Memphis Foodie

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

Dyer’s May 10, 2012

Filed under: Collierville,Cordova,Downtown — Shannon R Little @ 4:48 pm
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Get your shocked looks ready.  Up until a couple of weeks ago, I had never been to Dyer’s.  Yes, it’s true.  This mainstay in Memphis, that so many people rave about, has never entered my life.  The 2012 Beale Street Wine Race changed this all for me.  Some friends and I decided to head into Dyer’s that afternoon after a few Call-A-Cabs and beers.  We needed yummy, greasy food.

Surprisingly, the place was close to empty when we arrived.  I didn’t really understand this, as there was a mass amount of people on Beale Street at this time.  There was one server working the whole restaurant.  He was cool and laid back.

His attitude complimented the atmosphere of the place, which was also laid back.  It has a small town diner feel to it, which I liked.

The four of us decided to split 2 burgers and a basket of chili cheese fries.

 

 

I am going to say this, knowing I will get backlash from it.  I welcome all opinions, so fire away.

I did not like Dyer’s. At all. I thought it was disgusting. Next to the McDonald’s hamburger, it might be the worst burger I have had.  I normally try not to be so harsh, but I really don’t know what else to say.  I couldn’t taste meat, just charred stuff. The burger was so greasy, it fell apart in my hands. I couldn’t taste anything other than grease. I took one bite, and let it be.  Maybe the ancient aged grease isn’t doing the burger any good.

The chili cheese fries were edible, but nothing fantastic.  I would not order them again either.

Overall, my experience at Dyer’s was sub-par. The service was good. The atmosphere was good.  However, unless the food is edible, I will not return.

Sorry Dyer’s, but I don’t understand why you have such a good wrap around time. I can get better burgers in many places around town.

If you want to learn more about Dyer’s so you can try them out for yourself, check out their website or Facebook page. You can also find more review on Yelp and Urbanspoon.

 

Dyer's Burgers on Urbanspoon

 

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Casa Mexicana March 18, 2012

Filed under: Bartlett,Collierville,Cordova,Southaven — Shannon R Little @ 12:00 pm
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This is was my first time at Casa Mexicana.  In fact, I have never really given the place a second look. I had never considered eating at this establishment before, because I always just assumed it was another average Mexican restaurant.  Don’t be fooled, it really is just another average Mexican restaurant.

 

What drew me to Casa Mexicana was the convenience factor.  The Cordova location is situated very close to Wolfchase Honda, where I take my car to get serviced.  My usual routine is to drop off my car, walk to the Wolfchase area to run errands while they are working on her, and then walk back to pick her up when ready.  This was my plan on this particular day.  Only, I had not eaten before I dropped my car off.  There are not many favorable dining restaurants in this area.  They all tend be mediocre chain establishments.  The only options otherwise are Casa Mexicana and Eat Well Sushi.  Eat Well is yummy, but I wasn’t in the mood.

 

Casa Mexicana was pretty empty when I walked in, but it was during the week.  I took a seat, and they presented me with my chips and salsa, like you get at pretty much every a-typical Mexican dining establishment.

 

 

The chips were really thin and greasy.  The salsa was pretty average, with a little bit of kick and not a lot of spice.  I munched on them, mainly because once I start eating tortilla chips, auto-pilot kicks in and I keep munching.

 

I ordered a margarita while I waited too.  I read on FourSquare that they have super strong margaritas.  These people did not lie.

 

 

Warning! I could taste some of the neon green, lime-y goodness in the glass.  However, I mainly tasted tequila.  To put this in perspective, all of the ice in my Margarita on the Rocks was melted in less than five minutes.  I had to ask my server for a glass of ice.  I used every single ice cube in a tall drinking glass to keep this thing cool while I drank it. It was strong. It was also awesome.  It was not too overwhelming for me, but I definitely did not order a second one either.

 

My food finally came, thankfully before I was able to finish the chips and salsa.  I ordered an enchilada, beans, and chile relleno combo, but I got a tostada instead.  This actually worked out perfectly, because I would rather have the tostada anyway.

 

 

There is not much to say about the food, other than it was pretty average. Nothing had an incredible amount of flavor or impressed me, but nothing was bad either.  It tasted a lot like going to any other average Mexcian restaurant in Memphis.

 

Overall, I will probably be back to Casa Mexicana eventually sometime in the future.  Not because it blew my socks off, but mainly because I will be hungry at some point when my car is being worked on.  If you are stuck in the same situation as me and need some place in walk distance, Casa Mexicana is not a bad choice.  Otherwise, skip it and go somewhere else.

 

Casa Mexicana does not have a website or social media presence, but you can find more reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon.  You can also find photos of their menu there as well.  They have an extensive menu, with every possible Mexican option you could ever want.

 

Casa Mexicana on Urbanspoon

 

 

Humdinger’s January 6, 2012

Filed under: Cordova,East Memphis — Shannon R Little @ 4:00 pm
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Several people on several occasions have told me about Humdinger’s and how I need to go check it out.  Well, I finally did one evening, for a much needed get-together with my friend Eula.

 

 

Humdinger’s is counter service, but they also have lovely staff member to come around and check on you as well.  Everyone is very nice!

 

They serve fresh fish and piri piri chicken in many different ways.  I was excited about this, as there are not many reasonably priced places around town where you can find many fresh fish options. If you want it, you basically have to pay upwards of $25.00 an entree, or you have to go with the frozen kind (which is not always terrible).  Your choice.

 

As their website explains:

A Memphian, a transplant from California, and a South African restaurateur, all with a love of great food, came together to pursue a common passion: They believed casual cuisine could be healthy, flavorful and affordable. They decided to explore the idea of creating flame grilled, mouth watering entrées using unique sauces. Knowing health and wellness was becoming important to a discerning clientele, they chose to build their entrées around freshly grilled gourmet fish, chicken and vegetables. They created unique recipes, many using the legendary Piri-Piri spice from the coastal regions of Southern Africa. As a result, at Humdingers you can enjoy a mouthwatering array of hot and healthy dishes straight off a fiery grill.

I was highly impressed with all of the options that this place had.  I had a hard time figuring out exactly what I wanted!

 

I did know that I needed a drink, after working several long days in a row.  I ordered wine, but they did not have any.  That was okay with me, as they also had Samuel Adams. Sold.

 

Their menu is decently extensive, but I chose one of the fish platters.  You choose your fish, choose your topping, and choose your side.  It also comes with rice.  I had never heard of either Amberjack or Triggerfish, so I googled both to see what they were like.  The Triggerfish got better results on Google, so that is what I went with.  I chose the pineapple salsa as my topper and grilled sweet potatoes as my side.  I also got a cup of New England Clam Chowder.

 

 

 

Eula got the Grilled Tilapia, covered in pineapple salsa, with a side Caesar salad.

 

 

 

Eula said her meal was really good.  I loved mine!  The fish was very flavorful and flaky, and the pineapple salsa was sweet, but not too sweet.  It also had a good kick to it as well.  The grilled sweet potatoes were fantastic.  They were cooked perfectly and had a great, spicy seasoning on them.  I do not prefer my sweet potatoes overly sweet, covered in sugar, butter, etc.  These were not that.  You could taste the natural sweetness of the potato, along with the spiciness of the seasoning.

 

The clam chowder wasn’t the best I have ever had.  It did not have as much flavor as the rest of the meal, but it was still good.  It was wonderfully creamy and full of clam and other yummies.  They didn’t skimp on ingredients.

 

Overall, I am only upset that I did not try Humdinger’s sooner.  It is the perfect place to find a healthy meal at a great price that still has a lot of flavor!  You just can’t find that in many places around town.  I will definitely be back again.  I just wish there was a location closer in town.

 

For more information on Humdinger’s, check out their website, Facebook, or Twitter.  You can also find more reviews on Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Trip Advisor.  You can also find out more about their history in the Memphis Business Journal write-up.

 

Humdingers on Urbanspoon

 

Humdingers on Urbanspoon

 

 

Fresh Slices October 28, 2011

Filed under: Bartlett,Cordova,Midtown — Shannon R Little @ 5:00 pm
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Fresh Slices is your friendly neighborhood sandwich place, located close to Overton Park in Midtown, with sister locations in Bartlett and Cordova.  After hearing several great reviews from friends, I decided to try it myself recently.

 

The restaurant looks very quaint when walking up from the street. They have a few tables outside on the patio, but Scott and I opted for the air conditioning inside.  We went during an off hour, so the place was pretty empty.  Only two other tables and us were there to keep the employees company.

 

 

We find a cozy booth in the back to relax in.  We wait for someone to come take our drink order, but our server was nowhere to be found. (I later observe that there are only 2 people on the clock: the guy cooking the food and the girl bringing it to the table.) She finally came to greet us 5-10 minutes later and get our drink order.  We were both thirsty for a beer, but we could not find alcohol anywhere on the list. The following conversation went something like this:

Me: I would like a water. What beer to you guys serve?

Server: I don’t know off the top of my head. We have a few.

Me: Okay, can you give me a couple of names?

Server: What were you thinking?

Me: Do you have Sam Adams, Fat Tire, or Newcastle?

Server: I don’t know. I don’t think so. Do you want me to go check?

Me: That would be great. Please.

*Server leaves to go find out, but making it clear she is annoyed. She returns a couple minutes later.*

Server: No we do not. Would you like to see a beer list?

Me: Yes, please.

*Server leaves again, making sure we know that she is annoyed. She returns with a beer and wine menu.*

Me: I think we will both take waters for now while we look over this menu.

Server: Okay (*still looking clearly annoyed*)

She came back with our water and asked if we knew what we wanted to eat. We had not looked at the food menu yet, since we were trying to determine what beer we wanted. I told her not yet, but she walked away before I could finish telling her what beer we wanted.

 

Scott and I continued to look at the food menu, and at this point we were just ready to eat and leave. We decided we didn’t want beer, since it had been such an ordeal. We didn’t want to add any more steps for our server, and honestly, we thought it would prolong our waiting process.

 

A while later, our server had still not come back.  We finally saw her and flagged her down.  We decided to split an appetizer and an entree, but we ordered both at the same time to make sure we got our order in.

 

We ordered the Rio Grande Dip, which is “Bean & beef mix, guacamole sour cream, blend colby & jack cheese, jalapeno pepper slices, diced tomatoes, green onions, sliced black olives, tortilla chips”.

 

 

We also ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fries.

 

 

The dip was pretty good, and it had a lot of goodies in it. It was also a pretty large size, enough to split between a few people (or one person and Scott, whose life revolves around cheese).  My only qualm with it was the chips.  They were the bargain tortilla chips that come in the large, clear plastic bag.  They tasted cheap.  I buy better tortilla chips at the store than that.

 

The grilled chicken sandwich was good, but nothing special.  I liked the ciabatta-like bread that it came on.

 

After finishing our meal, our server was once again nowhere to be found. After waiting for a while, we flagged her down and asked for the check.  It’s also worth noting that we never saw her again after receiving our food.

 

I honestly do not know if I will be back to Fresh Slices again.  The food was okay.  I would be more than willing to give it another shot, if the service was not so bad.  If someone invites me out to eat here, I would not refuse.  However, it will probably not be my choice to ever return.  To many wrongs do not make a right, isn’t that how the saying goes?

 

Fresh Slices does not have a website or social networking page.  You can, however, find them on Marks Menus to see their menu.  You can find more reviews on Urbanspoon, Yelp, and Trip Advisor.  For more write-ups about them, see articles in Dining With Monkeys, The Memphis Flyer, The Commercial Appeal, or Memphis Business Journal.

 

Fresh Slices Sidewalk Cafe & Deli on Urbanspoon

Fresh Slices Sidewalk Cafe & Deli on Urbanspoon

Fresh Slices Sidewalk Cafe & Deli on Urbanspoon

 

 

Corky’s October 6, 2011

Filed under: Collierville,Cordova,East Memphis — Shannon R Little @ 5:00 pm
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Though I have not found myself inside a Corky’s in quite some time, I do find myself gravitating toward them at events. Corky’s is the barbecue staple in Memphis that always has a food truck out to serve you up a Memphis tradition whenever and wherever. This particular time I ate Corky’s was at the Jim Dickinson Folk Festival at The Levitt Shell.

Whenever I am at these sorts of events, I always choose Corky’s over a corn dog or funnel cake. It’s like choosing between Taco Bell and Las Delicias. This time, I got the barbecue sandwich and Scott got the barbecue nachos. We split the two between us.

Corky’s is not my favorite barbecue in Memphis, and I usually roll my eyes when another tourist told me they have the best Memphis BBQ at Corky’s. Please do not go here if it is your one shot at good Memphis BBQ. They tend to chop the meat, instead of pull it, which does not leave it as tender as possible.

However, it’s solid and it’s flexible. You can order it to go to cater to mass amount of people, have it shipped to your front door, find it at Memphis in May when you take a break from music, or you can have a good meal out. Have it your way. It’s always hot and fresh, no matter how you eat it. It beats the fast food and a lot of other mediocre eateries, and it always leaves me ultra-satisfied.

For more information about Corky’s, visit their website or online store. You can also check out their Facebook Page, Urbanspoon, or Yelp.

Corky's Bar-B-Q (East Memphis) on Urbanspoon

 

Yogurt Mountain April 16, 2011

This past week, I ditched my loyalties to YoLo Froyo and braved Yogurt Mountain in Cordova with the family. I have never been to a self-serve yogurt store in Memphis other than YoLo, so I was a bit curious to see what the competition was all about. My did it have some standards to live up to.

Yogurt Mountain is a new hot spot for many Cordovans today. My sister says that every time she comes the place is absolutely packed. She wasn’t wrong this time either. By the time we left, the place was starting to empty. However, when we got there, there in fact WAS a line out the door. This place cannot be bad with such great business, right?

I will say that the chosen decor was lively, to say the least. I had a mild headache after leaving, with the mixture of lime green and bright purple. Yet, it keeps the place fun, and I am sure the kids love it. I did love the pictures of the different yogurt on the walls. It gave you ideas, for one. Though my sister and I both agreed that our yogurt never looks that put together. How did they get the sprinkles to lay evenly over the entire cup?!

I got some sample cups to go try the different kinds of yogurt, and I was surprised by the choices they had! They had some great options: Dulce de Leche, Cheesecake, Triple Chocolate, Banana Pudding, Vanilla Bean, and many more. I was very impressed by the quality of flavors they had available. It was more than your average Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla. They even had their own signature flavor: Blue Cotton Candy.

After choosing a mixture of Cheesecake and Dulce de Leche flavored yogurt, I headed on over to the toppings bar. The toppings they had available were pretty varied. They had your normal toppings, plus additions such as Strawberry Pop-Tarts. However, none of them are homemade like at YoLo. That was a little disappointing, as I have become accustomed to putting homemade baked goods on my yogurt. They did, however, have Andes Mints. This made me excited, and added a lot of flair to my yogurt!

Just like other self serve yogurt place, you pay by weight. Yogurt Mountain is pretty reasonable in their prices as well. You pay 45 cents an ounce. This is not bad, unless you are my brother who has an actual mountain of yogurt covered in a ridiculous amount of heavy toppings. (Side Note: You may want to ditch the pre-pubescent, growth spurt twelve year old boys when having to pay by weight.)

Overall, I did enjoy Yogurt Mountain. The toppings bar was not as impressive. However, I liked the variety and quality of flavors of the yogurt. As a frozen yogurt semi-connoisseur, I will say that the yogurt was equal parts creamy and smooth. Ice-y frozen yogurt can really turn me off of a place, but Yogurt Mountain does a great job.

While here, I met this super nice couple, who owns the Memphis Bop Club. They frequent Yogurt Mountain several times a week, and they had nothing but good things to say about it!

(I do want to make a note that they had wonderful things to say about Yogurt Mountain and eating local in Memphis. However, due to technical difficulties, I could not get that part of the video. I greatly apologize and am reaching out to them again, so they can have their voice heard.)

Disclaimer: I do want to make a note here that Yogurt Mountain is not SOLELY a Memphis restaurant. After research, I determined they do have locations in several Southern states. The reason I decided to still include them is because each individual store is a franchise and not corporately owned. Every store has a bit of a different personality to it.

For more information about Yogurt Mountain, you can visit their website and see their menu (not all are available at every location), or you can also visit their Facebook page. They have also been in the news some lately. For more reviews, you can visit Yelp and Urbanspoon.

Yogurt Mountain on Urbanspoon

 

Mt. Olive March 3, 2011

Filed under: Cordova — Shannon R Little @ 2:10 pm

Good Mediterannean restaurants are not always easy to come by in Memphis, but Mt. Olive is a diamond in the rough. It’s a family owned restaurant and grocery in Cordova, off the corner of Germantown Parkway and Dexter.

When you walk in the door, you can tell this place is authentic. The have isles of authentic Greek grocery items.

In the back of the place, there is a meat counter where you can have different meats cut for you.

and they have everything.

If you’re lucky, you will walk in on a group of older Greek men flailing arms and in an argument you cannot understand, like me.

I opted for the gyro, because how can you get authentic Greek food  without trying the gyro? It was everything it should have been: lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber sauce, wrapped in a hot pita.

The boy making my food could only have been 14 or 15 years old, but he was a pro. Apparently his dad was  training him on how to run the business. He was being shadowed, but seemed like he knew what he was doing.

Everybody was super friendly and hospitable. They all had huge smiles on their faces and made me feel welcome. The food was great, and it was definitely fresh. I watched them make it! If you want to dine in, they have several tables set up. However, they give you the food in a to-go box, so you always have that option as well.

For more information on Mt. Olive, check out Urbanspoon or Yelp.

Mount Olive Cuisine & Market  on Urbanspoon