Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Memphis Nosh: Local on the Square (Local Gastropub)

My friend AL and I decided to go to lunch today - it's too pretty out to sit in an office all day!

And we wanted some bar fries.

Bar fries, for the uninitiated, are Local's fries covered in blue cheese dressing, blue cheese crumbles, and bacon. So they're basically amazing.

We've been talking about bar fries for weeks, and today we finally made it. Best. Decisions. Ever.

I eat at Local A LOT (and drink there more probably). And it's always good. I'd never been at lunch before, and I will say that the lunch service is a little slower. Our waitress, Rachel I think, was great, but it took us awhile to get noticed at the host stand and there seemed to be a lot of confusion over sections and where food went.

(Also, just a weird side note, one of their kitchen employees almost hit our car with his while parking illegally, and the woman who did finally seat us wasn't dressed as a hostess, which is a huge departure from the regular night shifts when it's busier - this doesn't mean don't go there, it just means Memphis drivers are awful and sometimes people take a minute, but it was weird enough to comment on.)

However, once we were seated, things picked right up. I had the Short Rib Reuben, and AL had the Kickin' Chicken Club. My reuben had short ribs in this amazing, almost barbeque sauce, a huge slice of gouda, firecracker slaw, and chipotle aioli on rye bread. Absolutely amazing. I don't like a ton of slaw, so I took some of it off, and I got my aioli on the side because I'm weird like that, but it was so good. I don't usually even like reubens, but this was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. AL's sandwich had lettuce, red onion, tomato jam, tabasco mayo, grilled chicken, bacon, and cheddar on a PRETZEL BUN. Angels actually sang.

For an upcharge, we got bar fries instead of regular fries as our side. They were, as always, so good.

That's my sandwich with my bar fries. And AL's bar fries in the background. The fries were cooked perfectly, and, as you can see by the fork in the picture, there was a ton of food. We each took some fries and half of our sandwiches home, so for lunch, it might be better to do what we've decided, which is to split a sandwich and get bar fries as an appetizer. Or gorge yourself on lunch. Or eat all you can and have leftovers. Delicious, glorious leftovers. 

I've gone to Local a lot - it's close to my house, everyone is super friendly, they have a great setup with a dining room and large bar downstairs and lounge and smaller bar upstairs. I actually, kind of embarrassingly, was there having a beer with my roommate last night.

He had the burger (I ate at Chiwawa while watching Princess Bride, so I had a Bud Light for second dinner), which I didn't get a picture of, but which I've had a billion times and love (AL pointed out that it does come a little more medium rare than medium, so tell them if you don't like your food to moo at you).

A few weeks ago I went on a Dishcrawl (on Twitter @dishcrawlmem) with Kirby, and our last stop (after Chiwawa, Le Chardonnay, and Bosco's) was Local. We had this beauty for dessert:

It's their bread pudding and something else. I can't actually believe I got a picture before I inhaled it. I have no shame. I rarely get dessert because I eat so much there, but this was worth the suffering. 

This is my favorite drink at Local, The Southern Belle. I like all their drinks, but this one is especially good. It's Hendrick's gin, egg white, lemon, pomegranate, and sugar. So it's classy/drunk in a glass. At $9 each, they're pricey, but I'm always willing to pay a little more for quality and good, local, thoughtful food and drinks. My bill today, with tip, was about $24, which is high for lunch, but I have another meal worth of leftovers and the patio, company, and amazing food were worth it. 

Local is open everyday from 11am to 3am, and they're located at the corner of Cooper and Madison, 2126 Madison Ave. You can also follow them on Twitter: @localgastropub. 

Call me if you go. :)

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