Thursday, November 7, 2013

Memphis Nosh: Soul Food Dishcrawl

Things have been a little crazy around here.

But. I have food pictures. Delicious, wonderful food pictures.

A couple of weeks ago, I went on an amazing Dishcrawl: Soul food!

This one was a little different than the previous ones. Instead of walking from restaurant to restaurant, we rode around in the Backbeat Tours bus, with soul music and Tonya Dyson (the "Mayor of Soulsville" and amazing musical artist) as our tour guide!

Like with the other dishcrawls, the restaurants are kept secret - this time we didn't even meet at a restaurant, so it was a super surprise. We met at the park and ride lot at Cleveland and Madison.

*The Park and Ride lot is really nice - this doesn't show it, but it's well-maintained and the least scary part of that particular intersection.

At the lot, we caught this beauty: 

*Via Also, they have some awesome tours - fun things to do with friends from out of town maybe? 

So we got on the bus, and drove south while listening to some classic Memphis soul. 

On the way, we officially entered "Soulsville" and passed by the Stax Museum. 

Shamefully, I've never been. But it's on my list now!

Our first stop was the iconic Four Way Restaurant: 

This one was a little different - buffet style!

*Also, that's the owner in the background - he's a hoot! 

At Four Way we had turkey, dressing (or stuffing? I'm never sure what to call it - this was not stuffed in the turkey, so let's say dressing), turkey gravy, yams, cranberry sauce, and cobbler for dessert. It was Thanksgiving early! 

*Oh my. Hello. Come here often? 

*Cobbler deliciousness. 

The only downside to the buffet is that it took quite a while, but it was so good, no one was complaining. 

We got back on the bus, and listened to some newer soul music while getting a Memphis music lesson from Tonya Dyson: 

*There's also a great picture Kim took which shows that I am physically incapable of not having a weird face in pictures. I'll spare y'all. :)

We headed back north, turned onto Union, and we were at the next stop: Cupboard Restaurant!

*It was dark and I could smell food. I was both excited and cold. Hence the blurry. 

Inside, we sat down and were greeted by the owners, who are both very cool and really enthusiastic about the Memphis food scene and the use of social media. 

And then we got food. 

On the tables were water, menus, and these little nuggets of delicious: 

*Like Popplers, but real and not in danger of causing an inter-galactic incident. I don't usually even like cornbread but these are so good. 

*My favorite line from the whole series is in this episode - "They're like sex, except I'm having them!"

*Get excited people. 

Let's just talk about chicken fried chicken for a minute. 

First, if it's fried, I'm probably in. 

Second, chicken fried anything and I'm there. 

Third, milk gravy is the only really acceptable gravy in my world. 

I might marry Cupboard. Just so everyone knows. 

*My destroyed muffin, and the glory that is chicken fried chicken, held up nicely to the best Italian spinach I'd ever had. 
**Formal wedding announcements coming soon. 

We also had Lemon Ice Box Pie, which I like, and theirs was good. It was a little runny, and I definitely think I'd like the chocolate better (because, duh), but I liked it. 

*Even if this picture is awful. It's like it's my first time or something.
*Here's the inside. Cute and kitschy. 

After we ate, talked to the awesome staff, and said goodbye to the owners, it was time for our last stop. 

We headed back towards the park and ride. 

I had no idea where we were going. 

My ex and I used to go to a little Italian restaurant around there, but that's all I knew about. 

Unbeknownst to me, however, a new place had opened up where the Italian place had been: Mott & Ed's Southern Eatery. 

It's a pretty nondescript little building, but inside it's super cute and warm. 
*Via yelp. 

*And we got entertainment by Tonya! 
**She covered Jill Scott's "A Long Walk" and it was awesome! Here's the original: 

The food was pretty great too - catfish, hot water cornbread, mac n cheese, and greens.

*The catfish was some of the best I've ever had. I'm not a huge fan of greens, but the cornbread was really good, and the mac was interesting - not sure what the spice was but I couldn't stop eating it. 

We stayed and listened for a little while, and then headed home. Well, I went to Local for a beer, but same thing at this point. 

I can't wait til the next Dishcrawl I'm signed up for, the Cooper-Young Wine Crawl, and Cocktail Wars! (Where I'll be a judge - hooray booze!) More details on both coming soon!

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