Memphis Foodie

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

Aldo’s Pizza Pies August 20, 2012

Filed under: Downtown — Shannon R Little @ 3:05 pm
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I am usually behind on the trends when it comes to trying the latest, hot restaurant. However, I prided myself on checking out Aldo’s pizza Pies Downtown within the first week they opened. Behold my review, semi-timely.

 

I went to Aldo’s with a couple of friends recently for a light bite to eat for the evening. I admit I was pretty skeptical about this place, knowing it’s the same people behind Bardog and Slider Inn. I don’t really care for Bardog, and I have only had decent experiences at Slider Inn. However, I went in with an open mind.

 

It was Wednesday at around 8:30pm when we went, and they were packed, as expected. Despite the chaos, we were quickly seated. Service was a tad slow, but I could tell our server was overwhelmed with the traffic and trying hard. That’s what counts in my book: attitude and trying.

 

Kudos to Aldo’s for doing pizza by the slice for the dinner crowd. Every pizza place I have encountered in Memphis only does pizza by the slice for lunch. I was happy to know I didn’t have to purchase an entire pizza for myself. You have limited options when doing pizza by the slice, as I would assume, considering the effort in creating and keeping fresh so many different pizzas at once. Options are vodka cream, pepperoni, sausage, veggie, and their Slice of the Day.

 

The Slice of the Day sounded right up my alley, called “The Other Side” and loaded with Poblano Cream, Fontina/Trugole, Grilled Chicken, Tomato, and Spinach. (FYI: I’ll eat tomato and spinach on just about everything.) I went for it.

 

 

The slices were a good size. As for the taste? It was perfect. You could tell everything was made fresh, especially the bread. The crust was perfect, not too thin and not too thick. It was a thin crust for sure, but there was enough dough to taste the bread. Toppings were loaded on top. It wasn’t too greasy, and it was packed with flavor.

 

Greer ordered the Pepperoni Pizza slice, and agreed that everything tasted fresh.

 

 

Then, having heard nothing but rave reviews about the cheesecake from both friends and the media, I had to suck it up and try it. If people are raving about cheesecake at a pizza place, then it has to be worth a shot. Not to mention, I get weak in the knees for a good slice.

 

 

Let me tell you. I agree with Kerry when I say that, no doubt about it, this is the best freaking cheesecake I have ever had in my life. It has that dense texture that you want from cheesecake, but somehow miraculously also manages to be light and fluffy. The flavor combination is perfect. I had one of those “close your eyes and picture yourself on a tropical island eating this cheesecake” moments. There was one tiny drawback. I was told there was supposed to be a raspberry drizzle on top, but we didn’t get it. We asked our server for it, but no avail. Either way, it was amazingly delicious.

 

Overall, Aldo’s is worth a try. Don’t be surprised by their prices. They are a bit pricey for pizza, but it’s what you pay to get quality, fresh ingredients every time. It’s debatable whether Aldo’s is my new favorite pizza place, but it is definitely in my top 3. Memphis Pizza Cafe better watch their backs. They have competition.

 

I can’t seem to find a website for Aldo’s, but you can check out their Facebook page. You can also find more reviews at Yelp and Urbanspoon.

 

Aldo's Pizza Pies on Urbanspoon

 

Bangkok Alley July 5, 2012

Filed under: Collierville,Downtown,East Memphis,Southaven — Shannon R Little @ 12:00 pm
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When I have a craving for Thai food, Bangkok Alley is not normally on my radar.  I have certain places that I frequent for this cuisine.  However, I was forced to step out of my comfort zone for a friend’s birthday dinner one night.  I had actually never stepped into a Bangkok Alley before this night, so I was in for a brand new experience.

 

I liked the atmosphere in the bar/lounge area. There were cozy benches with lots of brightly colored throw pillows. The dim lighting and candles gave it an elegant touch. The whole place was pretty small, but the intimate feeling worked.

 

Our servers were very sweet, but they seemed a little understaffed for our big party. Granted, we had around 20-25 people, but our food seemed to take longer than it should have. Also, I ran out of water before the food got there, and it never got refilled. This poses a pretty big problem, considering how saucy and hot Thai dishes usually are.

 

We started with some spring rolls, because they are “the best in town”, according to my friends. We opted for the Fresh Basil Shrimp Roll, which is described as “Basil, shredded carrot, lettuce vermicelli, and shrimp wrapped in rice noodle skin, served with special dipping sauce.” I have to admit, they were very yummy! I much prefer the soft rice skin as opposed to the crunchy rolls, because you taste all of the flavors on the inside. I could have eaten enough of these to make it my main meal. They were huge and full of flavor. The dipping sauce was the right combination of spicy hot and sweet.

 

 

My company also raved on and on about the “Drunken Noodle”, or “Pad-Kee-Mao” in Thai. There were many choices on the menu, so I was happy to have a suggestion to narrow down my choices. This dish is described as “Stir fried flat wide noodle with fresh basil, egg, onion, bell pepper, bean sprout in special cooking wine sauce”. I love Thai noodle dishes, so I was ready to take on Drunken Noodle. The dish comes with a choice of chicken or tofu, and I opted for the tofu.

 

 

The first thing I noticed is what a generous portion of noodles this was. You will not go hungry, for sure. Thai food is known to be spicy, so I should have known to expect a kick in the pants. This dish wasn’t Thai hot, but it was well above mild for sure. Overall, the dish was yummy. It didn’t knock my socks off like I was expecting, but I will order it again in the future.

 

Also keep in mind this is an Americanized Thai restaurant, so prices are not comparable to your hole-in-the-wall joints around town. You pay extra for the atmosphere and the higher quality ingredients. I say it is worth it, if you are looking for a nice meal out.

 

Overall, Bangkok Alley did not rise to the top of my Thai restaurant list, but it made it to the top 5. I am not aching to go back, but I can guarantee I will when the time is right.

 

For more information on Bangkok Alley, visit their website. Their Collierville location also has a Facebook page, but I cannot tell if it applies to all locations. You can also more reviews on Bangkok Alley on Yelp and Urbanspoon.

 

Bangkok Alley on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

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

 

 

The Brass Door May 2, 2012

Filed under: Downtown — Shannon R Little @ 12:00 pm
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I stopped into Brass Door for lunch one afternoon.  It’s one of those places that everyone seems to have tried except for me.  I have heard great things about both the food and the atmosphere, so  it was time to give it a try.

 

Since I went in during the week and on off hours, it was pretty slow.  Other than one table of lingering businessmen (who obviously didn’t want to go back to work), Scott and I were the only people sitting in the place.

 

You could tell immediately this was an Irish Pub. Other than one or two beers, all the drafts were Irish.  There was Celtic music playing over the loud speakers, and, with the decor, you feel like you just walked into Ireland.  Someone obviously did their research before opening this place up.

 

Our server greeted us immediately, told us about the specials and got our drink order.  He was very sweet.

 

I ended up choosing the I opted for the Grilled Chicken Sandwich, described as “Grilled marinated chicken breast, with lettuce, tomato and onion on toasted Ciabatta with Guinness mayonnaise”.  They had me at Guinness mayonnaise.  Instead of “hand-cut chips”, I opted for the sauteed veggies as a side.

 

 

The sandwich was great.  The chicken seemed right off the grill, and the Guinness mayo gave the sandwich a different kick than other traditional chicken sandwiches one may consume.  It tasted fresh, and the bread was warm and soft.  My only qualm were the veggies.  Yes, they were sauteed.  However, they were sauteed in copious amounts of oil.  I couldn’t even taste the veggies due to so much oil. After a couple of bites, I quit. These couldn’t be any healthier for me than fries, and, if that’s the case, I would rather have the fries.

 

Scott ordered the Tam o’ Shanter, which is their traditional Irish sandwich.  It is describes as, “Warm ham and smoked turkey on toasted brioche bread with Swiss cheese, Mornay sauce, tomato and bacon.”  He opted for the chips.

 

 

That is one big sandwich.  There was so much to it, that it was almost impossible to eat.  It was also greasy to the max.  Translated, that means this is the perfect hangover sandwich.  The fries were great.  They were crisp and had a fresh herb seasoning on them that made them different than normal fries.

 

After we ate, our server invited us to their Wednesday Open Mic Nights.  He says the artists are usually pretty good.  There is a big turnout, and they have great drink specials during that time.  I have not had a chance to go back yet, but I plan on it soon.

 

Overall, Brass Door is the place to go if you are looking for a good pint or some greasy bar food.  The nightlife also seems to be kicking, but I have not experienced that first hand yet.  The service is snappy and friendly, and they make you want to come back.

 

For more information on The Brass Door, visit their website, Facebook page, or Twitter.  You can also check out other write-ups about them in Memphis Daily News, Eat Local Memphis, Paul Ryburn’s Journal, and Travel Host.  Find more reviews at Yelp and Urbanspoon.

 

The Brass Door on Urbanspoon

 

 

Majestic Grille March 2, 2012

Filed under: Downtown — Shannon R Little @ 4:01 pm
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I happened on Majestic Grille one night after walking around Downtown with some friends.  I had never been before, but my friends Amber and Alex swear by this place.  Amber loves it.  I had always heard awesome reviews about Majestic, so I was excited to finally get to try it.

 

As soon as I walked into the door, I was amazed.  I felt like I just walked into a completely different world.  The atmosphere in this place was mesmerizing.  They have a main level, with tables, an extended bar, and a lobby area.  They also have a balcony area up top with more seating.  The lights were dim, and they had Christmas lights hanging everywhere.  On the far wall is a huge projector screen that plays classic, black and white movies all of the time.  I got to enjoy The Three Stooges.  This place is classy, yet extremely welcoming at the same time.  I adore it.

 

photo credit to mikeandbecky.blog.com

 

We got seated very quickly, considering there were five of us and it was 7:30pm on a Saturday night.  Impressive.  Our server comes over immediately and introduces himself.  He is knowledgable, patient, and accomodating.

 

We all order drinks and look at the menu.  As Alex puts it, they have a cheaper side of the menu and a not-as-cheaper side of the menu.  The cheaper side includes a few sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. The no-as-cheaper side is a full-on entree menu.  My budget allows me the cheaper-side, so I choose Plum Tomato Flatbread, which comes with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella.  It’s a classic, but it’s a solid one.  Amber also orders a flatbread, the Roasted Chicken Flatbread, which has “Shaved red onion, bacon, parmesan cream sauce, and mozzarella”.  Alex orders a cup of the Soup of the Day, which is White Bean and Ham, and a Majestic Burger.  (Erin and Branden aren’t hungry.)

 

Before our food comes, we have homemade, hot focaccia bread placed in front of us on the table.  If this bread is a sign to come, I have hit the motherload.  This foccacia bread was perfect.  Soft, flavorful, and piping hot, I would not change one thing about it.  I am pretty sure I ate four slices, before my pizza came.  I had carb-overloaded before my carb-heavy dinner arrived.

 

 

Alex got his soup first, and he was very happy about it.  We both agreed that we are picky with White Bean and Ham soups, because they have a tendency to be over-salty.  However, he said Majestic’s was not.

 

 

Our food arrived soon after, and everything looked great.  My pizza was good, but nothing incredibly special.  It was a little greasy for my taste, but I like my pizza as non-greasy as possible.  I wish there would have been more basil on it, instead of a few shreds here and there.  I really like basil.  I did eat half of it, and then the other half the next day.

 

 

Amber let me try her pizza, and it was rich and full of flavor.  You could really taste the creaminess of the parmesan and mozzarella.

 

 

Alex said his burger was a solid burger.

 

 

Overall, I had a good experience at Majestic.  I think I shorted myself by ordering such a simple dish.  I would love to go back and try something more adventurous next time.  Also, I can only stay away from that focaccia bread for so long.

 

 

For more information on Majestic Grill, visit their website, Facebook page, or Twitter.  You can also find more reviews on Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Trip Advisor.  Read the Memphis Daily News article about them, or book your reservations at Open Table.

 

Majestic Grille on Urbanspoon

 

 

Memphis Dawgs January 24, 2012

Filed under: Downtown,East Memphis,Midtown — Shannon R Little @ 4:00 pm
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I have been trying to meet up with Todd Bourne of Memphis Dawgs for quite some time now, but the timing has never been right.  Today, it was destiny.  He had parked his hot dog cart right in front of my work, so I just had to walk right over and grab a dog.  Todd is a super nice guy and treat all of his customers like they are his best friends.

Not only is Todd great to chat with, he awesome serves up a solid hot dog.  All of his hot dog’s are  100% all beef, 1/4 pound Nathan’s hot dogs.  They are huge.  He serves them up on a soft, hot hotdog bun and tops the hotdog with the toppings of your choice.

He suggested I try the Memphis Dawg, which has onions, coleslaw, and his secret BBQ sauce.  This man knows what he is talking about, so I went with it.  The hot dog was delicious.  It was cooked perfectly, and they toppings went very well together.  It was a messy work of art, that I successfully at while driving home.

Memphis Dawgs makes its rounds in the food cart world.  Todd is at a differrent location every day.  He keeps his customers up-to-date though, so you don’t miss out.  He posts daily where he will be located on Twitter and Facebook.

I highly suggest you track Memphis Dawgs down and get your hands on a hot dog yourself.  They are a yummy, quick, and cheap lunch. You can have it your way too.

For more reviews on Memphis Dawgs, you can check out Urbanspoon or Yelp.  You can also read about him in a Memphis Flyer article or an article from Andy’s Restaurant Scorecard.

Memphis Dawgs Hot Dog Cart  on Urbanspoon

 

City Market December 26, 2011

Filed under: Downtown — Shannon R Little @ 4:00 pm
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A recent visit downtown led to me City Market, where one of my commenters Samu referred me to.  Really, I got the idea from Paul Ryburn, who boasted about their mystery chips.  Scott, his mom, and I stopped in for a snack as we were exploring the downtown area.  We got a few drinks, and I insisted that we buy the mystery chips that Paul raved about.

 

I do not understand why they are called “Mystery Chips”, as they are very thick cut kettle chips with seasoning.  Don’t get me wrong, they are great chips.  I love that they are so thickly cut.  I love the light seasoning they have on them as well.  I also love that you can taste the actual potato.  However, I don’t understand their  mystery.

 

 

Either way, they are a great snack if you need something to much on downtown, while exploring.  City Market also has sandwiches and lots of other great snacks, and a small grocery section for you Downtown residents.

 

Stop by and peak in.

 

For more information you can check on their website, but its currently under construction.  You can also find more reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon, or see what Hungry Flyer has to say.

 

 

City Market on Urbanspoon