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Nov 2, 2008 07:39 AM

Anniversary in Memphis

My boyfriend and I will be celebrating our anniversary in Memphis next weekend and are looking for somewhere to have dinner. We have read the posts about all of the great BBQ places but are looking for something different for that one night. I am a vegetarian and will not eat most BBQ food. Are there any good sushi places in town? Thai? really good American? Will we need to make reservations?


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  1. Blue Fin for sushi downtown would be great. For Thai, I would recommend Bhan Thai in midtown. But for a really romantic meal, I would recommend either Inn at Hunt Phelan (downtown) or Restaurant Iris (midtown). Either one will not only accommodate your vegetarian preference, they'll go out of their way to make sure that you don't feel like you're missing out on a thing. You will need reservations at any of these four. I would let them know that you're a vegetarian when you make the reservation so that they can be ready.

    9 Replies
    1. re: mamasquirrel

      Another vote for Iris. Best food in town right now in my opinion. Had a friend eat at Hunt Phelan for their anniversary and they loved it...but they aren't foodies. I'd vote for Iris first and H-P a close second, especially if you want to remain downtown.

      I haven't had good luck with sushi recently (except for Umai, which is not inimate enough to recommend).

      Jasmine in Midtown is another vegetarian option, but also lacks any romance.

      1. re: tater

        How far away would midtown be from downtown? We are staying at the Westin on Beale street...

        1. re: lkmuller

          It's a 10 minute drive to midtown. I haven't been yet, but Sole in the Westin is a new venture from a great local chef, Jackson Kramer. I've heard good things about it, but there's no website or online menu yet.

          1. re: mamasquirrel

            What can you tell me about Encore? I read some reviews of that place online.

            What other, not fancy, places are not to be missed while we are there?

            1. re: lkmuller

              I like Encore and of the 5 or so times I've been, only one visit didn't meet expectations service-wise. The atmosphere isn't nearly as romantic as Iris. Much more modern, open and loud. The food is great and reasonably priced, though. I've had good food at Felicia Suzanne, McEwens and Stella. All 3 can be good depending on the chef's attention to details that night, but I would generally choose encore over any of the three.

              I'm at a loss for other vegetarian options or expensive. Maybe the Arcade? Food can be shaky. Good area to visit (South Main Arts District).

              1. re: lkmuller

                I've always enjoyed Encore. Jose has been one of the best chefs in Memphis for years, and he does great things there. Like tater said, it is open and louder than Iris or Inn at Hunt Phelan.

                As far as not fancy and vegetarian, Alcenia's on north Main St would be a good choice for lunch or a Saturday brunch. Pretty much across the street from Alcenia's, Westy's does good wild rice and vegetable blends and makes the best hot fudge pie ever. They're also open late.

                Any specific type of food you're looking for? There are a lot of good ethnic food options for vegetarians between downtown and midtown.

                1. re: mamasquirrel

                  Well... my man is most definitely NOT a vegetarian and is looking forward to eating BBQ ribs and the like. I am mostly just looking for some options where there will be at least a couple of things for me to eat!

                  1. re: lkmuller

                    The best place I can think of for you guys to go together where he can get barbecue and you won't starve would be Central BBQ in midtown. They have more vegetable sides than most of the other BBQ joints, and they even do a BBQed portabello mushroom sandwich. Alcenia's & Westy's would still be good choices. Alcenia's has really good catfish, fired chicken & pork chops for him. Westy's has good burgers. He would probably love Gus's Fried Chicken, but you would end up with a slice of white bread and coleslaw. Majestic Grille would be a good lunch choice. They would feed you both well for substantially less then their dinner menu prices.

                    1. re: mamasquirrel

                      So... just got back and wanted to report back on our eating. The first night there we ate at Itta Bena upstairs at BB King's restaurant. There were options for both of it and we LOVED it. It was the best meal of the trip by far. The next day we ate lunch at Hueys. I was happy to find that they offered veggie burgers. The food was ok, not really sure what all of the rave reviews are, but we were both satisfied at least. We really enjoyed drinks at the Peabody hotel bar. The bartender was extremely nice and offered lots of helpful area advice.

                      We ate dinner at Rum Boogie one night as we were eating late and wanted to see the band. My only option was fried green tomatos, which were fine, and the boy ate BBQ.

                      Our most disappointing dinner was at a place called Capprichio grill. It was expensive and very sub par italian. At that point we were craving something other than southern food but were still not all that happy.

                      One place where we enjoyed lunch was called Sauces on S. Main street. It was very casual with great food and there were lots of veggie as well as meat options.

                      We had a blast!