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Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

Hey there. My family and I are planning a trip through a large swath of the south (Memphis, TN to New Orleans, LA to Savannah & Atlanta, GA to Nashville, TN and then back to Chicago) and I'm looking for recommendations on places to eat.

What I'm looking for is solid, small places to try the best the city has to offer. We aren't looking for posh, but real food of the city. We're the sort of people that would bristle at the notion of going to a national chain when visiting another city, so don't be shy.

Also looking for good places to check out. My son and I are really into music and my wife is into art.

Looking to try the best in BBQ mainly, but will take on other suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

PS: I have a thread started specific to New Orleans (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/594472) but if you have recommendations that you don't see there, by all means, let me know.

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  1. Thats covering a lot of territory...you might want to do some searches on here first and then ask for recommendations from that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carolinadawg

      actually - we're sort of narrowing the focus down : just Memphis and New Orleans now. LoL. Plans change quick!

    2. For barbecue in Memphis, the Rendevous just can't be beat. In New Orleans, I would recommend Napolean House or Chartres House for some great Creole food. And don't miss Cafe Du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait for dessert. You can't really say you went to New Orleans without going there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: susantrader

        In Memphis- try the Interstate or Neeleys for BBQ. The Rendezvous is good as well. Also Paynes and the Cozy Corner are excellent. the Barksdale is an excellent breakfast choice. In New Orleans cafe du Monde is wonderful. Mothers for sandwiches. the Central Cgrocery for muffaletta sandwiches. And check out Bayona on Daughfine if you want to splurge.

        1. re: smokestack lightning

          I'm sorry I missed this post as I've just returned from Memphis. About 18 of us went to the Rendezvous--and most of us did NOT like it. Good service, interesting basement location, but the barbeque was mediocre at best.

          We did have chopped pork sandwiches at Payne's on Elvis Presley Blvd. The building is a dump (ceiling leaking just behind the counter) but the sandwiches are wonderful. I had two bites of mine and ordered another. Try the "hot" sauce.

      2. I disagree and think there are at minimum 2 places in Memphis that regularly beat the Rendezvous at ribs: BBQ Shop on Madison in Midtown and Cozy Corner on North Parkway Downtown. Central BBQ onCentral in Midtown also has good ribs. The Rendezvous is good when it's good, but the ribs can be dry and chewy.

        Strawberry's in Holcomb, MO and Craigs in DeVall's Bluff AR will give any Memphis rib place a run for their money.

        I also love the BBQ sandwiches at Payne's on Lamar, A&R on Elvis Presley and the BBQ Shop mentioned above.

        Other "solid, small" places that represent the "real food of the city"...
        Taqueria Guadalupana on Summer for true Mexican
        Los Tortugas Deli Mexicana way out in Germantown for a little bit more upscale Mexican. tacos and sandwiches (I think it's the most consistently good place in Memphis). Honestly I believe their ribs are as good as any Memphis bbq place.
        Ellen's Soul Food (true soul food on Elvis Presley in a temporary location)
        Soul Fish on Cooper in Midtown for catfish and great vegetables
        Do /Noodle Doodle Do sushi and asian noodle bowls on Cooper in Midtown

        Enjoy Memphis.

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          1. Mississippi Delta area is known for their distinctive tamales. This link will give you many options:

            http://www.tamaletrail.com/OH_does.shtml