Memphis Foodie

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

The Avett Brothers and Cheerwine Host Charity Show October 26, 2012

This post is a bit off topic for me, but I felt it was a great story I wanted to share with you all.


Last Friday on October 19th, a week after their show here in Memphis, The Avett Brothers and Cheerwine joined together to do the Legendary Giveback charity concert in Charlottesville, VA. Fans could pay to see the show live, and all the proceeds would be donated back to charity. Or, if you could not make it to the show, it was streamed live on the internet for all to watch.


For those who don’t know (like I didn’t), Cheerwine is a cherry drink, mainly sold in the South, but has expanded to a national level as well. It is sold in several stores throughout Memphis. Cheerwine is a soft drink, but doesn’t contain any cola. Tom Barbitta, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cheerwine, describes it as “an iconic brand. It’s been around since 1917 with a flavor all of its own. We therefore do not consider ourselves an ordinary cherry soda. Our flavor that always surprises is probably the main reason the brand has been around for 95 years”. You heard right. 95 years. Cheerwine was founded in 1917 as an independent, family owned company, which they still are today.


The Avett Brothers grew up drinking Cheerwine. As Seth Avett explains, “One of the greatest treats of my time at home in North Carolina is going to a small gas station out in the country of Rowan County and getting Cheerwine in a glass bottle. It has been for many years”. The partnership between the band and the company has grown over the last few years, as they realized they share similar values.


One of the main shared values is community involvement and giving back. Cheerwine was looking to do something nice for their fans, and they saw The Avett Brothers as a model philanthropic group in which to partner. Barbitta says, “The people who drink Cheerwine are so important to us and we wanted to do something special for them to show them how much we truly care”. This charity show raised money for three organizations, of which both parties were proud to represent: Operation Homefront; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; and The University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. The organizations were chosen based on the diverse groups they serve, in order to help as many different people as possible.


This concert featured several classics, but many songs focused on the new album The Carpenter. The new album is a focus on where the guys are in their lives now. They say they do not write for albums. “Since we are writing constantly, we never think in terms of ‘writing for a record’. We just take our most current chapter into the studio and do our best to let those ideas which excite us the most take us on a trip that will lead to a piece that make sense to us and is something we are proud of,” Avett says.


Cheerwine and The Avett Brothers say this is certainly not their last charity endeavor. Be on the lookout for future charity concerts and ways to get involved and give back as well.



Support Ronald McDonald House Through Ice Cream August 17, 2012

Filed under: Memphis Foodies — Shannon R Little @ 1:28 pm
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There are very few things in this world I adore more than ice-cream. It’s the only food to which I can never say no, and a very unhealthy addiction. It’s also delicious.


In honor of the 18th Annual Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival (!) Ronald McDonald House of Memphis will be holding their 1st ever Homemade Ice Cream Contest. They are looking for the Mid-South’s BEST ice cream and wanted me to help spread the word.



Ronald McDonald House is a great organization to get involved with, and I believe that making ice-cream has to be the easiest and most fun way yet to do so. I highly encourage everyone to participate.


Visit the website here and sign up here.


Gingerly Baked (For Your Holiday Needs and More) December 15, 2011

Filed under: Memphis Foodies — Shannon R Little @ 3:29 pm
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Ginger Honshell isn’t your typical baker.  She didn’t study food.  She never went to cooking school.  She did not grow up to be an aspiring chef.  She fell into this world by accident, excelled quickly, and has not looked back yet.  Ginger has only been baking seriously for a couple of years, but she has grown into the business and established a customer base already. You may know her by those yummy slices of Kiss Me Goodnight Cake or Strawberry Pound Cake you used to order at Trolley Stop Market? Yes, they were hers.



For Ginger, baking is her best stress relief.  While many of us take to exercise or the sauce, she took to cupcakes.  She learned, through several visits with her Aunt Shannon in California, that baking is not only fun, but she was good at it also.  She quickly took to baking as her new passion.  She learned the basics first, then moved on to more advanced techniques.


One great thing about Ginger is that she does not hoard her baking tips all to herself.  This magician does reveal her secrets, because she wants it to be fun for everyone.  She loves sharing her talent with others.  In just the short amount of time I was with her, I took home a pocket full of tips.  One of her best ones is:

“Baking involves a lot of chemistry.  Any time you bake something, you have to stick to the recipe because of the chemistry involved. Any time you bake something, it calls for your rising agents.  Your rising agents are salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  How they react to your ingredients, mainly your wet ingredients or acidic agents, like buttermilk, you have to have both the perfect amount of each for everything to balance out and rise the way it’s supposed to.  If you bake something and stick to the recipe, and for some reason it rises but then it sinks right down in the middle, that means you had either too much or too little of either one of your rising agents are all of your rising agents.  That is the main reason why you have to stick to a recipe.  If you don’t stick to a recipe, you have to be someone who knows a lot about chemistry and the way the different chemicals react to one another.”


Through these last couple of years, Ginger has learned to make many different goodies.  Recently I was able to try several of them.


I first tried her Mixed Berry Galette.  Watching her make these is like an art form.



The treats we warm, gooey, and sweet on the inside.  On the outside, the crust was buttery, with just enough crunch. I could pick it up and eat it with my hands! These are perfect for a sweet treat, with coffee or tea, or to eat for breakfast.  I have so far done all three with the ones she sent home with me.



I next tried the Pumpkin Fudge, with pecans and cranberries.  This is a great  table snack food for holiday parties.  I love pumpkin, but had never had it in fudge before this. It was creamy and delicious.  The nuts and cranberries added a great dimension to it as well, setting it apart from other fudge. However, if you do not want this additions, she makes plain fudge as well.



Last, I had The Great Pumpkin.  This is a pumpkin and chocolate chip cupcake (which she whipped up in less than 10 minutes, mind you) with cream cheese frosting, topped with pecans.  Once again, Ginger put her spin on pumpkin desserts to set it apart from the rest.  The chocolate chips and pecans were a great addition to the cupcake, and it all complimented each other well.



The best thing about Ginger is what sets her apart from the other bakeries in town.  She does not have her own bakery space.  She does not have a staff to help her.  Yet, all you need to give her is 2-3 days notice for your baking needs.  Most places this time of year require 1-3 weeks! Do you have those last minute parties, events, or get-togethers you need goodies for?  Gingerly Baked can help you out!  (Please note that since it IS just her, she may have to turn down jobs until after Christmas, depending on increased demand.)  Her prices are very fair. Her treats are amazingly delicious, and her turn-around time is outstanding!


For more information on Gingerly baked, including pictures and descriptions of her other goodies, visit her Facebook page.  You can also email her at with your orders.


Local Memphis Foodie: Mandy Christopher February 25, 2011

Filed under: Memphis Foodies — Shannon R Little @ 10:00 am
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Mandy at a local restaurant in Orlando


This is Mandy Christopher, an Education major at The University of Memphis and a fellow Memphis Foodie. I asked Mandy some questions to get to know more about her, her love of food, and her use of social media.


1.) What would you like to see in a foodie blog, specifically a Memphis Foodie blog?

I would like to be able to find new spots in Memphis that I would not know about otherwise. It’s always fun to discover a new place to go; however, sometimes you can become apprehensive that the place might not be as good as you had hoped. With a blog I can see from a firsthand experience what the place is like.

2.) What social media outlets do you use (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, etc…)?

Everything! Who doesn’t these days?

3.) What specific purposes do you use each of these social media tools for?

I use Facebook to follow my friends and people I know personally.  Twitter is a fun outlet for me to vent and get to talk to celebrities (on the very rare occasion they write me back!). I use YouTube to catch up on music videos and watch video blogs. I enjoy reading blogs, such as yours, to read personal experiences from other people like food advice, cooking, or workout information.

4.) Do you use certain tools more for work and some more for hobby/fun?

Honestly, I really only use all of them for fun! On a very rare occasion I may read blogs about T-Mobile because I work their part-time. It helps me find out about stuff we may not know yet in the store.

5.) How do you use social media tools to interact with other people (i.e. status updates, questions, RTs…)

I use Facebook and Twitter to interact with people on a daily basis that I wouldn’t have time to in other ways like a phone call or in person. I also use Twitter to communicate with businesses   or celebrities to find out more information on things I might be looking for at the time.

6.) Do you read any other blogs? If so, which ones?

I have a friend who blogs about her experiences as a school teacher and that helps me as a future teacher. I also read a few blogs of people who cook and share recipes because I enjoy cooking myself. Sometimes I read up on workout blogs to find out tips on how to lose weight or eat healthier.

7.) Are there any restaurants you would like Memphis Foodie to write about?

I have always wanted to get more information on Spindini or maybe Sole. There are so many I can’t list them all!

8.) What different kinds of blog posts would you like to see in the future of “Memphis Foodie”?

I really enjoy what you are doing right now! I think maybe sometimes you could branch out and include places to go in Memphis for sightseeing just to change it up a bit.

9.) What is your favorite local Memphis restaurant?

Osaka! They literally have the best sushi I have ever tried.

10.) What makes you a Memphis Foodie?

I really try my best to stay away from chains. I enjoy being in a local place because it’s generally more affordable, has a great atmosphere, and the food is freshest. Food chains for me are a last resort.

To get to know Mandy, check her out on Facebook or Twitter.


Local Memphis Foodie: Nina Nguyen February 24, 2011

Filed under: Memphis Foodies — Shannon R Little @ 4:09 pm
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Nina at Ubee's, a local Memphis restaurant near The University of Memphis campus


This is Nina. Nina is a student at The University of Memphis, and a lover of Memphis and food. Through some Q&A, I got to know a little more about Nina, her views on food, and her uses of social media.

1.) What would you like to see in a foodie blog, specifically a Memphis Foodie blog?

I would love to see more authentic ethnic restaurants. We have some great local Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Mediterranean restaurants here in Memphis that not a lot of people know about. A large majority of them are locally owned and this is something that Memphians should definitely support.

2.) What social media outlets do you use (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, etc…)?

I use Facebook and Twitter daily. When I have free time I enjoy reading blogs and watching YouTube videos.

3.) What specific purposes do you use each of these social media tools for?

I use Facebook mainly for socializing with friends and family. I also love that it can be very effective for getting an important message out to a lot of people. For example, I know someone who is trying to find a home for some abandoned puppies and posting the link on my Facebook helped find one of them a home!

Twitter is something I use more for my personal interests. My Twitter timeline consists of many different things–Sports information, photography tips, local and worldwide news, and just entertainment. I love that the Daily Helmsman is so active on Twitter. It is much easier to keep up with what is going on with our campus, and I don’t end up with old copies of the paper in my bag at the end of the week.

4.) Do you use certain tools more for work and some more for hobby/fun?

I definitely use Facebook more for fun and entertainment. Sometimes when I feel stressed about graduate school applications I like to look at Twitter or blogs about what other students are going through. It is pretty comforting knowing that I’m not the only one freaking out.

5.) How do you use social media tools to interact with other people (i.e. status updates, questions, RTs…)

Generally, my tweets and status updates are just for random thoughts or rants throughout the day. However, like I said before, status updates and Twitter posts are definitely helpful when you need to get some information out to a large group of people. They’re also really helpful because you can ask a large group of people a question and without a doubt, you will get an answer within an hour or so. Facebook is also really helpful with schoolwork. If I have a question about an assignment or need to get a study group together, I can use Facebook to get in touch with my classmates. I know that having classmates as my Facebook friends has definitely saved me quite a few times.

6.) Do you read any other blogs? If so, which ones?

I don’t have any specific ones that I follow consistently. I generally just look at blogs about restaurants, cooking/baking, and photography.

7.) Are there any restaurants you would like Memphis Foodie to write about?

I think that Memphis Foodie should try out Bogie’s Deli, Bombay House, Pho Saigon, Petra Café, or Pita Wraps. Those are a few of my favorite restaurants that are here in town.

8.) What different kinds of blog posts would you like to see in the future of “Memphis Foodie”?

I think it’d be cool if there were some posts for vegetarians. I’m personally not a vegetarian but I have a close friend that is one.  I think that some people generally have a preconceived notion that vegetarians just eat lettuce and tofu. There are tons of great dishes and different restaurants that are vegetarian friendly.

9.) What is your favorite local Memphis restaurant?

That’s just way too hard to pick! It’s like asking me what my favorite Beatle song is. It all depends on my mood that day.

10.) What makes you a Memphis Foodie?

I think what makes me a Memphis Foodie is my love for this city and my love for food. I wasn’t raised to be a picky eater so I’m pretty much willing to try anything at least once. I think that our city is amazing and something that we should be proud of. What better way to show that than to support the people who have chosen to make a living here?

To get to know Nina a little bit more, check her out on Facebook and Twitter.