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Memphis-need recs for 20-30 basketball fans in late March

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I'm part of a group of friends that attends one of the NCAA regional basketball tournaments each year. This year we'll be in Memphis, and I need recommendations for casual places for lunches and dinners, including sports bars to watch tournament games. Beer, meat and good desserts are requirements. We'll probably break up into smaller groups for some meals, but need a couple of options for all of us so we can make reservations as needed. Thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. Bigfoot Lodge is perfect. Good cheap food and beer and good deserts, and it is two blocks from the FedExForum. TJ Mulligan's is probably the best sports bar downtown. Flying Saucer is a great place to drink but the food is nothing special. There's supposed to be a new sports bar opening where Jillian's is, but I don't know when. Hooter's is terrible.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tennreb

      Thanks very much for the recommendation tennreb!

    2. I don't have sports bar recommendations, but a few months back some buddies and I visited a friend in Memphis. we went to about 15 barbecue restaurants in 3 days (yes, believe it). We scored each place and kept track. The best places for BBQ were the Bar B Q Shop and this place called Payne's. Payne's is a totally no-frills place but the sauce there was the best. Anyways, enjoy Memphis!!

      1. I would put Kooky Canuck(formerly Bigfoot Lodge) at the top of the list for dining options. TJ Mulligans would be good for the sports watching, as most of the other bars downtown will be packed. You could try to get some watching done at Hooter's but don't expect anything resembling good service. A place called South Philly is downtown, the food is good, prices good, and beers are cheap. Downtown is in flux right now, getting away from the large, corporate, and generic places and moving towards smaller, more personable places. Lots of little hidden gems, if you look around. The South Main area has a few options as well. Pearl's Oyster House is a pretty good place to go. They have a good menu, and a downstairs room for hanging out. The best way to get to know Memphis is to walk around.

        1. Hey folks, thanks for the recommendations. Can't wait to hit Memphis for hoops, BBQ and beer!