Memphis Meals -Fourth and Fifth nights

Fourth Night – Edo

I went to this Japanese restaurant because it was recommended by people on yelp.  I got about four nigiri roles (maguro, hamachi, saba, and fluke[?]) and  couple maki rolls (unagi and spicy tuna).  It was all pretty good.  The quality of the fish was good.  A friend who recommended both Gus’s and Cozy Corner mentioned that sushi would be pretty good in Memphis because it is the hub of FedEx so they actually have access to pretty good quality fish.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I can say that the sushi was a nice vacation from slow cooked pork. I have to admit that at this point, I was a wee bit porked out.

I think this was the most ethnically diverse strip mall in Memphis.

Final verdict: Actually pretty good

Fifth Night – Corky’s BBQ

This place came recommended by some locals who swore by the dry rubbed ribs which is a specialty of the place.  I drove about half an hour east to get there past numerous identical strip malls until finally I was welcomed by the cute little pig on the sign.

This pig is so cute, I just want to eat him up!

But when I stepped into the restaurant I thought I was in Chili’s.  This place didn’t have the most down home character, but their ribs were pretty good.  And the dry rub was a nice touch  But then again it’s hard to mess up smoky ribs by adding salt and paprika to them.

Cute in neon too.

The rib brisket combo meal - because two types of meat are better than one. Actually, not so much. The ribs were quite tasty- very salty and very porky. But the brisket was too dry and kind of bland. I got the seasoned fries too because I needed some fried salty starch and the meal didn't have enough calories already.

I killed those ribs. And probably they did a little to hasten my demise. The beef, I mortally wounded, leaving a bit behind as an example to the other brisket not to mess with me.

Final verdict: Just good (not great). Next time, I stick exclusively to the ribs.

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Memphis Meals – Third Night

Third Night – Cozy Corner
This special little place was recommended by two work colleagues who spent a lot of time in Memphis and who also know a thing or two about food.  Some might call this place a hole in the wall.  I call the wood paneling, blue vinyl booths and 70s soul playing on the old stereo speakers, ambiance. The rib tip meal I got was a little luke warm but that could be because it was almost closing time which could also explain the massive serving I got.  The meaty tips came wet – that is, in a pool of tangy and peppery sauce that sent shock waves to my brain.  I could not help but periodically grunt to my self. “Oh, it’s so good!”

Made it just before closing time.

This is where all the magic happens. Too bad he was cleaning up already.

This is my still life: red cup, blue seat, brown wood paneling.

This mountain of meat came soaked in a peppery sauce of deliciousness. Don't worry. It's the photo that's out of focus, not your vision - though seeing this fatty meat kind of blurred vision for a minute. I ate the whole thing.

Final verdict: Really good (could have been great had my meat been more than room temperature).

Next post: fourth and fifth night.

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Memphis Meals – Second Night

Second Night – Gus’s (World Famous) Fried Chicken
I only included the parenthesis because even though it’s on the sign above the door, there’s another Gus’s World Famous Fried chicken whose website has a different logo and a different location.  So, Gus might be a pretty common name, as is the claim of  “world famous fried chicken”  In any case this Gus’s was located downtown, within walking distance of where I was staying and came highly recommended by my friends Sanj and Alana, friends who don’t know each other and made their recommendations separately.  Trust is a good thing, because world famous or not, this was some damn fine fried chicken!  Freshly fried in a light and flavorful batter whose bright crispiness gave way to the juicy meat beneath, this was truly great fried chicken.

As seen from the outside. It was actually snowing that night, so I was looking forward to gettin in there and filling up on fried food.

Danger Men Cooking: looking into the kitchen where all the magic happens.

How to make pickles better? Deep fry them of course. And then serve them with ranch dressing. I think if I was a pregnant woman, I would crave these.

Three pieces of fried chicken (they gave an extra piece!) - all dark meat, of course, cole slaw and dirty rice. You can kind of see that the chicken was still bubbling having just come out of the fryer.

I don't like to waste food.

the cooks: (l-r) Tony, Courtney and Miron

Final verdict:  Awesome! Worthy of world fame.

Next post: third night…

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Memphis Meals – First Night

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend several days in Memphis, TN, home to Stax Records, Graceland and of course, Memphis style BBQ.  Needless to say, I was stoked.  I ate bbq three out of the five nights I was in town.  On the other nights I went on pork hiatus, opting for fried chicken on one night and then sushi the other night because at that point, I was seriously craving something Asian that hadn’t been cooked for hours on a smoky grill.  But, there are way worse things to OD on than bbq and if you’re into slow cooked meat and delicious Southern soul food, then Memphis is the place for you. Just make sure you wear your eating pants.

First Night – Central BBQ
When I asked the agent at the Hertz Car rental desk which bbq joint she recommended, she gave me a pained look and said, “Well, it’s hard for me to answer that question because I’m not eating meat right now.”  Okay…

“But,” she added, “my favorite place is Central BBQ.”  Nice. So, that first night I took that rental car and drove it straight to Central BBQ.

Memphis BBQ is big on the pig

Notice the smoke coming out of the chimney. I figured that was a good sign.

Interesting. You see Memphis was named after the ancient city in Egypt but I'm not sure how many people in the Arab world today would dig on pig. But, it was also a shout out to Tunisia which was kind of timely.

Three meat combo meal (before): pulled pork, ribs (served dry) and sausage. The two sides were green beans and mac and cheese.

Three meat combo meal (after). Pulled pork - too dry and I had to gussy it up with sauce. Ribs - fatty, delicious and flavorful. Sausage - you can't really message up this kind of sausage. It was like smoky Hillshire Farms kielbasa. The green beans - reminded me of school cafeteria food. Mac and cheese - velveeta comes to mind.

Final verdict: Pretty good.

Next post: second night…

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