Tops Bar-B-Q, Memphis TN

Because every so often I am a complete dingbat (or more often than that, or worse), my plans go completely awry. After spending hours looking over the Memphis Que blog, I picked Moma’s BBQ in Bartlett as the third stop on our barbecue day. But then we spent hours shopping in Cooper-Young, putting us late to Interstate, and then we decided to drive over the gorgeous I-40 and I-55 bridges into Arkansas and back to see those – I do so love big bridges – and then we went to Shangri-La Records and were there forever (not difficult) and then we went to Comic Cellar and were there for a while, and when we finally made it to Moma’s, they’d closed, because they’re one of these aggravating businesses that figure people are done eating barbecue at two. Continue reading “Tops Bar-B-Q, Memphis TN”

Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Q, Memphis TN (take two)

When Marie and I first visited Memphis together in 2010, we only made one trip to a barbecue restaurant. It being Sunday, many of the heavy-hitters were not open, but Jim Neely’s Interstate was, and we had a pretty good meal there. Continue reading “Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Q, Memphis TN (take two)”

Trolley Stop Market, Memphis TN

(Marie picked a place for supper on the second night of our vacation that her sister really enjoys…)

As you may recall from the previous stories, we were in Memphis as a family to cheer on my sister’s graduation. I’ve long ago ceded all Memphis barbecue choices to Grant, since he’s in heaven every time we go and I would never want to deprive him of the pleasure of exploration. He doesn’t quite give all the non-barbecue choices to me, but as I get rather fewer choices than he does (primarily because I am not as willing to eat three lunches as he is) I get pretty much free rein.

So after putting my head together with my sister’s and checking out her recommendations and comments on mine, I picked Trolley Stop for us all to convene on the evening before the graduation. They had tables big enough to seat our party together. Actually, they were pretty slow that evening, so we could have been an even bigger party than we were and still had room. Normally I’d have spent a good long time happily browsing the goods for sale, but when we arrived I was just too tired to do much more than scan the options from the table. Continue reading “Trolley Stop Market, Memphis TN”

Wild Beet Salad Company, Germantown TN

After our breakfast at Arcade, Marie and I took a leisurely drive around Memphis with our son, eventually landing at The Children’s Museum of Memphis, where we had a complete blast. It’s one of our favorite children’s museums in the southeast, and we stayed for two hours of awesome playing, eventually choosing to bow out when the place got a little too crunched with field trips. One of the many great things they have here is a “skyscraper,” sort of a Habitrail for kids that they can safely climb, way above anybody’s heads, from one little box to another. On our very first visit, he was too small, and on our last visit, he was too nervous to try it, but this time he just zoomed up to the tallest point.

A couple of hours into this, we started thinking about our food options. Marie suggested a salad somewhere, and I could totally get behind that, as I was already craving the barbecue we’d eat on the next day, and something a little healthier sounded like a good idea. A little Googling found a reasonably new place called Lettuce Eat which was located not too far from our hotel, where we’d have to go to pick up the girlchild anyway. By chance, we’d been in the exact location of this restaurant when we were in town six years previously. Penzeys Spices has closed their Memphis-area storefront, where we shopped on our 2010 trip, and Lettuce Eat moved in. Continue reading “Wild Beet Salad Company, Germantown TN”

Arcade Restaurant, Memphis TN

I have my super-mod internet friend Mod Betty to thank for this stop on our Memphis trip. If you’ve not visited the Retro Roadmap and you enjoy the older, vintage restaurants that we like to visit and share, then you are in for an enormous treat. Just click that link and prepare to get lost in a time machine full of great old motels, drive-ins, and places to eat. The ONLY flaw in the Roadmap is that Mod Betty doesn’t make it to the southeast often enough, but she has some pretty awesome content from our neck of the woods all the same, and if we ever do make it to New England again, we can plan our itinerary around her work.

So I found the Arcade Restaurant at the Roadmap and kicked myself for not checking her site more closely before our previous trips to west Tennessee. It’s a fantastic place for breakfast. Still family-owned after 97 years in business – it moved to this location in 1923 – it’s where period movies get filmed (sort of the Memphis equivalent of Atlanta’s Silver Skillet) and people ponder just how many cups of coffee have slid across the boomerang formica tables over all these decades to dent and scar them so badly. Continue reading “Arcade Restaurant, Memphis TN”

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”