Skip to main content

I've had the gracious invitation to visit Memphis this May to enjoy a fantastic dégustation menu of a very talented Memphis chef.

I cannot turn down such an opportunity.

Details are still very sketchy, hence this post. Cool

I've taken a quick peek at The Madison, Hilton Doubletree, Marriott, Wyndham and French Quarter Suite Hotel. Any opinions or thoughts?

Suggestions of accommodations and what not to miss (food/drink/sights) for this first time Memphis visitor are heartily welcome and much appreciated.

Smile
-vcc



edit: typos!
*****************************
"I used to be Snow White, then I drifted." -Mae West.

[This message was edited by vinoconcubine on Jan 19, 2004 at 02:31 PM.]
Last edited {1}
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Why not stay at the grand daddy of 'em all -- The Peabody? If not there, then any of your other choices are either right near Beale St or a trolley that can get you there quickly and quaintly.

How long will you be in town, and what sorts of events interest you most?

For example, I'd suggest the music museums: Rock & Soul (at the Gibson Guitar Factory), Sun Studio, and Stax. Also, particularly appropriate on this Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial holiday, try the National Civil Rights Museum.

I've got other suggestions, but those alone can easily fill two days.

Also, be sure to bring wine with you as all of our restaurants allow -- and most encourage -- corkage


---------------
cheers, y'all!
I think I may have seen something on the Travel Channel regarding The Peabody... isn't it the one with ducks in the lobby?

Beale Street will be a stop but more or less a look around to check it out for curiosity sake. I work in a similar type of entertainment district....

The visit dates and length are sort of up in the air as this will be a group of us converging onto Memphis, with many travelling from Canada. I'll be meeting these lovely Canadian ladies there and perhaps do some exploring on my own a day before or after they arrive/leave (museums!). Our dear friend, the rockstar Memphis chef, has suggested the first week of May for an annual musicfest that will be under full swing. Smile I'll basically be a happy camper with good food, good wine and good song -- of course all in good company.

I'm not sure what the consensus will be on the accommodations end for the group, but I'm hoping to find something comfortable near east Memphis (close to the kitchen/diningroom and inspiration for this adventure).

Wine and port selections are already being made and set aside for the packing. In fact it was one of the first thoughts I had about this trip! Big Grin


Thanks most kindly stemor!

-vcc

*****************************
"I used to be Snow White, then I drifted." -Mae West.
Last edited {1}
"... rockstar Memphis chef ... " makes me think (first, if not accurately) of Isaac Hayes, who has an eponymous restaurant downtown in Peabody Place. To which person/restaurant are you referring in East Memphis?

The Beale Stree Music Fest is a blast, as long as a combination Woodstock & Mardi Gras-like atmosphere doesn't bother you. If you're looking for civility and propriety, you'd be in the wrong place. Cool

Some of the better restaurants are in East Memphis and/or Germantown, but it sounds like you've got food connections here already. So kick back and enjoy our musical heritage -- this place isn't called "The Home of the Blues & the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll" for nothing.


PS: Please note that, unlike most other locations, Beale Street is a historic MUSIC district that also has other entertainment -- not an entertainment district that has music. The authenticity of most of the clubs is palpable and not reproducable by other wanna be's.


---------------
cheers, y'all!
Last edited {1}
Oooooh! I got a reply from the Queen of Hearts -- which I always find to be on the spot! (I lurk way more often than post and I always find her suggestions to be precisely wonderful!) Thank you.


stemor:

My friend the "rock star chef," is a executive chef of the Crescent Club that has been featured from time to time in the food section of The Commercial Appeal. Most recently, in Michael Donahue's November 12, 2003, article At the Crescent - Chef at Private East Memphis Club Pays Dues on Way to the Top, now archived and available for a small fee.

If this isn't becoming too tiresome, any and all restaurant suggestions would be fabulous! The time we will end up spending visiting Chef McMillin will not be as much as we would hope as he works like a fiend leaving plenty of opportunity to explore other food venues. Smile

Woodstock and Mardi Gras-like atmosphere? I'm sure I'll find a way to enjoy myself. Wink While where I've worked is not rich with musical history, it is a island resort that faithfully recreated a Mardi Gras, either that or a reasonable facsimile to a mini Key West, each and every evening. (New Orleans and Key West being two of the usual wintering destinations for my Summertime coworkers). Beads everywhere, live music and golf carts -- the music being the only thing I never tired from being a witness to. Razz

Again, I thank you for your most kind and thoughtful recommendations and suggestions!

-vcc

*****************************
"I used to be Snow White, then I drifted." -Mae West.
The Beale Street Music Festival isn't for everyone although I attend it every year. The attendees are made up of a wide range of ages and diverse cultures. It does resemble a Mardi Gras atmosphere at times with the music ranging from alternative rock to jazz and blues to gospel. Each year the festival honors a different country giving the festival an international flavor. A must see in my opinion but be wary of the crowd. It is always scheduled the first weekend in May.
Stemor,

It's been light years ago that I graduated from Ole Miss. Archie Manning was quarterbacking Ole Miss' football team, if that tells you anything.

I used to enjoy going to Pappy's Lobster Shack which I think was on Beale Street. (I think that was the name of the restaurant.) But I certainly wasn't drinking wine back then! Is this establishment still in business? I'm not recommending it to our friend, just curious if an old haunt of mine is still in business.

There is one place, however, I've been racking my brains trying to recall the name, but I think it was also on Beale Street. Maybe not. But, it was a BBQ place that was very famous, with the best ribs in the world! Does that very vague description conjure up any restaurant names? We have a Red Hot and Blue restaurant in Colorado Springs with "Memphis style" BBQ, and when I have dry ribs there, I always think of that BBQ place in Memphis, and a pitcher of beer and friends!
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by DHGOYINS:
There is one place, however, I've been racking my brains trying to recall the name, but I think it was also on Beale Street. Maybe not. But, it was a BBQ place that was very famous, with the best ribs in the world! Does that very vague description conjure up any restaurant names? We have a Red Hot and Blue restaurant in Colorado Springs with "Memphis style" BBQ, and when I have dry ribs there, I always think of that BBQ place in Memphis, and a pitcher of beer and friends!

See my post above. I believe you are talking about the WORLD FAMOUS Rendezvous!!!
Mwagner, yes! That's the place. (Please don't tell anyone that you had to write in crayons for me the way you did before it got through my dense head that it was the Rendezvous.) I didn't catch it from just the name but once I linked up to the site, Charlie's name was what refreshed my memory. Whoa! What ribs! I'd take a slab of those right now!

I think I saw something on the site about shipping ribs. I'm afraid to confirm that. I already ship wine from all over the place. My wife would kill me if I was shipping ribs!
Last edited {1}
QoH,

Yes, I believe the French Quarter Suites is 'way out by Overton Square. Not convenient to Beale Street or the River, but certainly one could find some nightlife in & around that part of town too.

VCC: The Crescent Club is only a block away from my office, but not a place I'd normally think of for dinner -- my meetings there have always business breakfasts, but I'm sure they'd do a fine job on dinner too.

Right across the street is our Ruth's Chris. If you like them, go and enjoy yourself ... if not, well, don't (see MTH topic for reference). Cool

I might also suggest Grisanti's. Either go to the original one down by Overton Square, or the one that's located in the Embassy Suites right across Poplar from the Crescent Club.

Also in your East Memphis neighborhood: I'd suggest staying at the Hawthorne Suites if you want a hotel room in East Memphis. You get a full suite with a complete kitchen for about $75/night. My family and I have spent many comfortable nights there over the past couple of years, and I highly recommend it. The hotel is, as with these other suggestions, right in the Poplar/240 interchange area.

RESTAURANTS: Try Erling Jensen's, Wally Joe (if you don't want to bring your own. The owner has "issues" with BYOB), Folk's Folly (HIGHLY recommended, and I'd go here before Ruth's Chris any day of any week of any year ... you get the idea), or Jarrett's.

If this list doesn't do it for you or you find it too restrictive to East Memphis, let me know. I'm more familiar with the eastern suburbs (Germantown/Collierville), but I'm sure we can find some good advice for you from our other Memphian forumites.


---------------
cheers, y'all!

[This message was edited by stemor on Jan 21, 2004 at 06:14 AM.]
Last edited {1}
Just a correction - Pappy's Lobster Shack was actually on Madison in what is now Overton Square, but they predated Overton Square (they had been around since the 50s). I think the confusion comes from the fact that Silky Sullivan bought it and turned it into Silky's back in the 70s and that he relocated to Beale Street some years later. Also, there was another Pappy's, called Pappy's and Jimmy's on the corner of Poplar and Hollywood, but it was torn down to make way for a Walgreens or gas station (don't remember which).

I've lived in Nashville for about 7 years now, and have only been back a couple of times, but I can also recommend McEwan's. It's run by an ex-wine distributor, Mac Edwards. It's a really nice funky little bistro with a lot of character. Make sure you ask for Laura (she used to be my bartender when I managed Boscos in Germantown).

If you want a great mid-priced place with tons of character, go to The Beauty Shop, which is exactly what it used to be in its former life. They kept the hairdrying booths as well! It's got a great sense of style, as it's run by Karen Blockman Carrier, the lady behind Automatic Slim's. They use lots of unmatched 50s and 60s glassware and plates, which is really cool and the menu is nice. I doubt you're going to find a great variety of wine there though. It's just a cool place to eat. Here's a review:

http://d718857.u37.zen10media.com/gamut/template.php?articleID=67&pagenumber=1

If you like formal dining, it won't be your cup of tea. But if you like to have fun and you have a funky side to your personality, you'll love it. I especially fell in love with one of the servers, a tall, staturesque gorgeous redhead with a beehive hairdo and pointy glasses. She looked like she came right out of the Far Side comic series. I hope she's still there.

A hidden gem (at least it used to be) is Jarrett's. It's not as well known and it's tucked away in an nondescript small strip mall on Quince. I can't vouch for the quality now, as I haven't eaten there in a few years, but they used to have a really nice bistro menu with some well-chosen wines (not extensive but complementary to the dishes). It's got a really nice cozy feel to it. Here's the link:

http://www.jarretts.com/

Hope this helps those visiting Memphis in the future...
"I'm not sure what the consensus will be on the accommodations end for the group, but I'm hoping to find something comfortable near east Memphis (close to the kitchen/diningroom and inspiration for this adventure)".

I don't know what your price range is, but you might try a hotel run by the same people that own the Peabody (or at least it used to be):

http://services.worldweb.com/tourism-reservation.html?mode=showpropertyinfo&objecttype_name=PegasusHotel&hotel_id=28184&location_level=3:6109&category_level=1:333

It's right down the street from the Crescent Club and I think you can get a pretty reasonably priced room there. There's also a large upscale Holiday Inn and a pretty impressive Hyatt-Regency within a mile as well, but you're going to pay a lot more for your room.

The place I previously mentioned, Jarrett's is also only a couple of miles away. Also in the neighborhood is the Cajun-oriented restaurant partially owned by the food TV guy Burt Wolf - Owen Brennan's - 6150 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN 38119 901-761-0906. I think it's about a mile away. It's upscale and pricy and I've heard varying things about it, some good and some bad.

If you want to hit a nice wine shop in the neighborhood, a couple of miles away, you should visit Arthur's - 964 June Rd
Memphis, TN 38119-3702 Phone: (901) 763-3772. It's right down Poplar toward town, maybe two miles from the Crescent Club. They're small and idiocyncratic. A fun little place.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the upscale Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood, Salsa's. It was good the one time I ate there a few years back. And it's got a cool ambiance as well.

The aformentioned Ehrling's is just about across the street from Arthur's. Be prepared to spend some money, although the chef is one of the most respected chefs in town (as your chef friend will undoubtably tell you). But if you're hankering for French cusine, you couldn't do much better.

http://www.ejensen.com/menu.htm
"If you are looking for a wine shop, I would skip Arthur's....instead I would go to Buster's at Highland and Poplar"

Really? I like Busters and all that, but I used to find some odd-ball stuff at Arthur's, plus it was a funky little out-of-the-way place, the kind of place that I tend to gravitate toward. Has Arthur's gone downhill in terms of selection? I know that Busters has always had them beat hands down in terms of breadth of selection, but it just doesn't have the character of Arthurs. Note that I haven't been in Memphis much in the past 7 years though.

BTW, the other thing driving my recommendation was the fact that it's almost "around the corner" from The Crescent Club and next to Jensen's. Plus, if they're feeling *really* adventurous, they can pop across the street to Memorial Park Cemetary and see that weird Grotto thing in the middle of it.
I just have to recommend eating at Chez Philippe in the Peabody if you have the time. For one thing, I work there, and the excellent new menu for 2004 is full of interesting dishes. Also, I believe your chef friend worked as a Sous Chef under the Master Chef at Chez Philippe, Jose Gutierez.

I would have to agree with those who suggested Jarretts. Erling Jensen's is nice as well. Stay away from Wally Joe's. I hope to see you in May!

Passion turns intentions into habits.
"I just have to recommend eating at Chez Philippe in the Peabody if you have the time. For one thing, I work there, and the excellent new menu for 2004 is full of interesting dishes. Also, I believe your chef friend worked as a Sous Chef under the Master Chef at Chez Philippe, Jose Gutierez".

He *is* a great one. Is he *still* there? That must be a record!

BTW, if the original poster gets to meet Gutierez, his first name is pronounced like Josey, not the traditional Spanish way.

As to the previous post, just goes to show how important not having an "attitude" (even if unintentioned) is on a business. I've always found them helpful, if a little firm in their beliefs (sort of like around here - eh?) But, as I said, part of the charm is that it's an "out-of-the-way" funky, individualistic shop. Having said that, I've got no complaints with Busters. When I lived in Mid-town, I'd use them more than anyone else and there's always a wine geek working that can help you.

Finally, I forgot about a place in an upscale strip mall across from the Germantown Post Office, behind Saddle Creek. I want to say that it's called The Wine Shoppe, but don't quote me on that. It's a smaller shop but they have lots of good selections and they aren't afraid to turn you on to something good that you haven't heard of. That's how I found out about Marietta's Bin series of blends. I like people who at least pretend to be excited about wine <chuckle>.
Wow.

Thank you stemor, dwIII, tcrtul and Nick. The Memphis visit seems so far away but I know I'll become immersed in work and suddenly the trip will be upon me.

Not really being a Ruth Chris sort of gal (I can zip down the street to visit one should the urge inspire), I think I'll opt for what solely Memphis has to offer. Smile

Bistros with character (dwIII's suggestion of McEwan's) are always the sort I seek out, as well as funky gems like The Beauty Shop. I, too, hope that statuesque, red-headed beehive lady is still there! Hmmmmm -- I'll be sure to look into Jarretts too.

quote:
Originally posted by Nick Shiraef:

I just have to recommend eating at Chez Philippe in the Peabody if you have the time. For one thing, I work there, and the excellent new menu for 2004 is full of interesting dishes. Also, I believe your chef friend worked as a Sous Chef under the Master Chef at Chez Philippe, Jose Gutierez.


Yes, Chef McMillin would be that former sous. Cool


These thoughtful suggestions has prompted a cheery smile and brightened my gray, frozen rain-now turning into another snow blizzard of a day.

I truly look forward to this visit.

-vcc

*****************************
"I used to be Snow White, then I drifted." -Mae West.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×