Believe it or not, I ate more than BBQ when I visited Memphis this past May. Today, I’m sharing my list of what you should eat and drink in Memphis.
Southern Home Cooking (Meat and 3)
Ms. Girlee’s was our first stop in Memphis. It met all my criteria for a vacation’s first meal:
- a local favorite
- serves regional specialties
- not out of the way / easy to find
I loved every bite of my lunch. The cornbread muffins, however, were out of this world. No butter was needed; they were moist, flavorful, and not sweet. The best part of the muffin was the crispy edges.
The collard greens were also a standout. They were not overly salty and they had a big ole piece of pork hidden among the cooked greens. If you’re looking for a traditional meat and 3 meal, I highly recommend Ms. Girlee’s. It is near the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Musem and makes a great lunch stop.
629 Chelsea Ave
Memphis, TN 38107
Fried Chicken and Biscuits
You will go for the chicken but, leave loving biscuits at Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken. Uncle Lou’s offers three preparations of fried chicken, plain, mild or hot. Hot is my recommendation Each piece of fried chicken is dipped in Sweet Spicy Love sauce (a vinegary sweet hot sauce) which gives the chicken a unique taste. The honey butter biscuits, however, are some of the best I’ve ever had. Light, fluffy with a buttery finish. They are exactly how biscuits should be made.
With all the barbecue we at the WCBCC we only made two local stops. My Memphis BBQ picks were Central BBQ and Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Q. I chose these two because they both served slow-smoked Memphis-style meats.
The stand out item at Central BBQ was the brisket, of all things. It had great texture, was juicy and presented a perfect smoke ring. My ribs were just okay and so was the sauce. The ribs were not warm and the sauce was cold. I’m convinced that if the sauce was warm, I would have enjoyed my ribs exponentially more. They had great texture and flavor.
At Interstate Bar-B-Q we opted for two SMALL sandwiches. I chose the pulled pork and Charlie opted for the brisket. The sandwiches were a sloppy mess but tasted marvelous. I thought Interstate had the best-sauced BBQ of the two that we ate. If I find myself back in Memphis I really want to try the Bar-B-Q Spaghetti. I saw an order come out of the kitchen and regretted not giving it a try.
2249 Central Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
2265 S. Third Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38109
Frozen confections are taking Memphis by storm. My favorite cool treat was the Mexican chocolate popsicle from MEMPOPS. They make handcrafted pops with unique flavor combinations like mint and lime, roasted peach, or watermelon basil. We hit up their food truck at the WCBCC but, they have a brick and mortar location too.
1243 Ridgeway Road
Memphis, TN 38119
The craft beer scene is booming in Memphis. We visited four of the five craft breweries in town and I drank my favorite beer of the weekend at Memphis Made. Their RockBone IPA was very hoppy, the way I like my IPAs.
Wiseacre, Ghost River, and High Cotton Brewing Company also made solid beers. Wiseacre has a really cool outdoor space. And, I thought Ghost River had cool tap handles. All were great places to stop for a beer and relax.
Memphis Made Brewery
768 Cooper St.
Memphis, TN 38104
Ghost River Brewery
827 S Main St.
Memphis, TN 38106
2783 Broad Ave
Memphis, TN 38112
High Cotton Brewing Company
598 Monroe Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
The photo above is a bacon sprinkled donut. I am going to stop right there because you need no further information as to why you should go to Gibson’s Donuts.
760 Mount Moriah Rd.
Memphis, TN 38117
Soul Burger and Cold Beer
If you find yourself downtown late at night in search of a beer and in want of a burger, I suggest stopping in at Earnestine & Hazel’s. E&H (as many refer to it) is an old-school juke joint turned dive bar. Rumor has it the place is haunted. However, I didn’t see, hear or feel any ghosts. And, the jukebox didn’t play any special songs to me while I was there either. There are two items on the menu at E&H, cold beer, and burgers. The burgers are made directly behind the bar and they come one way, — a bun, patty, onions, cheese, pickle, and “Soul Sauce.
If you’re not hungry E&H is still a great dive bar to visit.
Earnestine & Hazel’s
31 S Main St.
Memphis, TN 38103
Peanut Butter Pie
Our last meal in Memphis was brunch at Hog & Hominy. We decided to leave Memphis with a sugar rush and order the peanut butter pie. Cool and creamy with rich peanut butter pie filling, this pie was elevated Elvis style with a layer of bananas and pastry cream. It as exceptionally good. Aside from the smoked mac ‘ n cheese at the WCBCC, it was probably the most delicious thing I ate all weekend. Our brunch was also very tasty space
Make a reservation. Be prepared to drive around for a while to find parking. Parking is difficult to find on Sundays since they only valet at night.
707 W Brookhaven Cir
Memphis TN 38117