Huey’s and Muddy’s, Memphis TN

(Marie takes the wheel for this story about two places we visited on our first evening in town.)

Every year or so we take a trip to Memphis to visit family and eat good food. Sometimes in that order. In Grant’s case, it’s all about the full-day barbecue tour; the teen is all about visiting the cute boutiques where she will blow her clothing allowance on something she knows she won’t wear but loves anyway. The little guy has crowned a new favorite playground on his list (he still doesn’t understand travel times very well and asked to go back twice after we returned home!). This time, we were there to see my sister graduate from art school. Usually, Memphis does its best to make sure we remember that Shel Silverstein poem about being so hot we need to take our skin off and sit around in our bones. This time it did the reverse. It was in the very low 60s for the outside graduation ceremony, and I had to put on a t-shirt over my nice outfit!

Anyway, since I also like things that are not barbecue, I consulted with my sister about the neat places around where she lives, and the five of us wound up spending our first night in town having dinner at Huey’s midtown location, and dessert afterward at Muddy’s Bake Shop because I’m all about the sweets. Continue reading “Huey’s and Muddy’s, Memphis TN”

Staggs Grocery, Florence AL

In May, we all set off on a four-day trip to Memphis, where Marie’s sister was graduating from college. I’d been planning and charting and getting ideas together for weeks, and decided that we’d take a slight detour by going north across Alabama instead of fighting the rush hour traffic into and around Atlanta to use the interstates. That route, through Birmingham and Tupelo, is the most direct, but taking GA-140 to Huntsville and using US-72 ALT took us back to the Shoals, which is probably my favorite region of Alabama.

Going this way allowed us to revisit the beautiful city of Florence, which I love, and stop by Staggs, an old, former grocery store that now sells breakfast and burgers. I wish I had paid attention and visited this great little place the last time we were here! Continue reading “Staggs Grocery, Florence AL”

Hildegard’s German Cuisine, Huntsville AL

(I didn’t eat anything at the fifth restaurant on our day trip, thinking, correctly, that Marie would really enjoy this one. It’s one of at least four German restaurants in the Rocket City, and the one that our friend Helen recommends as the best in town.)

Every so often you chance on something that reminds you just perfectly of something in your childhood. If you’re lucky, it’s a good thing, and the genuine pleasure of enjoying it along with the memories of past encounters layer on each other for a really wonderful experience. In this case, it was the red cabbage at Hildegard’s German Cuisine. Continue reading “Hildegard’s German Cuisine, Huntsville AL”

D & B Hot Dogs and Ice Cream, Knoxville TN

The last stop on our day trip to Knoxville was one that we made by the skin of our teeth. We had an unplanned delay that sent us scurrying back to Powell to pick up our daughter’s charger cord – I swear, this kid would leave her head behind if it were not screwed on – and arrived at D & B Hot Dogs just a few minutes before they were set to close. This is a really neat little place in a small strip mall near the community of Solway, almost in Oak Ridge. It opened in 2014, and the owners, Daniel Price and Bruce Flomberg, are old friends who also own a lawn care business called Four Clover. This unusual little side venture came about as the two lamented the lack of a place around the Knoxville area to get a really good hot dog. Continue reading “D & B Hot Dogs and Ice Cream, Knoxville TN”

Mac Lab, Duluth GA

There was one hitch in our trip to Athens, recounted over the last three chapters. I had hoped that we could go with our fellow blogger Sandy from Bella Vivere, who also attended UGA. It’s always really fun to spend time in Athens with somebody who went to school at a different time; you get to share similar and yet radically different stories. Sadly, she had to work, and suggested that we meet for dessert in Gwinnett County on our way home. Continue reading “Mac Lab, Duluth GA”

Gigi’s Cupcakes, Kennesaw GA

This is Marie, contributing an article about Gigi’s cupcakes. They were kind enough to invite some bloggers to check out their holiday cakes (adorable) and to do a taste test of the gluten-free varieties. We have encountered them before – I visited the original Nashville store before we began our blog, and have visited a few of the Atlanta locations more recently – but the seasonal flavors and addition of gluten-free varieties was new. As you may recall if you’ve read the last time I checked out some desserts, I did gluten-free briefly in the mid-’00s and found it a frustrating and expensive hobby; if these kinds of resources had been available at the time I might have stuck with it longer. Continue reading “Gigi’s Cupcakes, Kennesaw GA”

Big Dipper, Owensboro KY

For about the only time on this trip, we were ahead of schedule, so after we left Ole South, we took a minute to drive across the beautiful Glover Cary Bridge from Owensboro into Indiana. It’s such a curious drive, going city, river, absolutely nothing. I wonder why there’s no development at all across the river. Anyway, on the way back across, we saw that J.R. Miller Boulevard is actually raised up above the small downtown area, home to a pretty busy retail area, a couple of museums, and a downright astonishing playground in Smothers Park. Continue reading “Big Dipper, Owensboro KY”