The Second Line is First Class

Second Line 2

Ever since The Second Line was announced, Memphians (and a lot of food publications) have been eagerly awaiting Kelly English’s newest venture in the 901. I had the great pleasure of joining some friends and family for one last practice run before the official opening on Saturday at 4 (note, as they wait on a full liquor license, it will be beer-only for a bit).  The more I eat Kelly’s (and his team’s) food, the more I recognize how much I like everything they’ve ever put on my plate. So, like many of you, I’ve been dying to try his favorite casual New Orleans favorites.

Second Line 1

The Second Line is in a renovated house on Monroe right next to Restaurant Iris and roughly across the street from Overton Square. Inside, it has a nice large bar, a number of table for two and four, and a major patio out back that probably doubles the seating. Once we get into patio weather, it is going to blow up out there. A couple TVs at the bar mean this will be a prime place to take in a game with a nice meal and some drinks. I love the copper and teal color scheme going on inside, and the comfortable, open feel of the place. The interior is only broken up by what looks like an old brick fireplace that separates the main dining area into two spaces.

Second Line – First Course

My mom and I were joined by a new friend Jen, a New Orleans native, who gave our table some instant credibility and great company for a really fun dinner. It is well written on this blog that I love getting seated with new people at dinner, as it is such a good way to get to know some new people. To get started the four of us ordered up some appetizers from the Eat These First section of the menu. Everything looked strong, so it was a trouble to limit our order to only four items…

Second Line 4 meat pie

I love meat, and I love pie, so obviously we had to get the meat pies. These were excellent with a crispy crust and a tasty interior. Definite recommend, but do I really need to recommend a meat pie, c’mon?

Second Line 6 happy enchiladas

We also tried out the happy enchiladas, which have a pretty awesome provenance. Angela English described dreaming about this dish complete with the mole on top, white cheese on the bottom and pork inside. She woke up and told Kelly that these had to be on the menu. Here they are on day one, and I’m a big fan. When you see her, ask her about how they got their name for another good story.

Second Line 5 hushpuppies

The  next skillet had some tasty crabmeat and corn hushpuppies. Yum!

Second Line 3 midnight snack

My highlight of the starters was the gulf shrimp midnight snack, which is a piece of brioche toast topped with gulf shrimp, remoulade, and a poached egg. Get out of here. Just so delicious and rich.

I saw some of the other starters around, and the shwarma, the Brignole salad, the pimento fries, and the rangoons all looked pretty sweet. Hell, it all looked good. (See full menu)

For Richer or For Poboys

At this point the three of us were pretty pumped up and starting to boarder on a little full. But that wasn’t stopping anyone from getting some poboys. Kelly had been telling me recently about the importance of the bread, and this bread from New Orleans did not disappoint.

Second Line 7 johny snack ham poboy

I got the Johnny Snack, which is a ham and cheese poboy with gravy. The bread was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and made even softer by the gravy. The ham and cheese were flavorful and the pickles were the icing on the cake. The fries were dark, crispy, and tasty. Our dining companion was excited that Crystal hot sauce was at every table, as she says it is the go-to hot sauce, so much so that she gave it as wedding favors. It was a great addition to the sandwich and fries, for sure. Use it.

second line 10 Verno

Jen went with the Verno, a braised chicken thigh poboy named after Chris Vernon. Listen to his show if you don’t already. Like the ham, this one got great marks. She got hers with the stewed beet greens, which would make an awesome part of a veggie plate.

second line 11 beet greens

My mom went old school with the shrimp poboy, and she loved it. Just pure, fried shrimp goodness dressed to impress with lettuce, tomato, and pickle.

second line 8 shrimp

She got an awesome side of the Asian-inspired Fancy Ass Cole Slaw, which was great and had a nice little kick to it.

second line 9 slaw

Final First Thoughts

I’m pumped about Second Line opening up for real on Saturday. I’m proud of Kelly and Angela for all of their hard work in creating a new, exciting place that serves excellent food and has great service. They’re creating jobs and giving people a great place to hang out. As a Memphian, I love people that are behind our city and trying to push us ahead both to outside audiences and the one inside that sometimes needs a little extra love. These two (and all of the team at Iris/TSL) are just that, and Memphis is lucky to have them.

So, get on over to Monroe, and enjoy their version of easy, comfortable food, and enjoy it. I’ll see you there, often!


You want to go to there:

The Second Line
2144 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

The Second Line on Urbanspoon

Heart Full of Soul Dinner – 4 seats left!

photo 3Napa Cafe and Stax Academy have come together to throw one awesome party that benefits the students at Stax. This event raised $13,000 last year, and is going to do better this year! It is so popular that they had to spread it out over two nights. There are a couple of seats left tonight for those of you that want some good music and good food and aren’t going to see JT.

photo 2

Each course pairs a song from the Stax catalog, a wine from Sleight of Hand Sellers (who also bottled 120 extra cases to sell at Napa and four area wine shops to benefit Stax), and food from Napa’s chef Scott DeLarme.

photo 3 (1)

Entertainment will be provided on two stages by students from Stax. All in all, it looks like an awesomely, soulful experience. Hope you can make it!


You want to go to there:

Heart Full of Soul
Napa Cafe
Tonight, 6-9pm


Amped Up at Tamp and Tap



Craft beer?


That’s the name of the game at Tamp & Tap, which is the latest in a pretty long line of Taylor Berger inspired ventures that have brought Memphians something that they might not have known they wanted until he opened it up. I had my first experience with this great new spot over lunch with some coworkers.

Downtown Chill Factor

I imagine that I am not alone in my love of iced coffee. Sure, I love any coffee cold, but my preference is for a good cold-brewed coffee, which makes for a less acidic cup. Tamp and Tap has a cool setup where they cold brew coffee and then carbonate and keg it, which keeps it fresh and easy to serve. Cook use of technology from the beer side of the game that benefits the coffee side.

iced coffee


Sorry for the blurry shot, but rest assured it is a good cup. They use great beans from Metropolis Coffee in Chicago. On a later visit, I picked up a half pound of a Kenyan bean they had, which made some excellent coffee in my french press.


Strawberry Salad


One friend got the Halladay salad with Baby spinach, arugula, candied pecans, gorgonzola, pickled red onion, strawberry, and champagne vinaigrette.



Here’s a Stanley smoked turkey sandwich with fontina, candied pancetta, pickled red onion, arugula, and roasted artichoke aioli. Delicious.

Grilled Cheese


Another friend got this glorious Packard, which is a grilled cheese with three cheeses and a garlic puree.



Lastly, my last pal got the Maxwell, which is a roasted veggie sammy with hummus, manchego, local greens, and balsamic vinaigrette on ciabatta.

On Tap

If you’re downtown, this is a great place for lunch or a great cup of coffee. I wan’t around for anyone to sample the beer selection, but the word is that they have a good selection. Get on over there and try em out, as this is another of those places that we wanted before we even knew about it. See you there!


You want to go to there:

Tamp and Tap
122 Gayoso, Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 207-1053
Tamp & Tap on Urbanspoon

Chefs, Cookbooks, Charity, Collards, and the Catbird Seats

Since getting this thing started, I have written a lot about meals and special events over on Brookhaven Circle. K and I have spent a lot of time at Andy and Mike’s spots Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy. Since AMIK and Muddy’s opened pretty close to each other and are essentially neighbors, we’ve had a cool connection in watching the businesses grow, and we’ve loved seeing all of the recognition that they’ve earned.

The most recent event was a celebration of the major effort that went into making their new cookbook Collards & Carbonara.

2 Books

Continue reading Chefs, Cookbooks, Charity, Collards, and the Catbird Seats

Cancer Has a New Enemy. Chili

November 2, 2013.

Mark it down.

ACS Chili Cook-Off

That’s the day that a one-time event becomes an annual Memphis tradition. American Cancer Society Junior Executive Committee is back for round two of the American Cancer Society Chili Cook-off. Teams will come together at Cancer Survivors Park at Audoban Park on Saturday, November 2 from 11am-3pm to compete.

$10 gets you a ticket at the door, a chance to try everyone’s chili, and the knowledge that you are firmly in the anti-cancer camp. That’s a pretty good deal. There is room for a few more teams to compete and there is always room for more sponsors. If you are interested, please contact Hudson Atkins at (901) 412-0642 or

I’ll be judging the event, so I’ll report on it more on gameday. See you there!


Love Local with PGF

I feel like October is the time of football, weddings, and special events. In case your social calendar isn’t already tapped out, you should hit up the new Wiseacre Brewing Company to enjoy Project Green Fork’s 4th annual Loving Local event.

Because of the work that Margot McNeely and PGF do, we have 56 restaurants in our community that are certified as making less paper waste, recycling glass and cans, and recycling food waste. Check out their impact numbers!

I’ve gone to a bunch of these in the past, and I can assure you that there will be fun, good food, and awesome auction items. Here are the details:

Loving Local 2013 for web

Buy your ticket online here.


Southern Currence (y) – Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey – Book Release Party

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey. Book Jacket

When I read the title of the new John Currence cookbook, my cadence kept falling into an imitation of Warren Zevon and kept ending with a “hooah!”

Based on my first impression Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey should be every bit as popular as that classic tune. We can all get a taste of the action by attending the cookbook release party tomorrow night at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen.

Dinner Details
On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, Chef John Currence, the James Beard Award Winning Chef of City Grocery, Big Bad Breakfast, Boure, Snackbar in Oxford, is taking over the kitchen at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen to cook from his new cookbook, Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey.

Our chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman call Chef Currence Uncle Johnny (and yes, if you’re a fan of the brunch item on Sundays, its moniker is in tribute to Chef Currence) for all the support, guidance, and inspiration that he has given them over the years, and they are excited to have him in their kitchen.

Not just another successful Southern chef, James Beard Award-winner John Currence is THE ambassador for Oxford, Mississippi. In his first book, he shares his rugged and fancy style of cooking through 130 delicious recipes, colorful personal stories, music pairings, and beautiful photography.

The dinner costs $75.00 per person and includes the cost of the meal and Chef Currence’s mighty cookbook. Additional costs are alcohol, tax and gratuity. Chef Currence will sign books from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and then will serve a massive meal that packs a punch of flavor straight in your mouth.

There you have it. I’ll be there. See you there!


You want to go to there:

Chef John Currence Cookbook Release Party
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
For reservations, please call (901)347-3569

The Best Around – Flyer’s Best of Memphis 2013


It is that time of year again. The Memphis Flyer has taken our votes, counted them twice, and published the results in their Best of Memphis issue. Memphians vote on everything from Best Chef (Kelly English) to Best Jukebox (Ernestine & Hazel’s) and all of the categories in between. I won’t spoil the surprise, so head over to their website and read the list!

Before wrapping this up with a sweet montage video, I’d be remiss to not mention two things:

First, thanks so much to all of you that voted Eat Local Memphis as a Best Blog in Memphis for the fourth year in a row. That’s a very nice honor, and I greatly appreciate that you all read and enjoy the blog. I enjoy writing it (and of course, all of the “research” that goes into it)!

Secondly, I want to  give a shout out to K and her team at Muddy’s for winning Best Bakery and Best Dessert again. Not only do they have awesome products, but they really work to be a special place with great service that gives back to Memphis. I think they accomplish all of that, and I’m so pumped to see them recognized.

K and T

Read the list, picks some places to eat, and I’ll see you there!


You want to go to there:
Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis 2013

Bonus Video:

Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Shotwell Candy

Shotwell 1

I write a blog about food in Memphis, so I like to think that I have an idea of what’s going on in this town. Then, I read this blog post on Garden & Gun about Jarrod Smith and his Shotwell Candy Co. Right under my nose and reported in my favorite magazine, someone is making my favorite candy in our collective backyard. I had to get together with Jerrod and learn about him and the business and get a taste of these caramels that are quickly showing up all over the country.

K and I met Jerrod at H&H to share some drinks and some stories. I went home pumped up about caremels, his company, and the state of craftsmanship in our city. Here goes.

Continue reading Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Shotwell Candy

do my assignement paypal dissertation literature review homework help websites for parents do you suggest any writing websits for homeworks essay pay