Yesterday I met up with two of my friends from ArtsMemphis for lunch at one of Memphis’ hidden gems. Nestled in the Memphis Botanic Garden is Fratelli’s in the Garden. Minutes in either direction from a crowded Poplar Ave. and Park Ave. is a refuge from the urban world around us, one full of flowers, trees, big backyards, and awesome sandwiches! Fratelli’s is providing food at the Shell Out for the Arts event at the Levitt Shell on Friday night, so we wanted to stop by and say hello and get a little lunch.
The three of us sat at a nice patio table in the warm sun, not to be confused with the hot summer sun! In my opinion, fall is the best time to sit outside for a nice meal. While we waited for our drinks, we were treated to a nice olive appetizer.
I love olives, so this was great.
Ode to an Italian Sandwich
Since I had never been here (I’ll be kicking myself about this later), I asked our server for her recommendations. After deciding that I was in the mood for a hot panini, she told me about a couple of the crowd favorites. I settled on the Porcheria, which is made of pork tenderloin, bacon and stewed apples with spicy chipotle mayonnaise.
I know that I’ve probably got a reputation similar to the boy who cried awesome. But, whatever, this was one of the best sandwiches EVER. The combination of seasoned pork, salty bacon, sweet stewed apples, and the mild spice of the chipotle mayo means that this sandwich was constructed with serious skill, like the gardens that surrounded the patio we were sitting on. Every single bite of this sandwich was just awesome. One a side note (hahahaha! puns!), the orzo salad with feta was a great little partner to my sandwich. Seriously though, if you work or live in East Memphis, do yourself a favor and go try this sandwich if you like pork tenderloin and apples.
Combos and Salads, Oh My!
One of my friends got the delicious looking pork tenderloin salad, which contains pork tenderloin, avocado, orange, spinach, roasted red peppers and spicy orange aioli. My impression from her was that it was as good as it looked. Check it out.
Apologies for the shadow in the picture, evidently my head is an eclipse waiting to happen.
My other pal got a half sandwich and soup combination, and I’ll show it to you and then explain what was on it.
This is a combination of the Cubana sandwich, containing turkey, ham, swiss, watercress and marinated tomato with a spicy chipotle mayonnaise, a cup of the chilled avocado soup, and a side of their potato salad. All of this was very well received.
Here’s the deal. You need to find a way to get out to this place. One, it is nice to go from the middle of the city to the middle of a garden, it just is. Two, the food is very, very good. I could happily eat my way through the panini menu, but it would be hard to turn on the pork and apple sandwich, which really was off the charts.
Like I said at the beginning, we were hopping in to say thanks and hello to the folks at Fratelli’s for offering to provide food at Friday night’s Shell Out for the Arts event.
This will all take place in a tent on the top of the hill, so you can come and go as you please without missing any of the action. Here’s Fratelli’s planned menu:
- Pork tenderloin sliders
- Crab cakes with chipotle aioli
- Tarragon chicken salad served in phyllo shells
- Chicken kebobs served with Asian peanut sauce
- Antipasto plate with Cremini mushrooms, chilled asparagus and roasted red peppers
- Tortellini salad with pesto
- Caprese sticks
- Fruit tartlets and brownies
$20 per adult (free for kids 12 and under) gets all of this great food, beer and wine in a private tent during the Gary Clark, Jr. concert. All proceeds from the event go to support the arts groups, artists and arts education across the community. You can buy your tickets in advance!
Um, awesome. This is either what you’ll be seeing or missing on Friday. I know where I’ll be! See you there!
Dave Brown tells me that Friday is meant to be sunny with a high of 85, low of 56…absolutely perfect for a night at the Shell.
You want to go to (both) there(s):
Fratelli’s in the Garden
(901) 766-9900 cafe
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117