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Question for Memphis Chowhounds

picklelicious Aug 8, 2011 11:51 AM

I'm flying into Memphis today, and will be there the next three nights staying in the downtown area. What I would like to know is, what are the best restaurants in the downtown area, regardless of price, ambiance, or type of cuisine. I've eaten at and enjoyed both Rondezvous and Gus' several times, and I plan on trying Los Tortugas one day for lunch, I've just seen it too many times on this website not to try it, and will probably give Interstate BBQ a try another day for lunch. I generally hang out one night at Bardog Tavern just to enjoy a good pub/tavern atmosphere, but what I need help finding are a couple of really good restaurants in the downtown area that produces some great eats and an enjoyable dining experience. Can anyone assist me?

  1. d
    dailybread8383 Aug 8, 2011 05:29 PM

    Restaurant Iris, no doubt, tell chef kelly, evan sent you

    Restaurant Iris
    2146 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

    11 Replies
    1. re: dailybread8383
      picklelicious Aug 8, 2011 08:03 PM

      Thanks dailybread8383, believe I may do just that...anything chow worthy about McEwan's or Flight?

      1. re: picklelicious
        dailybread8383 Aug 9, 2011 09:43 AM

        In my honest opinion, they aren't on par with iris. I'd do Iris, Central BBQ(skip rendezvous), las tortugas, original Gus's in Mason and perhaps Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. If you do decide to go to Las Tortugas, I'll post my recs for what to eat there.

        1. re: dailybread8383
          picklelicious Aug 9, 2011 09:56 AM

          Yea, please post las tortugas recs, I'm actually at Interstate BBQ right now, just finished the combo rib and pulled/chopped pork combo...decent, too much sauce in my opinion, and the ribs, while they do have a little bark and aren't bad, decent is best I'll give them. I'm not like most though, I don't judge ribs on tenderness, anyone can make ribs "fall off the bone". Anyway, I am definitely going to try Iris, and am looking forward to it.

          1. re: picklelicious
            dailybread8383 Aug 9, 2011 03:17 PM

            At Las Tortugas my favorite items are the Newman Farms pork tacos, the queso, the guacamole, the shrimp tortuga(pricy, but seriously one of the best things in memphis period), molletes con pollo, and the elotes, definitely get one of the frescas as well, my favorite is the mango. One of the owners will take your order and will be able to offer you plenty of help and there are generally several awesome specials available.

            1. re: dailybread8383
              picklelicious Aug 9, 2011 03:31 PM

              Thanks, will take a look. Stopped by Iris, spoke with chef briefly, heading back at 7 for some eats. He's got quite a resume for a man that looks to be pretty young. Looking forward to it.

              1. re: picklelicious
                Clarkafella Aug 9, 2011 10:03 PM

                I would try Flight- if nothing else, it is on the same block as Bar Dog Tavern (I just left BDT), and my last meal there was wonderful! Gets bad points on here though...

                1. re: Clarkafella
                  picklelicious Aug 10, 2011 08:17 AM

                  I've never seen it mentioned...i may do a follow up run at Iris, got a lot of questions regarding the cuisine I was served last night, and may need one more night of answers, l'm gonna say something like "how does your surf'n turf taste"?

                  1. re: picklelicious
                    dailybread8383 Aug 10, 2011 08:44 AM

                    What did you have at Iris, and Iris two consecutive nights is nnnnever a bad thing. The surf and turf is insane btw, bring your appetite!!!

                    1. re: dailybread8383
                      picklelicious Aug 10, 2011 12:05 PM

                      I went with the tasting menu. With a couple of exceptions that only us picky eaters would discern, the meal was exceptional. The staff was exceptional also, i like what they've got going there. Just left Tortugas a while back , the owner is something else huh? I mentioned his shrimp tortugas were called one of best flavors in Memphis, he quickly responded, no, tooooo small, one of the best in the world, and he added he was expanding to the universe. I'm not a huge shrimp fan, due to the lack of flavor they generally yield, but the shrimp tortuga did refresh my memory on what "actual shrimp" tastes like. Owner also went into detail on procurement of shrimp, didn't even have to ask. Thanks for recs...hell if this wasn't a working trip I might could actually enjoy this excursion.

                      1. re: picklelicious
                        Ross B Aug 10, 2011 01:35 PM

                        The owner of Bardog just opened a new place in Midtown right down the street from Iris. It's called Aldo's Slider Inn.

                        1. re: picklelicious
                          Edward Tyson Sep 19, 2011 08:49 PM

                          Nothing takes the place of fresh shrimp!

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