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Jan 7, 2009 12:36 PM

Headed to Memphis.Help.

Am going to Memphis the first week in Feb. Where to go hounds, where to go ?

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  1. Well, depending on what you're looking for, here's a few ideas;
    1. Southern traditional: Fourway grill, old fashined plate lunches,good soul food; Gus's Fried Chicken, S. Front St., marvelous fried chicken; Felicia Suzanne's, Main St., more upscale southern modern,The Arcade, especially for breakfast.
    2. Barbecue; here's where it gets interesting and controversial. The Barbecue Shop, Madison in Midtown, (My fave). Interstate BBQ S. 3rd. St. Sweet spicy. The Rondezvous, the most famous, but IMo, not nearly the best. known for their ribs. a Memphis landmark.
    3. Upscale; Encore, S. Second St, Jose Guttierez, former chef at Chez Phillipe at the Peabody's excellent modern american food. Erling Jensen; on Yates in East Memphis, a slightly Scandinavian influenced original menu. Hunt Phelan House, 4th st. , updated southern/american in a beautiful setting. Bari, Cooper at Madison, Puglianese Italian done very well, Restaurant Iris( just around the corner from Bari, Idiosyncratic French-American in an pleasant house in Midtown, Blue Fin Main St. Aisan Fusion and Sushi; Fun and good innovative fusion and sushi; Automatic Slim's S. 2nd st. Carribbean-Southwestern an interesting melange in an arty setting, the Tonga martinis are not to be missed( this place may be a little up in the air as it's in the middle of ownership change)

    I'm sure I've left some out and that this list will provoke some debate, but off the top of my head, this will give you a starting place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chazzerking

      THANKS chazzerking. anything memorable around beale st. ? how bout dive bars ?

      1. re: brevardbelly

        I've heard good things about Miss Polly's on Beale and Itta Benna, the "secret" restaurant above BB King's, but have tried neither. The aforementioned Gus's is a short walk from Beale Street.

        There aren't any real "dive" bars on Beale, but if you're a night owl there's a (sorta) rare experience to be had at Hollywood Disco nearby:
        And a legitimate "dive" in Ernestine & Hazels on South Main.

        1. re: brevardbelly

          The closest you're going to get ON Beale is Tap Room.

          Nearby is the Voodoo Room on Front St. It's in the basement of Orleans on Front. Cheap drinks, Wii, beer pong, and a great crowd!

          Ernestine & Hazel's is definitely a dive, don't show up before 11pm or so.

          Hollywood Raiford's is a great place as well. Small, foggy, and beer by the quart. Bring cash.

          Itta Bena is nowhere near a dive, and has suffered from lackluster service lately. I would have recommended it last summer, but no longer.

          Calhoun's is a great neighborhood bar in the S Main area, good folks and good prices. Eat before you go. Small menu.

          Hope this helps.

          BTW, Memphis has a really good selection of ethnic restaurants as well.

      2. If you decide to go to The Rondezvous (it's Mrs. Sippi's favourite) make sure you get the Rondezvous Special Plate for an appetizer. It's really good.


        1. The Tap Room, as Mooing says, is the closest thing on Beale. Good live music and it's the only place on Beale where you can smoke. loud and convivial crowd in a small place. Earnestine and Hazels, about 4 blocks south on Main is a great late spot. The Hollywood is a blast from 1975, smoked glass mirrors, disco balls and a smoke machine make you feel you're in a time warp, but it's a hoot .

          2 Replies
          1. re: chazzerking

            isn't there supposed to be an old burger joint on beale? i thought i saw a blurb on food channel about it.

            1. re: brevardbelly

              You're talking about Dyer's which supposedly has the same vat of lard since 1912. It's OK, not bad, nothing to write home about. You'd be better off taking the trolley to Earnestine & Hazel's and having a Soul Burger. it's at Main and Calhoun (GE Patterson) near Central Station.

          2. If you are out on the east side of town at all, it isi worth driving to Germantown for Deli Mexicana. It is in a strip mall on Germantown Parkway, right across from the Chick-Fil-A. Really excellent food, unlike anything I've had elsewhere. It closes at 8 pm., though, just a warning.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LizR

              how is the trolley? safe? $$? is beale on the east side? germantown=a mexican deli? thanks for the help.

            2. 1. Ernestine & Hazel's is a good Downtown dive bar with a good burger.
              2. There are tons of great dive bars (Alex's, Zinnie's, Lamplighter, Buccaneer) in Midtown.
              3. Eat some BBQ somewhere.
              4. The best BBQ on Beale is the ribs at Blues City Cafe.

              5 Replies
                1. re: brevardbelly

                  i'm not familiar with memphis. is beale far from mid-town. does the trolley run there?

                  1. re: brevardbelly

                    the trolley is pretty much limited to downtown. there is a line that makes it just into midtown, but not close enough to anything you'd be interested in (BBQ Shop is a few blocks away). Beale is 6 or so miles from the interesting part of midtown. you'd need a cab. i recommend google maps for research. the search tool is tremendous and you can see where you are versus where you want to go easily.

                    1. re: tater

                      thanks tater. do you have a favorite hound spot near beale ?

                  2. re: brevardbelly

                    The trolley is nearly worthless. I have nothing good to say about it.

                    The BBQ Shop is my favorite, by far.

                    Beale St is in downtown Memphis, as far west as you can get.

                    Dyer's has burger's on Beale. VH1 Soul has featured Memphis as one of the "Soul Cities", has some interesting things on there.

                    Molly Fontaine lounge would be a great place to visit. It is just outside of downtown, and has a great menu and a good scene.