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THE CITY MAGAZINE
VOL XLV NO 9 | J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1
DISPLAY UNTIL FEBRUARY 10, 2021
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M Y L A G O S M Y W AY
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VOL XLV NO 9 | JANUARY 2021 ON THE COVER Rosemary Beach, Florida PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY VISIT SOUTH WALTON
UP FRONT 10 I N T H E B E G I N N I N G ~ b y a n n a t r a v e r s e f o g l e 12 C I T Y B E A T ~ b y m at t h e w j . h a r r i s 14 P A G E S ~ b y j e s s e d a v i s 16 T I D B I T S ~ b y s a m u e l x . c i c c i 18 C L A S S I C D I N I N G ~ b y m i c h a e l d o n a h u e FEATURES 20 Fantasy Land
Should Florida’s 30A be next on your pandemic-safe travel list?
~ b y c h r i s m c c oy
30 The Wilson Wine Experience
Spend an evening wining and dining at one of the Mid-South’s hidden gems.
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37 Remodel Memphis
Your 2021 guide to renovation and modernization. ~
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The Memphians Cracking the covid-19 Code
Local research teams have been working to solve the mysteries of the coronavirus. ~ by a l e x g r e e n e
56 Greetings from Memphis
Vintage postcards let senders share impressions of our city. ~
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At Wiseacre and Andrew Michael’s Downtown collaboration, it’s amore. ~ b y s a m u e l x . c i c c i
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A few New Year’s resolutions worth keeping. ~
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80 JANUARY 202 1 • MEMPHISMAGA ZINE.COM • 7
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Memphis THE CI T Y M AGAZI N E
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T H E
B E G I N N I N G | BY ANNA TR AVERSE FOGLE
Some Measure of Grace
A HOUSE-SOLD NAME IN MEMPHIS!
ver hear your own voice on an answering machine and think, “Gosh, surely that can’t be what I sound like — who is that?” Yes, I date myself by presenting this as an answering-machine-specific experience, but that’s how it exists in my mind: crouching down to record the outgoing message on my parents’ answering machine, on a low shelf beside one of the spiral-corded land-line phones. Then rewinding the little doll-sized cassette tape to go back and start again. There’s something discomfiting about hearing yourself, if you’re not accustomed to the sound. The gap between internally perceived reality (what I sound like in my head) and externally evident reality (what I sound like through the answering machine) is uncanny.
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I feel similarly about looking back at my own writing. Re-reading the words I’ve shared in this space not so very long ago, I think, “Gosh, who was that? Surely that can’t be how I meant to put it.” Most of the time, I get around this discomfort by simple avoidance: once the magazine is in print, it’s escaped my urge to tinker. But I pulled our January 2020 issue off the shelf this afternoon, knowing I needed to review my essay with which that magazine opened. It was called — this makes me cackle darkly now — “2020 Vision.” The title seemed, okay, a little cheesy even then. I talked about how we were entering a new decade, a new year, with what seemed liked clear-eyed awareness of the challenges in our midst. I said we would need to work together, all of us, to adapt to whatever we might find in the dawning decade. Weirdest of all to me now, I told you I was writing the thing from a little apartment in Paris. My husband and I had traveled there on a packed airplane, and once we arrived, we dragged our suitcases along cobbled streets through throngs of people, none masked. I described the tourist crowds as light, relatively speaking, due to the transportation strikes that were ongoing. But we were in Paris! Everything was magical! So much of that trip would be unthinkable this winter. Not that planes don’t still fly to France; I hear you can book a seat for a song. But the simplicity of it all! To wake up and design our day’s agenda based on nothing more complex than the weather and our whims! Those Paris days seem so sweetly innocent to me now, and so strange. Like some version of my past self I can barely contact anymore, whose voice on an answering machine
sounds oddly familiar, impossibly far away. I wanted, back in that distant time of one year ago, to believe that I had some ability to predict what would happen next. We’re programmed to believe we can understand what awaits us: this is what keeps us holding down jobs, attending school, paying the mortgage, seeing the doctor, and on and on. If we do these things, then we have some idea of what kind of life we’ll build and safeguard for ourselves. And all that is true, up to a point. We can raise the odds of getting whatever it is we want for ourselves and our families. True. And we can and should do our part for others, whatever that may be. But this past year has been one long and usually painful reminder that we have absolutely no idea what’s coming. For instance, I could not have told you a year ago that “doing our part” would entail wearing masks, keeping distant from each other, being patient when our convenient modern system begins to fray because so many essential workers have fallen ill. I could not have predicted that just a few months later, my stepson would be sent home to complete his sixth-grade year at home, or that seventh grade would find him still spending his school days in front of a tablet. The sheer magnitude of what we didn’t yet know, not so very long ago, stuns me. So I’m retiring from the prognostication business. I don’t much feel inclined to give advice or make earnest little suggestions, either. All I know today is that all this will be different before we’ve had much time to play back the memories we’re recording now. And I hope you can locate some measure of grace to help you and your loved ones through the days ahead.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NIRADJ / DREAMSTIME
Alta Simpson, CRS
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B E AT
A Bridge to the Community
BRIDGES USA works to foster a relationship with the next generation of Memphis leaders. BY M AT T HE W J . H A RRIS
few blocks from the heart of Downtown, in an ultra-modern structure near the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a group of young men and women sit around a table discussing public policy issues. This group does not pay property taxes; none of them is even old enough to rent a car, but that doesn’t matter. They all share the common goal of improving lives in their community through the nonprofit organization, BRIDGES USA. More commonly referred to simply as BRIDGES, the organization works to give youth around the city more knowledge and access to social justice and public policy work; its mission is to “unite and inspire diverse young people to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation.” BRIDGES began in 1962 as Youth Service, a branch of Catholic Charities of Memphis. In 1988, the group launched its f lagship mentoring program, Bridge Builders, and fully adopted the BRIDGES USA moniker in 1996. “BRIDGES is a youth-serving organization that is focused on uniting and inspiring diverse youth leaders to become confi-
dent and courageous leaders that can change their communities,” says Lindsey Butler, director of communications. “For more than 30 years, we have been working with youth on ways to strengthen community, strengthen ties with one another, get people out of their bubble, and get them talking and forming meaningful relationships with people that they would not normally talk to.” BRIDGES, through its Bridge Builders program, is split into three different tracks that are centered around giving students in grades 6–12 different methods to interact through social activism. The first program is called Bridge Builders connect. Facilitated by its AmeriCorps members, connect uses onsite
workshops and training sessions to help tackle meaningful topics, discover their personal strengths, and identify how they can make their community stronger. “Before covid-19, when we could do these things we would go into schools and do workshops on-site,” says Butler. “Usually, it would begin with a teacher or administrator contacting us with an interest in helping their class collaborate better, or they wanted us to teach their students ways they could get involved in their community that are not always obvious.” With the shift to online classes due to covid-19, Bridges has moved some of its experiential learning opportunities online. “We have facilitators that would
go into classrooms, and now we’re trying to leverage that online,” explains Butler. “We have a lot of opportunities through the connect workshops where youth get an opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes and gain a little more perspective about themselves and their city.” The flagship program, however, is Bridge Builders collaborate, a five-day summer conference that leads into six training sessions throughout the year. The goal: that students develop confidence and competence in their leadership, diversity appreciation, and community engagement abilities. “collaborate is probably the one people know the most about,” says Butler. “That one is tied into our summer programming, but doesn’t end with that. collaborate starts out as a week of immersive learning, where youth are purposely paired up in different groups with people that don’t necessarily look alike or come from the same background. We had people of different faiths, different races, and genders. Our goal as an organization is that our Bridge Builders are proportionally representative of the city itself.” The collaborate summer conference gives students in grades 7–12 access to tools and fun activities that are tailor-made to help them learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion, but it also teaches them what it means to be active in the community and how to interact with those around them. BRIDGES also does a “Memphis Tour,” which takes students to cultural landmarks and museums. “We find that [the tour] gives people a deeper appreciation for the city because it’s really easy to sit back and say, ‘Here’s all these things that are wrong with Memphis and here’s what’s not working,’” says Butler. “But I think it takes a true love and passion to dive in and learn about the city, and when they do, people discover things that they love about it that they never would have come across.” When the summer program concludes, students gain the op-
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY BRIDGES USA
C I T Y
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portunity to participate in outreach activities and electives, spanning wellness and selfcare to virtual yoga classes, throughout the school year. Change is the third piece of BRIDGES’ signature programs, open to graduates of the collaborate program. change, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, provides the chance for students in BRIDGES to work directly with public policymakers. Each year there are spots for 30 students, who are paid for their time in the program. “For Bridge Builders that have been through collaborate and loved dipping their toes into the water of getting busy and active in the com mu nit y, we have change, paid fellows who do project and research work in potential areas where they want to see change,” says Butler. Members of the Bridge Builders change program were instrumental in the creation — Lindsey Butler of the Brave, Safe, and Educated program, which sought to create spaces around the city that were welcoming to people of all identities. Members researched and produced guidelines that businesses around the city could use to gain certification as a welcoming and inclusive space. The Brave, Safe, and Educated program is ongoing, and recently helped The Orpheum, Archer Malmo, and Girls Inc. undergo sensitivity training. Change’s work extends beyond businesses as well. Their newest component, Iconic, which will be rolled out in 2021, looks to move sensitivity training into the classroom. To Butler, BRIDGES is a special place, and she says that the relationships she is able to forge with students is what keeps her and her colleagues coming back. “There is something that is really special about getting to work with authentic and meaningful partnerships between youth and adults,” she says. “We believe really strongly in the power in youth voice, and not just because they are the hope for the future or because they are leaders of tomorrow. Those things are true, but the youth are powerful change-makers today, and are already doing the work. We see our role as supporting their work and making sure people are listening to them.”
“There is something that is really special about getting to work with authentic and meaningful partnerships between youth and adults.”
To get involved, visit bridgesusa.org.
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PAG E S
Kristy Dallas Alley’s The Ballad of Ami Miles
“In middle school, there was a period where I was reading a book a day, kind of to the exclusion of all else,” Alley remembers. “I wouldn’t really do my schoolwork, so I was grounded all the time. Then when I was grounded I couldn’t leave my bedroom, so I would read just constantly.”
BY JESSE DAVIS
THE WRITING LIFE
Memphis author’s debut novel is an inspirational sci-fi story of self-actualization.
’ve always been a really big reader,” Kristy Dallas Alley says, laughing. It’s no wonder, then, that she has written herself an undoubtedly literary life. She has taught English before, and now works as a high school librarian and is married to Bluff Citybased author (and former Memphis magazine contributor) Richard J. Alley. Most important, though, she just released her debut novel, The Ballad of Ami Miles, via Swoon Reads, a subsidiary of Macmillan Publishing. For the lifelong fan of fiction, the release of her (exceptional) debut marks a major milestone.
s previously mentioned, Alley works as a high school librarian, which has helped to keep her finger on the pulse of what’s popular in Young Adult fiction (or YA, as it’s called in the publishing industry). It’s both a help and a hindrance, she explains. “YA is a very different kind of publishing space than adult literature. So in some ways it’s helped me to stay immersed in that world, and in some ways it can be intimidating. It can be hard to push past the idea and the pressure of what is selling in the market in YA right now,” she says. It’s about striking a balance between what’s marketable in a genre that turns more quickly than most to chase hot trends, and writing the story she wants to write. The question is, she says, “Is there a way to make those two things meet in the middle?” Publishing a book demands that a writer balance creativity and storytelling with timing and business savvy. “In YA there’s a lot of things focused around your debut year, and you’re in a debut group. I’m in a debut group with a lot of young writers who are really shooting for the moon. They want to be able to make a career out of it and quit their day job, and you see a lot of sort of crashed dreams by the end of a debut year,” Alley says, admitting that, for her, it is more about seeing the story she’s held in her head fully realized in the real world. “In reality very few writers are going to become that rock-star household name.” In the end, what it all comes down to is this, Alley sums up: “Am I trying to sell a book or am I trying to tell a story? If I were only trying to sell a book, I would think the pressure would be overwhelming.” In a career path littered with the rejected manuscripts of would-be writers, Alley says the thing itself has to be its own reward. Of course, it does help to have someone who has done it as your partner, because then they understand the commitment and work it takes to bring an imaginary world into our own. Not only is one’s partner more understanding if they have also traveled the writer’s road, they can help with plotting, editing, and untangling tricky passages. It’s a busy life, balancing four children, two careers, and multiple manuscripts, but being able to bounce ideas off each other helps. Richard and Kristy have discussed their fictional worlds on long car trips, on walks, and at the dinner table. Alley says that adds another layer to the relationship, one they had to learn to navigate. “I’m such an English teacher and an editor. He learned to tell me, ‘Right now I just want you to tell me if it’s good or bad.’” Alley continues: “At some point I’ll proofread the manuscript. I’m
Kristy Dallas Alley
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHIP CHOCKLEY
The Ballad of Ami Miles touches on many contemporary social issues and does so in a way that feels instantly relatable.
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the grammarian. I mean, he’s not terrible at grammar, but I know all the little nitpicky rules you wouldn’t know unless you taught seventh-grade English. “You gotta get down in there with the red pen sometimes,” Alley adds, laughing too.
THE BALLAD OF AMI MILES
lley’s debut is a dystopian YA bildungsroman (or coming-of-age tale). Think Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men, but far more hopeful. In The Ballad of Ami Miles, America has been laid low by the scourge of infertility. The infertility was caused by a virus, and there was some immunity to it, meaning that children are still born, albeit rarely. Ami’s mother (who has been missing for years) and aunts were able to conceive. Of course, that makes Ami an asset — and some, among them even her family, cannot help but see the 16-yearold girl as little more than a baby-making factory, instead of a fully fledged human with her own hopes, dreams, and desires. Ami lives in the Heavenly Shepherd compound run by her grandfather, Solomon Miles, an evangelical true believer who is all too ready to sacrifice Ami’s freedom on the altar of the greater good. When Solomon invites a man to the compound to impregnate Ami, one of her aunts resolves to help her escape. “[Ami’s aunt] reveals to Ami that she knows where her mother might be, and she and the aunt and uncle conspire to help Ami run away in search of her mother,” Alley explains. At the time she leaves, Ami thinks it will be a simple thing to find her mother. Of course, that would be an awfully short story. There are twists and turns as Ami escapes the compound and is thrust, for the first time, into the wider world. “When Ami gets around people her own age for the first time, she actually falls for a girl,” Alley says. “She didn’t even know that was a thing that could happen. So she has to face a big decision between does she have an obligation to her family to do what they have trained her and raised her to believe is her destiny, or does she have a right to choose a different kind of life than she ever imagined she could have.” The Ballad of Ami Miles touches on many contemporary social issues in this way and does so in a way that feels instantly relatable. Who hasn’t felt tugged in two different directions, especially as a teenager, when so many of life’s big decisions loom large? “Until I ran, I was always the smallest person in my
world, and what I knew about the outside of myself was no more than could fit in the palm of my hand,” Alley writes in The Ballad of Ami Miles. Though the world of the book is clearly divergent from today’s reality, Alley expertly conjures the feeling of being a teenager — struggling under the weight of others’ expectations, let loose into a world that is at once exhilarating and confusing and not entirely like the descriptions of it passed down by forebears. It’s a welcome addition to the contemporary YA canon, a book with something to say and a story that compels the reader to keep turning pages.
IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (AND I FEEL FINE)
he author says one review called A mi Miles “ p o s i t i v e post-apocalyptic fiction,” a summing up that she could approve of. “I used to like the hopefulness of it,” Alley says of the apocalyptic fiction sub-genre. Then, she says, “It became this big thing after The Hunger Games.” She says she appreciated the aspect of characters living a life that is nothing like what we see as normal but somehow persevering. Now, in the post-Hunger Games world (and a world that seems to look increasingly like the dystopian landscape of that series), novels in that vein tend to focus more on the systems of control than on the characters who inhabit them. Alley, though, wanted to write something inspirational, something in which the setting serves a purpose — to spur the protagonist on to strive to overcome. The idea for The Ballad of Ami Miles, though, is rooted in character. Driving to Panama City Beach for vacation, the Alleys would pass an abandoned trailer dealership between Birmingham and Jasper, Alabama. The scene looked so desolate, Alley couldn’t help seeing it as some post-apocalyptic landscape — and wondering who might be hardy enough to make a life there. Ami’s strength of character and perseverance serve her well in the world outside Heavenly Shepherd as she is forced to challenge the beliefs she’s been indoctrinated with. Sometimes, she finds, the hardest task is to love oneself, to give permission to grow and try and fail and, in doing so, become the truest version of oneself. Because of the pandemic, The Ballad of Ami Miles, originally slated to be released this spring, was postponed and published on December 1st. Autographed copies are available from Burke’s Book Store. J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 15
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T I D B I T S
King & Union Bar Grocery It’s a Delta diet at the corner of B.B. King and Union Downtown.
General manager David Rossman stands alongside director of food & beverage Glenn Brown. Below, the charcuterie plate is an excellent opener when paired with the Mama Rue sandwich and tomato bisque.
imes are changing, and for all the memories TGI Fridays in Downtown Memphis had provided diners over the years, it was time for something new. The management group of the space, which is connected to the DoubleTree by Hilton next door, wanted to move in a different direction. The new King & Union Bar Grocery offers a menu incorporating all the Delta and Mississippi tastes Glenn Brown, director of food and beverage, remembers from growing up. “I’d call it classic Southern cuisine,” he says, “but with a little bit of a twist. That extra bit of creativity is what makes the difference. It shows that even during a tough year, we’re able to have some fun.” One glance at the menu reveals plenty of Southern classics. There’s an appetizer of fried green tomatoes, of course, while catfish and po’boys have been popular items since the restau-
rant opened in July. But it’s the pimento cheese that really jumps out, its red-orange hue brighter than what you might expect. That color is thanks to the firecracker peppers mixed in, which also give it a slight kick. The pimento cheese is a key element of several selections, from the charcuterie plate to the KU Burger. But the signature dish, one directly informed by Brown’s past, may just be the Mama Rue
sandwich. “Mama tune with the region. Rue was my grandGetting rid of a mother,” recalls recognizable name Brown. “But she like TGI Fridays didn’t cook; the might have been risky, but the goal only thing she ever was to create somehad in her house was store-bought pimenthing unique. to cheese. It was ter“We wanted to achieve a couple rible! But I thought of things,”Rossof her when trying to come up with man explains. “We Ginger new recipes, so I put wanted to have a Basil Smash venue where, if you all these ingredients [f irecracker pimento are from the Mid-South, cheese, bacon, tomatoes, sourthese are items you grew up dough bread] together, threw it eating and are comfortable on the grill, and it’s one of the with, but just different enough best sandwiches you’ll ever have.” to get people interested in our The restaurant also has an take on them. And if you’re not exclusive menu, which the staff from here, we wanted to have uses to test potential new disha place that would provide a es. Some former secret meals, taste of Southern cuisine, and I like the King Cristo sandwich think we have that here at King or crawfish pasta, have wound & Union Bar Grocery.” up as permanent menu items Curious about the “grocery” due to their popularity. Regulars half of the name? It’s not just for might stumble upon this hidden show. Behind the restaurant, side of the restaurant after a few King & Union has set up a small visits; otherwise, special dishes grocery section that currently sells locally produced goods may pop up on King & Union’s social feeds. like Makeda’s Homemade ButWhile Fridays may be gone, ter Cookies, Shotwell candies, King & Union retained many of Wolf River popcorn, Vice & Virtue coffee, and plenty more. The its employees, including bar manager Katie Bowles and bartender restaurant’s big goal for 2021 will Sean Hart, who are responsible be to expand the range of products for sale. for the smooth concoctions on the cocktail menu. Many of the “We want to get some addidrinks are named after regulars, tional equipment so that we can and Bowles says that “if you oradd basic grocery items like milk, der something we haven’t made eggs, cheese, pasta, or bread,” before, we’ll probably name one says Rossman. “There aren’t a lot of places to get groceries Downafter you, too.” All the liquor town, so we want to be an extra used is sourced from local disoption for people.” tillers, like Old Dominick or Blue Note Bourbon. That goes for most of the ingreKing & Union Bar Grocery is open for dine-in and takeout dients, as well. “Everything we breakfast (all day), lunch, and have is sourced from right here in dinner 6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mon901,” says general manager David day-Friday; and 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Rossman, “or it’s made in-house.” Saturday and Sunday. 185 Union That theme checks with RossAve., 523-8500. Social media: man’s original goal: to recreate @KingandUnionBarGrocery the space into something more in
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SAMUEL X. CICCI
BY SAMUEL X. CICCI
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C L AS S I C
D I N I N G
Chicken Salad and Spicy Tomato Soup
La Baguette offers a combo that’s been a customer favorite for years. BY MICHAEL DONAHUE
hicken salad on a croissant and spicy tomato soup are a match made in heaven — and also at La Baguette French Bread and Pastry Shop. That combination “is most likely one of the favorite things, time and time again, for anybody who’s ever come here for lunch,” says manager Gene Amagliani. Customers can order the chicken salad on a baguette, wheat, or rye bread, but the croissant is what most people want, he says. “The croissants we are making here come from scratch. It’s an all-butter croissant.” They make their tomato soup daily. “We sell gallons of it every day,” he says. “It’s a very popular item.” Ditto the chicken salad. “We sell pounds of chicken salad every day,” says Amagliani. “We’re
making that every day as well. We cook the chicken here onsite. We don’t buy pre-cooked chicken. We season it. We make chicken salad with it. And it’s just fresher than what you’ll find at some places.” The soup, which has “a little kick” to it, and the chicken salad weren’t always made the same way years ago, when La Baguette had several locations around town, Amagliani says. “At one point, everybody was
making their own soups. So, Mr. [Paul] Howse, my father-in-law, got everybody together — everybody who made their own little variations of it — and we decided on which one was best.” The winner was the spicy tomato soup still being served to this day, he says. They did the same with the chicken salads. “This was very early on, in the late 1970s,” he says, “and they finalized the recipes and we continued with them
all these years.” The La Baguette at 3088 Poplar is the original location, dating back to 1976. “Everything was always made here: croissants, Danish, bread,” Amagliani says. “Several European people actually started it. They brought in a French bread baker and a French pastry chef because there was nothing like that in Memphis. I guess they longed for the European style of pastries and crusty bread and what have you. They brought in those folks and they were here for several years and actually trained some of the people that are here now.” He continues, “It’s my understanding that when the place first opened we had French bread, croissants, and the full selection of both cold pastries and breakfast pastries. We made eclairs from scratch.” They began serving lunch at the old Erin Drive location sometime in the late ’70s, he says. As for their most popular sweet pastry, Amagliani says it’s La Baguette’s almond croissant. “It’s a croissant like you would have with the chicken salad,” he says. “It’s sliced and it has frangipani [almond paste] in the center of the croissant. And then it has some frangipane smeared on top and almonds put on top of it. That is our most popular dry pastry.” La Baguette is located at 3088 Poplar in Chickasaw Oaks Plaza.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JON W. SPARKS
La Baguette manager Gene Amagliani, bistro manager Elizabeth Jackson, and assistant manager Hadley Butler with their iconic chicken salad on a baguette and spicy tomato soup combo.
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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY VISIT SOUTH WALTON
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SHOULD FLORIDA’S BE NEXT ON YOUR PANDEMIC-SAFE TRAVEL LIST?
BY CHRIS McCOY J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 21
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previous pages: The Dolphin Reef is one of four artiﬁcial reefs created by the nonproﬁt South Walton Artiﬁcial Reef Foundation to provide havens for sea life and destinations for snorkelers. Other reefs are shaped like a seahorse, a sea turtle, and a cobia ﬁsh. above: The Pearl, a 55-room boutique hotel, is located in the heart of Rosemary Beach, Florida. right: The Pearl’s rooms look out over Rosemary Beach’s Eastern Green to the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
But around the turn of the century, the coast began to change. Kristen Moss grew up in Navarre Beach, between Pensacola and Fort Walton. “It used to be, when you went over the bridge, the only thing there was a Holiday Inn and Juana’s, which is still there — a little hut that’s right there on the Intercoastal,” she says. “Now, it’s just covered with houses and condos. It’s not the pristine little beach island it used to be.” The march of development was probably inevitable, but if you could point to a moment in time when the area started to take off, it was the summer of 1998. “The first knowledge I had of highway 30A was The Truman Show,” says Memphian Rick Spell. The science-fiction comedy, starring Jim Carrey as a man who discovers his whole life has been a twisted reality show, was filmed in Seaside, Florida. The 80-acre planned community halfway between Fort Walton and Panama City was chosen for the film because it was shiny and new — and a little surreal. Designed from the ground up in the early 1980s by superstar
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY ST. JOE HOSPITALIT Y
his isn’t the Gulf Coast of your childhood. Sure, the pristine, white beaches and quiet, turquoise waters have always been there. But, for most of the twentieth century, Florida’s major tourist destinations were concentrated in the southern part of the state. There, travelers flocked to the glitz of Miami’s South Beach, the spring break mecca of Fort Lauderdale, the roar of racingobsessed Daytona, and the history of Cape Canaveral and the Space Coast. Along the Panhandle’s Gulf Coast, there wasn’t much between Panama City and Pensacola except seagulls and fishing boats.
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A boardwalk winds through the rippling dunes at Rosemary Beach.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY VISIT SOUTH WALTON
architects Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, are the primary modes of travel — one bike trail runs along the coast almost the entire length of 30A. Seaside was the flagship community for New Urban“The streets in Rosemary Beach are really for parkism, a planning philosophy that rejected sidewalk-less suburbia in favor of compact, walkable communities ing,” says Moss. “You go down the street and you see where residents’ needs were all in easy reach. After all the garages, but really the focus is where the houses the success of The Truman Show, which was face one another. The true front door is nominated for three Academy Awards and facing somebody else’s front door. And so, “You see things that won three Golden Globes, tourists turned you come out of your house, and there is are reminiscent of their attention to the unspoiled area along your neighbor.” says Moss. “They wanted the old Caribbean, Florida State Route 30A. to maintain a sense of community. It’s a Nowadays, Moss is director of ownNeo-Traditional neighborhood, so they or even over into er services and marketing for Rosemary wanted people to be able to come out and Europe. It is a meet their neighbors. The intention of the Beach Cottage Rental Company. Located eight miles down the road from Seacommunity was to have the town center, special place. We side, Rosemary Beach was designed by where you could do a little bit of shoplike to say it’s sort of Duany Plater-Zyberk, the two architects’ ping and dining, but to be able to have Miami-based firm, in 1995, applying the single-family homes and residences, so like going to Europe lessons New Urbanism had learned over that you’re not overburdening the area.” without a passport.” the previous decades. The 107-acre cluster David Merryman, general manager — Kristen Moss of cottages and shops sports a distinctive of The Pearl, the only hotel in Rosemary look, says Moss. “It’s pan-Caribbean arBeach, says that’s part of what makes the 30A area unique. “When you go to the beach and you chitecture. There are influences from Charleston, and look to our East, you see the crescent of towers at Panalso from New Orleans. And you see things that are ama City Beach, he says. “You’re reminded that we’ re reminiscent of the old Caribbean, or even over into Europe, for instance in the Mercado building in the in kind of a — I don’t want to say a remote place — but town center. It is a special place. We like to say that it’s we’re much less developed, tourism-wise, than say, sort of like going to Europe without a passport.” South Florida. The New Urbanism of Duany Plater-Zyberk posits “Along the whole 30A stretch between Destin and that the built environment plays a large part in creating Panama City Beach that we’re part of, you don’t have the high-rise condos, and it’s beautiful,” he continues. the social life of the community. Walkability is crucial “This stretch of road runs right on the coast, and you to the design. Walking or biking the extensive network always have glimpses of the water in between houses. of trails that snake through the community and beyond
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top: Rosemary Beach’s pan-Carribean architecture reflects influences from Charleston to San Juan. above: Cafes dot the retro brick streets. right: Biking is the primary way to get around the 30A area. Bike trails radiate outwards from Rosemary Beach, connecting the coastal communities.
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It’s kind of a throwback — coastal Florida as a lot of people remember it when they were kids.”
And if you’re walking to your own private cottage, you can easily maintain social distancing. Rick Spell says Rosemary Beach and nearby Alys f your vision of visiting the Florida Beach have been popular redoubts for many of his coast involves long elevator rides down to bustling Memphis friends during the long quarantine. “The lobbies, then walking along bare concrete in the blazpandemic created an environment where you wanted ing sun to find a spot on a crowded beach, to be outside, so you could travel by car to The relatively low you will find Rosemary Beach a refreshing get down there,” he says. “There were a lot alternative. “You can take a quiet walk of people working from home, and their population density down a boardwalk under a tree canopy, kids might’ve been homeschooled. A lot of the area has so you’re not sweltering while you’re going of the parents had homes down there, or made it a popular from your house to the beach and back rented homes, and it was just easier and again,” says Merryman. “Everything that more enjoyable to be down there than it destination during they did was very purposeful, and they was to be stuck in a home up here.” the pandemic era. wanted people to have green spaces. They While the pandemic has devastated blocked off some pretty good real estate most of the travel industry, the 30A area On the beach, to be able to have two Gulf-front greens. has been booming. Moss says her rentals the constant You can go east to west or north to south, were full most of last summer, and their breeze and bright to the beach and back, and not ever have busy season was extended for weeks. “Beto get on a road.” cause so many children are still doing virsunshine make tual learning and businesses have evolved Visitors can get a taste of New Urbanism transmission of the by the water from the Rosemary Beach to allow people to work from home,” she Cottage Rental Company. “We manage says, “we’ve seen a big influx of fall resnovel coronavirus over 200 properties,” says Moss. “It’s evervations from people realizing, ‘Hey, I unlikely. erything from studio carriage houses — can change my four walls and give my which are apartment-style accommodations above family something else to do in between their schoolthe garage, like a mother-in-law’s quarters — up to a ing.’ They’re coming to the beach to get away from nine-bedroom home.” the things that are happening in their hometown and The relatively low population density of the area has staying for a week or so. You know, October is a great made it a popular destination during the pandemic era. time to be at the beach. The sunsets are spectacular, On the beach, the constant breeze and bright sunshine the weather is mild and you can still get out there, get some sunshine, and go to the pools.” make transmission of the novel coronavirus unlikely.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY VISIT SOUTH WALTON
above: Wildlife thrives along 30A. below: The placid beach lakes and inlets attract paddleboarders and kayakers.
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How to travel during the covid-19 pandemic BY CHRIS MCCOY
PHOTOGRAPH BY JESSE DAVIS
o you want to get away for a little break before the vaccine gets to you. Understand that your trip is going to involve some risk, but there are ways to mitigate it. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family healthy on the road. Stick to the basics. We’ve learned a lot about how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads in the year since it ﬁrst emerged in Wuhan, China, but the basic advice on how to avoid infection hasn’t changed — with one major exception. The virus is spread by tiny droplets expelled from the mouth or nose when a person breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks, or sings. Wear a mask. Masks prevent the droplets from spreading very far. A reusable cloth mask offers the wearer some degree of protection, but if you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to get some N95 or KN95 masks, which ﬁlter out at least 95 percent of the respiratory droplets. It’s also possible (although less likely) for you to catch the virus by touching a surface where the droplets have landed and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. That’s why you should wash your hands frequently. Soap and water work best in deactivating viral particles, but alcohol-based hand sanitizers are ﬁne for most situations. Most of the droplets fall out of the air quickly, so you should practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from people outside your household. However, it has recently been conﬁrmed that the virus can be transmitted by smaller particles which can hang in the air for hours. “Aerosol transmission” is unpredictable, but again, there are ways — ﬁrst and foremost wearing an N95 or KN95 mask — to mitigate risk. Inhaling a few viral particles probably won’t get you sick, but in poorly ventilated indoor spaces with lots of people, a cloud of droplets develop which can deliver a dangerous viral load. Therefore, avoid crowded indoor spaces. While you’re on the road, pack a lunch to avoid exposure at roadside cafes. If you stop for fast food, use the drive-through. Plan your pit stops. Before you leave, check the places along your route, and avoid those with high rates of COVID-19. Public bathrooms can be dangerous, so if you stop at one that doesn’t look clean, move along. In any case, do your business, wash your hands, and leave as quickly as possible. Use hand sanitizers when you return to your car. Once you arrive at your destination, control your environment. If you’re staying at a hotel, check their viral protocols and cleanliness beforehand. Don’t dally in the lobby. If you’re traveling with family, you might ﬁnd a rental cottage or condo with its own kitchen where you can maintain your household pod. With constant breeze and sunshine to clear the air, beaches are great as long as they are not crowded — just skip the smoky beachside bar afterwards. And if you’re going to a restaurant, by all means, eat outdoors and try to keep your distance from other diners.
Waiting for a table at George’s.
As opposed to the longer-term stays Rosemary Beach’s cottages encourage, Merryman says, “Our average stay is about three days long. They’re coming down to get to the beach, because the beaches are phenomenal, the best in the country. They really just want to have that beautiful beach day, get out into the water, and go out at night, because there’s so many great little restaurants in Rosemary and Alys Beach, in Watercolor and Seaside, and all up and down 30A. The culinary scene is much more elevated than you would expect. I think we have a pretty sophisticated group of travelers, and so you’ve got really good restaurants.” The Pearl’s restaurant is The Havana Beach Bar and Grill, which Merryman says serves up “Coastal cuisine with a Caribbean flair. We just finished doing a little upgrade to the dining room and added a full lounge to the bar. It was actually modeled after El Floridita, which was rumored to be Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bar and watering hole down in Havana.” Just across the street from The Pearl is another of Rosemary Beach’s dozen restaurants. Edward’s is a
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY VISIT SOUTH WALTON
ottage rentals weren’t the only thing in demand. The Pearl’s 55 rooms have been hot commodities during the pandemic. “Actually 30A and the whole South Walton area may have been the most successful area in the country during the pandemic, because it has a reputation as not being very dense,” says Merryman. “Visitors were up 11 percent, occupancy was up 5 percent, and room rate was up 8 percent — just huge, huge gains. It seems that we have found a lot of new travelers, people who have just discovered us, because they were not able to go on their regularly scheduled vacations to Europe, to South America, to Mexico, to the Caribbean.” Merryman says the boutique hotel has added stringent covid-19 precautions to their usual high standards of service. “The last thing that we want is any of our guests falling ill, and we don’t want any of our employees falling ill, either,” he says. “We really partnered with our sanitation companies to implement best practices and make sure we’re doing proper surface cleaning.” Masks are now part of the uniform. Merryman tells his staff, “Let your eyes smile, and let everyone know that you’re happy to see them. We’re doing this for everyone’s protection. Thankfully, since we reopened in early May, we’ve had no instances of any of our guests calling back saying, ‘Hey, we’ve been sick and we want to let you know.’ We’ve been very, very lucky with that, but I think you just have to stay vigilant.”
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fine-dining establishment owned by the Spell Restaurant Group, along with East Memphis’ Brookhaven Pub & Grill and Babalu in Overton Square. “It’s beach casual, but a little more upscale,” says Rick Spell. ”You can come in with shorts, and half of the seating is outside.” Outdoor dining is in demand during the pandemic, which Spell says has worked to the advantage of his six Gulf Coast eateries. A former investment banker originally from California, Spell first came to 30A when he bought the legendary George’s at Alys Beach.
George’s doesn’t take reservations, and there’s usually a line to get in. But that doesn’t stop it from being a favorite of the Gulf Coast glitterati. “I believe that George’s is the most popular restaurant in the South, because people from so many cities know about it,” he says. He recalls what his friend, banker David Popwell, said when he heard Spell had purchased George’s. “He said, ‘Rick, I don’t even go to my home down there. The first thing I do is drive straight to George’s and get the grouper sandwich.’” George’s doesn’t take reservations, and there’s usually a line to get in. But that doesn’t stop it from being a favorite of the Gulf Coast glitterati, such as Nashville country stars, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Alabama coach Nick Saban, and former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam. Christy Spell Terry, who relocated to the 30A area from the Bluff City to manage the family’s growing culinary empire, says it’s home away from home for many Memphians. “It was funny. I guess it was probably our first trip down here to meet with the prior owners, and it was Memphis fall break week,” she says. “Nobody knew the restaurant was for sale. We were trying to be very low-key and not draw any attention to ourselves. We go to George’s at 5, because you need to get there early if you don’t want to wait. And we saw eight tables of people from Memphis that we knew!” George’s sister restaurant is La Cocina, a beloved Mexican restaurant nestled between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach on 30A. The Spells closed the restaurant in late 2020 for an extensive remodel. It reopened in the new year with a new name, LaCo. “The remodel is going to be really different,” Spell says. We’re completely redoing the bar, and I think people will enjoy that.” Terry says the dining public is getting much more sophisticated about the cuisine, so the restaurant had to evolve. “We have a lot of Texans in the area. Everybody has their preconceived notion of what Mexican food should be, and there’s so many different types
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of Mexican. And so you either expected what we were serving, or you didn’t.” Terry wanted a transition to a more Latin coastal menu. “We were able to hire a chef, Eric Bartholomew, who was out of Denver, and he had experience in that specific type of kitchen,” he says. “He has been able to revamp our menu and upscale it tremendously. The feedback and reception from the locals and our guests has just been absolutely fabulous. So now we’re getting to our last step in that process. We don’t like to make a lot of big changes too quickly. LaCo is both a shortened version of La Cocina and short for ‘LAtin COastal.’”
“Even in the off season, it’s beautiful down here. It gets dark early now, and the sun, when it set last night, was the deepest, most brilliant orange color that I had ever seen.” — David Merryman
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ick Spell says that, even though he grew up surfing on the California coast, his greatest affection is for the beaches of 30A. “You’ve got a beautiful area that’s upscale where people go to just have fun,” he says. “We call it fantasy land. It’s just a different environment, where people are down here to have a good time, and it’s our job to assist them in having a good time.” Merryman says even for the professionals at The Pearl, the natural beauty of 30A never gets old. “Even in the off season, it’s beautiful down here,” he says. “Last night, the staff and I were getting ready for dinner service. It gets dark here early now, and the sun, when it set last night, was the deepest, most brilliant orange color that I had ever seen. We all literally stopped setting tables and lighting candles. I looked around and we were all looking at it, going, ‘That’s just beautiful.’ And that says something, when all of us who work here every single day have to kind of pause and look out at what you’ve got, take a step back, and say, this is amazing.”
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY VISIT SOUTH WALTON
Love a little, die a little and break the law.
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Shelby Farms Park + Greenline are community treasures! Keeping them clean, green and open is an increasingly big job, and we need your support to ensure that daily operations can continue without interruption in a time when the community needs them the most. Will you please make an impactful gift today, making it count more than ever before?
12/16/20 3:58 PM
The city of Wilson, Arkansas, hosts weekly wine tastings and occasional wine dinners throughout the year as part of the Wilson Wine Experience. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY WILSON WINE
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THE WILSON WINE EXPERIENCE SPEND AN EVENING WINING AND DINING AT ONE OF THE MID-SOUTH’S HIDDEN GEMS. BY SAMUEL X. CICCI
Socially-distanced Wilson Wine events are held at many locations around town, including the historic Wilson theater and the town square. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY WILSON WINE
glass tea kettle sheds its crystal transparency for a vibrant golden hue accentuated by low candlelight. As the tea steeps, various local dishes are whisked out to the table, accompanied by curated wine selec-
tions from all over the world. Over the course of several hours, it’s a culinary journey through the five senses, an escape from the mundanities of the city and everyday life as you simply sit and enjoy the food in the moment. And it’s all within a quick drive from Memphis.
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menu is ready. The November dinner welcomed guests to the historic Wilson theater, with attendees required to wear masks, and parties seated at tables spaced at least six feet apart, in line with covid-19 safety requirements. Titled “Be Thankful,” the event was created to have diners reflect on the spirit of Thanksgiving. Chef Roberto Barth, center, is responsible for the menu at each Wilson Wine Dinner. Many of his dishes draw on regional themes and ingredients, but with his own unique twists.
ach dinner consists of multiple courses. Before the meal proper starts, guests sample glasses of wine and two appetizers, a roasted pumpkin soup, and a chicken liver mousse combined with an apple gel. For Mede and Barth, utilizing the five senses is a significant part of the experience. “We eat as a necessity more often than we eat for pleasure,” says Mede. “So we want to slow it down, accentuate your senses, and really have diners be present in the moment. For the Be Thankful dinner, we wanted to instill a kind of peace or calmness, a thankfulness he Wilson Wine Experience is a series of wine for all that we have.” The first course, braised pork cheek croquette, inditastings and dinners just 45 minutes up I-55 in the small town cates Barth’s eagerness to explore new avenues for his of Wilson, Arkansas (population just under 1,000). The city dishes. “I love the pork cheek,” he says. “It’s a cut that was founded as a company town by Robert E. Lee Wilson in 1886, and not a lot of people use, and you won’t usually find it on menus, but it’s delicious.” Barth’s croquettes are fried, remained under Wilson Company ownership until the twenty-first and placed over a pesto purée made from Swiss chard century. But how did a logging and sawmill town with surprising tops. The dish is paired with pickled onions and has a little bit of a smoked flavor. “We want you to smell this dish,” he says. “It’s very Tudor-style English architecture become the site for a wine getaway? seasonal right now [in November], when they’re harIn 2010, the Wilson family looked to sell their land, and it was quickly snapped up vesting cotton and burning the fields. You get that by The Lawrence Group, a company with farmland holdings in five states, orange sense of smell throughout.” groves in Florida, the Heitz vineyard and winery in Napa Valley, California, ownerAfter the savory croquettes, Barth balances out ship of one of the country’s largest HVAC distributors, and plenty more holdings. the palate with a sweet (but not too much) diversion. The group, headed up by Gaylon Lawrence Jr., made it its mission to revitalize Wilson The roasted apple tart is made from apples cultivated in the Wilson orchard across from the theater, and he and transform the town into a tourist destination for the Delta. Two members of the Lawrence Group have their boots on the ground in Wilson adds a smoky and salty bacon jam accompaniment. to help guide the wine experiences forward. Norbert Mede, vice president of opChampagne vinaigrette and dandelion greens round erations for Wilson, arrived there in April of 2020 and quickly got to work. By July, out the plate. the Wilson Wine Experience was served to the public. “Finally, instead of just having the “We eat as a necessity Chef Roberto Barth has been in the area a little longer. A former apple tart, we also include a nice little personal chef to Lawrence, he was stationed in Wilson five-and-asweet apple chip,” says Barth. “That gives more often than we half years ago and knows the area well. He heads up the Wilson Café us a way to utilize that ingredient in a eat for pleasure. So & Tavern and is also heavily involved in monitoring The Grange, an couple of different ways.” we want to slow it event venue and agricultural site in town. That made the transition The third course sees Barth put his to organizing wine-based hospitality events much easier. spin on the Oysters and Pearls dish made down, accentuate your “When Gaylon started looking at investment in California several famous by chef and restaurateur Thomas senses, and really have years ago, that’s when he really got interested in wine,” says Barth. Keller. “It’s not an original menu item, diners be present in “Here in Wilson is where we started moving from kind of a private but I thought I could put my own little unique twist on it to play with the sensatmosphere to something that would be more in the public eye. So the moment. For the Be es,” says Barth. Using a white wine butwe had these conversations about creating unique experiences and Thankful dinner, we utilizing some of these old buildings that are already here.” ter sauce as the base, he poaches it at the At first, the Wilson Wine Experience started out simply as wine last minute and adds tapioca as the pearl wanted to instill a kind tastings, but as the year progressed, Lawrence sat down with Barth to element. “Then we put in a chive garof peace or calmness, come up with new ideas for the concept. “We started doing the tastnish,” says Barth. “It really adds a unique a thankfulness for ings in July, and we were doing them pretty consistently every week,” mouth feel and creativity to the dish.” explains Mede. “But when Roberto and I reopened the restaurant The courses are split by the intermezall that we have.” [Wilson Café] after the covid-19 shutdown, we knew there was an zo: a kettle of tea that has been slowly — Norbert Mede opportunity there to try something else out. We kicked around some steeping since the Be Thankful dinner details, and since Roberto has experience with these types of events, we thought began. When diners sit down for the evening, they having a Wilson Wine Dinner made for a natural progression.” discover a plate with helpings of mint, coriander, and When it comes to creating a new dinner, Mede describes himself as the instigator, lemon. Guests are able to choose how much of each but Barth as the alchemist. The pair comes up with a list of themes, and then Barth ingredient they load into the kettle, making the flavor creates a menu around those ideas. Mede shops around both locally and nationally profile a bit different at every table, and allowing them to find the right wines to pair with Barth’s dishes, and once that’s completed, the to really tailor it to specific tastes. The kettle’s hue
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grows ever more golden as the time flies by, providing a nice visual marker at the candlelit tables and making everone feel like participants in the dinner. “We didn’t want to go too overboard with anything,” says Barth, “but thought it would make for a nice, refreshing option before resuming the food.” And the intermezzo sets the stage for what might be the highlight of the evening. Barth’s braised short rib might just be one of the tenderest cuts of meat I’ve ever tasted, delicately falling from the bone and providing no resistance as I bite into it. “I thought it would be fun to just keep a nice classical dish there,” he says. “It’s a nicer grade braised short rib on the bone; we butcher it in-house, serve it with parsnip puree and roasted squash, and add a nice demi-glace.” Barth closes the Be Thankful dinner with a “Cotton Roll” panna cotta with mango gel, a tribute to the region. “You see the cotton bales in this region,” he says, “and you see them tied together with a nice orange wrapping around them. For years, I’ve thought, ‘How can I make this into a dessert?’ And that was where the inspiration came from. For the vanilla panna cotta with the mango gel on the outside, it kind of represents the cotton bales in this region. I serve it up with some nice pistachios, a little coconut, and an almond cream. It’s not going overboard, and I try to keep the flavors simple so they work well together.”
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SAMUEL X. CICCI
WILSON LOOKING FORWARD
ith tastings and dinners well under way, Mede and Barth want to continue expanding the programming they offer as part of the Wilson Wine Experience. The weekly wine tastings have been popular and well received by the surrounding areas, says Mede, but covid-19 has kept the number of participants to a small amount in each group. In December, the duo followed up the Be Thankful event with a Christmas in Europe progressive dinner. That saw diners not only move through several courses curated by Chef Barth, but also move around the town to different venues in Wilson. That progression is a key part of the experience. In between courses, Mede will get up in front of the crowd to explain the nature of the forthcoming dish: which senses it seeks to stimulate, why they chose it as a course, and what he hopes diners will take away from it. It’s just another piece of the puzzle, and one that Mede hopes to embellish moving forward. “I really want to make a continued effort on the educational component of this,” he says. “I think we’ll do six wine dinners next year , and Roberto and I really motivate each other to innovate. We really push each other to create unique experiences; it’s not just the event; it’s exploring how we can really shape our own future, create our own story. It’s an extremely important thing to both Roberto and myself, that we can put Wilson on the map. And I think we have, regionally, in the short time we’ve been collaborating.” As Mede and Barth plan for next year, they want to continue pushing the envelope when it comes to crafting experiences. Luckily for participants, they still have plenty of ideas left in the tank. One event they had lined up before it had to be canceled was a Harvest Moon festival in October. “We’d have people out there, under the
BE THANKFUL DINNER MENU Preamble yY
Roasted pumpkin soup, candied ginger, toasted pumpkin seeds; Chicken liver paté, apple gel, crostini Chateau du Ponce Fleurie 2016 — gamay, france
The Main Event yY
Pork cheek croquette Cuerno Ribera Del Duero 2015 — spain (SMELL)
^6 Roasted apple tart with bacon jam, autumn greens, champagne vinaigrette Mer Soleil Unoaked Chardonnay 2017 — monterrey, california (TASTE)
Oysters and Pearls Joao Ramos Vinho Verde 2019 — portugal (SIXTH SENSE)
^6 Infused autumn tea intermezzi Self-created — wilson, ark ansas (TOUCH)
^6 Braised short ribs Primus The Blend 2015 — chile (SOUND)
^6 “Cotton Roll” panna cotta, mango gel Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 2019 — columbia valley (SIGHT)
from top to bottom: Pork cheek croquettes; roasted apple tart with bacon jam; Oysters and Pearls; infused autumn tea; braised short ribs.
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Members of the Memphis String Quartet serenaded diners throughout the evening.
In the mood to try your hand at some of Barth’s creations? That’s an option as well. “We’re going to bring back cooking classes, which I’m extremely passionate about,” he says. “We’ll do it in the kitchen space we have over at the café. It’s a little dependent on covid, but we’ve got a wide-open space that people can safely social distance in and have a comfortable environment. When the time is right, Norbert will come up with an idea in his head, and we’ll get going in that direction.” For Mede, this is just the beginning of what Wilson can offer. “We’re pulling regionally,” he says, “but we’re starting to see more people arrive at our events from a wider range. We’ve got Memphis, of course, but then Jonesboro, Little Rock, folks from Missouri. When the hotel is ready, we’re going to target St. Louis. Then we can start adding more things. Maybe wine weekends, wine festivals, a tasting room, different classes, even symposium seminars. We will involve multiple wineries and food-related entities, and just layer on the whole experience we have here.”
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SAMUEL X. CICCI
full moon rising over the fields,” says Mede. “It would have been an amazing night.” With a new hotel nearing completion on the Wilson town square, expect to see more features added to the Wilson Wine Experience. That might include a wine cellar where guests can purchase vintages featured in each dinner. And with more places for guests to stay, Mede is mulling over bringing in additional guest chefs, or representatives from a wider array of vineyards, to partner with Barth. More focused dinner events are in the works, as well. “I’m thinking about taking this experience and paring it down a little,” says Barth. “We might see three to four courses and have a real chef’s table experience at the café or in one of our private gardens. It’s another great way to introduce some fun, unique dishes that are one of a kind. And again, we’d pair it either with vineyards within the company, or curated wines from Norbert.”
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12/17/20 12:13 PM
Thank you to our 2021 Mid-South Go Red for Women Leadership! Susan Springfield Chief Credit Officer, First Horizon 2021 Go Red for Women Chair
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Join us for National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5, 2021! The phrase (word mark) Go Red for WomenÂŽ is a registered trademark of the American Heart Association, Inc., and is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It is appropriate and necessary when using this phrase to notice its registration pursuant to Section 29 of the Trademark Act, which may be given by use of the ÂŽ symbol.
12/17/20 11:59 AM
M E M P H I S
Your 2021 Guide to Renovation and Modernization
They say home is where the hearth is. This year, it’s also where you might set up an office. In 2020, the home has taken center stage, with many people working full-time at their place of residence due to covid-19. That means it’s more important than ever to make the home into the best fit for you. Luckily, the West Tennessee Home Builders Association has plenty of professionals to help you along with any project. Read on for our 2021 guide to making the most of your space. P H O T O GR A P H Y B Y H A NN A H J O YC E
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President’s Message By Trey Sowell,
President, West Tennessee Home Builders Association
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heltering-in-place restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have sparked a surge in DIY projects. People are spending more time at home and undertaking projects that accommodate changes to their lifestyle. For those who are prepared and have the proper skills, DIY projects can be rewarding and fun. But before you start knocking down walls and taking out wiring, ask yourself the following questions: ◗ Do you have a clear idea of what you want the project to look like? ◗ Have you ever undertaken a project like this before? ◗ Do you know everything you will need (materials, tools, etc.) to complete the project? ◗ Where will you obtain the necessary materials? ◗ Are you familiar with the applicable building codes and permits? ◗ Do you enjoy physical labor? ◗ Do you have the necessary skills for this project? If not, do you have the time and resources to learn these skills? ◗ If you cannot complete the project according to your original schedule, are you (and your family) prepared to handle the resulting inconvenience? ◗ Do you understand the safety issues (i.e., lead paint, asbestos, or job site dangers)? ◗ Are you familiar with the architecture and structural makeup of your home (i.e., how knocking down one wall will affect the rest of the structure)? ◗ Have you considered the hidden costs associated with doing it yourself – time, tools, and the possibility that you may actually decrease the value of your house if the result isn’t up to a professional standard? It is easy to look at the cost of hiring a professional remodeler and think only of labor and materials. But remember that a professional remodeler offers you an important contin u ed on page 40
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% 1 FOR 6 MONTHS APR
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Offer valid as of 10/1/2020 and is subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Offer applies to new HELOCs only. 1% APR is valid for 6 months from opening. After 6 months standard APRs will apply. Standard APRs are variable and are based on Wall Street Journal Prime Rate plus a margin of -0.25% to 4.5%. Minimum standard APR is 4% and maximum APR is 18%. As of 9/14/2020, the standard APR is 4% to 7.75% APR. Offer applies to lines from $20,000 to $250,000. Loans are subject to approval. Other restrictions may apply.
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Have you looked at your trees lately? contin u ed from page 3 8
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service – years of experience, the right tools, a network of suppliers and subcontractors, and an in-depth understanding of legal regulations, cost estimating, scheduling, and the latest construction techniques and materials. When you hire a licensed, insured contractor, you’ll have peace of mind knowing only qualiﬁed sub-contractors will do the plumbing, wiring, and mechanical work on your project. The West Tennessee Home Builders Association represents licensed and insured remodelers who will get your job done correctly the ﬁrst time. To ﬁnd a list of WTNHBA Remodeler members, please go to the West Tennessee Home Builders Association web site at www. westtnhba.com. You can also search the National Association of Home Builders Directory of Professional Remodelers, www.nahb.org/ remodelerdirectory, to ﬁnd a remodeler with the experience, educational qualiﬁcations, and knowledge to do the job right – the ﬁrst time.
Chairman’s Message By Eric Catmur
Chairman, Remodelers Council of WTNHBA
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We are pleased to announce that Jeff Blakeney has joined our firm as Affiliate Broker. Jeff and his wife, Melanie, work as a team to serve their valued clients. Please join us in welcoming Jeff to Marx-Bensdorf!
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s we spend more time at home, our living space is taking on a whole new meaning. Our home is our ofﬁce — our classroom — our safe haven. Yet ﬁnding space in our homes to accommodate all these uses can be exacting. The Remodelers Council understands the challenges homeowners face. Our goal is to provide you with quality services from vetted professionals you can trust when altering existing rooms to ﬁt a new role, adding additional spaces to your home, or just updating features like lighting, ﬂooring, wall covering, and appliances. We can even help you turn your backyard into the outdoor oasis of your dreams. If you are planning on remodeling your home, visit westtnhba.com for useful information on the do’s and don’ts of the process. Then give us a call! We’ll keep the headaches to a minimum and the production to the maximum so you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your home will be the sanctuary you envision – a place to work – a place to play – a place where you and your family can build memories together.
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12/16/20 2:42 PM
Mediterranean Magic in Midtown A smooth remodeling process pays dividends for one Midtown couple. By Samuel X. Cicci
or a professional couple living in Midtown with their two kids, it was time for a change. They were happy with their overall property and their location relative to things happening in Memphis, but the house certainly needed some work done to make it more functional for their family and lifestyle. As it stood, the original design had the house split into three separate structures, and the homeowners needed a way to combine them into one distinct building. With the help of RKA Construction, architect Charles Shipp, and designer Biggs Powell, a smooth remodel turned the home into a modern Mediterranean-style abode. When RKA Construction came on the scene, the family had already lived in the area for several years. In fact, the husband had grown up in the area, so staying at their current residence was important to the family. The older home, originally built in 1925, was in good shape, but had a few characteristics that needed changing. “The house had been renovated a couple of times over the years, but it was very choppy,” says Hans Bauer, director of pre-construction at RKA Construction. “You had this main part of the house, with an attached guest house that was not very usable space. And then it was attached by a breezeway, and then attached by another breezeway. What they wanted to ultimately do
was blend their three pieces of the house together into one cohesive space and make it much more functional.” The homeowners also wanted to update the bathrooms and kitchen, and turn the old guesthouse into a family room-type area with a utility space for laundry. When it came to starting construction, RKA didn’t change much of the exterior. They left the Mediterranean-style, stucco house as-is, and also retained the Spanish tile roof. Shipp and Powell, meanwhile, identiﬁed some of the interior design choices that needed to be changed. “It was bittersweet for the family to change some of these rooms,” says Bauer, “but they were too outdated. They had this old-school pink porcelain tub, and a toilet and sink that matched. The other bathroom was the same kind of deal, but with a green tub, pedestal, sink, and toilet. It was kind of neat, but not super-functional for the modern day.” RKA didn’t add any square footage when connecting the three separate structures, but did dig deep into the foundations of the house when redoing some of the rooms. And when pulling the guts of the house down to the studs, the layout did change slightly to accommodate some of the renovations. For the main house, RKA ﬁrst tackled the
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12/16/20 2:45 PM
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ABOVE: While the homeowners were attached to the previous designs, the bathrooms needed to be updated to a more modern standard. Out went the dated pink and green aesthetics, and in came many new features, including a steam shower in the master bath, new tiles and finishes, a large tub complete with marble deck, and custom vanities.
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bathrooms and the kitchen. In the master bathroom, they added a steam shower, a large tub with a marble deck, and a custom vanity. The kids’ bathroom saw the implementation of a Jack and Jill bath, complete with new tiles, new ﬁnishes, and a custom vanity. Moving on to the kitchen, RKA changed it into a wider space that would be easier to navigate. “We opened it up to where the kitchen and breakfast rooms are a little more cohesive,” says Bauer. “We also installed
these really nice-looking cabinets by Midtown Cabinetry and Millwork.” Next up came the ﬁrst breezeway that connected to the guest room. They enclosed that space and bolstered the guest area with a vaulted, tongue-and-groove plank ceiling and a new ﬁreplace. “Where the kitchen and bathroom were, we had a new bathroom and utility room take their place,” says Bauer. “In that area, with the hall and that space, we did a brick
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Enter for a chance to win one of three prizes: A six month membership to the YMCA or one of two personal training packages. QUIZ 1: January 11 - 16
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The biggest priority for RKA and the homeowners was connecting the house’s three disparate structures. The old breezeways were transformed into enclosed hallways, making for a more cohesive home.
meetings with RKA, the architect, and the designer to address any issues that might arise. “They really helped make this project easy,” says Bauer. “They were always there if a decision needed to be made, were willing to go pick up materials, things like that.” And while even the best-laid plans can go awry, the team was able to overcome all the obstacles that cropped up during construction. Chief among their concerns were those of the aesthetic variety. “For the tower roof they had, it’s sometimes tough to ﬁnd the right tile match, so that was a bit of a challenge,” explains Bauer. “Same thing with the home being pink stucco. Matching that exact color was difﬁcult, too.” Finally, there were the standard issues of melding new additions with older construction. “With any old home, just tying into existing systems, older cast-iron pipes, and things like that with modern electrical and modern plumbing — it’s always a challenge getting those things to work together.” These were basic challenges for Bauer and RKA, but nothing out of the ordinary, especially when a talented team is on-site to jump over any hurdle. Bauer lauds everyone involved with the Midtown Mediterranean project. “Being able to work with Charles Shipp and Biggs Powell was really great for us. The homeowners were very ﬂexible about modiﬁcations and changes, and getting over any hiccups that we faced. It’s always best for a project when the people involved can really work as a team. And I felt like we all made a great team on this project.”
P H O T O GR A P H Y B Y H A NN A H J O YC E
Your stuff builds homes.
paver ﬂoor, which turned out very nice. They’re not quite herringbone, but they’re in a really neat pattern.” The guest room now also has a new back door. A staircase, which used to loop up to the second ﬂoor outside the house, is now indoors and leads up to extra ofﬁce and attic space. “We enclosed everything, like we’ve mentioned earlier, to just make the whole house more cohesive,” says Bauer. Overall, the whole remodeling process went very smoothly. Bauer’s crew began construction in late October 2018, and wrapped it up in just under a year. With the homeowners living in the house, RKA wanted to ensure they stayed in the home as much as possible. “With any project, and on older houses especially, there are always a few lingering issues,” says Bauer. “But we got those wrapped up pretty quickly. So the family spent just under a year out of the house.” Throughout, the family was fully committed to helping along the process. The homeowners had regular site
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WTNHBA Remodelers Council Members List
CATMUR DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
Eric Catmur, Council Chair — 901-680-8200 eric . c at mur @ gm a il . c om ART GETTINGS CONSTRUCTION
Art Gettings — 901-605-9178 a r t ge t t ings @ gm a il . c om
BYRNES OSTNER INVESTMENTS
Tommy Byrnes — 901-681-0499 t omm y @ b y rne s o s t ner . c om CATMUR DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
John Catmur — 901-680-8200 c at murd c @ c omc a s t . ne t
Alan Hargett — 901-363-4141 a h a rge t t @ cen w o od . c om COLONIAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
Cory Wheat — 901-356—1026 c or y @ c ol oni a l el e c t ricc ompa n y . c om
(901) 877-8855 www.MoldTerminatorInc.com
DAVE MOORE COMPANIES
Dave Moore — 901-870-7372 dav e @ dav emo ore c ompa nie s . c om
Mark Beck — 901-610-8226 de signermil lw or x @ gm a il . c om
DESIGNER WHOLESALE KITCHEN BATH AND FLOORS
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The Memphians Cracking the covid-19 Code
We are lucky to have many front-line heroes staffing local hospitals, but Memphis is also home to others working to curtail the coronavirus in less obvious ways. This city bustles with research related to covid-19, and the three pillars of the medical district — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) — are leading the charge. Among these three institutions, often in collaboration with local hospitals or national researchers, scientists are conducting a host of studies. While vaccine trials receive the most media attention, many laboratories are focused on the question of therapeutics: how to respond once SARS-CoV2, aka “the novel coronavirus,” has Jonsson’s lab takes gained traction in the crucial step of a human cell. This testing how molecules work is crucial, even as public health offiaffect the coronavirus cials prepare to roll in real life. out the first vaccines against the virus, because vaccines are never 100 percent effective and rarely universally distributed. And then there are those who’ve already contracted the virus — more than 72 million people worldwide and counting. Hoping to understand the strides being made to stop or slow covid-19, the disease, I spoke with three Memphis-based researchers studying the mysteries of SARS-CoV2 and how the human immune system might best be harnessed to beat it.
BY ALEX GREENE
TESTING MOLECULES OLD AND NEW
PHOTOGRAPH BY BRANDON DILL / COURTESY TENNESSEE ALUMNUS
Dr. Colleen Jonsson
Local research teams have been working to solve the mysteries of the coronavirus.
s 2021 dawns, Coronavirus Disease-19 (covid-19) still ravages the land, and Memphis is in much the same straits as the rest of America. In mid-December, the time of this writing, the Shelby County Health Department reported record high case rates for practically every consecutive week in the past month and half. We’ve averaged more than 500 new cases per day for the past week; nearly a thousand cases were reported on one recent Saturday alone. At the close of 2020, Tennessee was reporting some of the nation’s highest numbers of new positive tests per capita.
r. Colleen Jonsson, director of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) at UTHSC, is working on the front lines, albeit at the microscopic level. That’s the world you inhabit if you’re a professor in the UT Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry. But on the macro level, she relies on a crack team of researchers, and when I connect with her, she tells me she worries about them. “They keep getting taken out of circulation, so they can’t come into the lab,” she says. “Every week I get a new one, pretty much.” One lab worker, she says, quarantined for 24 days after someone in his home tested J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 49
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positive. “It’s really nerve-racking,” she goes on. “But we err on the side of caution with our employees.” Jonsson is anxious to get her lab up to speed, because her team is onto something big — if one can say that about targeting the coronavirus at the molecular level. “We now have a series of brand-new molecules developed in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin, Madison,” she says. “And we have a very attractive molecule that we’re pursuing with that consortium. We’re hoping by the first of the year we’ll have new small molecules designed specifically for the SARS-CoV2. We’re very excited about that.” To understand how important these molecules are, one has to picture human cells not as undifferentiated blobs, like bowls of plain Jell-O, but as collections of large, complex molecules called proteins — more like what the church ladies call “ambrosia,” chock-full of marshmallows, nuts, and fruit. Each protein in a cell helps direct the cell’s activities, but a virus like SARSCoV2 arrives with its own proteins. When the virus docks to a cell, it highjacks that cell’s proteins, and directs them to do one thing: make copies of the virus.
Dr. Josh Wolf
It’s as if your ambrosia turned against you. Therapeutic treatments to slow or eradicate the coronavirus can target different proteins in this process. The new molecules being tested in Jonsson’s lab target the proteins that help the virus make copies of itself. And to get the testing process started, Jonsson relies on the high-powered computers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory near Knoxville, where virtual models of molecular behavior can help predict what will be effective. “They start with known collections of molecules, and dock virtual models of them to a virtual model of the SARS-CoV2 protein,” she says, “and they look for molecules that interact with those proteins and give them a score. Then, based on that scoring, they sent 400 molecules to me, and I screen them in-vitro against the live coronavirus.” In other words, Jonsson’s lab takes the crucial step of testing how the molecules affect the corona“The immune virus in real life. “And then from the live cororesponse is the most navirus,” she says, “we important component confirm that we have one that looks particuto the damage that the larly attractive to follow virus causes.” up on, and make a new, novel molecule target— Dr. Josh Wolf ing the SARS-CoV2.” The goal is to find a molecule that disrupts the virus’s ability to make copies of itself in the cell, like a wrench thrown in the machine. If the replication machinery can’t function, the virus can’t proliferate to other cells or move on to other human victims. Even after the lab identifies a molecule that can disrupt the virus’s functions, it’s another matter to develop a drug that can deliver that molecule to human cells. Which is where other collaborators come in. “I’m not a medicinal chemist,” says Jonsson, “so I work with Jennifer Golden at the University of Wisconsin. She’s taken that chemical matter and now she’s building compounds around it. The reason we do that is we know you’re not going to get anything perfect right off the bat. So she’s adjusting the molecules to increase their potency.” As complex as it may sound, that’s just one of the approaches Jonsson’s lab at UTHSC is pursuing. A similar line of inquiry is being pursued using molecular compounds found in nature, not designed in a lab. Such molecules tend to be larger and far more complex than synthetic ones. Dr. Jerome Baudry at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, used a supercomputer to test 50,000 prospective naturally occurring compounds. Now Jonsson’s lab is testing 125 of the most promising among them. And then there’s her work with pre-existing drugs already approved for other uses. Working with Dr. Tudor Oprea of the University of New Mexico, Jonsson screened many such drugs, ultimately finding three of them — amodiaquine (an antimalarial), zuclopenthixol (an antipsychotic), and nebivolol (a blood pressure medication) — that showed promise against the coronavirus.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ST. JUDE
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Having already been approved and mass-produced for human use, the “repurposed” drugs have a special advantage over newly discovered compounds. “They’re incredibly cheap,” Jonsson tells me, not to mention more easily transported. Ultimately, she says, they may be found to work in combination with remdesivir, which has not been shown to be as effective as researchers originally hoped as a stand-alone therapeutic.
THE HUMAN RESPONSE OVER TIME
eanwhile, a few blocks away, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is conducting research that connects such molecular-level understanding with living humans. And it’s all thanks to the timely way that St. Jude took action back in March, just as the magnitude of the covid-19 threat was becoming apparent. As Dr. Josh Wolf of the infectious disease department explains, Dr. James Downing, president and chief executive officer of St. Jude, “sat in a room with a group of researchers and asked us, ‘Is there something that needs to be done to address this pandemic that only St. Jude can do, or that St. Jude can do better than anyone else in the world? If there is, then St. Jude wants to do it.’”
The study that one team of researchers hit upon then took advantage of having a large pool of well-protected, regularly tested people — St. Jude’s own employees — in close proximity to the research hospital’s scientists. And starting early gave them another advantage: time. The team of about a hundred researchers moved quickly, knowing that every day counted. “We went from having the idea of a study and being asked by Dr. Downing to produce something, to enrolling our first patient in a little under a month,” says Wolf. “That’s a process that normally takes about a year. But that’s just because everyone worked really hard on it. It wasn’t that we were allowed to skip anything or bypass any procedures,” says Wolf. By April, the study enrolled its first subjects, all volunteers from the St. Jude labor pool. And all they had to do, for starters, was provide information and blood. This study was founded on the principle of baseline data. Wolf, who was deeply involved in planning and managing the study’s logistics, puts it this way: “What we’re looking at is two elements. First, we’ve asked people to provide baseline samples over the last several months. Almost 1,300 people provided us with a blood sample, which we then can compare with a sample if they get the coronavirus. And that’s really important, because by the time other research subjects get the coronavirus and give a blood sample, the information in it is already affected by the virus. “Then, we have another unique characteristic,” he continues, “which is that, as a condition of working at St. Jude, people go through coronavirus screening with a nasal swab about once a week. That gives us really precise information St. Jude researchers about when people are infected with the virus, have the opportunity if they get infected, and to study how the also what proportion [of those infected] don’t immune response even have symptoms, might be determined and that was a big quesby each person’s tion at the beginning of the pandemic.” prior history of Indeed, the study was infection with other unique in establishing the health of a cohort so coronaviruses. early in the pandemic, so as to better correlate their medical condition and history with their body’s response to the virus, should they become infected. This helps researchers understand a crucial factor in the severity of the disease: “The immune response,” Wolf says, “is the most important component to the damage that the virus causes.” And that’s where Dr. Paul Thomas, from St. Jude’s immunology department, comes in. “We know all of the different pieces of the virus that are being targeted by your immune system,” says Thomas, “and now we are finding how that varies from person to person. We’ve had the potential to do something special with this group of volunteers, in that we could understand how that immune response might be determined by your prior history.” Researchers can divide the immune response in a number of different ways, Thomas notes, by way of
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ST. JUDE
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explaining what his team looks for when running assays, or tests, of the subjects’ blood samples. “There’s the innate immune response, which is the relatively non-specific inflammatory response that you mount after any kind of infection,” he says. “And then you have your adaptive immune response that is made up of your T-cells and B-cells, that are really specifically targeted to the virus. The difficulty with the T-cell assays is that they have to be somewhat tailored to the specific person you’re looking at.” This gives researchers the opportunity to study how the immune response might be determined by each person’s prior history of infection with other coronaviruses.
“Because we get really well curated, large samples that we have this longitudinal data on, we can train our experimental procedures with that study group and then apply them to a more severe study group.” — Dr. Paul Thomas “We all have had other coronaviruses in our life,” says Thomas. “There are common cold coronaviruses, and you’ve had them and you make T-cell responses to them, and we know that some of them are cross-reactive to varying degrees. But the huge gap in the literature right now is, what parts are cross-reactive, to what extent are they cross-reactive, and does that cross-reactivity help you or harm you? For all of that, we needed longitudinal sampling, and a sampling that was prior to any exposure to SARS-CoV2, which is what we have in this study.” While around 80 of the 1,300 subjects have contracted the coronavirus, discovering infection early in the St. Jude setting, along with the employees’ relative good health, has helped ensure that none have died thus far. That’s why Thomas then compares their data to more severe cases. “We’re accumulating samples from a number of different studies,” he says, adding that the study of St. Jude employees “is actually the centerpiece of everything we’re doing. Because we get really well curated, large samples that we have this longitudinal data on, we can train our experimental procedures with that study group and then apply them to a more severe study group.” Although no results from the study have been published yet, the comparative power of such a large, ongoing project promises to yield valuable insights over time. And thus it is that such findings, gleaned from the meticulous work carried out every day in our city’s medical community, can advance our knowledge — not only of this deadly virus, but of others yet to come.
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TINGS FROM E E R G ••• •••
Memphis0 V i n ta g e p o stc a r ds
let senders share impressions of our city. by vance lauderdale
On May 27, 1910, a traveler named Stan Rentzi sent this postcard of the original Peabody Hotel to a friend in Vermont. “My dear girl,” he wrote, “this is where I hang my hat while I’m here. It’s a larger hotel than the Gayoso, and very pretty.”
In the early 1900s, penny postcards —that’s all it cost to mail them — were the easiest way to tell your friends and family where you were staying, what you were doing, and invariably telling them, “Wish you were here.” Millions of
these cards, often hand-colored, kept readers amused and informed, and on these pages, we present a few cards from the Lauderdale Collection that showcase some of the sights visitors — and residents alike — enjoyed in the Bluff City.
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right In 1908, “Alice and Bud” chose a colorful postcard of the Cossitt Library to tell friends in Washington, D.C., that “we have reached this Southern city and plan to be here about three weeks.” Constructed in 1893, the sandstone castle was considered one of our city’s most beautiful buildings. The authors of Memphis: An Architectural Guide considered it “a structure of great power and dignity.” When it was replaced in 1958 with something more modern, those same authors said, “The loss of no old building in Memphis is more regrettable than the Cossitt Library.” At least we have the postcard. left Most of what you see here is still standing today, though the Gayoso Hotel — described by “Mary H” in 1910 as “one of the popular hotels and cafés of Memphis” — is now apartments. What she told a friend in Emporia, Kansas, is rather intriguing: “The people here are all pleasure seekers and if they have a dollar, get all the luxury they can.” Is that a compliment? Anyway, she continues, “Have met some lovely people, am enjoying myself immensely, and still playing cards every night.”
right “I am fine and dandy and having a swell time,” writes “Annie” to a friend, Miss Stella Wirschum in Murfreesboro, Illinois, using a blue pencil. “There sure are some really swell kids here.” The year is smudged on the postmark, but judging from the vehicles on Union Avenue — two buggies and one automobile, with pedestrians strolling across the street without concern for the traffic — the card dates from the early 1900s. Erected in 1909, the Scottish Rite Cathedral has changed very little, both inside and out, for more than a century.
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left “Uncle John” took the time to type a message on the back of this 1909 postcard mailed to Edith Winkler in Holdenville, Oklahoma. “Laying our concrete today, and 661 [apparently his address] will be a fine old spot when it gets spruced up. Aunt Willie joins in love to you.” We presume he paid for the work from his Tennessee Trust savings, since he indicated “a good place to put your money” on the face of the card. The building today is now home to Hu. Hotel.
below “Ira” also thought it was okay to write on the front of the 1910 card mailed to a friend in Folsomdale, Kentucky. In pencil, he scribbled, “Della, grandma said for you to take care of Grandpa’s back.” The card shows a nighttime view of Main Street, with just a few horse-andbuggies along the curb.
left “George” told Mr. T.H. Jackson in Marion, Kentucky, “I am getting along fine. Memphis is a good town.” This 1910 card shows a rare automobile, parked on North Main outside one of our city’s oldest family-owned establishments, the Dinstuhl’s candy emporium. Electric signs were beginning to lure customers to businesses Downtown. Across the street, the Palace Theatre offered shows for just 5 cents.
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right Postcard companies were never reliable sources for historians. It’s highly unlikely anybody in Memphis ever witnessed such a giant, gold-plated, four-stack steamer “just leaving town.” (The metal ship is actually clipped to the card.) Even so, in 1911, “Pop” selected this unusual card to mail to Miss Ruth Hirshfield in Shelburn, Indiana, adding a penciled message: “Arived her all OK am going on this evening will write more when we get time.”
above Throughout the 1900s, Overton Park was a popular subject for postcards. This old card shows the Japanese Garden, one of this city’s most distinctive attractions until it was demolished after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1924, a young fellow named James Conway wrote a quick message to a friend in Batesville, Arkansas: “I wish you were here to play with me. Have been swimming twice, and had a fine time.”
right The sender of this card, mailed in 1910 to a friend in Union City, Tennessee, took advantage of the empty sky over Court Square to let his friend know, “We got this card to mail from Memphis, but were just too busy. Had a great time here, M.C.” The Lincoln-American Tower, erected 14 years later, now stands across the park from the D.T. Porter Building, and the trees are much taller, but it’s possible M.C. would recognize the same scene today.
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LOC A L TR E A SU R ES
Pioneer of the Environmental Justice Movement
ven in retirement, some folks remain so committed to the work that still needs to be done that they continue lives of service. Rita Harris is a good example. Having stepped down from her work with the Sierra Club three years ago, she still stays up-to-date on current environmental struggles in Memphis, her hometown. Thinking back to a recent event, Harris says, “Marquita Bradshaw was a leader against a proposed landfill in Whitehaven. One night they were having a rally that you could watch on Facebook Live. And I knew everything that was going on! I was texting people, saying, ‘Ask them this, and ask them that.’ These problems are not going away, that’s what people have to understand. And I try to stay involved, but at the same time, I am retired ...”
PHOTOGRAPH BY SAJ CRONE
by alex greene
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She trails off, a little wistfully, but in her voice you can also hear traces of relief, and perhaps the satisfaction of a job well done. For over a quarter of a century, she has been on the front lines of the local struggle for environmental justice. Indeed, she helped the Sierra Club define in practical terms what environmental justice should entail in the Mid-South. “It was work that moved very slowly,” she reflects. “I tell people it was kind of like trying to turn a giant ship. You have to be very slow and precise about what you’re doing.” Considering the magnitude of the course change she helped bring about, it’s hard to believe that the work all started with iced tea and cookies.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBHAINER (TOP) AND MANICUBE (BOTTOM) / DREAMSTIME
started as a volunteer for the Girl Scouts,” she says. “At the time I lived in the Bethel Grove area of the city. I wanted to give my two girls an outlet, so they could do something healthy and wholesome. And you know, all Girl Scout leaders try to recruit parents. Well, I had called the council about something, and a lady said, ‘Uh, do you make good iced tea?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I do!’ And she said, ‘Well, I’m coming over. I want you to fix me a glass and we can talk.’ “So that’s how my Girl Scouting career started, with some iced tea. She talked me into taking on a Girl Scout troop. And the jobs just sort of evolved. Eventually I became cookie chair and then I became a day camp coordinator, and then orga-
“I have always advocated for women, and for girls to grow up to be strong women. … I just love scouting. I think it really helps children blossom and find out what their strengths are.” nized different programs for the council. I got really, really deep into Girl Scouting. I think they kind of liked me. So when a job became available, I applied and got hired. And I worked there for about five years.” Of course, any fan of Thin Mints understands the importance of the cookie chair. Indeed, Harris took that position as seriously as any work she threw herself into over the years to come. “I think I was a social justice advocate before I even realized it,” she says. “I had two daughters, but I have always advocated for women, and for girls to grow up to be strong women. Sometimes people say, ‘I can tell you really like what you do.’ I say, ‘Yes, I do.’ I just love scouting. I think it really helps children blossom and find out what their strengths are.” As it happened, working with the Girl Scouts was but a prelude
to a lifetime of activism. By the early Nineties, she was taking on more sobering issues for the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center (MSPJC). “They were looking for a South Africa task force coordinator,” Harris says. “I was willing, but I didn’t have a lot of background in it. But I started researching and finding out a lot about apartheid before I went to my interview. Long story short, I got that job.” From there, she became the MSPJC’s local issues coordinator. Being an African American in Memphis, she was well-suited to tackle perennial racial problems by focusing on practical matters like fair banking advocacy. “Banks in Memphis didn’t have full-service banks in a lot of the poorer communities,” she explains. “Or they were not giving people loans to buy homes. Or if they did qualify for a loan, they were steered toward buying a house in a poor part of town. We analyzed home mortgage disclosure data that showed the kinds of loans that banks approved, how many they did not approve, in certain quarters of the year, that kind of thing.” As she worked in underdeveloped communities, other insidious, and even deadly, forms of systemic racism became apparent. “We started hearing about environmental issues across the state, so we decided we were going to have a toxics task force,” she says. “Since that fell under local issues, that was another hat that I had on my head.” This “On the property he had hundreds and hundreds of barrels turned upside down, piled up on top of each other,” Harris recalls. “Whatever was in the drums was running down on the ground, across the road, and into the sewer.”
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was a time when the concept of “environmental racism,” popularized by the sociologist Robert Bullard, was gaining currency as a new frame for ecologically minded organizing. It was a natural extension of Harris’ work on economic racism, and soon the toxics task force overshadowed other work at the MSPJC.
Rita Harris with noted author and TV commentator Van Jones, who spoke at the MSPJC’s 29th Anniversary celebration in 2011.
hen we started doing that work, it became bigger than any of the other things we were doing,” Harris says. “All of the work we were doing was important, but the toxics work expanded into monitoring the toxic data from local industries. Data about pollution in rivers and streams in the area, or complaints that communities had about health problems associated with living near a factory. There were a lot of issues related to this one general term of ‘toxics.’ In time we got funding to hire a part-time person to work on toxics with me, and that person was Larry Smith. Larry and I worked together very closely. Now he’s the assistant manager of air pol-
lution control for Shelby County.” In one of their first actions, the pair documented the abuses of a company with leaking barrels of waste on Grimes Street in South Memphis. As Rita recalls, “Larry and I got together on a Sunday afternoon, the only time they were closed, and went down there and took photos of as much of this mess as we could. We even took pictures of the labels on the barrels. Stuff was just running
“We rang the alarm bell for a lot of illegal things going on that were hazardous to folks’ health.” across the street. While we were there, a little boy rode his bicycle right through all this stuff. We’re talking about very toxic chemicals. So we took these pictures and packaged them up with a letter and sent them to the EPA Region 4 office in Atlanta.” One can still find traces of their handiwork online in the archived records of the Environmental Protection Agency. “Memphis Drum Recycler Sen-
tenced for Dumping Hazardous Waste,” is the heading of one report, dated March 28, 1997: Johnnie James Williams of South Memphis, Tenn., was sentenced on March 21, to 41 months imprisonment and two years of supervised release by the U.S. District Court in Memphis, Tenn., for his jury conviction on two felony counts of violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by illegally storing and disposing of hazardous waste in a South Memphis neighborhood which has environmental justice issues. This is the longest prison sentence handed down in an environmental case in Tennessee. Williams owned and operated W&R Drum, a drum recycling facility, from 1983 until July 1994 when EPA closed the site and began a Superfund cleanup that cost taxpayers $1.5 million. Levels of heavy metals, acids, organic materials and solvents were as much as 2,000 times the regulatory limits. This was but one action of many highlighting the propensity of dangerous operations to locate in areas not only burdened with poverty, but with the additional handicap of systemic racism. As such, Harris and Smith were foot soldiers in the burgeoning movement in service of what is now called Environmental Justice (EJ). Such work was not without its risks. “The guy had friends,” Harris recalls of Williams. “I remember we got some bad calls at MSPJC because people were angry that this man was going to jail. But he was endangering the community, for goodness sake! That was probably one of the biggest things we did during that time. We did a lot of different work. We rang the alarm bell for a lot of illegal things going on that were hazardous to folks’ health.” At the same time, the MSPJC started hosting weekly brownbag suppers for local environmental activists of all stripes. A network was starting to coalesce. “People would come to these meetings and talk about the big issues they were working on,” Harris says. “And one of the things I’ve always bragged about
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY RITA HARRIS
LOC A L T R E A SU R ES
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over the years is that the people in environmental circles in Memphis know each other. I got to know Sierra Club members, and people in different neighborhoods. That was a really wonderful thing. Sierra Club members started showing up at protests and public hearings all over the city. Whether it was North Memphis, South Memphis, wherever. There was a real solidarity and the unity of people trying to help each other. So that’s the way we started building environmental communities, from those brown bag suppers.”
“I was appointed by the Sierra Club national director at the time, Carl Pope, to the Sierra Club’s first diversity council. That went on until 2009, then it evolved into a diversity department
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t’s a solidarity that remains to this day, but by 1999, Harris decided it was time to move on. As it happened, that’s precisely when the Sierra Club embraced the EJ cause in a more official capacity. “The national Sierra Club had gotten some multi-year funding to locate environmental justice offices, and there was a grant for a Memphis EJ office,” she says. “A couple people came to me and said, ‘Rita, you have got to apply.’” And so Harris came to be one of the Sierra Club’s first EJ organizers, leading the local office until her retirement in 2017. “Memphis was the first location [to have an EJ office],” she notes. “Then there were others in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Louisiana, around the ‘cancer alley’ area, and in Minnesota. We’ve had five locations. It was a really wonderful investment that the Sierra Club made. Now there are a number of large, green organizations on the national level, but the Sierra Club is the only one that has had a sustained, full-time EJ program for two decades. We’ve sustained those locations over many years. These are not issues that you can work on for a year or two and clear it up. These are things you have to stick with, because it takes time to
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Rita Harris received the Sierra Club’s 2011 Virginia Ferguson Award, recognizing her “exemplary service.” She is shown here with husband Alex (left) and Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune.
confront these issues, they’re so ingrained. only know the people, you know the commu“What we’re doing in 2020 is to try and nity politics. You know who’s doing what and incorporate environmental justice principles where they’re doing it in a certain neighborhood. Because I grew up in South Memphis, and practices throughout the organization,” I was familiar with Whitehaven, Westwood, she continues. “So we’re not just working in little pockets where we have program officeven Boxtown. And Orange Mound. My huses. We have many, many organizers all over band came from Orange Mound and actually the country. And they are being trained to had a business there.” work in communities that maybe didn’t know about it in the past. Trained how to work with arris gives her late husband, low-income people or people of color. To be Alex, much credit for helping her acrespectful. I think we’ve been very successful tivism thrive. “My husband passed away in in doing that.” 2014, and that might have had something In fact, the organization’s commitment to to do with me retiring as early as I did,” she inclusiveness was so strong that Harris took says. “When you have a lifelong partner and on another role, beyond local organizing. that partner passes away, it leaves a void. He’d “Starting in 2004, I was been in the Air Force for also an anti-racism trainer,” three or four years, then “During Thanksgiving and she says. “Over the years worked in the post office we did a lot of diversity Christmas, that’s when you start the rest of his life. I miss training and workshops him! During Thanksgiving thinking about all the people all over the country, and I and Christmas, that’s when that you no longer have around. you start thinking about all was appointed by the Sierra Club national director at It can be a sad time. But I try to the people that you no lonthe time, Carl Pope, to the think about the good times and ger have around. It can be a Sierra Club’s first diversity sad time. But I try to think laugh instead of cry.” council. That went on until about the good times and 2009, then it evolved into laugh instead of cry.” Yet Rita is hardly alone, whiling away the a diversity department office with a staff, which came to include a director of incluhours. If you’ve noticed that she still refers sion and justice.” to the Sierra Club as “we,” that’s not an acOne official recognition of Harris’ role in cident: She’s still very much involved in the this came in 2011, when she received the Sierra organization, the massive ship that she helped Club’s Virginia Ferguson Award, for employto carefully, slowly pivot into a new alignees who have “demonstrated consistent and ment. And as of 2020, she’s become one of its exemplary service to the Sierra Club.” 15 co-captains. Looking back, Harris puts her initial sucThis past spring, she was elected to the cesses in activism down to her roots in the lonational board of directors. “One of the cal milieu. “One thing the Sierra Club tried to main reasons I wanted to be on the board,” she says, “was to continue to shepherd the do was hire organizers from the community that they served, and not import people from work of unity and inclusion and justice in way off,” she says. “It’s a great benefit, because the organization.” Now, for both the Sierra you know the ‘lay of the land.’ That’s a term Club and Rita Harris, even as she enjoys that we use a lot among organizers. You not her golden years, it’s full steam ahead.
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VA N C E
Bruce Carriage Co. Our history expert solves local mysteries: who, what, when, where, why, and why not. Well, sometimes. BY VANCE L AUDERDALE
DEAR VANCE: At a local estate sale, I purchased a folder stuffed with old papers, and inside was a sales booklet for the Bruce Carriage Company, apparently located in Memphis. What can you tell me about this business? — M.B., MEMPHIS.
DEAR M.B.: I can tell you that you’ve made a remarkable
find. This fragile catalog is a rare artifact from one of our city’s oldest family-owned businesses — and one that few people remember because, after all, you don’t encounter many carriages on the streets of Memphis anymore. The Lauderdales were longtime customers of the Bruce company, and our impressive vehicle, glittering with gold-plated trim and the family crest hand-painted on the doors, was an impressive sight around town. By the 1930s, though, it tended to hold up traffic when I’d
right: This catalog from W.S. Bruce & Co. claimed they could “show and ship nearly one thousand” carriages … the day the orders reach us.”
venture out on my history explorations, so we traded it for the Hispano-Suiza. I’ve already said Bruce was among this city’s oldest companies, but I can’t provide an exact year for its founding. The earliest city directories at my disposal date to 1849, and they show that William S. Bruce was already listed as a “carriage maker.” The sales catalog suggests an even earlier date by listing three principals of the firm — Clifford Bruce, R.C. Bruce, and W.H. Atkinson — and saying “Our 54th year.” Atkinson, one of the few officials outside the Bruce family, joined the company in 1885, so the math provides a possible founding date as early as 1831 — barely 20 years after the city itself was established. Here’s what I’ve been able to glean from various sources. Sometime in the 1830s or 1840s, Noble S. Bruce came to Memphis from Grenada, Mississippi, and opened a small carriage company in a two-story brick building on Monroe, just east of Main Street. In the early days of the company, the offerings were fairly basic, utilitarian models. After all, in the 1840s, Memphis was considered a rough, frontier town. Their Eli Road Cart, an open conveyance that was little more than a wooden seat suspended between two spoked wheels, pulled by a horse or mule, was typical of their early wares. In short order, though, as Memphis grew, so did the company, and by the 1850s, the old city directories included half-page ads extolling N.S. Bruce & Company as “a carriage manufacturer and repository, [and] dealers in hardware, trimmings, paints, oils, spokes, hubs, wheels, varnishes, etc.” That’s quite a selection. It seems they offered just about everything but the horse. Throughout the 1800s, Bruce expanded even further, and by the time this sales booklet was published, customers could choose from more than 30 different models of buggies and carriages. If we can believe the old sales booklet, the scope of the company was truly astonishing: “We have in our showrooms, on wheels and crated, ready to show and ship nearly one thousand Carriages, Phaetons, Buggies, and Road Carts. We are always prepared to ship our vehicles the day orders reach us.” By this time — and I’m talking late-1800s — other members of the Bruce family had joined the firm, and William and Joseph replaced Noble as officers of the company, now known as W.S. Bruce & Company. Whether they were brothers or sons of Noble, I can’t say. Over the years, in fact, so many Bruces joined the firm that I can’t make sense of them without a family tree. The city directories list various Nobles, several Josephs, along with a Clifford, Cornelius, Francis, and Ryland, and probably others that I’ve overlooked. From time to time, they might bring in an “outsider” — I’ve already mentioned that Atkinson fellow — but it pretty much remained a family concern its entire existence. The catalog is fascinating. When readers today see old photos of buggies, they probably think: “Hey, there goes a buggy.” If it’s something a bit fancier, they may think, “Okay, that’s a carriage.” But just as with automobiles today, companies like Bruce offered a mind-boggling array of vehicles — in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and models. Anyone needing a basic cart, for example, could start with
IMAGES COURTESY OF MELODY BIRDSONG
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canopy top,” even came with curtains to enclose the entire carriage — definitely a feature the Lauderdales would have required — and even “an apron for the lap, trimmed and finished.” By the 1890s, the firm was clearly prospering, and family members took key roles in other high-profile positions in town. When they weren’t selling carriages, Joseph Bruce served as president of the Hernando Insurance Company, and William Bruce was a vice president of Memphis National Bank. Even a firm as successful as W.S. Bruce & Company had to be concerned, however, when a Memphis bicycle salesman named Jerome Parker listed a newfangled contraption called an “auto-mobile” in his 1901 sales catalog. When Samuel Carnes, head of the Memphis Light and Power Company, purchased the first “horseless
the Package Road Cart — “made of the best stock available, with no bars to climb over, and a large extension rack for carrying parcels, which will be found very useful as well as ornamental.” The Bruce catalog promises “this to be the easiest-riding, neatest-looking, and only common-sense cart made.” And a bargain, it seems, at $23. But wait. On the opposite page of that same catalog, for just $2 more, was the Queen Phaeton Cart. Now, maybe you and I might think these looked the same, but for that extra two bucks, “We offer you a cart with upholstered seat and lazy back, wood dash, whip socket, shafts full trimmed, with dash leather and nickel tips.” In short, “The Phaeton Cart will meet the approval of the most exacting customer.” Bruce produced specialized conveyances for white-collar professionals. Salesmen could ride around carriage” here, the fate of the Bruce firm was sealed. the countryside in the Drummers Buggy, with special By 1910, Memphis was home to more than 20 car storage for samples, and physicians could make house dealers. That same year, Bruce tried to adapt to the calls in the Doctor’s Road Cart in “green, wine, or natchanging times, announcing they now sold “vehicles, ural wood, with a storage pocket under the seat and a saddlery, and automobiles.” They even opened a garage hinged gate.” Judging from the illustration, it wasn’t down the street, at 340 Monroe. large enough to carry patients; even The old carriage-maker couldn’t comModel #895, with the Bruce, it seems, didn’t offer ambulance pete with the growing number of car service at the time. dealers, especially when the big names “end-spring canopy top,” The catalog presented page after — Ford and Buick, among others — areven came with curtains page of other models, such as the Texas rived here. By 1914, the company that had to enclose the entire Side Spring Buggy, the White Chapel survived such challenges as the Civil War Road Wagon, the Two-Seat Threeand yellow fever epidemics closed. One of carriage — definitely a Spring Wagon, the Mascot Buggy, the the Nobles became manager of an insurfeature the Lauderdales Cut-Under Surrey, the Jump-Seat Bugance company here, and Ryland moved to gy, the Tip-Top Road Wagon (“just the St. Louis to open an ice company. Other would have required thing for business or pleasure, and light family members must have joined him. — and even “an apron and graceful enough for young people”), Since they were no longer listed in old the Six-Passenger Hack (“not shoddy, city directories, I simply can’t say what for the lap, trimmed but first-class materials throughout”), happened to everybody involved. and finished.” and the New Ladies Phaeton (“on acThe Bruce “manufactory” on Moncount of the style and finish, designed more especially roe became home to Wells Fargo, before it was defor ladies’ use”). How the small “manufactory” on Monmolished in the 1960s to make way for Commerce roe managed to produce so many vehicles is a mystery Square. A few blocks away, the old Bruce garage that even a Lauderdale can’t solve. has survived, still serving the transportation indusWhich brings us to the type of carriage the Laudertry. It’s home to Sign Delivery, Inc., offering vinyl dales would have owned — the top-of-the-line Royal advertising “wraps” for cars, trucks, and vans. Surrey — quite expensive at $125. “This represents the handsomest surrey we carGot a question for Vance? ry,” says the Bruce catalog. “A splendid piece of work EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org throughout, beautifully trimmed in the new shell patMAIL: Vance Lauderdale, Memphis magazine, P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 tern, with heavy upholstery spring backs and splendid, well-made cushions.” Model #895, with the “end-spring ONLINE: memphismagazine.com/ask-vance
left: To modern readers, these two vehicles from the Bruce catalog probably look alike. But a keen eye spots important details, such as a rear seat, that explains the $100 additional cost of the top-of-the-line Royal Surrey.
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O U T
Little Bettie Pizza and Snacks
At Wiseacre and Andrew Michael’s Downtown collaboration, it’s amore. BY SAMUEL X. CICCI
ould this be one of the biggest ever crossover events to come to Memphis? And no, it’s not Avengers: Endgame. The latest team-up action is a joint venture between two eminently recognizable brands in Bluff City’s hospitality industry. Wiseacre founders Kellan and Davin Bartosch are pairing up with veteran restaurant duo Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman to create Little Bettie, a pizza stand at Wiseacre’s new Downtown location, Wiseacre 2.
Pizza and beer are a classic combination, but Ticer and Hudman are looking to mix up the formula a bit. “We’re going for a New Haven-style pizza at Little Bettie,” says Hudman. Think extra thin, super-crispy crusts covered with crunchy caramelized cheese — in the vein of Neapolitan pizza, but only sort of. “It tends to be a bit drier than Naples-inspired pizza,” he continues. “We’re going to source as much protein and produce as possible from our local farmers.” Don’t expect New York City-esque pizza by the slice, or something straight off the menu of Hog & Hominy, the Ticer/Hudman establishment that is currently closed after a devastating fire in January 2020. Hudman has recently been doing a lot of research into focaccia, and wants to test out the flatbread as his pizza base. “What we’re doing right now is floating in a space
where we’re trying to find a different representation of pizza, and I’m thinking we go with a big nice square of super-light focaccia,” he says, “with a super-high hydration rate so that it comes off really light. It’s like Roman-style meets Sicilian-style. The focaccia approach might be tricky, because people expect a certain thing when they hear pizza, but we want to deliver and satisfy everyone.” While the team-up might seem like a no-brainer on paper, Little Bettie’s existence can be traced back to a close relationship that the Bartosch brothers cultivated with Ticer and Hudman back when Wiseacre was just starting out. “I think it was about a decade ago,” recollects Kellan, “when we were going around town and talking with people who ran bars and restaurants to tell them our story and our background. And I remember Michael, in particular, was like, slapping the table. He was excited because he felt that he and Andy had a really similar story.”
Chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman
“I remember looking at Andy,” recalls Hudman, “and saying, ‘I sure hope their beer is good; I like these guys a lot.’ The way they work is similar to how Andy and I operate, really symbiotic.” On Wiseacre’s opening weekend, Ticer and Hudman invited the Bartosches to pour beer at the chefs’ cookbook release for Collards & Carbonara: Southern Cooking, Italian Roots. “I was like, ‘They haven’t even tried our beer yet,’” marvels Kellan. “But they said, ‘We know you guys put the work in, and we’re really excited about this.’ And they were just so supportive. Since then, we’ve had a great relationship with them, doing different beer dinners and events around Memphis.” While there have been plenty of one-off collaborations, the time had never been quite right to enter into a firm partnership. But when Wiseacre announced it would be opening a new location Downtown, Ticer and Hudman knew the moment was perfect. “We pestered them when we heard they were opening a new brewery,” says Hudman, “and they asked us to be a part of it. Davin said they wanted to have a pizza focus, and that’s where the conversation started.” Little Bettie, tentatively slated for a mid-December opening, will be unobtrusive. Visitors to Wiseacre can simply order pizza at the bar like they would any Wiseacre brew. “It’s basically part of the rest of the taproom,” explains Davin. “It’s almost hidden in plain
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY WISEACRE
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sight. There’s a box [square room] that’s cut out of the taproom that houses the kitchen.” That close proximity works to the menu’s advantage, with many of the items utilizing the brewery’s beer. “This is definitely being made with an eye towards our beer, specifically,” he continues. “And it will be used in a bunch of the recipes. But only when it works; the most important thing is that everything be delicious.” Beyond pizza, Little Bettie will offer plenty of snacks. Some of the ideas include hand pretzels with beer sauce and cheese sauce, a Little Bettie patty melt, and beer-battered onion rings with dehydrated dill. “I’m also a pretty big chicken finger guy,” laughs Hudman, “so we’ve been playing around with that idea as well.” The aim is to provide approachable, light-hearted snacks for people to share. “We’re not necessarily a restaurant,” he says, “but thinking if kids are involved, we want to run the gamut with a lot of things. It will be like bar food meets skate-rink food — kind of fun!”
tention to the reincarnation of one of their beloved properties. “She’s coming back!” exclaims Hudman. “We started construction on Hog & Hominy [in fall 2020], but we’re hoping, worst-case scenario, to reopen in late summer 2021. It’s going to be a totally different look, and we’ve got the A-team working on this one, like Grinder Taber Grinder and Natalie Lieberman [from Collect+Curate].” One of the new flourishes is an homage to the University of Memphis Tigers, of whom Ticer and Hudman are huge fans. “When putting it in, we thought, why not make our new pizza oven in the shape of a big Memphis helmet?” While Little Bettie’s grand opening is likely to be in mid-December, both the Bartosches and Ticer and Hudman acknowledge that the situation is fluid. “It’s hard to put hard dates on stuff with everything that’s going on,” says Kellan. “If it opens now, great, if it’s a bit later, we can work with that too.” In the end, both parties are
Taps at Wiseacre 2
Little Bettie’s chef de cuisine is Parker hoping to provide a creative and fun food “Little Bettie seemed Rose, a longtime chef with Enjoy AM, venue embodied by the eponymous Bettie like a whimsical name, the ownership group for the Ticer-Hudcharacter. She gets her name from a streamlet that used to run through the area where man empire, which currently includes and we came up with Wiseacre 2 is located, which on some maps Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Caththis mythology that is labeled as “Little Bettie Bayou.” erine & Mary’s, Gray Canary, and Bishop. she lived in the Bayou Rose joined the team in 2014 and former“We couldn’t figure out why it was ly served as pizza cook at Hog & Hominy. called that,” says Kellan, “but Little Betand was friends with “He’s totally impressed Andy and me evtie seemed like a really fun, whimsical all the woodland ery step of the way,” says Hudman. “We’re name for the restaurant that also has really excited for him and to see how he ties to the area. We came up with this creatures. This is her takes this project and runs with it.” mythology that she lived in the Bayou neighborhood, and we’ve With all the pieces in place, Little and was friends with all the woodland just set up shop here.” Bettie should have a smooth transition creatures. This is her neighborhood, and to life inside Wiseacre 2. But is this the we’ve just set up shop here.” — Kellan Bartosch start of the brewery’s outreach into the That spirit of fun, chimes in Davin, food scene? “No, not for us,” says Kellan. “We think of is what makes the Little Bettie concept so appealing. ourselves first and foremost as a production brewery, “It’s just really cool to be working with two people even before our taproom. That’s what we know how who care about food as much as we care about beer,” to do, and that’s what we’re good at, so we don’t really he says. “They don’t need us, and we don’t need them; have the desire to have different restaurant concepts.” they have their own world and identity. And that’s kind For Wiseacre, the next step is boosting production. of what makes this partnership work. It takes some of The brothers currently distribute beer to nine states the pressure off and allows us to be really creative with full-time, but will increase that number to 13 next this fun opportunity.” spring with the additions of Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Little Bettie is located at Wiseacre 2 , Ticer and Hudman, meanwhile, will turn their at- 398 South B .B . King Blvd. J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 71
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TH E M E M P H I S D I N I N G G U I D E M
emphis magazine offers this curated restaurant listing as a service to our readers. Broken down alphabetically by neighborhoods, this directory does not list every restaurant in town. It does, however, include the magazine’s “Top 50” choices of must-try restaurants in Memphis, a group that is updated every August. Establishments open less than a year are not eligible for “Top 50” but are noted as “New.” This guide also includes a representative sampling of other Bluff City eating establishments. No fast-food facilities or cafeterias are listed. Restaurants are included regardless of whether they advertise in Memphis magazine; those that operate in multiple locations are listed under the neighborhood of their original location. Suggestions from readers are welcome; please contact us at dining@ memphismagazine.com.
FLYING FISH—Serves up fried and grilled versions of shrimp, crab, oysters, ﬁsh tacos, and catﬁsh; also chicken and burgers. 105 S. Second. 522-8228. L, D, X, $-$$ THE GRAY CANARY—The sixth restaurant from chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, offering small plates and entrees cooked on an open ﬂame. Oysters, octopus, and hearty steaks are among the menu options at this eatery in Old Dominick Distillery. Closed Mon. 301 S. Front. 4666324. D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ GRECIAN GOURMET TAVERNA—Serves traditional favorites like spanakopita, pastitso, moussaka, and hand-rolled dolmathes, as well as lamb sliders and pita nachos. Closed Mon. 412 S. Main. 249-6626. L, D, X, $ GUS’S WORLD FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN—Serves chicken with signature spicy batter, editor’s note: As Memphis continues to navigate covid-19, some restaurants are open for socially along with homemade beans, slaw, and pies. 310 S. distanced dine-in, while others are focusing on takeout and delivery. Please call ahead to conﬁrm Front. 527-4877; 215 S. Center St. (Collierville). 853-6005; 2965 N. hours, adjusted menus, and available services. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 373-9111; 730 S. Mendenhall. 7672323; 505 Highway 70 W., Mason, TN. 901-294-2028. L, D, X, MRA, $ including fried green tomatoes with smoked catﬁsh, a HAPPY MEXICAN—Serves quesadillas, burritos, chimiDOWNTOWN buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, burgers, and more. Closed changas, vegetable and seafood dishes, and more. 385 S. Second. Mon.-Thurs. 141 E. Carolina. 321-5553. L, D, WB, $-$$ 529-9991; 6080 Primacy Pkwy. 683-0000; 7935 Winchester. 117 PRIME—Restaurateurs Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp team CATHERINE & MARY’S—A variety of pastas, 751-5353. L, D, X, $ up with Chef Ryan Trimm to recreate the traditional American grilled quail, pâté, razor clams, and monkﬁsh are HU. DINER—An extension of Hu. Hotel, diner serves such steakhouse. Serving oysters on the half shell and a variety of surf among the dishes served at this Italian restaurant in dishes as country-fried cauliﬂower, cornﬂake-fried chicken, and turf options. 117 Union. 433-9851. L, D, WB, X, $-$$$ the Chisca. 272 S. Main. 254-8600. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ and octopus and grits. 3 S. Main. 333ALDO’S PIZZA PIES—Serving gourmet pizzas CHEF TAM’S 1224. L, D, X, $-$$ — including Mr. T Rex — salads, and more. Also 30 beers, DINING SYMBOLS UNDERGROUND CAFE—Serves HU. ROOF—Rooftop cocktail bar with bottled or on tap. 100 S. Main. 577-7743; 752 S. Cooper. Southern staples with a Cajun twist. superb city views serves toasts with a 725-7437. L, D, X, $-$$ B — breakfast Menu items include totchoes, jerk variety of toppings including beef tartare THE ARCADE—Possibly Memphis’ oldest cafe. L — lunch wings, fried chicken, and “muddy” mac with cured egg, cognac, and capers Specialties include sweet potato pancakes, a fried peaD — dinner and cheese. Closed Sun. and Mon. 668 or riced cauliﬂower with yellow curry, nut butter and banana sandwich, and breakfast served SB — Sunday brunch Union Ave. 207-6182. L, D, $ currants, and almonds. Also salads, ﬁsh all day. 540 S. Main. 526-5757. B, L, D (Thurs.-Sat.), X, MRA, $ WB — weekend brunch CHEZ PHILIPPE— tacos, and boiled peanut hummus. 79 AUTOMATIC SLIM’S—Longtime downtown favorite Classical/contemporary French X— wheelchair accessible Madison. 333-1229. D, $ specializes in contemporary American cuisine emphasizing local cuisine presented in a luxuriMRA — member, Memphis HUEY’S—This family-friendly ingredients; also extensive martini list. 83 S. Second. 525-7948. L, ous atmosphere with a seasonal menu restaurant offers 13 different Restaurant Association D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ focused on local/regional cuisine. The burgers, a variety of sandwiches, BARDOG TAVERN—Classic American grill with Italian $ — under $15 per person without crown jewel of The Peabody for 35 and delicious soups and salads. 1927 inﬂuence, Bardog offers pasta specialties such as Grandma’s drinks or desserts years. Afternoon tea served Wed.-Sat., Madison. 726-4372; 1771 N. Germantown NJ Meatballs, as well as salads, sliders, sandwiches, and daily $$ — under $25 1-3:30 p.m. (reservations required). Pkwy. (Cordova). 754-3885; 77 S. Second. specials. 73 Monroe. 275-8752. B (Mon.-Fri.), L, D, WB, X, MRA, $$$ — $26-$50 Closed Sun.-Tues. The Peabody, 149 527-2700; 2130 W. Poplar (Collierville). $-$$ Union. 529-4188. D, X, MRA, $$$$ $$$$ — over $50 854-4455; 7090 Malco Blvd. (Southaven). BEDROCK EATS & SWEETS—Memphis’ only PaleoCOZY CORNER—Serving 662-349-7097; 7825 Winchester. 624-8911; centric restaurant offering such dishes as pot roast, wafﬂes, up ribs, pork sandwiches, chicken, spaghetti, and 4872 Poplar. 682-7729; 7677 Farmington Blvd. (Germantown). enchiladas, chicken salad, omelets, and more. Closed for dinner more; also homemade banana pudding. Closed Mon. 318-3030; 8570 Highway 51 N. (Millington). 873-5025. L, D, Sun. 327 S. Main. 409-6433. B, L, D, X, $-$$ 745 N. Parkway and Manassas. 527-9158. L, D, $ X, MRA, $ BELLE TAVERN—Serving elevated bar food, including a CURFEW—An elevated sports bar/American tavern HUSTLE & DOUGH BAKERY & CAFE—Flaky, baked butcher board with a variety of meats and cheeses, as well as concept by Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani at the breakfast goodness every day with fresh pastries, sandwiches, and daily specials. 117 Barboro Alley. 249-6580. L (Sun.), D, MRA, $ Canopy Memphis Downtown hotel. 164 Union Ave. B, more at Arrive Hotel. 477 S. Main St., 701-7577. B, L, X, $ BEN YAY’S GUMBO SHOP—Spiritual successor to L, D, X, $-$$ ITTA BENA—Southern and Cajun-American cuisine served DejaVu, offering fresh and authentic Creole staples. 51 S. Main St., EVELYN & OLIVE—Jamaican/Southern fusion cuisine here; specialties are duck and wafﬂes and shrimp and grits, along 779-4125. L, D, X, $-$$ includes such dishes as Kingston stew ﬁsh, Rasta Pasta, and with steaks, chops, seafood, and pasta. 145 Beale St. 578-3031. D, BISHOP—Ticer and Hudman’s newest venture at the Central jerk rib-eye. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun.-Mon. 630 X, MRA, $$-$$$ Station Hotel features upscale dishes in a French brasserie style. Madison. 748-5422. L, D, X, $ 545 S. Main St., 524-5247. L, D, X, $$-$$$ KING & UNION BAR GROCERY—Classic FAM—Casual Asian restaurant serves sushi rice bowls, noodle Southern favorites including catﬁsh plate, pimento BLEU—This eclectic restaurant features American food with bowls, sushi rolls, and spring rolls. Closed Sun. 149 Madison; 521 cheese, po-boys, chicken & wafﬂes. Open for breakfast, global inﬂuences and local ingredients. Among the specialties are S. Highland. 701-6666. L, D, X, $ lunch and dinner with cocktails served with ﬂair and favorite a 14-oz. bone-in rib-eye and several seafood dishes. 221 S. Third, FELICIA SUZANNE’S—Southern cuisine with Memphis beers. Locally made confections available in the grocery. in the Westin Memphis Beale St. Hotel. 334-5950. B, L, D, WB, X, low-country, Creole, and Delta inﬂuences, using 185 Union Ave. 523-8500. B, L, D, $-$$ MRA, $$-$$$ regional fresh seafood, local beef, and locally grown KOOKY CANUCK—Offers prime rib, catﬁsh, and burgers, BLUEFIN RESTAURANT & SUSHI LOUNGE— foods. Entrees include shrimp and grits. Closed Sun. and Mon. A including the 4-lb. “Kookamonga”; also late-night menu. 87 S. Serves Japanese fusion cuisine featuring seafood and steak, downtown staple at Brinkley Plaza, 80 Monroe, Suite L1. 523Second. 578-9800; 1250 N. Germantown Pkwy. 1-800-2453 L, D, with seasonally changing menu; also a sushi bar. 135 S. Main. 0877. L (Fri. only), D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ X, MRA, $-$$$ 528-1010. L, D, X, $-$$ FERRARO’S PIZZERIA & PUB—Rigatoni and THE LITTLE TEA SHOP—Downtown institution BRASS DOOR IRISH PUB—Irish and New-American tortellini are among the pasta entrees here, along with pizzas serves up Southern comfort cooking, including meatloaf cuisine includes such entrees as ﬁsh and chips, burgers, (whole or by the slice) with a variety of toppings. 111 Jackson. and such veggies as turnip greens, yams, okra, and tomashepherd’s pie, all-day Irish breakfast, and more. 152 Madison. 522-2033. L, D, X, $ toes. Closed Sat.-Sun. 69 Monroe. 525-6000, L, X, $ 572-1813. L, D, SB, $-$$ FISHBOWL AT THE PYRAMID—Burgers, LOCAL—Entrees with a focus on locally sourced products include CAFE KEOUGH—European-style cafe serving quiche, ﬁsh dishes, sandwiches, and more served in a unique lobster mac-and-cheese and ribeye patty melt; menu differs by paninis, salads, and more. 12 S. Main. 509-2469. B, L, D, X, $ “underwater” setting. Bass Pro, 1 Bass Pro Drive, 291location. 95 S. Main. 473-9573; 2126 Madison. 725-1845. L, D, WB, CAPRICCIO GRILL ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE—Offers 8000. B, L, D, X, $-$$ X, $-$$ prime steaks, fresh seafood (lobster tails, grouper, mahi mahi), FLIGHT RESTAURANT & WINE BAR— LOFLIN YARD—Beer garden and restaurant serves vegetarian pasta, and several Northern Italian specialties. 149 Union, The Serves steaks and seafood, along with such specialties fare and smoked-meat dishes, including beef brisket and pork Peabody. 529-4199. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$$ as bison ribeye and Muscovy duck, all matched with tenderloin, cooked on a custom-made grill. Closed Mon.-Tues. 7 CAROLINA WATERSHED—This indoor/outdoor eatery, appropriate wines. 39 S. Main. 521-8005. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ W. Carolina. 249-3046. L (Sat. and Sun.), D, MRA, $-$$ set around silos, features reimagined down-home classics,
We celebrate our city’s community table and the people who grow, cook, and eat the best Memphis food at M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M / F O O D 72 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1
(This guide, compiled by our editors, includes editorial picks and advertisers.)
12/9/20 11:25 AM
THE LOOKOUT AT THE PYRAMID—Serves seafood and Southern fare, including cornmeal-fried oysters, sweet tea brined chicken, and elk chops. 1 Bass Pro Dr. 620-4600/291-8200. L, D, X, $-$$$ LUNA RESTAURANT & LOUNGE—Serving a limited menu of breakfast and lunch items. Dinner entrees include Citrus Glaze Salmon and Cajun Stuffed Chicken. 179 Madison (Hotel Napoleon). 526-0002. B, D (Mon.-Sat.), X, $-$$$ MACIEL’S—Entrees include tortas, fried taco plates, quesadillas, chorizo and pastor soft tacos, salads, and more. Downtown closed Sun. 45 S. Main. 526-0037, X, MRA, $ THE MAJESTIC GRILLE, DBA COCOZZA— It’s red sauce, all the time in the Majestic Grille space on Main. Variety of Italian dishes for curbside and takeout orders. 145 S. Main. 522-8555. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ McEWEN’S—Southern/American cuisine with international flavors; specialties include steak and seafood, sweet potato-crusted catfish with macaroni and cheese, and more. Closed Sun., Monroe location. 120 Monroe. 527-7085; 1110 Van Buren (Oxford). 662-234-7003. L, D, SB (Oxford only), X, MRA, $$-$$$ MESQUITE CHOP HOUSE—The focus here is on steaks, including prime fillet, rib-eyes, and prime-aged New York strip; also, some seafood options. 5960 Getwell (Southaven). 662-8902467; 88 Union. 527-5337; 3165 Forest Hill-Irene (Germantown). 249-5661. D, SB (Germantown), X, $$-$$$ MOLLIE FONTAINE LOUNGE—Specializes in tapas (small plates) featuring global cuisine. Closed Sun.-Tues. 679 Adams Ave. 524-1886. D, X, MRA, $ MOMMA’S ROADHOUSE—This diner and dive at highway 55 serves up hot and crispy fried chicken wings, among other solid bar food options. 855 Kentucky. 207-5111. L, D, MRA, $ THE NINE THAI & SUSHI—Serving authentic Thai dishes, including curries, as well as a variety of sushi rolls. Closed for lunch Sat. and Sun. 121 Union. 208-8347. L, D, X, $-$$ PAULETTE’S—Presents fine dining with a Continental flair, including such entrees as filet Paulette with butter cream sauce and crabmeat and spinach crepes; also changing daily specials and great views. River Inn. 50 Harbor Town Square. 260-3300. B, L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ PEARL’S OYSTER HOUSE—Downtown eatery serving seafood, including oysters, crawfish, and stuffed butterfly shrimp, as well as beef, chicken, and pasta dishes. 299 S. Main. 522-9070; 8106 Cordova Center Dr. (Cordova). 425-4797. L, D, SB, X, $-$$$ PONTOTOC LOUNGE—Upscale restaurant and jazz bar serves such starters as alligator filet fritters; entrees include Mississippi pot roast with jalapeño cornbread and tagliatelle with braised beef. 314 S. Main. 207-7576. D, X, $-$$ PUCK FOOD HALL—Food hall featuring a variety of vendors serving everything from bagels and beer to comfort food and healthy cuisine. 409 S. Main. 341-3838. $-$$ REGINA’S—New Orleans-inspired eatery offering po’boys, Cajun nachos topped with crawfish tails, catfish platters, oysters, and more. Closed Mon. 60 N. Main. 730-0384. B, L, D, SB, X, $-$$ RENDEZVOUS, CHARLES VERGOS’—Menu items include barbecued ribs, cheese plates, skillet shrimp, red beans and rice, and Greek salads. Closed Sun.-Mon. 52 S. Second. 523-2746. L (Fri.-Sat.), D, X, $-$$ RIZZO’S DINER—Chorizo meatloaf, lobster pronto puff, and lamb belly tacos are menu items at this upscale diner. Michael Patrick is among the city’s best chefs. 492 S. Main. 304-6985. L (Fri.-Sat.), D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ SABOR CARIBE—Serving up “Caribbean flavors” with dishes from Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Closed Sunday. 662 Madison. 949-8100. L, D, X, $ SAGE—Restaurant and lounge features daily lunch specials and tapas with such dishes as braised short ribs, teriyaki pulled pork, and the Sage burger made with Angus beef, avocado mash, fried egg, and flash-fried sage. 94 S. Main. 672-7902. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ SILLY GOOSE LOUNGE—Gourmet, wood-fired pizzas and hand-crafted cocktails at this Downtown restaurant and lounge. 150 Peabody Place, Suite 111. 435-6915. L, D, X, $ SLEEP OUT LOUIE’S—Oyster bar with such specialties as char-grilled Roquefort oysters and gulf oysters on the half shell with Prosecco mignonette; also serves flatbread pizzas and a variety of sandwiches. 150 Peabody Place, Suite 111. 707-7180. L, D, X, $
Broadway Pizza House
Legendary Pizza Since 1977
2581 Broad Avenue (901) 454-7930
629 South Mendenhall
ALDERS L AW Austin Alders
Legal Expertise You Can Rely On Personal Injury • Car Accidents • Tractor Trailer Accidents Motorcycle Accidents • Premises Liability • Slip and Falls Wrongful Death 119 S. Main Street, Suite 500 Memphis, TN 38103 AldersLaw.com • 901.602.5700 J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1 • M E M P H I S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • 73
12/17/20 12:23 PM
SOUTH MAIN SUSHI & GRILL—Serving sushi, nigiri, and more. 520 S. Main. 249-2194. L, D, X, $ SOB—Elevated gastropub that serves favorites like general Tso’s cauliflower or duck fried rice. 361 S. Main. 526-0388. L, D, WB, X, $-$$. SPINDINI—Italian fusion cuisine with such entrees as woodfired pizzas, Gorgonzola-stuffed filet, and fresh seafood; large domestic whiskey selection. 383 S. Main. 578-2767. D, X, $$-$$$ SUNRISE MEMPHIS—From owners of Sweet Grass and Central BBQ. Serves breakfast all day, including house-made biscuits, frittatas, kielbasa or boudin plates, and breakfast platters. 670 Jefferson. 552-3144. B, L, X, MRA, $ TERRACE—Creative American and Continental cuisine includes such dishes as filet mignon, beef or lamb sliders, chicken satay, and mushroom pizzetta. Rooftop, River Inn of Harbor Town, 50 Harbor Town Square. 260-3366. D, X, MRA, $$ TEXAS DE BRAZIL—Serves beef, pork, lamb, and chicken dishes, and Brazilian sausage; also a salad bar with extensive toppings. 150 Peabody Place, Suite 103. 526-7600. L (Wed.-Fri.), D, SB, X, $$-$$$ TUG’S—Famous for New Orleans gumbo, fabulous burgers, fried thin catfish, and specialty pancakes. Now serving Grisanti Crafted Pizza. 51 Harbor Town Sq. 260-3344. B, L, D, WB, X, $$-$$$ THE VAULT—Oysters, shrimp beignets, flatbreads, stuffed cornish hen, and Smash Burger featured on “Late Nite Eats” are among the dishes offered at this Creole/Italian fusion eatery. 124 G.E. Patterson. 591-8000. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ WESTY’S—Extensive menu includes a variety of wild rice dishes, sandwiches, plate lunches, and hot fudge pie. 346 N. Main. 543-3278.L, D, X, $
MIDTOWN (INCLUDES THE MEDICAL CENTER) ABYSSINIA RESTAURANT—Ethiopian/Mediterranean menu includes beef, chicken, lamb, fish entrees, and vegetarian dishes; also a lunch buffet. 2600 Poplar. 321-0082. L, D, X, $-$$ ALCHEMY—Southern fusion, locally grown cuisine features small and large plates; among the offerings are pan-seared hanger steak, quail, and lamb chops; also handcrafted cocktails and local craft beers. 940 S. Cooper. 726-4444. D, SB, X, $-$$ ART BAR—Inventive cocktails feature locally foraged ingredients; snacks include house-cured salt & vinegar potato chips and herb-roasted olives. Closed Mon. 1350 Concourse Avenue #280. 507-8030. D, X, $ BABALU TACOS & TAPAS—This eatery dishes up Spanish-style tapas with Southern flair; also taco and enchilada of the day; specials change daily. 2115 Madison. 274-0100; 6450 Poplar, 410-8909. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ BACK DO / MI YARD—A revamped patio space behind The Beauty Shop features rotisserie meats and fishes via Brazilian-style outdoor grill. Dinner Wednesday-Saturday, weather permitting. 966 S. Cooper, 272-7111. D, X, $$ BAR DKDC—Features an ever-changing menu of international “street food,” from Thai to Mexican, Israeli to Indian, along with specialty cocktails. 964 S. Cooper. 272-0830. D, X, MRA, $ BAR KEOUGH—It’s old school eats and cocktails at the new Cooper-Young neighborhood corner bar by Kevin Keough. 247 Cooper St. D, X, $ BAR-B-Q SHOP—Dishes up barbecued ribs, spaghetti, bologna; also pulled pork shoulder, Texas toast barbecue sandwich, chicken sandwich, and salads. Closed Sun. 1782 Madison. 272-1277. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ BARI RISTORANTE ENOTECA—Authentic Southeastern Italian cuisine (Puglia) emphasizes lighter entrees. Serves fresh fish and beef dishes and a homemade soup of the day. 22 S. Cooper. 722-2244. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ BARKSDALE RESTAURANT—Old-school diner serving breakfast and Southern plate lunches. 237 S. Cooper. 722-2193. B, L, D, X, $ BAYOU BAR & GRILL—New Orleans fare at this Overton Square eatery includes jambalaya, gumbo, catfish Acadian, shrimp dishes, red beans and rice, and muffalettas. 2094 Madison. 278-8626. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$ BEAUTY SHOP—Modern American cuisine with international flair served in a former beauty shop. Serves steaks, salads, pasta, and seafood, including pecan-crusted golden sea bass. Perennial “Best Brunch”
winner. Closed for dinner Sunday. 966 S. Cooper. 272-7111. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ BELLY ACRES—At this festive Overton Square eatery, milkshakes, floats, and burgers rule. Burgers are updated with contemporary toppings like grilled leeks, braised tomatoes, and sourdough or brioche buns. 2102 Trimble Pl. 529-7017. L, D, X, $ BHAN THAI—Authentic Thai cuisine includes curries, pad Thai noodles, and vegetarian dishes, as well as seafood, pork, and duck entrees. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. and all day Mon. 1324 Peabody. 272-1538. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ BOSCOS—Tennessee’s first craft brewery serves a variety of freshly brewed beers as well as wood-fired oven pizzas, pasta, seafood, steaks, and sandwiches. 2120 Madison. 432-2222. L, D, SB (with live jazz), X, MRA, $-$$ BOUNTY ON BROAD—Offering family-style dining, Bounty serves small plates and family-sized platters, with such specialties as chicken fried quail and braised pork shank. 2519 Broad. 410-8131. L (Sat. and Sun.), D (Mon.-Sat.), SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ BROADWAY PIZZA—Serving a variety of pizzas, including the Broadway Special, as well as sandwiches, salads, wings, and soul-food specials. 2581 Broad. 454-7930; 627 S. Mendenhall. 207-1546. L, D, X, $-$$ CAFE 1912—French/American bistro owned by culinary pioneer Glenn Hays serving such seafood entrees as seared sea scallops with charred cauliflower purée and chorizo cumin sauce; also crepes, salads, and onion soup gratinée. 243 S. Cooper. 722-2700. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ CAFE BROOKS BY CITY & STATE—Serving grab-and-go pastries, as well as lunch items. Menu includes soups, salads, and sandwiches, such as the Modern Reuben and Grown-Up Grilled Cheese. 1934 Poplar (Memphis Brooks Museum of Art). 544-6200. B, L, X, $ CAFE ECLECTIC—Omelets and chicken and waffles are among menu items, along with quesadillas, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. Menu varies by location. 603 N. McLean. 725-1718; 111 Harbor Town Square. 590-4645. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $ CAFE OLÉ—This eatery specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine; one specialty is the build-your-own quesadilla. 959 S. Cooper. 343-0103. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ CAFE PALLADIO—Serves gourmet salads, soups, sandwiches, and desserts in a tea room inside the antiques shop. Closed Sun. 2169 Central. 278-0129. L, X, $ CAFE SOCIETY—With Belgian and classic French influences, serves Wagyu beef, chicken, and seafood dishes, including bacon-wrapped shrimp, along with daily specials and vegetarian entrees. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. 212 N. Evergreen. 722-2177. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ CELTIC CROSSING—Specializes in Irish and American pub fare. Entrees include shepherd’s pie, shrimp and sausage coddle, and fish and chips. 903 S. Cooper. 274-5151. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$ CENTRAL BBQ—Serves ribs, smoked hot wings, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken, turkey, nachos, and portobello sandwiches. Offers both pork and beef barbecue. 2249 Central Ave. 272-9377; 4375 Summer Ave. 7674672; 147 E. Butler. 672-7760 ; 6201 Poplar. 417-7962. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ THE COVE—Nautical-themed restaurant and bar serving oysters, pizzas, and more. The Stoner Pie, with tamales and fritos, is a popular dish. 2559 Broad. 730-0719. L, D, $ THE CRAZY NOODLE—Korean noodle dishes range from bibam beef noodle with cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables, to curry chicken noodle; also rice cakes served in a flavorful sauce. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. 2015 Madison. 272-0928. L, D, X, $ THE DOGHOUZZ—It’s both bark and bite at the Doghouzz, which pairs a variety of gourmet hot dogs alongside local craft beer and one of the city’s most extensive whiskey selections. Open for lunch, dinner, and late-night. Closed Sunday. 1349 Autumn Ave. 207-7770. L, D, X, $ ECCO—Mediterranean-inspired specialties range from rib-eye steak to seared scallops to housemade pastas and a grilled vegetable plate; also a Saturday brunch. Closed Sun.-Mon. 1585 Overton Park. 410-8200. L, D, X, $-$$ FARM BURGER—Serves grass-fed, freshly ground, locally sourced burgers; also available with chicken, pork, or veggie quinoa patties, with such toppings as aged white cheddar, kale coleslaw, and roasted beets. 1350 Concourse Avenue #175. 800-1851. L, D, X, $
FINO’S ITALIAN DELI & CATERING—The newly revived Fino’s offers the old favorites such as the Acquisto as well as a new breakfast menu. 1853 Madison. 272-FINO. B, L, D, X, $ FRIDA’S—Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex standards, including chimichangas, enchiladas, and fajitas; seafood includes shrimp and tilapia. 1718 Madison. 244-6196. L, D, X, $-$$ GLOBAL CAFE—This international food hall hosts three immigrant/refugee food entrepreneurs serving Venezuelan, Sudanese, and Syrian cuisines. Samosas, shawarma, and kabobs are among the menu items. Closed Mon. 1350 Concourse Avenue #157. L, D, X, MRA, $ GOLDEN INDIA—Northern Indian specialties include tandoori chicken as well as lamb, beef, shrimp, and vegetarian dishes. 2097 Madison. 728-5111. L, D, X, $-$$ GROWLERS—Sports bar and eatery serves standard bar fare in addition to a pasta, tacos, chicken and waffles, and light options. 1911 Poplar. 244-7904. L, D, X, $-$$ HATTIE B’S—Fried chicken spot features “hot chicken” with a variety of heat levels; from no heat to “shut the cluck up” sauce. Sides include greens, pimento mac-and-cheese, and black-eyed pea salad. 596 S. Cooper. 424-5900. L, D, X, $ HAZEL’S LUCKY DICE DELICATESSEN— Jewish deli venture by Karen Carrier, serving up all manner of New York-style and kosher sandwiches. Takeout only. 964 Cooper St. 272-0830. L, S. HM DESSERT LOUNGE—Serving cake, pie, and other desserts, as well as a selection of savory dishes, including meatloaf and mashed potato “cupcakes.” Closed Monday. 1586 Madison. 290-2099. L, D, X, $ IMAGINE VEGAN CAFE—Dishes at this fully vegan restaurant range from salads and sandwiches to full dinners, including eggplant parmesan and “beef” tips and rice; breakfast all day Sat. and Sun. 2158 Young. 654-3455. L, D, WB, X, $ INDIA PALACE—Tandoori chicken, lamb shish kabobs, and chicken tikka masala are among the entrees; also, vegetarian options and a daily all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. 1720 Poplar. 278-1199. L, D, X, $-$$ INSPIRE COMMUNITY CAFE—Serving breakfast all day, in addition to quesadillas, rice bowls, and more for lunch and dinner. 510 Tillman, Suite 110. 509-8640. B, L, D, X, $ LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM—Serves such Southern cuisine as po’boys, shrimp and grits, and wood-fired pizzas. 2119 Madison. 207-5097. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$ LBOE—Gourmet burger joint serves locally sourced ground beef burgers, with options like the Mac-N-Cheese Burger and Caprese. Black bean and turkey patties available. 2021 Madison. 725-0770. L, D, X, $ THE LIQUOR STORE—Renovated liquor store turned diner serves all-day breakfast, sandwiches, and entrees such as Salisbury steak and smothered pork chops. Closed for dinner Sun.-Mon. 2655 Broad. 405-5477. B, L, D, X, $-$$ LITTLE ITALY—Serving New York-style pizza as well as subs and pasta dishes. 1495 Union. 725-0280; L, D, X, $-$$ MARDI GRAS MEMPHIS—Fast-casual establishment serving Cajun fare, including an etouffee-stuffed po’boy. Closed Mon.-Tues. 496 N. Watkins. 530-6767. L, D, X, $-$$ MAXIMO’S ON BROAD—Serving a tapas menu that features creative fusion cuisine; entrees include veggie paella and fish of the day. Closed Mon. 2617 Broad Ave. 452-1111. D, SB, X, $-$$ MEMPHIS PIZZA CAFE—Homemade pizzas are specialties; also serves sandwiches, calzones, and salads. 2087 Madison. 726-5343; 5061 Park Ave. 684-1306; 7604 W. Farmington (Germantown). 753-2218; 797 W. Poplar (Collierville). 861-7800; 5627 Getwell (Southaven). 662-536-1364. L, D, X, $-$$ MIDPOINTE FROM EDGE ALLEY—Edge Alley’s sister cafe at the Ballet Memphis headquarters focuses on freshness for its breakfast, lunch, and happy hour tapas. Closed SundayMonday. 2144 Madison Ave. 425-2605. B, L, X, $ MOLLY’S LA CASITA—Homemade tamales, fish tacos, a vegetarian combo, and bacon-wrapped shrimp are a few of the specialties. 2006 Madison. 726-1873. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ NEXT DOOR AMERICAN EATERY—Serves dishes sourced from American farms. Menu features chorizo bacon dates, spicy gulf shrimp, and dry-aged beef burgers. 1350 Concourse Avenue, Suite 165. 779-1512. L, D, X, $ PAYNE’S BAR-B-QUE—Opened in 1972, this family-owned barbecue joint serves ribs, smoked sausage, and chopped pork sandwiches with a standout mustard slaw and homemade sauce. About as down-toearth as it gets. 1762 Lamar. 272-1523. L, D, $-$$
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PARISH GROCERY—Shrimp? Roast beef? Oysters? Whatever type of po’boy you want, the New Orleansthemed eatery has got it. Closed Monday. 1545 Overton Park Ave. 207-4347. L, D, X, $-$$ PIZZERIA TRASIMENO—Small pizzas baked in wood-fired clay ovens along with a selection of small salads. Menu is soon to include desserts, local beer on tap, and Umbrian wine. 1350 Concourse Ave., Suite 181. 308-1113. L, D. $ PHO BINH—Vietnamese, vegetarian, and Cantonese specialties include lemon tofu and spring rolls. Closed Sunday. 1615 Madison. 276-0006. L, D, $ RAILGARTEN—Located in a former rail station space, this eatery offers breakfast items, a variety of salads and sandwiches, and such entrees as short rib mac-and-cheese and fish tacos. Also serves shakes, malts, floats, and cream sodas. 2166 Central. 231-5043. B, L, D, $-$$ RED FISH ASIAN BISTRO—In the former Nineteenth Century Club building, serves sushi, teriyaki, and hibachi. Specialties include yuzu filet mignon and Chilean sea bass. 1433 Union. 454-3926; 9915 Highway 64 (Lakeland). 729-7581; 6518 Goodman (Olive Branch). 662-874-5254. L, D, X, $-$$$ RESTAURANT IRIS—French Creole-inspired classics, such as Gulf shrimp and rice grits congee served with lap chong sausage and boiled peanuts, are served at this newly remodeled restaurant owned by Chef Kelly English, a Food and Wine “Top Ten.” 2146 Monroe. 590-2828. D, X, $$-$$$ ROBATA RAMEN & YAKITORI BAR—Serves ramen noodle bowls and Yakitori skewers as well as rice and noodle dishes. 2116 Madison. 410-8290. L, D, X, $ SABROSURA—Serves Mexican and Cuban fare, including arroz tapada de pollo and steak Mexican. Closed Sun. 782 Washington. 421-8180. L, D, X, $-$$ SALTWATER CRAB—Offers an array of seafood dishes including boils with blue crab, crab legs, lobster tails, and more, and specialty sushi like the Dynamite or Royal King rolls, in addition to signature sangrias and cocktails. 2059 Madison Ave. 922-5202. L, D, X, $$ SAUCY CHICKEN—Specializes in antibiotic-free chicken dishes with locally sourced ingredients, with such items as hot wings and the Crosstown Chicken Sandwich, and a variety of house-made dipping sauces; also, seafood, salads, and daily specials. 1350 Concourse, Suite 137. 203-3838. L, D (Mon.-Fri.), $ THE SECOND LINE—Kelly English brings “relaxed Creole cuisine” to his newest eatery; serves a variety of po’boys and such specialties as barbecue shrimp, andouille shrimp, and pimento cheese fries. 2144 Monroe. 590-2829. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ SEKISUI—Japanese fusion cuisine, fresh sushi bar, grilled meats and seafood, California rolls, and vegetarian entrees. Poplar/Perkins location’s emphasis is on Pacific Rim cuisine. Menu and hours vary at each location. 25 Belvedere. 725-0005; 1884 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 309-8800; 4724 Poplar. 767-7770; 2130 W. Poplar (Collierville). 854-0622; 2990 Kirby-Whitten (Bartlett). 377-2727; 6696 Poplar. 747-0001. L, D, X, $-$$$ STICKEM—Brick and mortar location for the popular food truck, which offers grilled meat on a stick. 1788 Madison. Closed Sunday. 474-7214. L, D, X, $ STONE SOUP CAFE—Cooper-Young eatery serving soups, salads, quiche, meat-and-two specials; and daily specials such as Italian roast beef. Closed Monday. 993 S. Cooper. 922-5314. B, L, SB, X, $ SOUL FISH CAFE—Serving Southern-style soul food, tacos, and po’boys, including catfish, crawfish, oyster, shrimp, chicken, and smoked pork tenderloin. 862 S. Cooper. 725-0722; 3160 Village Shops Dr. (Germantown). 755-6988; 4720 Poplar. 590-0323. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ SWEET GRASS—Chef Ryan Trimm takes Southern cuisine to a new level. Low-country coastal cuisine includes such specialties as shrimp and grits. Closed Mon. Restaurant’s “sister,” Sweet Grass Next Door, open nightly, serves lunch Sat.-Sun. 937 S. Cooper. 278-0278. D, SB, X, $-$$$ TAMBOLI’S PASTA & PIZZA—Pasta Maker Josh Tamboli whips up Italian soul food with seasonal menus featuring dishes like crispy fried chicken or creamy bucatini with pecorino cheese. Serves dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Pizza only menu after 9pm. 1761 Madison. 410-8866. D, X, $-$$
TAKASHI BISTRO—Fusion restaurant with an open kitchen that lets customers watch chefs prepare a variety of Japanese and Thai cuisine. 1680 Union Ave. Ste. 109. 800-2936. L, D, $-$$. TSUNAMI—Features Pacific Rim cuisine (Asia, Australia, South Pacific, etc.); also a changing “small plate” menu. Chef Ben Smith is a Cooper-Young pioneer. Specialties include Asian nachos and roasted sea bass. Closed Sunday. 928 S. Cooper. 274-2556. D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ ZINNIE’S—Dive bar classic reopens with a makeover and signature Zinnaloni sandwich. 1688 Madison. 726-5004. L, D, X, $
SOUTH MEMPHIS (INCLUDES
PARKWAY VILLAGE, FOX MEADOWS, SOUTH MEMPHIS, WINCHESTER, AND WHITEHAVEN)
COLETTA’S—Longtime eatery serves such specialties as homemade ravioli, lasagna, and pizza with barbecue or traditional toppings. 1063 S. Parkway E. 948-7652; 2850 Appling Rd. (Bartlett). 383-1122. L, D, X, $-$$ CURRY BOWL—Specializes in Southern Indian cuisine, serving Tandoori chicken, biryani, tikka masala, and more. Weekend buffet. 4141 Hacks Cross Rd. 207-6051. L, D, $ DELTA’S KITCHEN—The premier restaurant at The Guest House at Graceland serves Elvis-inspired dishes — like Nutella and Peanut Butter Crepes for breakfast — and upscale Southern cuisine — including lamb chops and shrimp and grits — for dinner. 3600 Elvis Presley Blvd. 443-3000. B, D, X, $-$$$ DWJ KOREAN BARBECUE—This authentic Korean eatery serves kimbap, barbecued beef short ribs, rice and noodles dishes, and hot pots and stews. 3750 Hacks Cross Rd., Suite 101. 746-8057; 2156 Young. 207-6204. L, D, $-$$ THE FOUR WAY—Legendary soul-food establishment dishing up such entrees as fried and baked catfish, chicken, and turkey and dressing, along with a host of vegetables and desserts. Around the corner from the legendary Stax Studio. Closed Monday. 998 Mississippi Blvd. 507-1519. L, D, $ HERNANDO’S HIDEAWAY—Hernando’s Hideaway–No one cares how late it gets; not at Hernando’s Hideaway. Live music, killer happy hour, and plenty of bar fare at this South Memphis hang. 3210 Old Hernando Rd. 917-982-1829. L, D, $ INTERSTATE BAR-B-Q—Specialties include chopped pork-shoulder sandwiches, ribs, hot wings, spaghetti, chicken, and turkey. 2265 S. Third. 775-2304; 150 W. Stateline Rd. (Southaven). 662-393-5699. L, D, X, $-$$ LEONARD’S—Serves wet and dry ribs, barbecue sandwiches, spaghetti, catfish, homemade onion rings, and lemon icebox pie; also a lunch buffet. 5465 Fox Plaza. 360-1963. L, X, $-$$ MARLOWE’S—In addition to its signature barbecue and ribs, Marlowe’s serves Southern-style steaks, chops, lasagne, and more. 4381 Elvis Presley Blvd. 332-4159. D, X, MRA, $-$$ UNCLE LOU’S FRIED CHICKEN—Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for good reason: fried chicken (mild, hot, or home-style); jumbo burgers four patties high; strawberry shortcake, and assorted fruit pies. 3633 Millbranch. 332-2367. L, D, X, MRA, $
SUMMER/BERCLAIR/ RALEIGH/BARTLETT ASIAN PALACE—Chinese eatery serves seafood, vegetarian items, dim sum, and more. 5266 Summer Ave. 766-0831. L, D, X, $-$$ ELWOOD’S SHACK—Casual comfort food includes tacos, pizza and sandwiches. Specialties include meats smoked in-house (chicken, turkey, brisket, pork), barbecue pizza, and steelhead trout tacos. 4523 Summer. 761-9898. B, L, D, X, $ EXLINES’ BEST PIZZA—Serves pizza, Italian dinners, sandwiches, and salads. 6250 Stage Rd. 382-3433; 2935 Austin Peay. 388-4711; 2801 Kirby Parkway. 754-0202; 7730 Wolf River Blvd. (Germantown). 753-4545; 531 W. Stateline Rd. 662-3424544 (check online for additional locations). L, D, X, MRA, $ GRIDLEY’S—Offers barbecued ribs, shrimp, pork plate, chicken, and hot tamales; also daily lunch specials. Closed Tues. 6842 Stage Rd. 377-8055. L, D, X, $-$$
LA TAQUERIA GUADALUPANA—Fajitas and quesadillas are just a few of the authentic Mexican entrees offered here. A bona-fide Memphis institution. 4818 Summer. 685-6857; 5848 Winchester. 365-4992. L, D, $ LOTUS—Authentic Vietnamese-Asian fare, including lemon-grass chicken and shrimp, egg rolls, Pho soup, and spicy Vietnamese vermicelli. 4970 Summer. 682-1151. D, X, $ MORTIMER’S—Contemporary American entrees include trout almondine, chicken dishes, and hand-cut steaks; also sandwiches, salads, and daily/nightly specials. A Memphis landmark since the Knickerbocker closed. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. 590 N. Perkins. 761-9321. L, D, X, $-$$ NAGASAKI INN—Chicken, steak, and lobster are among the main courses; meal is cooked at your table. 3951 Summer. 454-0320. D, X, $$ PANDA GARDEN—Sesame chicken and broccoli beef are among the Mandarin and Cantonese entrees; also seafood specials and fried rice. Closed for lunch Saturday. 3735 Summer. 323-4819. L, D, X, $-$$ QUEEN OF SHEBA—Featuring Middle Eastern favorites and Yemeni dishes such as lamb haneeth and saltah. 4792 Summer. 207-4174. L, D, $ SIDE PORCH STEAK HOUSE—In addition to steak, the menu includes chicken, pork chops, and fish entrees; homemade rolls are a specialty. Closed Sun.-Mon. 5689 Stage Rd. 377-2484. D, X, $-$$ TORTILLERIA LA UNICA—Individual helping of Mexican street food, including hefty tamales, burritos, tortas, and sopes. 5015 Summer Ave. 685-0097. B, L, D, X, $
UNIVERSITY NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT (INCLUDES CHICKASAW GARDENS AND HIGHLAND STRIP)
A-TAN—Serves Chinese and Japanese hibachi cuisine, complete with sushi bar. A specialty is Four Treasures with garlic sauce. 3445 Poplar, Suite 17, University Center. 452-4477. L, D, X, $-$$$ THE BLUFF—New Orleans-inspired menu includes alligator bites, nachos topped with crawfish and andouille, gumbo, po’boys, and fried seafood platters. 535 S. Highland. 454-7771. L, D, X, $-$$ BROTHER JUNIPER’S—This little cottage is a breakfast mecca, offering specialty omelets, including the open-faced San Diegan omelet; also daily specials, and homemade breads and pastries. Closed Mon. 3519 Walker. 324-0144. B, X, $ CHAR RESTAURANT—Specializing in modern Southern cuisine, this eatery offers homestyle sides, char-broiled steaks, and fresh seafood. 431 S. Highland #120. 249-3533. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ DERAE RESTAURANT—Ethiopian and Mediterranean fare includes fuul, or fava beans in spices and yogurt, goat meat and rice, and garlic chicken over basmati rice with cilantro chutney; also salmon and tilapia. Closed Monday. 923 S. Highland. 552-3992. B, L, D, $-$$ EL PORTON—Fajitas, quesadillas, and steak ranchero are just a few of the menu items. 2095 Merchants Row (Germantown). 754-4268; 8361 Highway 64. 380-7877; 3448 Poplar (Poplar Plaza). 452-7330; 1805 N. Germantown Parkway (Cordova). 624-9358; 1016 W. Poplar (Collierville). 854-5770. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ JOES’ ON HIGHLAND—Specializes in fried chicken and comfort sides such as warm okra/green tomato salad and turnip greens. Entrees include salmon patties and chicken-fried steak. Closed Mon. 262 S. Highland. 337-7003. L, D, X, $ MEDALLION—Offers steaks, seafood, chicken, and pasta entrees. Closed for dinner Sunday. 3700 Central, Holiday Inn (Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality). 678-1030. B, L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$
(INCLUDES POPLAR/ I-240) ACRE—Features seasonal modern American cuisine in an avante-garde setting using locally sourced products; also small plates and enclosed garden patio.
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Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. 690 S. Perkins. 818-2273. L, D, X, $$-$$$ AGAVOS COCINA & TEQUILA—Camaron de Tequila, tamales, kabobs, and burgers made with a blend of beef and chorizo are among the offerings at this tequila-centric restaurant and bar. 2924 Walnut Grove. 433-9345. L, D, X, $-$$ AMERIGO—Traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine includes pasta, wood-fired pizza, steaks, and cedarwood-roasted fish. 1239 Ridgeway, Park Place Mall. 761-4000. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ ANDREW MICHAEL ITALIAN KITCHEN— Traditional Italian cuisine with a menu from two of the city’s top chefs that changes seasonally with such entrees as Maw Maw’s ravioli. Closed Sun.-Mon. 712 W. Brookhaven Cl. 347-3569. D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFE—Offering several varieties of eggs Benedict, waffles, omelets, pancakes, beignets, and other breakfast fare; also burgers, sandwiches, and salads. 6063 Park Ave. 729-7020; 65 S. Highland. 623-7122. B, L, WB, X, $ BANGKOK ALLEY—Thai fusion cuisine includes noodle and curry dishes, chef-specialty sushi rolls, coconut soup, and duck and seafood entrees. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. at Brookhaven location; call for hours. 715 W. Brookhaven Cl. 590-2585; 2150 W. Poplar at Houston Levee (Collierville). 854-8748. L, D, X, $-$$ BENIHANA—This Japanese steakhouse serves beef, chicken, and seafood grilled at the table; some menu items change monthly; sushi bar also featured. 912 Ridge Lake Blvd. 767-8980. L, D, X, $$-$$$ BLUE PLATE CAFÉ—For breakfast, the café’s serves old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes (it’s a secret recipe!), country ham and eggs, and waffles with fresh strawberries and cream. For lunch, the café specializes in country cooking. 5469 Poplar. 761-9696; 113 S. Court. 523-2050. B, L, X, $ BROOKLYN BRIDGE ITALIAN RESTAURANT— Specializing in such homemade entrees as spinach lasagna and lobster ravioli; a seafood specialty is horseradish-crusted salmon. Closed Sun. 1779 Kirby Pkwy. 755-7413. D, X, $-$$$ BRYANT’S BREAKFAST—Three-egg omelets, pancakes, and The Sampler Platter are among the popular entrees here. Possibly the best biscuits in town. Closed Mon. and Tues. 3965 Summer. 324-7494. B, L, X, $ BUCKLEY’S FINE FILET GRILL—Specializes in steaks, seafood, and pasta. (Lunchbox serves entree salads, burgers, and more.) 5355 Poplar. 683-4538; 919 S. Yates (Buckley’s Lunchbox), 682-0570. L (Yates only, M-F), D, X, $-$$ CAPITAL GRILLE—Known for its dry-aged, hand-carved steaks; among the specialties are bone-in sirloin, and porcini-rubbed Delmonico; also seafood entrees and seasonal lunch plates. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. Crescent Center, 6065 Poplar. 683-9291. L, D, X, $$$-$$$$ CASABLANCA—Lamb shawarma is one of the fresh, homemade specialties served at this Mediterranean/Moroccan restaurant; fish entrees and vegetarian options also available. 5030 Poplar. 725-8557 ; 7609 Poplar Pike (Germantown). 4255908; 1707 Madison. 421-6949. L, D, X, $-$$ CIAO BELLA—Among the Italian and Greek specialties are lasagna, seafood pasta, gourmet pizzas, and vegetarian options. Closed for lunch Sat.-Sun. 565 Erin Dr., Erin Way Shopping Center. 205-2500. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$$ CITY SILO TABLE + PANTRY—With a focus on clean eating, this establishment offers fresh juices, as well as comfort foods re-imagined with wholesome ingredients. 5101 Sanderlin. 729-7687. B, L, D, X, $ CORKY’S—Popular barbecue emporium offers both wet and dry ribs, plus a full menu of other barbecue entrees. Wed. lunch buffets, Cordova and Collierville. 5259 Poplar. 685-9744; 1740 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 737-1911; 743 W. Poplar (Collierville). 405-4999; 6434 Goodman Rd., Olive Branch. 662893-3663. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ DAN MCGUINNESS PUB—Serves fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, burgers, and other Irish and American fare; also lunch and dinner specials. 4694 Spottswood. 761-3711; 3964 Goodman Rd. 662-890-7611. L, D, X, $ ERLING JENSEN—For over 20 years, has presented “globally inspired” cuisine to die for. Specialties are rack of lamb, big game entrees, and fresh fish dishes. 1044 S. Yates. 763-3700. D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ FLEMING’S PRIME STEAKHOUSE—Serves wetaged and dry-aged steaks, prime beef, chops, and seafood,
including salmon, Australian lobster tails, and a catch of the day. 6245 Poplar. 761-6200. D, X, MRA, $$$-$$$$ FOLK’S FOLLY ORIGINAL PRIME STEAK HOUSE—Specializes in prime steaks, as well as lobster, grilled Scottish salmon, Alaskan king crab legs, rack of lamb, and weekly specials. 551 S. Mendenhall. 762-8200. D, X, MRA, $$$-$$$$ FORMOSA—Offers Mandarin cuisine, including broccoli beef, hot-and-sour soup, and spring rolls. Closed Monday. 6685 Quince. 753-9898. L, D, X, $-$$ FOX RIDGE PIZZA & GRILL—Pizzas, calzones, sub sandwiches, burgers, and meat-and-two plate lunches are among the dishes served at this eatery, which opened in 1979. 711 W Brookhaven Cir. 758-6500. L, D, X, $ FRATELLI’S—Serves hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, and desserts, all with an Italian/Mediterranean flair. Closed Sunday. 750 Cherry Rd., Memphis Botanic Garden. 766-9900. L, X, $ FRANK GRISANTI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT— Northern Italian favorites include pasta with jumbo shrimp and mushrooms; also seafood, filet mignon, and daily lunch specials. Closed for lunch Sunday. Embassy Suites Hotel, 1022 S. Shady Grove. 761-9462. L, D, X, $-$$$ HALF SHELL—Specializes in seafood, such as king crab legs; also serves steaks, chicken, pastas, salads, sandwiches, a ”voodoo menu”; oyster bar at Winchester location. 688 S. Mendenhall. 682-3966; 7825 Winchester. 737-6755. L, D, WB, X, MRA, $-$$$ HIGH POINT PIZZA—Serves a variety of pizzas, subs, salads, and sides. Closed Monday. A neighborhood fixture. 477 High Point Terrace. 452-3339. L, D, X, $-$$ HOUSTON’S—Serves steaks, seafood, pork chops, chicken dishes, sandwiches, salads, and Chicago-style spinach dip. Farmous for first-class service. 5000 Poplar. 683-0915. L, D, X $-$$$ LA BAGUETTE—An almond croissant and chicken salad are among specialties at this French-style bistro. Closed for dinner Sun. 3088 Poplar. 458-0900. B, L, D (closes at 7), X, MRA, $ LAS DELICIAS—Popular for its guacamole, house-made tortilla chips, and margaritas, this restaurant draws diners with its chicken enchiladas, meat-stuffed flautas, and Cuban torta with spicy pork. Closed Sunday. 4002 Park Ave. 458-9264; 5689 Quince. 800-2873. L, D, X, $ LIBRO AT LAURELWOOD—Bookstore eatery features a variety of sandwiches, salads, and homemade pasta dishes, with Italian-inspired options such as carbonara and potato gnocchi. Closed for dinner Sun. 387 Perkins Ext. (Novel). 800-2656. B, L, D, SB, X, $-$$ LISA’S LUNCHBOX—Serving bagels, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. 5885 Ridgeway Center Pkwy. 767-6465; 2650 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 1200; 730-0064; 6070 Poplar. 2335875; 50 N. Front. 574-0468. B, L, $ LOST PIZZA—Offering pizzas (with dough made from scratch), pasta, salads, sandwiches, tamales, and more. 2855 Poplar. 572-1803; 5960 Getwell (Southaven). 662-892-8684. L, D, X, $-$$ LYNCHBURG LEGENDS—This restaurant with a Jack Daniels’ theme and Southern cuisine serves such entrees as Bourbon Street salmon, buttermilk-fried chicken, and grilled steak and wild mushroom salad. DoubleTree Hotel, 5069 Sanderlin. 969-7777. B, L, D, X, $-$$$ MAGNOLIA & MAY—The family behind Grove Grill cooks up Southern-inspired casual dining at this country brasserie, with popular menu items like peach gazpacho and low country shrimp n’ grits. 718 Mt. Moriah Rd. 676-8100. D, $$-$$$. MAHOGANY MEMPHIS—Upscale Southern restaurant offers such dishes as coffee-rubbed lamb chops and baked Cajun Cornish hen. Closed for dinner Sun. and all day Mon.-Tues. 3092 Poplar, Suite 11. 623-7977. L, D, SB, X, $-$$$ MARCIANO MEDITERRANEAN AND ITALIAN CUISINE—Veal Saltimbocca with angel-hair pasta and white wine sauce is among the entrees; also steaks, seafood, and gourmet pizza. 780 Brookhaven Cl. 682-1660. D, X, $-$$ MAYURI INDIAN CUISINE—Serves tandoori chicken, masala dosa, tikka masala, as well as lamb and shrimp entrees; also a daily lunch buffet, and dinner buffet on Fri.-Sat. 6524 Quince Rd. 753-8755. L, D, X, $-$$ MELLOW MUSHROOM—Large menu includes assortment of pizzas, salads, calzones, hoagies, vegetarian options, and
50 beers on tap. 5138 Park Ave. 562-1211; 9155 Poplar, Shops of Forest Hill (Germantown). 907-0243. L, D, X, $-$$ MOSA ASIAN BISTRO—Specialties include sesame chicken, Thai calamari, rainbow panang curry with grouper fish, and other Pan Asian/fusion entrees. Closed Mon. 850 S. White Station Rd. 683-8889. L, D, X, MRA, $ NAM KING—Offers luncheon and dinner buffets, dim sum, and such specialties as fried dumplings, pepper steak, and orange chicken. 4594 Yale. 373-4411. L, D, X, $ NAPA CAFE—Among the specialties are miso-marinated salmon over black rice with garlic spinach and shiitake mushrooms. Closed Sun. 5101 Sanderlin, Suite 122. 683-0441. L, D, X, MRA, $$-$$$ NEW HUNAN—Chinese eatery with more than 80 entrees; also lunch/dinner buffets. 5052 Park. 766-1622. L, D, X, $ ONE & ONLY BBQ—On the menu are pork barbecue sandwiches, platters, wet and dry ribs, smoked chicken and turkey platters, a smoked meat salad, barbecue quesadillas, Brunswick Stew, and Millie’s homemade desserts. 1779 Kirby Pkwy. 751-3615; 567 Perkins Extd. 249-4227. L, D, X, $ ONO POKÉ—This eatery specializes in poké — a Hawaiian dish of fresh fish salad served over rice. Menu includes a variety of poké bowls, like the Kimchi Tuna bowl, or customers can build their own by choosing a base, protein, veggies, and toppings. 3145 Poplar. 618-2955. L, D, X, $ OWEN BRENNAN’S—New Orleans-style menu of beef, chicken, pasta, and seafood; jambalaya, shrimp and grits, and crawfish etouffee are specialties. Closed for dinner Sunday. The Regalia, 6150 Poplar. 761-0990. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ PARK + CHERRY—The Dixon offers casual dining within the museum. Seasonal menu features sandwiches, like rustic chicken salad on croissant, as well as salads, snacks, and sweets. Closed for breakfast Sun. and all day Mon. 4339 Park (Dixon Gallery). 761-5250. L, X, $ PATRICK’S—Serves barbecue nachos, burgers, and entrees such as fish and chips; also plate lunches and daily specials. 4972 Park. 682-2852. L, D, X, MRA, $ PETE & SAM’S—Serving Memphis for 60-plus years; offers steaks, seafood, and traditional Italian dishes, including homemade ravioli, lasagna, and chicken marsala. 3886 Park. 458-0694. D, X, $-$$$ PF CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO—Specialties are orange peel shrimp, Mongolian beef, and chicken in lettuce wraps; also vegetarian dishes, including spicy eggplant. 1181 Ridgeway Rd., Park Place Centre. 818-3889. L, D, X, $-$$ PHO SAIGON—Vietnamese fare includes beef teriyaki, roasted quail, curry ginger chicken, vegetarian options, and a variety of soups. 2946 Poplar. 458-1644. L, D, $ PYRO’S FIRE-FRESH PIZZA—Serving gourmet pizzas cooked in an open-fire oven; wide choice of toppings; large local and craft beer selection. 1199 Ridgeway. 379-8294; 2035 Union Ave. 208-8857; 2286 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 207-1198; 3592 S. Houston Levee (Collierville). 2218109. L, D, X, MRA, $ RED HOOK CAJUN SEAFOOD & BAR—Cajunstyle array of seafood including shrimp, mussels, clams, crawfish, and oysters. 3295 Poplar. 207-1960. L, D, X, $-$$ RIVER OAKS—Chef Jose Gutierrez’s French-style bistro serves seafood and steaks, with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. 5871 Poplar Ave. 683-9305. L, D, X, $$$ RONNIE GRISANTI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT— This Memphis institution serves some family classics such as Elfo’s Special and handmade ravioli, along with house-made pizza and fresh oysters. Closed Sun. 6150 Poplar #122. 850-0191. D, X, $-$$$ RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE—Offers prime steaks cut and aged in-house, as well as lamb, chicken, and fresh seafood, including lobster. 6120 Poplar. 761-0055. D, X, $$$-$$$$ SALSA—Mexican-Southern California specialties include carnitas, enchiladas verde, and fajitas; also Southwestern seafood dishes such as snapper verde. Closed Sun. Regalia Shopping Center, 6150 Poplar, Suite 129. 683-6325. L, D, X, $-$$ SEASONS 52—This elegant fresh grill and wine bar offers a seasonally changing menu using fresh ingredients, wood-fire grilling, and brick-oven cooking; also a large international wine list and nightly piano bar. Crescent Center, 6085 Poplar. 682-9952. L, D, X, $$-$$$
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RESOLVE TO SUPPORT LOCAL MEDIA. The Memphis Flyer tells you what you need to know in good times and in tough times. That’s what we’ve done since 1989, and not even 2020 could stop us. So, as we enter this new year, resolve to support the free, independent local paper that’s always here for you. Even a little helps a lot.
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SOUTHALL CAFE—Locally-sourced ingredients bolster a chef-driven menu offering breakfast and lunch classics. 669 S. Mendenhall. 646-5698. B, L, WB, X, $ STAKS—Offering pancakes, including birthday cake and lemon ricotta. Menu includes other breakfast items such as beignets and French toast, as well as soups and sandwiches for lunch. 4615 Poplar. 509-2367; 7704 Poplar (Germantown). 800-1951. B, L, WB, X, $ SUSHI JIMMI—This food truck turned restaurant serves a variety of sushi rolls, fusion dishes — such as kimchi fries — and sushi burritos. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Mon. 2895 Poplar. 729-6985. L, D, X, $ SWANKY’S TACO SHOP—Taco-centric eatery offers tortas, flatbreads, quesadillas, chimichangas, burgers, and more. 4770 Poplar. 730-0763; 6641 Poplar (Germantown). 737-2088; 272 S. Main. 779-3499. L, D, X, $ THREE LITTLE PIGS—Pork-shoulder-style barbecue with tangy mild or hot sauce, freshly made coleslaw, and baked beans. 5145 Quince Rd. 685-7094. B, L, D, X, $ TOPS BAR-B-Q—Specializes in pork barbecue sandwiches and sandwich plates with beans and slaw; also serves ribs, beef brisket, and burgers. 1286 Union. 725-7527; 4183 Summer. 3244325; 5391 Winchester. 794-7936; 3970 Rhodes. 323-9865; 6130 Macon. 371-0580. For more locations, go online. L, D, X, $ VENICE KITCHEN—Specializes in “eclectic Italian” and Southern Creole, from pastas, including the “Godfather,” to hand-tossed pizzas, including the “John Wayne”; choose from 50 toppings. 368 Perkins Ext. 767-6872. L, D, SB, X, $-$$ WANG’S MANDARIN HOUSE—Offers Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechuan, and spicy Hunan entrees, including the golden-sesame chicken; next door is East Tapas, serving small plates with an Asian twist. 6065 Park Ave., Park Place Mall. 763-0676. L, D, X, $-$$ WASABI—Serving traditional Japanese offerings, hibachi, sashimi, and sushi. The Sweet Heart roll, wrapped — in the shape of a heart — with tuna and filled with spicy salmon, yellowtail, and avocado, is a specialty. 5101 Sanderlin Rd., Suite 105. 4216399. L, D, X, $-$$ WOMAN’S EXCHANGE TEA ROOM—Chicken-salad plate, beef tenderloin, soups-and-sandwiches, and vegetable plates are specialties; meal includes drink and dessert. Closed Sat.-Sun. 88 Racine. 327-5681. L, X, $
CORDOVA BOMBAY HOUSE—Indian fare includes lamb korma and chicken tikka; also, a daily luncheon buffet. 1727 N. Germantown Pkwy. 755-4114. L, D, X, $-$$ THE BUTCHER SHOP—Serves steaks ranging from 8-oz. filets to a 20-oz. porterhouse; also chicken, pork chops, fresh seafood. 107 S. Germantown Rd. 757-4244. L (Fri. and Sun.), D, X, $$-$$$ COASTAL FISH COMPANY—Upscale offerings of international fish varieties utilizing styles ranging from Carribbean, East Coast, West Coast, Chinese, to Filipino, and more. 415 Great View Dr. E., Suite 101. 266-9000. D, X, $$-$$$ GREEN BAMBOO—Pineapple tilapia, pork vermicelli, and the soft egg noodle combo are Vietnamese specialties here. 990 N. Germantown Parkway #104. 753-5488. L, D, $-$$ KING JERRY LAWLER’S MEMPHIS BBQ COMPANY—Offers a variety of barbecue dishes, including brisket, ribs, nachos topped with smoked pork, and a selection of barbecue “Slamwiches.” 465 N. Germantown Pkwy. #116. 509-2360. L, D, X, $ JIM ’N NICK’S BAR-B-Q—Serves barbecued pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, and fish, along with other homemade Southern specialties. 2359 N. Germantown Pkwy. 388-0998. L, D, X, $-$$ EL MERO TACO—This food truck turned restaurant serves up Mexican and Southern-style fusion dishes, including fried chicken tacos, chorizo con papas tacos, and brisket quesadillas. 8100 Macon Station, Suite 102. 308-1661. Closed Sun.-Mon. L, D, WB, X, $ SHOGUN JAPANESE RESTAURANT—Entrees include tempura, teriyaki, and sushi, as well as grilled fish and chicken entrees. 2324 N. Germantown Pkwy. 384-4122. L, D, X, $-$$ TANNOOR GRILL—Brazilian-style steakhouse with skewers served tableside, along with Middle Eastern specialties; vegetarian options also available. 830 N. Germantown Pkwy. 443-5222. L, D, X, $-$$$
GERMANTOWN BLUE HONEY BISTRO—Entrees at this upscale eatery include brown butter scallops served with Mississippi blue rice and herb-crusted beef tenderloin with vegetables and truffle butter. Closed Sun. 9155 Poplar, Suite 17. 552-3041. D, X, $-$$$ FOREST HILL GRILL—A variety of standard pub fare and a selection of mac-and-cheese dishes are featured on the menu. Specialties include Chicken Newport and a barbecue salmon BLT. 9102 Poplar Pike. 624-6001. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$ GERMANTOWN COMMISSARY—Serves barbecue sandwiches, sliders, ribs, shrimp, and nachos, as well as smoked barbecued bologna sandwiches; Mon.-night all-you-can-eat ribs. 2290 S. Germantown Rd. S. 754-5540. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ KOHESIAN SOKO STYLE EATERY—KoreanAmerican eatery serves up fusion-style dishes like bibimbap burgers or gochujang marinated loaded spicy pork nachos. 1730 S. Germantown Rd. 308-0223. L, D, X, $$ LAS TORTUGAS DELI MEXICANA— Authentic Mexican food prepared from local food sources; specializes in tortugas — grilled bread scooped out to hold such powerfully popular fillings as brisket, pork, and shrimp; also tingas, tostados. Closed Sunday. 1215 S. Germantown Rd. 751-1200; 6300 Poplar. 623-3882. L, D, X, $-$$ MISTER B’S—Features New Orleans-style seafood and steaks. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. and Mon. 6655 Poplar #107. 751-5262. L, D, X, $-$$$ MOONDANCE GRILL—From the owners of Itta Bena and Lafayette’s. Serves steak cooked sous vide and seafood dishes including Abita-barbecued shrimp and pan-seared sand dab, in addition to an extensive wine and cocktail list. 1730 S. Germantown Road, Suite 117. 755-1471. L, D, X, $$-$$$ NOODLES ASIAN BISTRO—Serves a variety of traditional Asian cuisine, with emphasis on noodle dishes, such as Singapore Street Noodles and Hong Kong Chow Fun. 7850 Poplar #12. 755-1117. L, D, X, $ OPEN FLAME—This authentic Persian and Mediterranean eatery specializes in shish kebabs as well as kosher and halal fare. 3445 Poplar. 207-4995. L, D, X, $ PETRA CAFÉ—Serves Greek, Italian, and Middle Eastern sandwiches, gyros, and entrees. Hours vary; call. 6641 Poplar. 754-4440; 547 S. Highland. 323-3050. L, D, X, $-$$ PIMENTO’S KITCHEN + MARKET—Fresh sandwiches, soups, salads, and plenty of pimento cheese at this family-owned restaurant. 6540 Poplar Ave. 602-5488 [Collierville: 3751 S. Houston Levee. 453-6283]. L, D, X, $ RED KOI—Classic Japanese cuisine offered at this family-run restaurant; hibachi steaks, sushi, seafood, chicken, and vegetables. 5847 Poplar. 767-3456. L, D, X $-$$ ROCK’N DOUGH PIZZA CO.—Specialty and custom pizzas made from fresh ingredients; wide variety of toppings. 7850 Poplar #6. 779-2008. L, D, SB, X, MRA, $$ ROYAL PANDA—Hunan fish, Peking duck, Royal Panda chicken and shrimp, and a seafood combo are among the specialties. 3120 Village Shops Dr. 756-9697. L, D, X, $-$$ RUSSO’S NEW YORK PIZZERIA AND WINE BAR—Serves gourmet pizzas, calzones, and pasta, including lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, scampi, and more. 9087 Poplar, Suite 111. 755-0092. L, D, WB, X, $-$$ SAKURA—Sushi, tempura, and teriyaki are Japanese specialties here. 2060 West St. 758-8181; 4840 Poplar. 572-1002. L, D, X, $-$$ SOBEAST—Eastern branch of the popular South of Beale, featuring the restaurant’s traditional staples, as well as rotating special menu items. 5040 Sanderlin. 818-0821. L, D, SB, X, $-$$. SOUTHERN SOCIAL—Shrimp and grits, stuffed quail, and Aunt Thelma’s Fried Chicken are among the dishes served at this upscale Southern establishment. 2285 S. Germantown Rd. 754-5555. D, SB, X, MRA, $-$$$ WEST STREET DINER—This home-style eatery offers breakfast, burgers, po’boys, and more. 2076 West St. 757-2191. B, L, D (Mon.-Fri.), X, $ WOLF RIVER BRISKET CO.—From the owners of Pyro’s Fire Fresh Pizza, highlights include house-smoked meats: prime beef brisket, chicken, and salmon. Closed Sun. 9947 Wolf River Boulevard, Suite 101. 316-5590. L, D, X, $-$$
ZEN JAPANESE FINE CUISINE—A full sushi bar and plenty of authentic Japanese dishes, like Hibachi or Wagyu beef. 1730 S. Germantown Rd. 779-2796. L, D, X, X,
COLLIERVILLE CAFE EUROPE—From Italian chef Michele D’oto, the French, Spanish, and Italian fusion cuisine includes a variety of dishes like Rosette al Forno, fish ceviche, and sole meuniere. Closed Sun. 4610 Merchants Park Circle, Suite 571. 286-4199. L, D, X, $$-$$$$ CAFE PIAZZA BY PAT LUCCHESI—Specializes in gourmet pizzas (including create-your-own), panini sandwiches, and pasta. Closed Sun. 139 S. Rowlett St. 861-1999. L, D, X, $-$$ CIAO BABY—Specializing in Neapolitan-style pizza made in a wood-fired oven. Also serves house-made mozzarella, pasta, appetizers, and salads. 890 W. Poplar, Suite 1. 457-7457. L, D, X, $ COLLIERVILLE COMMISSARY—Serves barbecue sandwiches, sliders, ribs, shrimp, and nachos, as well as smoked barbecued bologna sandwiches. 3573 S. Houston Levee Rd. 9795540. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$ DAVID GRISANTI’S—Serving Northern Italian cuisine and traditional family recipes, like the Elfo Special, shrimp sauteed in garlic and butter, tossed with white button mushrooms and white pepper, and served over vermicelli with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Closed Sun. 684 W. Poplar (Sheffield Antiques Mall). 861-1777. L, D (Thurs.-Sat.), X, $-$$$ EL MEZCAL—Serves burritos, chimichangas, fajitas, and other Mexican cuisine, as well as shrimp dinners and steak. 9947 Wolf River, 853-7922; 402 Perkins Extd. 761-7710; 694 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 755-1447; 1492 Union. 274-4264; 11615 Airline Rd. (Arlington). 867-1883; 9045 Highway 64 (Lakeland). 383-4219; 7164 Hacks Cross Rd. (Olive Branch). 662-890-3337; 8834 Hwy. 51 N. (Millington). 872-3220; 7424 Highway 64 (Bartlett). 417-6026. L, D, X, $ EMERALD THAI RESTAURANT—Spicy shrimp, pad khing, lemongrass chicken, and several noodle, rice, and vegetarian dishes are offered at this family restaurant. Closed Sunday. 8950 Highway 64 (Lakeland, TN). 384-0540. L, D, X, $-$$ FIREBIRDS—Specialties are hand-cut steaks, slow-roasted prime rib, and wood-grilled salmon and other seafood, as well as seasonal entrees. 4600 Merchants Circle, Carriage Crossing. 8501637; 8470 Highway 64 (Bartlett). 379-1300. L, D, X, $-$$$ JIM’S PLACE GRILLE—Features American, Greek, and Continental cuisine with such entrees as pork tenderloin, several seafood specialties, and hand-cut charcoal-grilled steaks. Closed for lunch Sat. and all day Sun. 3660 Houston Levee. 861-5000. L, D, X, MRA, $-$$$ MULAN ASIAN BISTRO—Hunan Chicken, tofu dishes, and orange beef served here; sushi and Thai food, too. 2059 Houston Levee. 850-5288; 2149 Young. 347-3965; 4698 Spottswood. 6098680. L, D, X, $-$$ OSAKA JAPANESE CUISINE—Featuring an extensive sushi menu as well as traditional Japanese and hibachi dining. Hours vary for lunch; call. 3670 Houston Levee. 861-4309; 3402 Poplar. 249-4690; 7164 Hacks Cross (Olive Branch). 662-890-9312; 2200 N. Germantown Pkwy. (Cordova). 425-4901. L, D, X, $-$$$ RAVEN & LILY—Eatery offers innovative Southerninspired cuisine with such dishes as crispy shrimp and cauliflower salad, spiced lamb sausage and parmesan risotto, and bananas foster pain perdu. Closed Monday. 120 E. Mulberry. 286-4575. L, D, SB, X, $-$$ STIX—Hibachi steakhouse with Asian cuisine features steak, chicken, and a fillet and lobster combination, also sushi. A specialty is Dynamite Chicken with fried rice. 4680 Merchants Park Circle, Avenue Carriage Crossing. 854-3399. 150 Peabody Pl. Suite 115 (Downtown). 207-7638 L, D, X, $-$$ ZOPITA’S ON THE SQUARE—Cafe offers sandwiches, including smoked salmon and pork tenderloin, as well as salads and desserts. Closed Sun. 114 N. Main. 457-7526. L, D, X, $
OUT-OF-TOWN BOZO’S HOT PIT BAR-B-Q—Barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, and subs. 342 Hwy 70 (Mason, TN). 901-294-3400. L, D, $-$$ CATFISH BLUES—Serving Delta-raised catfish and Cajun- and Southern-inspired dishes, including gumbo and fried green tomatoes. 210 E. Commerce (Hernando, MS). 662-298-3814. L, D, $ CITY GROCERY—Southern eclectic cuisine; shrimp and grits is a specialty. Closed for dinner Sunday. 152 Courthouse Square (Oxford, MS). 662-232-8080. L, D, SB, X, $$-$$$
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COMO STEAKHOUSE—Steaks cooked on a hickory charcoal grill are a specialty here. Upstairs is an oyster bar. Closed Sun. 203 Main St. (Como, MS). 662-526-9529. D, X, $-$$$ ELFO GRISANTI’S NORTHERN ITALIAN CUISINE—Grisanti family classics like lasagna, homemade ravioli, garlic bread, and Northern Italian pizza. Closed Sun. 5627 Getwell Rd. (Southaven, MS). 662-470-4497. L, D, X, $-$$ LONG ROAD CIDER CO.—Specializes in hard apple ciders made with traditional methods. Cafe-style entrees include black-eyed peas with cornbread and greens, chicken Gorgonzola pockets, cider-steamed sausage, and housemade ice creams. Closed Sun.-Wed. 9053 Barret Road. (Barretville, TN). 352-0962. D, X, $ MANILA FILIPINO RESTAURANT—Entrees include pork belly cutlet with lechon sauce, and shrimp and vegetables in tamarind broth; also daily combos, rice dishes, and chef specials. Closed Sun.-Mon. 7849 Rockford (Millington, TN). 209-8525. L, D, X, $
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CASINO TABLES BOURBON STREET STEAKHOUSE & GRILL AT SOUTHLAND CASINO RACING—1550 Ingram Blvd., West Memphis, AR, 1-800-467-6182 CHICAGO STEAKHOUSE AT THE GOLDSTRIKE—1010 Casino Center Dr., Robinsonville, MS, 1-888-24KSTAY /662-357-1225 FAIRBANKS AT THE HOLLYWOOD—1150 Casino Strip Blvd., Robinsonville, MS, 1-800-871-0711 JACK BINION’S STEAK HOUSE AT HORSESHOE—1021 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville, MS, 1-800-303-SHOE LUCKY 8 ASIAN BISTRO AT HORSESHOE—1021 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville, MS, 1-800-303-SHOE THE STEAKHOUSE AT THE FITZ—711 Lucky Ln., Robinsonville, MS, 1-888-766-LUCK, ext 8213 MARSHALL STEAKHOUSE—Rustic steakhouse serves premium Angus beef steaks, seafood dishes, rack of lamb, and more. Breakfast menu features griddle cakes, and lunch offerings include hamburger steak and oyster po’ boys. 2379 Highway 178 (Holly Springs, MS). 628-3556. B, L, D, X, $-$$$ MEMPHIS BARBECUE COMPANY—Offers spare ribs, baby backs, and pulled pork and brisket, along with such sides as mac-and-cheese, grits, and red beans. 709 Desoto Cove (Horn Lake, MS). 662-536-3762. L, D, X, $-$$ NAGOYA—Offers traditional Japanese cuisine and sushi bar; specialties are teriyaki and tempura dishes. 7075 Malco Blvd., Suite 101 (Southaven, MS). 662-349-8788. L, D, X, $-$$$ PANCHO’S—Serves up a variety of Mexican standards, including tacos, enchiladas, and mix-and-match platters; also lunch specials. 3600 E. Broadway (West Memphis, AR). 870-735-6466. 717 N. White Station. 685-5404. L, D, X, MRA, $ PIG-N-WHISTLE—Offers pork shoulder sandwiches, wet and dry ribs, catfish, nachos, and stuffed barbecue potatoes. 6084 Kerr-Rosemark Rd. (Millington, TN). 872-2455. L, D, X, $ RAVINE—Serves contemporary Southern cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, locally grown foods and a menu that changes weekly. Closed Mon.-Tues. 53 Pea Ridge/County Rd. 321 (Oxford, MS). 662-234-4555. D, SB, X, $$-$$$ SAINT LEO’S—Offering sophisticated pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and salads. A James Beard nominee for Best New Restaurant in 2017. 1101 Jackson (Oxford, MS). 662-234-4555. D, L, WB, $-$$ SNACKBAR—Billed as an intriguing mix of “French Bistro with North Mississippi Cafe.” Serving a confit duck Croque Monsieur, watermelon-cucumber chaat, pan-fried quail, plus a daily plate special and a raw bar. Chef Vishesh Bhatt was named as Best Chef South by the James Beard Foundation in 2019. 721 N. Lamar (Oxford, MS). 662-236-6363. D, $-$$$ WILSON CAFE—Serving elevated home-cooking, with such dishes as deviled eggs with cilantro and jalapeño, scampi and grits, and doughnut bread pudding. 2 N. Jefferson (Wilson, AR). 870-655-0222. L, D (Wed. through Sat. only), X, $-$$$
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Moving Forward A few New Year’s resolutions worth keeping.
he year just passed — the one that shall not be named — is being widely jeered. I, for one, will not dwell on the manifest horrors and outrages we’ve collectively endured since we all have our personal stories that run the gamut from inconveniences to tragedies.
Enough, I say. It is the beginning of a shiny New Year when one envisions the old cartoons showing the departing year as a geezer brandishing a scythe and hourglass, and the incoming year as a happy diapered newborn. Of course, this is incorrect these days. A more fitting depiction would have the New Year as a surly teenager grabbing the scythe from the decrepit graybeard. We’re not making the freshest start into 2021. But at least there is a sense that we are making progress toward some variant of normal. One thing many of us are looking forward to is tradition and ritual, having been denied so much in
recent months and years. And the first practice many of us will pursue with heartfelt passion is the invoking of New Year’s resolutions. Even, I suspect, those souls who, every year, proclaim that such resolutions are wishful nonsense. “Do or do not,” says Yoda. “There is no try.” Yes, it’s true that most get broken as quickly as a child’s toy on Christmas afternoon, but let us stay for the moment with intent. We make these resolutions with the purest of heart because, even if we’re fooling ourselves, it’s generally therapeutic. Thinking of dieting doesn’t reduce your weight, but it puts you in the right frame of mind.
So we’ll see many a minute and run a I predict many of the usual assercomb through your people will resolve tions, like “I will exhair. And, of course, ercise more.” Or “I’ll as a recent nationalto be less stupid. be more patient.” Or ly recognized jourThis is commendable “I’ll quit lying to mynalist found out, although I suspect self.” (You know who resolve to keep your pants on. you are.) But this the worst offenders year, people will be I predict many motivated to enact are the least likely to people will resolve resolutions that go to be less stupid. take the pledge. This is commendfar beyond the usual ones. Here are a few to ponder. able although I suspect the worst I imagine, for instance, that offenders are the least likely to many parents are anticipating take the pledge. But if you feel that their children will soon be compelled to put this on your list of changes, let me suggest spending a good part of the day a variant: “I shall think before (K-12) or year (higher education) getting proper instruction and speaking.” This may seem obvisocialization. So mom and dad ous, since the principle is taught will resolve to take every chance in elementary school, Sunday to sleep, perchance to dream. Or school, and Shakespeare. And it even just an occasional nap. is often ignored by politicians, It is my fervent hope that unmasked people, and poor souls Shelby County Schools will rewho suddenly find themselves solve to redouble their efforts on local TV news. We can learn from them. to make online learning smooth It is a challenge, since most of unto seamless. Even if students are back in classes, the online us feel compelled to blurt out our experience will still be around, feelings. A certain potty-mouth so don’t stay stuck on clunky 1.0. Memphis City Council member You can bet that a lot of people comes to mind. But feelings are will resolve to do less Zooming. tricky — it’s OK to have them, It won’t be easy. They may not but take care whom you share have a choice since many busithem with. nesses have found that working Having thought it through, I from home is a money-saver. And am pretty sure that most of us users will confess that there are will generally resolve, when the time is right (but not before!), to advantages to sweatpants over hug a lot, dine without a care at pantyhose. But for all the converestaurants, go to concerts, take nience, it’s a lousy way to comin live performances of all kinds, municate. How many times have and burn our masks. two or three people started to say something at the same time? Those will be welcome. But just Gibberish ensues. in case you might need help keepAnd these virtual exchanges ing resolutions, ask Dr. Google encourage bad habits. Like when about cognitive neuroscience, you’re feeling less than wellbrain chemistry, and people who groomed and you go through the rely on problem-centric thought. meeting with the video turned Nobody said keeping resolutions off, claiming that your computer would be easy. But veterans of is telling you the internet connecthe year that shall not be named tion is “unstable.” Resolve to take are accustomed to challenges.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NANCY ANDERSON / DREAMSTIME
BY JON W. SPARKS
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