Gladys Knight may have taken the midnight train to Georgia, but I took a private jet to Memphis last week :)
This was my second trip to Memphis, but for the first time, I actually got to spend some time on Main street, watching "Cinderella" carriages amble along the trolley tracks.
Trolleys along Main Street are picturesque ways to travel via "mass transit" in Memphis.
I even walked along Beale Street.
Clubs like B.B. King's were open during the day.
Clubs like Rum Boogie Cafe were open during the afternoon, but I'm sure the atmosphere at night was much livelier after dark.
Since I had already tried both Interstate BBQ and Corky's BBQ on my last trip, this time I went to Central BBQ (based on a local's recommendation). Central was voted by locals as the best BBQ place and the week-end I was in town, it was their anniversary, so a half rack of ribs was only $10 (normally $15.25).
They are a "green" restaurant, so they compost and recycle. Products are biodegradable as much as possible and in keeping with this philosophy their sauces are all available from pumps. Vegetarians have the option of a Portobello sandwich here for $4.99, served like a pulled pork sandwich, but I would say 99% of the customers come here for the BBQ meat.
I ordered my ribs wet, but got some vinegar sauce on the side. The meat was tender, and the rub and sauce were both good, but my preference is Corky's, although this comes in at a close second. Since everyone in Memphis has their favorite BBQ place, I'm still on my hunt for "the best". Another local told me to try Tops, but I didn't have time to get there this trip.
After all that meat, I needed some vegetables. Cosmic Coconut is a vegan juice bar/cafe and I figured I could just as well drink my vegetables as eat them. I ordered a "grass roots" made with wheatgrass, carrots, ginger, beets, apples, chard. I figured it was my vegetable daily quota in a cup. It was a bit spicy from the ginger, and it definitely tasted more like a "good for you" drink than a juice, but my body thanked me for drinking it. This 100% organic cafe offers coffee and teas as well as snacks. Some of the smoothies are much more dessert oriented, combining fruit, coconut milk, and stevia, so if you prefer fruit to vegetables, they have something here for you. The place is in the same shopping center as Birkim Yoga, so they cater to a wholistic clientele, with a great selection of books to peruse if you did not bring your laptop.
My fine dining experience was at Flight. If you've ever tried a flight of wine, the restaurant concept is the same, offering smaller bites of different dishes so you can sample and compare different variations side by side.
They offer wine flights and I could not resist the "Make Wine Not War" Bordeaux flight for $11.50. The St. Estephe was my favorite, but the other two complimented my meal very well.
I began with the Salad flight for $10 which had a small serving of a grilled pear and Camembert salad, made with baby arugula, roasted walnuts and maple walnut vinaigrette (my favorite of all three); a mixed greens, roasted corn, dried cherries, crispy bacon, tomatoes, goat cheese, and cajun pecans topped with a white balsamic vinaigrette; and a baby iceberg salad topped with Maytag blue cheese, applewood smoked bacon and grape tomatoes (my least favorite because it was actually bland, especially compared to the outstanding version at Sixth and Pine in Los Angeles).
The special of the day was Jerk seasoned wild boar, so I chose the small plate for $12, the large portion was about $30 and if you want to try a flight, they offer flights of fish, fowl, meat, or seafood from $31. The wild boar had a very nice depth of flavor, but the jerk was not spicy at all, and the tziki like topping was a strange contrast to the robust cumin flavored medley of succotash. It was not noteworthy and not unpalatable. Perhaps I should have stuck to a meat the locals know well, but I so rarely see wild boar on any menu that I had to order it.