Ranting

A Tasteful List 2016

September 15th, 2016

Eating in Memphis reminds me of my mother, and probably yours, who put a mile of food on the table slick with bacon grease and then said, “Now, watch how much you eat. You’re getting a little pudgy.”

Here’s this year’s list of my local favorites – all good if not good for you. Some are farm to table, some got waylaid by sugar, flour, corn meal and deep-frying along the way, but all of them are ours, bless their hearts.

As usual, no advice is offered beyond the list itself, no side dishes of pretension, but I do have a couple of seasoned observations.

Note to local chefs: Putting salt and pepper on the table is not an insult to you, and having to ask for it is an insult to us. Along those lines, clever salt (sea salt, of course) and pepper (fresh, of course) dispensers that are more difficult to operate than a drill press do not impress.

Enjoy, y’all. Being called to dinner in Memphis sounds better and better every day.

As published in The Memphis Daily News, September 18, 2015, and in The Memphis News, September 19-25, 2015

(photo: Corn sticks at The Little Tea Shop … you got to love a place that has to include the following on the menu to forewarn customers, “Corn Sticks Not Served With Sandwiches”)

Cornsticks

MEMPHIS BY THE BITE.

Presenting the sixth serving of the Tasteful List, updated for 2016 – alphabetical local favorites in one decidedly local man’s opinion – the only things easy to swallow in an election year. 

A/M Breakfast, Andrew Michael; Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp, Café Society, Molly’s; Baguettes, La Baguette; Barbecue Pizza, Coletta’s, Elwood’s Shack, Pete & Sam’s; Barbecue Salad, Bar-B-Q Shop, Central BBQ, Germantown Commissary; Barbecue Sandwich, Bar-B-Q Shop, Interstate, Payne’s, Tops; Barbecue Spaghetti, Bar-B-Q Shop; Beacon Salad, Pete & Sam’s; Beer, Cash Saver, anywhere serving Ghost River, High Cotton, Memphis Made or Wiseacre; Birthday Cake Sno Cone, Jerry’s; Breakfast (anything), Blue Plate, Brother Juniper’s; Boston Cream Pie, Calvary Waffle Shop; Brisket, Elwood’s Shack, Rendezvous; Catfish, Soul Fish; Cheeseburger, Belly Acres, Belmont, Caritas Village, Earnestine & Hazel’s, Hog & Hominy, Huey’s, Mac’s Burgers, Oshi, Tops; Cheese Dip, Pancho’s; Chicken Salad, Bogie’s, Calvary Waffle Shop, Ecco, La Baguette; Chile Rellenos, Los Compadres; Chips, Las Delicias; Chopped Steak, Mortimer’s; Coffee, Bluff City Coffee, City & State; Collards, Hog & Hominy; Corn Sticks, Little Tea Shop; Cupcakes, Muddy’s; Deviled Eggs, Bogie’s, The Farmer; Dirty Rice, Mardi Gras; Dry Ribs, Rendezvous; Egg Drop Soup, A-Tan; Eggplant Casserole, Cupboard; Fish and Chips, Brass Door; Fish Pudding, Calvary Waffle Shop; Fried Chicken, Gus’s; Fried Green Tomatoes, Cupboard; Fries, Bounty, Brass Door, Huey’s, Young Avenue Deli; Guacamole, Las Delicias; Gumbo, DeJavu, Second Line, Mardi Gras; Hoppin John, Little Tea Shop; Hot and Sour Soup, Shanghai; Hot Dogs, Elwood’s Shack, Hog & Hominy; Italian Salad, Bogie’s, Fino’s, Pete & Sam’s; Italian Spinach, Pete & Sam’s; Knuckle Sandwich, Iris; Lyonnaise Salad, Café 1912; Miss Mary’s Salad, Frank Grisanti’s; New York Club, Fino’s; Nuts, Peanut Shoppe; Patio Salad, Half Shell; Patty Melt, Huey’s, The Farmer; Pizza, Aldo’s, Ciao Bella, Memphis Pizza Cafe; Po Boys, DeJavu, Second Line, Mardi Gras; Popcorn, Peanut Shoppe; Pork Shank, Bounty; Potato Salad, Bogie’s, Fratelli’s, The Farmer; Potato Soup, Huey’s; Pot Roast, The Farmer; Red Beans and Rice, Half Shell; Salad Sampler, Bogie’s, Calvary Waffle Shop; Sausage and Cheese Plate, Rendezvous; Sea Bass, Tsunami; Shrimp and Grits, Sweet Grass; Shrimp Elfo, Frank Grisanti’s; Shrimp Salad, Bogie’s; Shrimp Toast, Bhan Thai; Sliders, Bardog, Brass Door, Huey's, Slider Inn; Steak, Folk’s Folly; Steak Sandwich, Half Shell, Huey’s; Stuffed Avocado, Little Tea Shop; Surf and Turf, Iris; Tomato Aspic, Calvary Waffle Shop; Turkey Burger, Huey’s; Turnip Greens, Little Tea Shop, The Farmer; Veal Saltimbocca, Brooklyn Bridge; Vegetable Plate, Cupboard, Little Tea Shop, The Farmer; Wet Ribs, Bar B-Q Shop, Central BBQ, Germantown Commissary, Interstate; Waffles, Calvary Waffle Shop.

In memoriam:

Barbecue Sandwich, Brady & Lil’s, Little Pigs, Pitchfork; Biscuits and Gravy, Ferguson’s; Black Bottom Pie, Dobbs House, Toddle House; Chess Pie, Seessel’s; Chocolate Malt, Wiles-Smith; Club Steak, Bill and Jim’s; Coconut Ice Cream, Tropical Freeze; Crabmeat Justine, Justine’s; Di Niro, Republic Coffee; Fried Shrimp, Anderton’s; Green Pepper Beef, Joy Young; Horseradish Encrusted Grouper, Jarrett’s; Lady Fingers, Seessel’s; Mocha Cake, Carl’s Bakery; Onion Rings, Pig ‘n Whistle; Poo Poo Platter, Luau; Vanilla Soda, Normal Drug Store; Vietnamese Egg Rolls, Saigon Le.

I’m a Memphian, and well fed.

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