include 500 of your friends. We anchored that warmth by adding variations that acknowledged the dark blue walls and aqua furniture and added interest by layering similar shades and hues. There are definitely some color themes forming, like the red/orange/pink areas in the hallway near the kitchen, the blue door and blue themes along the corresponding hallway to the right, the midcentury greens in the Green Room music space, etc. that will also be carried back into the deeper spaces of Crosstown Arts offices as that becomes cohesive.

What were the challenges with working in such an open space?
We want diners to feel like they are eating at Crosstown Arts — in our house, in the midst of all the things that are happening in this beautiful space. We also wanted it to be a flexible space that can host talks, shows, and events in an endless possibility of configurations. So the open space was something we needed for this formula.

What about the odd shapes and spaces of the bar?
This was an opportunity to truly engage with the building, to embrace the history of the space. The maze-like quality of the space encourages people to explore and discover. The smaller spaces encourage small gatherings and intimate conversations.
Plates with starburst patterns
  • Plates with starburst patterns

How would you describe the final product — diner chic?
Inviting, embracing, surprising, and ever-changing.

Where did you source the dishes,
furniture, etc.?

The dishes, glasses, and flatware are a combination of items that we designed and collected. We searched the internet for silverware with midcentury star designs, and this is the theme that holds them together. Residency Director Amanda Sparks had a strong hand in the design and in deciding, directing, and purchasing items. She took several trips to St. Louis to purchase midcentury furniture from antique stores and through online sales from people's garages and basements. She brought back five packed truckloads. Her design vision can be seen throughout Crosstown Arts. Bart Mallard, the head bartender, hand-picked all of the wonderful and varied glasses used to serve drinks at the bar.

There is a lot going on with the cafe — the aprons, the song names. How does that work together under a coherent theme? What's that theme?
EVERYTHING at Crosstown Arts is an art project. Spaces are infused with silly things, thoughtful jokes, and kitsch. The aprons with random names that were popular in the ’80s play with the menu where items are all puns on ’80s song titles. In the bar, drinks are thoughtfully engineered with unusual ingredients and combinations, and drink titles read like poems. The back bar is a surprising maze with colored lights and animal-themed rooms with a curated/curious mix of kitty-cat playing cards, paint-by-number dogs, and ceramic birds. There is also a white wall that will host a rotating show of art-designed wallpaper and the light-up bar top has already hosted two different art pieces beneath its acrylic surface. The food and drink are another way to allow for creative expression. The talents of chef Raymond Jackson and bar manager Bart Mallard are nicely showcased in these beautiful and unusual spaces.

Lounge with vintage furniture and paint-by-number paintings of dogs
  • Lounge with vintage furniture and paint-by-number paintings of dogs

There is so much going on in the spaces. Did you ever have a time when you thought to yourself, with a design or piece of furniture or glassware, Stop, that's enough?
Absolutely. Much of Amanda Sparks' vision has been arrived at through a process of elimination, finding a plethora of items that fit the era or theme of different aspects of the spaces and then paring these ideas and objects down to the right amount in the right space.
Glassware and bird ceramic
  • Glassware and bird ceramic

Another Art Bar lounge
  • Another Art Bar lounge

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wok'n in Memphis slated to have a permanent location

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 9:18 PM

Chefs Spencer Coplan and Trevor Anderson at a Wok'n in Memphis pop up at Silly Goose. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Chefs Spencer Coplan and Trevor Anderson at a Wok'n in Memphis pop up at Silly Goose.

Spencer Coplan will only have one place to walk to after Wok'n in Memphis moves to The South Main Market at 409 South Main.

Coplan’s pop-up restaurant featuring his take on Chinese food is slated to open in its first permanent location in November. It’s popped up at several locations around Memphis since he first opened his traveling restaurant about a year ago.

“I’m very excited to finally have a location,” says Coplan, 28.

He plans to serve lunch and dinner daily except for Mondays when The South Main Market is closed and he plans to offer a weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

For lunch, Coplan wants to do his General Tso’s chicken, sweet and sour pork, fried rice and noodles and his popular vegetarian dish - mapo tofu. Dinner would include his eggs rolls and crab rangoon.

Now this isn’t authentic Chinese food; Coplan purposely does it his way. It’s Americanized Chinese food. He uses ketchup, sugar and lots of hoisin sauce.

Take his chicken and waffles, a combination Asian/American dish. Instead of maple syrup, he uses kung pao sauce. “We put green onions and scallions inside the waffle batter to give it a little more of that Asian flair, if you will.”

In 2016, Coplan, who was born in Seattle, moved to Memphis and began working at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. He continues to work a couple of nights a week at The Gray Canary, which is owned by Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman.

Coplan is captivated by Asian food. He says he spent a lot of after hours in Asian restaurants in Seattle.

His expertise in Chinese cooking was a result of “a lot of cookbooks and a lot of time messing around making staff meals for my colleagues. Just kind of being like, ‘Well, how does this taste? Does this taste like General Tso’s chicken?’”

For now, you can visit Wok'n in Memphis on Sundays for his brunch at Silly Goose. The brunch, which is from noon to 4, includes items, including his chicken and waffles, that will be on the menu at his new location.

And Wok'n in Memphis currently pops up on Saturdays at the Farmers Market in Cooper-Young.

Coplan’s restaurant also will be featured Nov. 3 at the Meddlesome Brewing Company’s 

Spencer Coplan's take on chicken and waffles. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Spencer Coplan's take on chicken and waffles.

art and crafts fair.

  • Michael Donahue

Huey's Vegan Burger

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 12:15 PM


Huey's Goes Vegan! How's that for a headline?

Welp, it's fake news. BUT, Huey's will introduce a new 100 percent vegan burger in the next couple weeks.

"We've had our veggie burger forever," says Steve Voss, vice president of operations at Huey's. The veggie burger is vegan (the black bean — my jam — isn't). Voss says that customers want more options, and when some really great vegan burgers, like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burgers, became available, Huey's thought it was worth it to explore options.

Huey's is going with the Beyond Burger. In fact, Beyond Burger has crafted a six-ounce burger just for Huey's. The burger will be cooked on a grill, not the flat-top, so that the vegan burger doesn't get contaminated by Huey's other options. The burger will be served on a kaiser bun (as usual) and dressed with Follow Your Heart smoked Gouda and Veganaise.

So is this burger up to Huey's standards?

"They're awesome," says Voss. "I love it."

Voss says the burger will first be available at Midtown, Germantown, and Downtown Huey's locations as soon as next week, and then roll out to all locations in early November. 

Sushi Meets Kosher BBQ

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 9:58 AM


Happening on Sunday, October 21st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth (ASBEE) Synagogue, is the 30th Annual Kosher BBQ Competition and Festival. This is where cooks flex their barbecue muscles while keeping it 100 percent kosher — no pork up in this joint.

This is one fun event, garnering national attention for its Jewish approach to barbecue in this pork-barbecue-manic city. The event features its popular three-on-three basketball contest and stuff for the kids.

One competitor is Marisa Baggett, who is known around town for her astounding sushi creations. Her team, Adam's Ribs, took home three trophies last year — 1st Place Ribs, 4th Place Chicken Wings, and 2nd Place Beans — so she's definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Baggett took time to answer some questions on how this sushi chef came to conquer kosher barbecue.

You're known for your mad sushi skills. What interests you about this contest?

The ASBEE Kosher BBQ contest first appealed to me because I don't eat pork. (I actually keep kosher.) And living in Memphis, it was the idea that I could walk into a barbecue competition and enjoy anything that was being prepared that blew my mind. I was a little hesitant to compete at first. I'm a sushi maven and manning a grill was out of my comfort zone. But I joined a team anyway and we ended up taking two trophies that year! It was a lot of fun.

Do you use the same skills for sushi as you do beef barbecue?

I think there is a patience and tolerance for tedium that I carry over from sushi. With sushi, you can't hurry the process of the rice and you have to do several hands-on things with just a few ingredients. For this contest, you have to work within limits regarding ingredients and use a charcoal grill. It makes you very aware of the entire process and you stay in the moment. I'm very comfortable working like that.

How do you approach the competition?

Strictly fun..unless someone talks smack. Last year, someone from another team mercilessly made fun of the way I boiled the ribs first. I took it in stride but I was so determined to get the ribs perfect. Coincidentally, we took home 1st place in Ribs last year.

Any other surprising culinary skills?

I'm not much for entering contests. But I think people would be surprised given my sushi background what my latest obsession is — classic Jewish deli fare. I make and cure my own pastrami (and turkey pastrami) and I bake knishes and babkas. My kitchen is very lab-like these days with containers of custom spice blends, tubs of meats in the fridge constantly being brined, and bags of baked goods everywhere. I'm having alot of fun.

What's next with you?

I actually have a concept in the works. It's a little too early to discuss, but there are sometimes little hints and clues on my social media.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Memphis' Top 11 Cookies

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 9:30 AM

When the Apple personal assistant Siri is asked the question, "what is zero divided by zero," she responds with the answer: "Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends." — Wikipedia entry on Cookie Monster

There’s almost no problem that a cookie can’t solve. Hungry? How ‘bout a chocolate chip cookie? Depressed? Oatmeal raisin will cheer you right up. Tired? A protein-packed cookie will put pep in your step.

Memphis has plenty of great cookies, from the standard to the sublime, sprinkled all about town. Go grab you a dozen or two.

Did we miss your favorite? That’s how the cookie crumbles. But let us know in the comments.

And, now, in no particular order ... the best 11 cookies in Memphis.

Oatmeal Cream Pie

A crowd pleaser, this cookie includes two perfect oatmeal cookies crushing on some super-sweet buttercream icing. It's a take on Little Debbie's oatmeal cream pie. From Muddy's, which knows a thing or two about sweets. For your sweetest tooth.

Muddy's Bake Shop, 5101 Sanderlin (683-8844)

Marranitos from La Espiga

You, a porch, temps in the 60s, a steaming cup of coffee, a marranito from La Espiga on Summer. This cookie, sweetened with molasses, has long been an obsession of ours. Will do for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

La Espiga, 3967 Summer (454-9220)

Butter Cookies
We could sing the praises of this cookie all day long — buttery and so rich as to knock you to your knees. Bring a tray of Makeda's butter cookies to any event and you'll be welcomed with open arms. Their peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies are excellent, too.

Makeda's, 488 2nd (295-0901)

Lemon Blueberry Sugar Cookie

Large and bold. This cookie is no ordinary sugar cookie. This one has zing. The bite of the lemon is tempered by the sweet of the blueberry. It's a beautiful thing and is available at Dessert Therapy, a relatively new sweets shop in East Memphis.

Dessert Therapy, 6645 Poplar, Carrefour Kirby Shopping Plaza (567-8837)

Peanut Butter
About as close to a Platonic ideal of a cookie as one can get. Crisp bottom, fluffy center — salty and peanut buttery. Terrific. From Lucy J. Bakery in the Crosstown Concourse. They pay their workers a living wage, which makes this cookie all the sweeter.

Lucy J Bakery,  1350 Concourse (257-9206)


Pretty and delicate — in both taste and appearance. These dainties are for Memphis' best ladies and gentlemen, mane. A real treat from 17 Berkshire.

17 Berkshire, 2094 Trimble Place (729-7916)

Susan Ellis

Acorn Cookies


Nostalgia lovers might remember the home-made “acorn” cookies at the old Seessel’s grocery stores. They were acorn-shaped.cookies with raspberry filling dipped in chocolate with sprinkles. Milk Dessert Bar owner Sharon Cohn re-created the cookies from memory. As one who worked at Seessel’s for three years, I can say Cohn did a good job. They evoke those great days at Seessel’s, when children were given free ladyfingers when they passed by the store’s bakery with their parents.

Milk Dessert Bar, 1789 Kirby Parkway No. 10 (730-0893)

Gingerbread Men

Kay Bakery sells its gingerbread men all year ‘round, but the cookies are more popular during Christmas, says Queo Bautista, one of the owners. That’s when they sell “10 or 12 dozen daily,” he says. They still decorate them the way they were decorated back in the 1950s and they still use the same cookie cutters, he says.

Sugar Cookies

The sugar cookies in Halloween shapes of a ghost, pumpkins and a black cat with an arched back at Kay Bakery evoke Halloweens past, particularly for Baby Boomers. And, like the gingerbread men, these are the made from the same cookie cutters as the ones made decades ago.

Kay Bakery, 667 Avon (767-0780)

Butter Cookies

You might think of a butter cookie as something shaped like a daisy or just a thin beige cookie, but the butter cookies at Frost Bake Shop are thick, white cookies with yellow rivulets. If you’re into texture along with great taste, these are for you.

Frost, 394 Grove Park, Laurelwood Shopping Center (682-4545)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Maybe it’s because they’re rectangle and small instead of big and round in addition to tasting great, but whatever it is the chocolate chip cookies at Ricki’s Cookie Corner & Bakery are addictive. It’s hard to stop eating them. Owner Ricki Krupp says her chocolate chip cookies are made of flour, sugar, eggs, and canola oil, but she puts her personal touch in each cookie. Krupp says she took a basic recipe and over the years tweaked it. She now sells 4,000 of her chocolate chip cookies a week.

Ricki's Cookie Corner, 5068 Park Avenue (866-2447)

— Michael Donahue

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