Memphis and Miss. Delta-- Not to miss??
I will be driving through the Mississippi Delta and Memphis on a road trip home, and would like to try some of the local eats.
In Mississippi (Clarksdale, Greenville, etc) what is a good place to go get some lunch or dinner? I hear tamales are a good local food, but is there anything else I should get too?
In Memphis, what is one BBQ stop that shouldn't be missed? Also, if you know of any places that have late night hours, that would be a plus.
Hi. Ok, Memphis is probably one of the best eating cities in creation.
For BBQ: Ribs - Corky's (also all-around good sandwiches, chicken, etc.)
Sandwiches - The BBQ Shop
Great late-night food - Young Avenue Deli (the fried pickles are AMAZING)
Huey's - really delicious burgers, etc.
Other great places: Pho Hoa Binh - amazing vietnamese
Abyssinia - the best ethiopian i've ever eaten
Alcenia's - BEST soul food, but the hours are limited
Gus's - best fried chicken in town
Backyard Burger - best fast food option, if you need it.
I used to live in Memphis, and while I agree with some suggestions, I have a totally different opinion on BBQ. I think Central BBQ has the best ribs, and Germantown Commissary has the best pulled pork sandwiches/plates. Gus's is great.... love the 40s out of paper bags! Huey's is good for a quick bite.
I am also from MS originally and would recommend Doe's Eat House for the MS Delta leg of your trip.
Both Corky's and the Germantown Commissary are too bland for me. Interstate had really good sandwiches, and Showboat (on Ridgeway) has the best ribs.
To the OP- barbecue is a very personal matter. It's like asking people for their favorite song. What we recommend, you might hate. There's dry rub and wet rub, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches (eaten with cole slaw on top), spicy or not. The one absolute is that it's going to be pork. Don't even think about asking for beef ribs (I did once and was practically run out of town on a rail!) Do you have any idea what kind of barbecue you like?
Corky's is good but I like the Rendezvous and a few other people have suggestions that I think are better.
Sandwiches, McAllistars Deli.
Huey's is okay. Nothing great. You can get a Huey's burger in any city. It's just named differently. Mrs. Sippi will disagree but it's true. Backyard Burger is worse than McDonalds IMHO.
Looks like you got plenty of Memphis help. In the Delta have lunch in Clarksdale at Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero or his flagship Madidi's. In Greenville have dinner at Doe's if you have time. They are not open for lunch. A great stop is in Rosedale at The Blue Levee at the crossroads where Robert Johnson met the Devil.
A better choice would be Greenwood. Have lunch at Crystal Grill and dinner at Lusco's or Giardinia's.
When I traveled from New Orleans to Memphis Doe's was a highlight of my trip. Another highlight was the Shack Up Inn in Hopson. They don't serve any food there but every room (shotgun shack or grain silo) comes with a six-pack and as much delta history as you can absorb from the owner who lives in the big house. I was hungry one night after imbibing my share of our alloted six-pack (and then some) so the owner fixed me a ham sandwich. Great guy, completely unique place, and a great time.
The highlight of my trip to Memphis was a lunch at Cozy Corner. I tried to convince my husband to stay an extra day so we could eat there again. I also ate at Corky's, but I much prefered the Cozy Corner - their ribs were tastier a little chewy, which I like, and I loved the atmosphere (I'm allergic to chain restaurants, so I didn't like the feel of Corky's).
I learned about the Cozy Corner from David Ragals' brilliant BBQ report on the old chowhound. I wish I could link to it, but it was tragically lost - or dumped - during the chowhound.com reorganization. (Here's the thread where he plans his trip, but the link to the report is broken.) .
But here's another thread discussing Memphis BBQ.
Have a great trip!
The best bbq in Memphis is Payne's on Lamar or Cozy Corner. Both of those are in the ghetto but worth it. Payne's has tables, but the atmosphere isn't tolerable to me, so order out. However, it is as real as barbeque gets. Cozy Corner is the real deal but a better atmosphere. Gus' Fried Chicken is the best you can get in a restaurant. Soul Fish has great fried catfish. For fine dining, definitely go to Felcia Suzanne's. In the Delta, go to Doe's in Greenville, Gardinias or Luscos or the Crystal Grill (lunch) in Greenwood, Madidi or Abe's bbq in Clarksdale. If you are near Oxford, you must go to Taylor Grocery for the best catfish in the world and the most southern atmosphere you could possibly experience (open only Thurs-Sun nights). It's a unique treat that you'll never forget. It's worth the 30 min drive off I-55, but be sure to bring some wine/liquor because the wait can be long and people tailgate out front, which is part of the experience. Oxford also has City Grocery and L&M's Salumeria (both are fine dining). L&M's is also really unique. The chef trained under Mario Batali.
Memphis BBQ on Madison Ave, near Midtown should not be missed. It's a local secret. In Greenville, MS, Doe's is the place with the Tamales; but there is also a great burger joint right by the crossroads in Clarksdale...
I'm going to use the BBQ Trump Card and tell you that the RENDEZVOUS is the ultimate best place in Memphis for BBQ. Downtown on Second. Doesn't look like much but that is Memphis 'Cue at its best.
If you like Indian, check out India Palace on Poplar Avenue in Midtown.
Sushi? Sekisui Midtown. Yum.
Plenty of people who live in Memphis would disagree that the Rendevous has the best barbecue. But as I said before, barbecue is a very personal issue, and everyone has a favorite. The Rendevous is certainly an interesting experience. There's a place out east at Quince and Kirby called Mayuri that has better Indian food, although the lunch buffet at India Palace is good. There's a Sekisui downtown across from the Peabody- not as atmospheric as midtown, but more convenient for visitors. There's also the Bluefin on S. Main that has more upscale sushi- menu available online at www.bluefinmemphis.com
I am eating my way through memphis as we speak, and my personal must hits go like this:
Payne's: pork sandwich
Central: wet ribs
Rendezvous: dry ribs
For something nicer than bbq (if that exists), I had a great meal at tsunami(seafood), of course everyone seems to love it, so no surprise there.