Memphis is a great food town—certainly one of the best in this area of the country and one that continues to surprise with each and every visit. A buddy and I recently made the 2+ hour jaunt up I-30 for a Pearl Jam concert, but had no problem turning the daytrip into an all-out food fest. And the best part? Because Memphis has such a legendary downtown life, highlighted by the always hopping Beale Street, we were able to hit four restaurants in a three hour time span. Here’s how it went:
King’s Palace Cafe: Why did we start off at King’s Palace Cafe? I’m really not sure, other than we were starving and wanted to sit down. We didn’t spend too much time in the establishment, ordering just some local beers and fried green tomatoes. The old-timey, classic ambiance screamed Beale Street, but we had other restaurants to hit up, and we didn’t want to lolly-gag at King’s. We both found the local beer (the name I honestly can’t remember) to be pretty ho-hum. Such was not the case with those thinly-sliced, perfectly fried green tomatoes. As someone who is quickly becoming a fan of this southern delicacy, I can tell you this was an excellent showing by King’s.
Pig on Beale: Truthfully, I was a bit skeptical of Pig on Beale, but my partner in crime was adamant about walking across the street and splitting a pulled pork sandwich. Memphis is certainly the place to eat barbeque, but touristy areas, like Beale Street, tend to produce an overrated product. Geez, I couldn’t have been more wrong. A heaping pile of smoky, tender pulled pork was topped with just the right amount of creamy cole slaw, making for a wonderfully delicious sandwich, thus validating my friend’s opinion of the place. Is there better pulled pork in Memphis? I’m guessing there is, but Pig on Beale could hold its own with just about anyone.
Dyer’s: Say what you want about Dyer’s, but I have a soft spot in my heart for a place that deep fries its paper-thin patties in 100-year-old grease. We ordered a single burger (includes onions, mustard and pickles) then immediately received a perplexed look from our server. “Honey, have you eaten here before?” This was a fair question, given that Dyer’s single patty burgers are slightly bigger than a White Castle. I explained we were on an eating tour and wanted to save room for the next spot … which was…
Felicia Suzanne’s: Man, did we save the best for last! Given the restaurant’s reputation, I had high expectations for the meal. Felicia Suzanne’s delivered … in a big way! With no reservation, we missed out on a table but opted to dine at the bar. We both actually preferred this, given that the start of our concert was quickly approaching. The food and service that followed was nothing short of fantastic. From chicken crepes to scallops and grits to a molten fudge cake, it was all executed to perfection by a cordial and attentive staff.
Once again, dining out in Memphis proved to be a huge success!