Itta Been Awesome at Itta Bena

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Last week, I wondered aloud on Facebook if there were some new places or things that I needed to get out and try. True to form, I got a lot of good comments and advice. When multiple people mentioned that they had looked but not found any evidence of my having been to Itta Bena, they were quick to tell me to remedy that mess. They also gave me a couple of reviews of their own that served as recommendations for my trip.

While this was going on, the Counselor decided that he would deal with this on my behalf and set up dinner reservations for 10 on Friday night. Done and done. Sometimes all you really need is for someone else to make the plan.

Set the Wheel for Beale

Itta Bena is above BB Kings on Beale Street, easily accessed by a stairwell on the side of the building, next to the valet parking stand, which, judging by my walk from the old Raifords, would have been pretty convenient! They put my big group in the cool small room that allows for a blue-tinted view of the excitement on Beale down below. Since I was the last to arrive, my compadres got started with some wines, fine bourbons, martinis, and some bubbly. So, in reality, I don’t think anyone was really missing me that much!

You know what Lil Wayne and Birdman say about that? Okay we poppin champagne like we won a championship game / Look like I got on a championship ring. The same enthusiasm was in the air at the table. I’m telling you, it isn’t always easy to get a group of 10 together for dinner, so it really is a celebration of a sort.

He Said, She Crab.

Like I said, I got a lot of recommendations about Itta Bena, and when I looked at the menu, I was pretty sure that someone had told me to order the She-Crab soup. I even told my friends at the table to get it because of this recommendation.

It turned out that there was no recommendation, and that I just imagined that someone told me to get it. Fortunately, turned out awesome. Let this serve as my recommendation to you.

Tip Your Cap(rese)

I think K is one of the few people that can claim to love tomato season as much as I do (evidenced by us eating a combined 3 tomato sandwiches for dinner last night). She’s been on a Caprese Salad kick lately, so this night out was no exception.

Her meal of the salad and the soup was a good one!

Duck, Duck, Waffle, and Other Things

For my entree, I was correct in remembering a recommendation. But really, who would have forgotten something as memorable as “get the duck and waffle.” Easy peasy. Despite a ton of things looking awesome on the menu, I was planning on getting this from the moment we made the plans, because, well, it was a duck and waffle.

This was awesome. The smoked barbecue bacon dressing was an awesome topping that fave some sweetness to the rich duck. The wild rice waffle was a perfect platform for the duck. The duck was full of flavor, cooked just right, and it was delicious. The only thing that might keep me from repeating this order in the future? The feeling of mild jealousy when I looked at all the things that my friends ordered.

Snappy

A couple folks ordered (and shared) the Blackened Gulf Snapper with Andouille Hash.

Legit. The hash was a revelation, and the snapper was cooked well. Loved the bites of this that I got.

Chopper

If you didn’t already know that I am obsessed with Newman Farm pork products, let this serve as an official notice. I think their pork is the most tender, flavorful pork that I’ve ever come across. So, when I saw the bone-in Newman Farm pork chop on the menu, I definitely hesitated a bit. Although I didn’t taste it, a friend at the far (East side) of the table was kind enough to take a picture of it. Looked pretty good.

While the photos focus is clearly on the martini, you can still see that pork chop was something to be reckoned with. Served with crushed sweet potato, it is everything that I want in a pork chop, thick, juicy, and Newman.

Steak Out

The last of the entrees ordered at the table was the old faithful New York Strip.

Just look at that lovely cut of meat. Maybe I’ll get that next time…

Bena Good One.

I’m down for any place that makes for an awesome experience for a large party. Our serve deserves a good mention for his crazy knowledge about any and every beverage and the menu, which had just switched over that day. Everything about it calls for me to go back again, and I know that I will. Head on down for the secret staircase, and try it out for yourself if you haven’t.See you there!

-Thomas

You want to go to there:

Itta Bena
145 Beale Street
Memphis, TN 38103-3713
Itta Bena on Urbanspoon

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