Memphis Foodie

Your tool for delicious, local cuisine right in the heart of Memphis, TN.

Fino’s from the Hill March 24, 2012

Filed under: Midtown — Shannon R Little @ 2:00 pm
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I have been to Fino’s from the Hill three times in the last month.  Keep in mind that this statement is coming from someone who goes out of her way to try new restaurants as much as possible, never eating at the same place to often.  Fino’s is that good.

 

Fino’s from the Hill is a cute little Italian deli at the corner of Madison and McLean. During the day they sell sandwiches, pasta, and other Italian dishes.

 

Please be aware of the cute little boy who popped into my picture.

 

They also have a little market to pick up traditional Italian goods to cook at home.

 

 

Fino’s is my new go-to spot for a sandwich in Memphis.  In my not-so-professional opinion, Fino’s has the best sandwiches in the city.  Not only are they the best, but they are cheap! The sandwich below cost me less than $7. Half of one cost under $4. How can you beat fresh meat, cheeses, and bread for under $4?

 

Though I have tried several of Fino’s options, I always go back to my absolute favorite: the Penn Station.  This is a fairly new sandwich at Fino’s that contains, “turkey, pepperoni, provolone, banana peppers, lettuce, tomato, and onion marinade.”  For the record, Fino’s onion marinade is amazing on anything. 

 

 

This sandwich has more flavor than any other sandwich I can remember eating.  Don’t forget your napkins, though.  It’s a messy one!

 

I also prefer my sandwiches on Fino’s soft bread.  Unless requested otherwise, they serve your sandwiches on traditional Italian breader that is pretty tough.  It you request the soft bread, it is melt-in-your mouth soft.  Either bread is amazing at soaking up all of the delicious flavors of any sandwich your order. The guy behind the counter suggested saving half of our sandwich and eating it the next day, after the bread had time to soak up some of the juices.  It’s much better the second day.

 

To go with my sandwich, I ordered a side salad.

 

 

Fino’s has a pretty good side salad, with plenty of chunky ingredients.  Between the cheese, fresh croutons, the tomatoes, onions, and onion marinade, I was a very happy camper.

 

I was also curious about their Spinach and Tomato popover, so I ordered that as a side as well.  It was pretty good, but I realized that I am not a turnover person.  It tasted fresh and buttery, though.

 

 

Alongside the great food, Fino’s also has some of the nicest staff in the city.  They are friendly and personable, while helping you decide what you want to best suit your mood.  There was one time recently when their credit cards machine crashed and they could only take cash for the time being.  Scott had picked us up and couple of sandwiches, but only had cash on him. He was $2 short, so the guy behind the counter took $2 out of his own wallet and told us not to worry about it. It’s that kind of friendly.  (For the record, we went back later and paid him back.)

 

They also will wrap up your sandwiches and box up your leftovers for you. Just take it to the counter. They are all about customer service here.

 

 

I will continue to give Fino’s my business.  Between their delicious sandwiches and their awesome staff, I have no reason not to.

 

For more information on Finos’s, visit their website or Facebook page.  They post daily specials on both.  You can also find more reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon, or just read was Eat Local Memphis has to say.

 

Fino's Italian Deli & Catering on Urbanspoon

 

 

Garibaldi’s January 19, 2012

Garibaldi’s is a favorite among University of Memphis students.  It’s cheap and delicious food, which makes it a staple in many dormrooms and college students’ stomachs.  College was when I was first introduced to Garibaldi’s.  It is not the best pizza in the world, but it’s a solid pie for a very reasonable price.

 

This particular experience with Garibaldi’s was on New Year’s Day. It was a day of recovery, and this place was one of the few establishments actually open. Not only were they open, but they delivered! Hot food. Fast. Cheap. and I did not even have to change out of my PJs. It was perfect.

 

I was not in the mood for pizza, but to my luck, they also have sandwiches and select appetizers as well.  Scott and I ordered a feast.  He got the Italian Supreme Sandwich.  I got the Meatball Sub. We split an order of Toasted Ravioli and Italian Spinach.

 

Italian Supreme Sandwich

Italian Supreme Sandwich

Meatball Sub

Meatball Sub

Toasted Ravioli

Toasted Ravioli

 

I thought my sandwich was great.  It definitely hit the spot.  The meatballs were tender, and the bread was warm, toasted, and buttery. I would not give the marinara sauce five stars.  It was a little too sweet, but it was a great mix with the savory meatballs and buttery bread.  Scott said his sandwich was nothing special, but it was good.  The toasted ravioli was average.  it tasted like your standard toasted ravioli, with the same marinara that came on the meatball sub.  I love toasted ravioli, though, so I ate it all.

 

I ate the spinach before taking a picture of it, but I can assure you that it is a good size and also yummy.  We also each got a piece of cheesecake, which was also devoured before I had time to snap a photo.  Scott ate the New York Style Cheesecake and I had a piece of Turtle Cheesecake.  It tasted like your standard, store-bought cheesecake.  Nothing that knocked your socks off, but good enough to eat every bite.

 

The speed of delivery is spot on as well, and the delivery guys are very laid back and cool.

 

Overall, Garibaldi’s a solid restaurant.   They have good food at a good price.  The best part is that they deliver, so you do not even have to leave your house to get it.  This is perfect for a lazy day.

 

Here is a description of Garibaldi’s from Go Memphis:

This eatery has three locations — on Walker near the University of Memphis, in Germantown at the Market Square Business Center and on Yates Road in the heart of East Memphis. The Walker and Germantown locations offer dine-in, carry-out and home/office delivery, while the Yates location offers carry-out and delivery only. The menu features fresh pizzas, including its popular pulled pork barbecue pizza, sandwiches and pastas.

 

For more information on Garibaldi’s, visit their website or Facebook page.  You can also find their menu on All Menus.  Check out more reviews at Yelp, Urbanspoon, or Trip Advisor.

 

Garibaldi's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Garibaldi's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Garibaldi's Pizza on Urbanspoon

 

 

Spindini December 19, 2011

Filed under: Downtown — Shannon R Little @ 3:15 pm
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Spindini has been on my list of restaurants to try for quite a while now, and I finally made it down there not too long ago.  I have actually tried to go for lunch before, but sadly, they are only open for dinner.

 

I had heard rumors of a snotty, pretentious attitude from this place, but things must have changed.  The atmosphere was romantic, with dimly lit candles, white table cloths, and soft music.  However, there were two TVs at the bar, where guests are encouraged to catch the game.  Personally, I would not go to a fancy Italian restaurant to watch football, but to each his own.  I did like that made the atmosphere a little more relaxed.

 

I went with a group of friends on a Monday night, when they have half off pizza and wine.  Yes, that sounded totally up my alley.

 

My friend Chris and I split a bottle of Pinot Noir (it seems to be what  we both love).  Spindini has a nice wine list.  There is something for everyone.

 

Spindini Wine List

Spindini Wine List

 

I then started out with the Beer Cheese Soup, which was the special of the night.  It was made with Fat Tire, Guinness, and cheddar cheese.  Man it was good.  It was creamy, and somehow hearty, despite the fact that it has a bisque-like texture. I would go back just for the soup.

 

 

Chris and I then got the Pesto Pizza, which had “Roasted Chicken, Red Onion, Provolone, Mozzarella, and Goat Cheese”.  I was a good pizza.  I love thin crust pizza, and this one was perfectly fired in the wood burning grill.

 

 

My friend Erin got the Lobster Pizza, which was “Lobster, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Ricota Salata, Fresh Spinach and Tomatoes, drizzled with Chipotle Aioli”.  Her pizza was even better. Yum!

 

 

She also let me try her Mia Nonna Salad, which to me seemed like a very average salad.  It has mixed greens, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, and Italian Vinaigrette.  I would never pay seven bucks for it, but if its up your alley, go for it.

 

Overall, I would not say that Spindini has the best pizza in Memphis, but it is definitely up there.  I would go back again, especially for half price night!

 

Spindini is a little pricey, but I can justify spending it because many of their menu items are “made with organically-grown produce harvested at Woodland Farms, a company owned farm, or made with honey from Spindini’s own bee hives“.  How cool is that?

 

For more information on Spindini, visit their detailed website, Facebook, or Twitter.  You can also find more reviews at Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Trip Advisor.

 

Spindini on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

Pete and Sam’s August 7, 2011

Filed under: East Memphis — Shannon R Little @ 6:42 pm
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As I have said, I was fortunate enough to visit Italy in June as a graduation present from my grandfather. I know I have the greatest grandparents ever, you don’t have to remind me. Obviously, this was a food lovers dream. I ate and drank my way through the whole country, and I did not regret one bite of anything. I tried everything I could possibly try in 36 meals (and a few snacks), which included pizza, pasta, and gelato on a daily basis.

While in Italy, I kept thinking about my absolute favorite restaurant here in Memphis: Pete and Sam’s. I always thought Pete and Sam’s was authentic Italian, especially after I swear I dined with the Mob last time I was in there. However, my recent trip to Italy confirmed my thoughts: Pete and Sam’s is as authentic as it gets in Memphis.

My main amazement at Italian dining is that it is always an event, never just a meal. All lunches and dinners last 2 or 3 hours, and there is always a series of courses. Pete and Sam’s operates by this law as well. In this restaurant, you are taken to Italy, where nobody has a sense of time and everyone is enjoying the festive atmosphere. You can truly experience Italy if you order one of Pete and Sam’s Italian Dinners.

Italian meals always begin with bread. It is also usually served with salami, cheese, or a dipping sauce. Sometimes you just use olive oil and cracked pepper. Pete and Sam’s always has bread and crackers waiting for you when you sit down, however they do not have anything to go with it.

Bread and Fresh Tuna Dip from Italy

Bread and Fresh Tuna Dip from Italy

Bread and Toast from Pete and Sams

Bread and Toast from Pete and Sams

The next course is usually a soup or salad. If you order an Italian dinner from Pete and Sam’s your meal always begins with a salad. The best part about Pete and Sam’s salads are the HOMEMADE dressings!

Salad with Homemade 1000 Island from Pete and Sam's

Salad with Homemade 1000 Island from Pete and Sam's

In Italy, after the salad comes the pasta dish. At Pete and Sam’s, pasta is usually the entree, but in Italy it is not. At Pete and Sam’s, the pizza comes before the pasta.

Lasagna from Italy

Lasagna from Italy

Famous BBQ Pizza from Pete and Sam's

Famous BBQ Pizza from Pete and Sam's

In Italy, after the pasta comes the main course, which is usually a meat and one or two vegetables. For Pete and Sam’s, this is when they serve the pasta and one side dish. I always opt for the Italian Spinach, as it is one of my all-time favorite foods. I have it catered in to events, and I could seriously eat an entire tray of it. Did I mention they have freshly grated parmesan to go on top?

Fresh Fish and Salad from Italy

Fresh Fish and Salad from Italy

Lasagna and Italian Spinach from Pete and Sam's

Lasagna and Italian Spinach from Pete and Sam's

Lastly, in Italy, you receive a dessert, coffee, and a shot of either Amaretto or Limoncello after the meal. You have choices for dessert at Pete and Sam’s as well.

Lemon Cookies and Almond Bark in Italy

Lemon Cookies and Almond Bark in Italy

Espresso and Amaretto in Italy

Espresso and Amaretto in Italy

Overall, Pete and Sam’s not only has amazing food and an inviting atmosphere, but it is also authentic Italian. The wine flows freely, the air is relaxed, and everyone is having a great time.

To learn more about Pete and Sam’s, check out their website or Facebook page. You can also find them on Urbanspoon, Yelp, and Trip Advisor.

Pete & Sam's on Urbanspoon

 

Memphis Foodie Abroad June 8, 2011

Filed under: Events — Shannon R Little @ 12:51 pm
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Hello everyone!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that I will be out of town for the next three weeks! I am lucky enough to be traveling across the Atlantic to a foodie mecca of the world: Italy!

If you have any tips, ideas, or highlights a Memphis Foodie would not want to miss, please let me know! I will return in July, so stay tuned for some Memphis Foodie posts: Italian style!

Much love to all of you!

 

Shannon

 

 
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