I have this saying, “I work on myself when it suits me.” And ever since 2020, when the world shut down and there was nothing to do, I’ve been dabbling in exercising. A long walk here, a hike through Stanky Creek there, PopSugar YouTube videos sprinkled throughout the week — I’ve done a little bit of everything. Through virtual classes offered by Fit4Mom and Downtown Yoga, and outdoor exercise classes offered by Wolf River Conservatory, I was able to keep the Covid 15, a weight gain of 15 lbs., to a respectable Covid 10. But the way my body is set up, any weight gain was inevitable.
So at the beginning of 2022, I decided I wanted to switch up my workout routine. I spent most of January doing Zumba on my Nintendo Switch. But I found myself shortening the workouts. A 30-minute Zumba session turned to 15, and then quickly to 10. In February, my job had a steps challenge. So I was at least motivated to move more throughout the day so I wouldn’t “look bad” in front of my peers. It worked … mostly. But I was still in a fitness rut. Then a co-worker mentioned wanting to sign up for an adult yoga class at The Collage Dance Collective. I knew that they had an amazing reputation for nurturing kids into incredible dancers, but I didn’t know that they extended their talent to adults too. So I checked out their website and behold — dance classes.
Even though I love to dance, I didn’t want to engage in this new activity by myself. So I reached out to my best friend, my buddy, my forever date … my husband! His response came quickly and unstrained, “Immediately, no. No, babe. Not at all.” But I didn’t let the first “no” stop me. I asked a few more times throughout the week and surprisingly got the same answer. (A solid “no” if you weren’t sure.)
Not one to be thwarted, I decided to make it a Girls’ Date Night. So I reached out to a few of my girls and explained what I’d discovered. So, on a Wednesday, my sister and I arrived just in time for the Zumba workout. Here’s what I learned about myself:
So now that I have an awesome exercise routine and can soon be called a ballerina, I needed an awesome reward to match it. There are three ways I reward myself: books, food, and experiences. And if I could mesh all three together — golden! With my TBR list being over 50 books and dancing at The Collage being an experience within itself, the only choice left was food. But I wanted my food to compliment my new workouts, not hinder everything I’d done. I’m also not a lettuce type of girl. I need something flavorful and filling while being healthy at the same time. I found just the place right across the street.
Inspire Community Cafe serves some deliciously healthy foods. Coffee, tea, breakfast served all day, quesadillas, rice or quinoa bowls, chili, barbecue nachos, and smoothies! And that’s just the short version. I love their egg scrambles. Although, after a hard workout, there’s only one way to treat my inner child. That’s right — Choco-Monkey Pancakes! These pancakes are so delicious; they’re made from a gluten-free batter with chocolate chips sprinkled generously throughout the batter and topped with thickly sliced bananas. Usually, gluten free bread items have this gritty taste to them, but I had honestly eaten these pancakes three or four times before I looked closely at the menu. All of their pancakes are gluten free.
But if you’re not a pancake person, I would recommend an Egg-cellent. It’s scrambled eggs topped with your choice of veggies and meat. I ask for everything and the kitchen sink in mine. Pro-Tip: Get it with a side of toast and jelly. Oh, and an extra slice of bacon. The Breakfast Quesadilla is also delicious. But if you decide to go that route, be warned … It's huge!
While Inspire Community Cafe serves breakfast all day, their lunch menu is not to be ignored either. The Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken Quesadilla does not disappoint.
Both of these amazing places, The Collage Dance Collective and Inspire Community Cafe, can be found in Binghampton, at the corner of Tillman and Sam Cooper. The adult dance classes can range from $6-8 per class. A delicious meal at Inspire Community Cafe can range from $5 on up, depending on your appetite. But your experience at both places … priceless.
Gotta love it, mane!
In which hip hop cardio is completed, calories are burned, and chocolate pancakes make for an “Egg-cellent” reward.
The Collage Dance Collective 901-800-1873 IG: @collagedance; Inspire Community Cafe 901-509-8640 IG: @inspirecommunitycafe
Click HERE for Memphis Flyer link.
One Sunday evening, around 6:30 p.m., my hubby and I decided that we wanted a good cup of coffee. Knowing that most good coffee places are closed at that hour, he did a quick search and found Society Memphis Skatepark and Coffee in Binghampton off Broad. We walked in fully expecting a jazzy coffee club scene. Did we read the well-lit signs? No. Did we ask why there were skateboards on the wall? No. Did we notice the guests in helmets and pads? No.
I’m using the pronoun “we” very loosely. My husband probably noticed all of those things and could have possibly pointed them out to me as we entered, but I was hyper-focused on coffee. And not just any coffee. But the good kind. The Cxffeeblack kind!
Cxffeeblack is just the right elixir to becoming a Cool Kid. After ordering coffee, I took a peek through what appears to be a back door. There were ramps! Ramps to the left. Ramps to the right! There were handrails and slopes and flying people! Well, they weren’t actually flying, but they were close. I immediately knew that I was in the presence of the Cool Kids. They were doing tricks, turns and … and … cool stuff. I’m sure all of the moves have names, but I honestly couldn’t tell you.
As I watched with my mouth wide open, my husband leaned over and said, “We should come back here.” And somewhere between pure awe and a coffee high, I agreed. I agreed to go skateboarding as a date night.
Fast forward to Friday night and I found myself nursing another cup of coffee to calm my nerves. (I know, I know. The coffee might have done the opposite, but it was still a great comfort.) The attendant confidently passed me my rental skateboard and left my hubby and me to our own devices. As I looked at the skaters enjoying themselves, I thought, “Maybe I should have signed up for skateboarding lessons.” Well, it was too late for shoulda-coulda-wouldas. I was there and I ain’t no chicken.
Within 15 minutes, I realized that I might not be a scaredy chicken, but I was definitely not a spring chicken. And 20 seconds after that realization, I came to terms that I was a scaredy chicken, too. Skateboarding is not an activity for the weak or the timid. My husband and I couldn’t figure out how these Cool Kids got both feet on the boards at the same time. Memphis miracles were happening before my very eyes! After 20 minutes of failing to even stand and move on the board, my eyes desperately said, “Somebody — anybody — help me!”
And just like that, Cool Kid S. M. Vazquez came to our embarrassing rescue. He showed us the proper way to stand on a skateboard, how to balance, and even a little physics. (Stuff about motion, center of gravity, and degrees of something or another. My math doesn’t “math” like everyone else’s.) Nevertheless, I was able to stand on the skateboard and balance. Not in motion, but not falling either. That was until he said that we could try to coast down a very small ramp.
This ramp was no higher than 2 feet off the ground with a generous slope. I stood at the top of the mini-Mount Everest (yes, I’m exaggerating) and got balanced. I found my center of gravity and pushed off very, very slowly. And very slowly, the ground came rushing to meet me like a long lost friend. Falling when you’re 7 is quite different than when you’re 37. All of my bones vibrated. When the vibrations ended, I felt like pieces of me were floating away. In some distance galaxy, Thanos had snapped his fingers and I was slowly dissolving away.
Cool Kid Vazquez and my hubby picked me and all my imaginary pieces off the ground. I blinked a few times back to reality and realized that I was still alive. No bones were broken, but my dignity had permanently stained the floor. The Cool Kid Vazquez mentioned a few tips, but I didn’t hear them. The bones in my ears hadn’t fully recovered.
Okay. I might be a little dramatic, but I fell. Off a skateboard. At age 37. Enough said.
I took a sip of Cxffeeblack, aka Liquid Courage, while my hubby tried the same thing. He fell, too.
Then I was back at the top of the ramp. Before I pushed off, I asked my hubby to hold my waist from the back and Cool Kid Vazquez to hold my wrists from the front. I was determined not to fall. So determined, in fact, that I did the only thing I could do in that situation.
I fell. Again. This time, I didn’t meet the floor quite so fast. I was guided down gently. It was then that Cool Kid Vazquez gave me this nugget of knowledge, “If you think you’re going to fall, get closer to the ground.”
After one hour, I was finally able to skateboard, and, yes, I’m using that term loosely. I could coast about 6 to 8 feet before losing momentum. And I’m satisfied with that. After falling, my goal was to never experience that again.
This date night showed me just how versatile Memphis is. Date night with Memphis doesn’t have to be food and movies. It can be drinking good coffee and almost breaking your rear in the process. Memphis is about making memories and having great stories to tell.
This is one for the books.
Now that I’m writing this, I wonder if my hubby knew all along that this place was a skateboarding place and used coffee to lure me in.
Hmm … Gotta love it, mane!
Society Memphis: 901-746-8587, IG: @societymemphis
Patricia Lockhart is a native Memphian who loves to read, write, cook, and eat. @realworkwife @memphisismyboyfriend
Memphis is My Boyfriend: Episode 3: A Nostalgic Date Night
Every date night with Memphis can’t be out in those streets. Especially with Covid lurking around. So I decided to bring Memphis home and just chill. In order to make this date night pop, ya girl gotta get the right eats.
When you think of Memphis, I bet you think about barbecue, Beale Street, and Elvis. That’s all good and everything, but I’m a native Memphian, not a touristy one. Yes, there’s a difference. (Just ask 10 native Memphians if they’ve ever been to Graceland and I’m sure nine will tell you, “Naw, mane! I’m from Memphis.”) When I think of Memphis, I think of tamales, hot wings, burgers, and Beale Street. Yeah, I love me some Beale Street. Issa whole vibe.
For this date night, I wanted to take a walk down memory lane.
As a little girl, we would ride the MATA bus everywhere. We would always start off by taking the 10 Watkins(1) and connecting to wherever we needed to go. In those days, it could be minutes or hours before you could get a connecting transit. So my mom, brothers, and I would shave off the time by going to Dyer’s Burgers on Watkins. Those burgers were, and still are, amazing — greasy, seasoned, and flavorful. I recall watching the cook fry up the burger in the grease and watching the burger patty float a little.
Finding a burger like Dyer’s within my “delivery area” was unheard of. Until I ran across James Michael Fisher, also known as Chef JBless, of A & J’s Food Delivery. It’s apparent that taste and flavor is a high priority for this Black-owned business. I initially hit him up on Instagram (@ajsfooddelivery901) for his wings. I was pleasantly surprised to find that his cost of wings hasn’t tripled like everyone else’s. So for my first time, I ordered some honey-gold wings and a burger and had it delivered to work. Y’all! That meal made my whole day! While the wings were on point, in price and in flavor, the burger took me back to my childhood days on Watkins. The burgers are well-seasoned, moist, and oh-so flavorful! So before leaving the house, I placed an order for wings, burgers, and fries.
Sidenote: Seriously, why are chicken wings so high? Chicken thigh prices haven’t doubled, and wings and thighs both come from the same chicken! Somebody make it make sense!
I first decided to get some tamales. Now, Mexican tamales are different from Black people’s tamales. As a very young child, before my days on Watkins, we stayed in Dixie Homes(2). Across the street from our projects(3), there was this man who sold tamales from a cart on the corner. I wasn’t too much taller than the cart itself, but as my mom and I approached the cart, I could smell the spices and flavor. My mom would pass me my tamales and I would grab the wrapping and gently unroll my delicious tamale. Y’all. Blessed!
There’s only one place that I know where I can get a tamale from my childhood. So with my audiobook on full blast, I drove to Orange Mound(4). Pop’s Tamales are amazing and remind me so much of the man on the corner with the tamale cart. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the same man. There, I bought seven tamales for $14: two for me to eat in the car, two to eat at home, and three for my hubby.
Now, I only had one more place to stop before heading home to meet Chef JBless. Buster’s! I have been a patron of Buster’s since my old college days back in ’03. But on this day, I wasn’t looking for liquor. I was looking for a very special beer, a beer with a name close to my Memphis heart. A beer that is just like how I like my men — dark and full of body. After much anticipation, Beale Street Brewing Co. released a peanut and banana porter, and it is available at Buster’s. I strolled in like a boss and headed straight back for the beer cooler. I grabbed my four-pack, blew Kahlúa a kiss, and checked out. I was in and out in under 15 minutes.
I had just pulled back in my driveway when I received a text from Chef JBless that my order had an ETA of 5 minutes. I cleared the coffee table, poured the beer like a pro, unwrapped my tamales, and welcomed in the hot wings, burgers, and fries. With the food and drinks ready to be devoured, there was only one last thing to do. We sat on the couch, streamed a little HBO Max, and exhaled before we inhaled.
Gotta love it, mane!
1 10 Watkins (n.) — a popular MATA route in Frayser
2 Dixie Homes (n.) — one of the Memphis Public Housing communities, 1938-2006
3 projects (n.) — a term given to Memphis Public Housing areas
4 Orange Mound (n.) — first African-American neighborhood built by and for African Americans, located in Southeast Memphis
A & J’s Food Delivery: 901-849-3981; IG @ajsfooddelivery901
Beale Street Brewing Co.: IG @bealestbrewingco
Patricia Lockhart is a native Memphian who loves to read, write, cook, and eat. Her days are filled with laughter with her four kids and charming husband. By day, she’s a school librarian and a writer, but by night … she’s asleep. @realworkwife @memphisismyboyfriend
Everyone knows that Memphis has a rich history. And its history of voodoo runs deep. From Voodoo Village1 to spiritual shops nestled in neighborhoods all around (if only you know where to look), the name Mojo City still rings true. But this night, I partook in Voodoo of a sweeter variety with darker concoctions. But my rage, well, it was an unexpected surprise.
Voodoo Cafe, located in Bartlett, has been serving up sweet little beignet voodoo dolls for over a year. I opted to get a traditional beignet first. It was sprinkled with sweet powdered sugar. Well, sprinkled isn’t the best word. They are absolutely avalanched in powdered sugar. I took a quick look around, just to survey the other practitioners. Some people were eating their beignets with a fork. It brought me back to a time in high school Biology class when I dissected a little piglet. Shaking the image out of my head, I picked up my little man, stretched my mouth wide and took a bite! Viciously and without mercy, I ripped the head off with my teeth. Why? Well, because that’s just the type of girl I am. But I must warn you. When you bite down on a traditional beignet, do … not … breathe. If you allow one tiny exhale to escape your lips, you are guaranteed to get powdered sugar everywhere. Not that I care, but I’m sure you “professionals” don’t want to get your hands dirty.
And if powdered sugar doesn’t tickle your fancy, they have a variety of flavors that are sure to delight even your darkest pleasures. While I thoroughly enjoyed the traditional beignet, I couldn’t say no to the Witch Doctor. It’s a beignet topped with spiced apples with a caramel drizzle. This treat is truly hypnotizing. (Yes, I ate two. Who in their right mind would eat only one?)
One day, I might be brave and try the Dead Elvis (peanut butter, banana, honey, and bacon), Grave Expectations (marshmallow fluff and crushed Oreos), The Yeti (sweet cream and shredded coconut), and Black Magic (Nutella). Not all in one sitting. I plan on standing up to reset between each beignet.
Coffee apparently pairs well with beignets. My Drank2 was the Guji Mane Remix. It’s brewed with the Guji Mane coffee from Memphis’ own Cxffeeblack. Trust me, this is a collaboration you must experience. Although the Guji Mane coffee is delicious served black, I can appreciate Voodoo’s Remix. They add chocolate and raspberry to it! Yum.
After getting a tasteful alignment from Voodoo Cafe, I was ready to release a little bit of rage. The Rage Room, Craze, is located conveniently close to Voodoo Cafe in Bartlett. (Suspish) We signed in and slipped on our protective gear. They had rap music bumping through the speakers. I was getting hype, hype! I was talking to myself like, “Yeah! I finna break some stuff.” I legit thought I was about to “Set. It. Off.” up there. However, I knew I was in trouble when I picked up the sledge hammer. Y’all! It’s heavy. The movies and home renovation channels make it look so easy. So I decided to switch tactics. I gently laid down the sledge hammer and picked up a bat. This junt was heavy too! It was nothing like the bat that my son used in his peewee sports. This was a metal bat, and it felt suspiciously like it was filled with concrete. I looked around for something lighter. There was nothing. My hubby reminded me that the goal was to break stuff, not play around, so I picked up a glass mug and I swung. Have you ever heard something metal colliding with glass? It’s loud. Like really loud. I jumped and thanked God that I had already peed before. (Or else my night would have ended then.) While my husband wielded the sledge hammer and broke stuff like a mad man, I secretly wondered, “Who has this much rage?” I began to doubt my decision, until my husband brought out a typewriter. It was so very satisfying to watch the key fly through the air as the sledge hammer landed. I shattered it into a million pieces. Then I demolished a TV, a monitor, a glass bowl, some plates, and more glass trinkets. My hubby turned a metal file cabinet into scraps and broke a desk in half with just one swing. Huffing and puffing, I looked at my watch. It had only been 13 minutes! We raged until we couldn’t rage anymore. And I smiled the entire time.
This is just one of the reasons why I love my Boyfriend Memphis. I can regale in Memphis’ history, while eating a sweet treat, and end my night safely releasing some. Gotta love it, mane!
Book Craze Rage Room at crazememphis.com; learn more about Voodoo Cafe at voodoocafebartlett.com
1 VooDoo Village — Saint Paul Spiritual Holy Temple in Southeast Memphis.
2 Drank — It’s like a drink, but better and with more emphasis and respect.
Patricia Lockhart is a native Memphian who loves to read, write, cook, and eat. Her days are filled with laughter with her four kids and charming husband. By day, she’s a school librarian and a writer, but by night … she’s alseep. @realworkwife @memphisismyboyfriend
Memphis is My Boyfriend: Episode 1: Of Brussels sprouts, Blue Note Bourbon, and ignoring the rules of the road.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and were just sitting there minding your own business? No? Well, me neither!!! I stay ear-hustling1 to everyone around me.
That night, a friend and I were celebrating everything, and at the same time absolutely nothing, at the Hen House Wine Bar on S. Mendenhall Road. Although we made reservations, we found the bar to be much more inviting. I promise this had nothing to do with the BarMen Matt and Patrick, but... if you know, you know. The way they shake the cocktails is mesmerizing.
I decided to start the night off with the cocktail, Hound Dog Unleashed. It is made with Blue Note Bourbon Whiskey, which is crafted right here in Memphis. When you start a night with anything made by Memphis, you know you have to sip and savor. And that’s exactly what I did. I nursed this cocktail for most of the night. Trying to chug it would have left me thinking my lemon-pepper-steppers were blue suede shoes walking on the cobblestones Downtown. My friend started her night off with a gorgeous glass of red wine. And if you’re into wine, this is the place to be. (Duh?! It has “Wine Bar” in the name.) They even offer wine flights! The next time I go, which will be soon, I’m going to get one of those to un-share2.
For our appetizer, we both decided to go with the Brussels sprouts. You know, we gotta get our greens in because veggies are important. These Brussels sprouts were fried on Mount Olympus by the personal head chef of Zeus and drizzled with sweet hot honey nectar of the forbidden fruit. (Lifts hands in praise!) These are the best Brussels sprouts I have ever had in my life. I don’t know how something can be crispy and succulent at the same time, but the chef did that! We also had the Brie with poached pears, honey and sourdough bread. Needless to say, we sent back a happy plate3. Yum!
Because we weren’t sure if we were in love with the sprouts or if it was just an infatuation, we thought it would be best to try them again. Trust me, nothing is worse than falling head over heels for something only to realize that the love was fleeting and circumstantial. But alas, they did not disappoint. It is safe to say that I will begin a mildly unhealthy situation-ship, or obsession, with Hen House’s Brussels Sprouts.
Via ear-hustling, I discovered that the ladies next to us ordered the poutine. It’s a bowl of fries, topped with braised beef, cheese curds in a red wine and mushroom gravy. In my attempt not to eye-hustle as well as ear-hustle, I just stared out of my peripheral. These ladies were eating this dish with a gusto and audible moaning. Yes, audible moaning. So you know this was good, good!
When our food arrived, I noticed that the people at the table behind me, to the left, Look, Point and Whisper. I said to myself, “Yeah, I know you want this. But it’s mine, allllllll mine.” I ordered the Local Beef Cut with puréed cauliflower. Bless the whole cow who sacrificed themselves so I could eat such a divine piece of meat. The meat was so tender and flavorful. I had inner battles as to whether to eat the meat by itself, or use it to sop up some of the puréed cauliflower. Which was equally delicious and soul-watering4. I wish I could give you more information about the Fried Chicken Sandwich my friend ordered, but I was so caught up in my own heavenly experience, I couldn’t ear-hustle properly.
After a great meal, my friend and I retired to our cars to witness a truly hilarious end to our date with Memphis. Instead of reversing out of their parking spot, some of our fellow diners decided to drive forward. Over the shrubbery, over the sidewalk, and straight onto Mendenhall. But they didn’t drive away. Instead they circled back to the very same parking lot that they took an illegal exit from.
Gotta love Memphis, mane!
1 Ear-hustling (v): Listening and being nosey to every conversation around you.
2 Un-share (v): the intention of sharing with someone, but deciding against it.
3 Happy Plate (adj): Describes a plate that is happy because all the food has been consumed off of it.
4 Soul-Watering (adj): Something that is good to all your senses and your soul!
Patricia Lockhart is a native Memphian who loves to read, write, cook, and eat. Her days are filled with laughter with her four kids and charming husband. By day, she’s a school librarian and a writer, but by night … she’s alseep. @realworkwife @memphisismyboyfriend
So, it all started when we were walking downtown one very, very late night. We had been to a couple of bars earlier, but just couldn’t find anything to tickle our fancy. So we walked hand-in-hand, commenting on how dark downtown can look. When suddenly, we happened to cross a huge glass window. The place was dimly lit, but it had people in it. So we ventured inside.
Even though there was a huge window to the outside world, I felt like I stepped into a secret speakeasy. The atmosphere was calm and rushed at the same time. As we made our way to the bar, people glanced our way and threw us a few coy smiles and head nods. Yea, I have definitely traveled in time.
When we sat down, we were immediately greeted by the warmest smile. The bar-woman informed us that the kitchen was closed, but the bar was open and ready. My hubby and I exchanged looks that said, “We’re here now, so let’s get something.” He replied that he would like some whiskey. Because I felt that his response was too broad, I quickly scanned their selection and blurted out a name.
The bar-woman gave us a smile that said she was about to open a door to Alice and Wonderland. She stepped forward. “Hi, I’m Lacy. And if you like whiskey and bourbon, I have just the thing for you.”
Down the dark hole we went. I have never met someone so knowledgeable about whiskey and bourbon in my life!!!!!! On the spot, she created for us a whiskey/bourbon flight and explained how each brand had a unique way of making their spirits. She asked if we have ever been to Gray Canary before. After getting over the initial shock that this was our first time, she proceeded to tell us about all the delicious cocktails and food that are served on a regular basis.
Once we had soaked in all the liquor and information we could hold, Lacy then invited us to The Gray Canary Cocktail Dinner that upcoming Wednesday.
Y’all…..I have never been so amazed in my entire foodie life. I’ve been to several food pairing before, but never had I experienced pairings that were SPOT ON! The Bubbly Pear was the Welcome Cocktail. It was perfectly sweet and matched my nails. The 1st course cocktail, Old Dom Dilly-O was the perfect balance of heat and sweet. It cooled my pucker down nicely because the peanut chili crisp was SPICY!
The 2nd course, O.D.D Gin and Juice paired with Salmon and Dill, was amaze-balls!!!! I used my salmon to sop up the mustard vinaigrette and horseradish. I definitely sent a clean plate back to the kitchen.
The 3rd course was my absolute favorite. I still think about the collard greens with the pickled jalapeno cornbread. And as a black woman born and raised in the South, it takes alot to impress me with some collard greens and cornbread. But y’all…………...they did it!!!!!!!! I wanted to ask for a second helping, but didn’t want to appear greedy. (I wasn’t greedy, just infatuated.)
The 4th and final course was brisket with sweet potato and tobacco onion. Yes!!!! TOBACCO ONION!!!! ***Picks self off of floor.*** The brisket was so tender that my fork easily separated the meat. It was soooo delicious. Mrs. Wolowitz, from Big Bang Theory, would have been so proud. The cocktail paired with it was the “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.” It was a coffee infused Huling Bourbon based cocktail. And it woke me the hell up!!!! (No pun intended to Bartlett’s Wake Me the Hell Up coffee.)
One late night walk turned into a Wednesday night cocktail and dinner pairing I will never forget. The Gray Canary has these cocktail dinners on a regular basis. You definitely want to do yourself a favor and follow them on IG!!!!! Be on the look-out for their next dinner.
What was supposed to be a quiet night inside with friends turned into yet another pleasant date night.
My Hubby gets home and lets out a huge ass sigh. It was one of those, “I didn’t kill a mutha today, but they tried me, and Memphis folk can’t drive, and this Bartlett cop followed me for too long and the line was long at the liquor store” kind of sighs. Sooooo, immediately knew what type of night he had in mind.
“Babe, I wanna go out tonight!” Say less boo, say less. We jumped in my Jurassic GMC and headed downtown. I asked him what he had a taste for, he didn’t know. I asked him if he had any specific places in mind. He didn’t know. As we got closer to downtown, it was poppin! Sardine packed poppin! Then it dawned on me...IT’S TROLLEY NIGHT!!!!!!!! Yes and Yes and Helllssssssss YES.
After 10 minutes or so, we lucked up on a legit parking space. First, order of business, I needed to get my man relaxed. So we skipped our little happy asses over to Pontotoc (@pontotoc_offerings ). Honestly, I chose this location first because it was the closest and my thigh meat was already starting to sweat.
I had the 6’s to the 9’s and hubby indulged in the 70 Grand. The rosemary was a delicious touch. Both drinks were sooooo smooth. The alcohol was equally balanced with flavor. But we all know, alcohol doesn’t mix well with heat. Thankfully, Pontotoc had the fans blowing hard, so I was able to cool down. As hubby and I talked about everything and nothing, we pondered aloud where we should go next. In true Memphis fashion, a stranger piped up. “Hey! Y’all should go to this place a couple of doors down (points North). It’s really dope.”
Say Less!!!! We closed our ticket and headed north. We found ourselves in this dope ass spot called ODDS, @odds_atelier . This place issa whole vibe. Dope clothes were hanging on the racks, and in true Trolley Night fashion, there was food and booze!!! I grabbed some sliders, fruit and a seat while my hubby grabbed the drinks. We must have chilled and vibed with this place for at least 45 mins. Definitely must return!
Next, we walked a couple of blocks to South of Beale. We absolutely love South of Beale, @sobmemphis . We keep a running list of our favorite drinks from SOB. (There is nothing worse than forgetting the name of your favorite drink.) I had my favorite, the Lucid Dreams. It has a lovely lavender/lemonade/heaven taste. Y’all, this drink is everything you never knew you needed. Ask any bartender at SOB and they will tell you how legit this drink is. This drink is so good that instead of getting a different drink, I just ordered another Lucid Dreams. Hubby downed a Smokey Old Fashion. At SOB, the Smokey Old Fashion is really smokey...with real smoke and real smoke flavor. Sidebar: I love it that I can go to either of the SOB locations and the drinks taste exactly the same. (The same can be said for the food too!)
After I finished my Lucid Dreams, I slipped right back into reality and we headed to my favorite breakfast spot, Hustle and Dough, @hustleanddough901 . I usually frequent Hustle and Dough in the mornings for some of the BEST GRITS I have ever tasted in my whole damn life!!!!!
Pause for Respect of the Grits…..
But tonight, the bar was open for cocktails. I had a classic Sex in the City style Cosmopolitan. I felt like I was back in college. It was smooth, scrumpdillyicious and most importantly...It was pretty. I love drinks that look as good as they taste. I have no idea what Hubby drank. By that time, I could only be responsible for myself. And myself need food.
So we walked a few blocks to sober up and ended up at Bar Dogs, @bardogtavern , on Madison. Maneeee…..if their Sliders and Fries are everything!!!!!! These sliders grind on your tastebuds like professional hookers. Pow Pow POW! The fries have just the right ratio of potatoey flavor and salt. Although you are supplied with condiments and dip, trust me, you WILL NOT need it. This dish is best served nightly!!!!!!
Although it was Trolley Night, we didn’t ride any trolleys. And while some people like trains, I prefer 1:1 action. We will be back for the next Trolley Night!!!
Trolley Nights are the last Friday on of the every month starting at 6pm on South Main.
If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. Memphis is My Boyfriend and we have some pretty epic date nights. So I’ve decided to give them to you as they come, the good, and bad and the awful decisions.
Quick Recap: Great drinks...strained hamstring giving oral...strangers are generous.
This date night started out like any other date night, with sex. My husband preferred to wait until the end of date night before we did anything raunchy, but I preferred more immediate action. So to sway him to the dark side, I decided to give him a preview of what he was missing. As he sat on the edge of the bed, I decided to be the boss I am and give him falatio standing up. Yes, you read that right. He’s sitting down and I’m standing up. I hinge from the waist and go to town….well downtown. It won’t be until early the next day that I realize what a bad idea that was!
We start off the night at Edge Alley. I order the Strawberries Aren’t Technically Berries and hubby orders the Don’t Tell the Government. Y’all, these drinks are a whoooooole mood. I don’t know what was on the rim of the Strawberries Aren’t Technically Berries, but I licked the hell out of it! Like a lady, of course. As I laughed at my husband’s jokes, a young man in a long purple-ish robe strides in. He instantly reminds me of Newt Scamander and I bet he graduated the top of his class at Hogwarts. I’m starstruck!!!!! I don’t want to be weird this early in the night so I forgo asking for an autograph. (Mental Note: Buy purple-ish robe to wear to work.) The next drink we sorta shared. (He did have at least 2 sips.) It was the High Pollen Count and it tasted like summertime at my Grandma’s house, sucking honeysuckle straight off the vine!!!!!!
Next, we wanted to drink in an actual alley. So obviously we headed downtown. But to our huge disappointment, Tavern Belle was closed. So we wandered around several alleys before stopping at The Local. (It took so long because I was being nosey. There was this lady arguing with herself in the middle of a dark alley. Odd huh?) At The Local on Main, we had a Butterfly Margarita and the Eastsider. If you’re a rum drinker, definitely go for the Butterfly Margarita!!!! I floated gently with the Eastsider. It came in a dainty little glass that was probably recycled from Cinderella’s shoe. I felt like a tipsy little princess.
Next, we walked across the tracks to Sage. It was poppin’ in there! I took one look at the menu and saw Uncle Nearest. If you have gotten hip to Uncle Nearest, you’re missing out! Nearest Green, also known as Uncle Nearest, was the Tennessee slave who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. You can read more about the accomplishments of Uncle Nearest on their website. The Nearest to Happiness was everything!!!! Sage mixed that whiskey with raspberry liqueur and blueberries. I promise I felt my ancestors take a sip of this goodness with me!!!!! Hubby had the Can’t Knock the Hustle, which had more rum in it.
After all these cocktails, we felt it would be in our best interest to get something to eat. You know what goes with a tipsy belly?????? BURGERS! And if you’re downtown, where do you go for burgers????? BARDOGS!!!! But they were closed. So I groped my hubby while we made our way to Huey’s. A few alleys later, we met a stranger and asked him for a favor. And guess what?!?!?! He happily obliged. Memphians are so kind.
Feelin good, we skipped to Huey’s only to find that their kitchen was closed. Not to be brought down, we just walked to The Flying Saucer where I got some homegrown Ice Water and a delicious burger.
As I lay in bed, I thought about our date nights and how much I look forward to them. It was a bonus that I slept pretty good that night. I woke up at 6:30am and waited around for the clock to show 7am. (My friends say I can’t call or text them before 7am. Apparently it’s not cool.) Then I spent the next hour rubbing my strained hamstring….yeah, never sucking d$@k standing up again.
Why lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m doing that -ish tomorrow!!!!
I'm so sick of these heifers disrespecting my boyfriend. Talking about, "He's boring," "He's so violent, He hit a record for most homicides." "His people can't drive worth s@$t," and "His folks are crazy." Now all of that may be true, except the boring part because Memphis is NOT boring you booty-scratchers! Memphis is trying his best in the midst of this epidemic. So give my boyfriend a break! Geesh.
Entrepreneurs are still flourishing. Like that Furloughed Bread I can't seem to get my hands on. Voodoo Cafe's Witch Doctor Beignet is to die for. There's movies in the park and the drive-in is LIT! I can hit multiple book clubs in a week since alot of social events are happening virtually. All of the coffee shops have unveiled their fall flavors like S'mores @Muggins and the Butterscotch Miso @Cityand State. Annnndddd....you can still get pizza. Aldo's, Memphis Pizza Cafe, Excline's, and Broadway Pizza are still sizzling. Brunch is still brunchable. All dinners are now deliverable and alcohol is to-go for goodness sake!!!!
My only complaint...Memphis let people use the freaking restroom if they purchase 2 decaf caramel lattes with almond milk, water and sandwiches while blessing your "patio" with their presence. People need to pee!!!!! Ugly.....meanies.
Oh, I'm also looking for a plus-size boutique to upgrade my wardrobe. Something with elastic waistbands and stretchy stuff please. But make it fancy.
I was all geared up for another fantastic night with Memphis. I had my girls, jazz music and great food all lined up. However, that was no entirely the case. It first started with ridiculous drivers. I mean, who goes 30 mph in a 30 mph zone???? Not anyone living in Memphis. When the sign says 30 mph, it’s simply a suggestion. Meaning….It wouldn’t hurt you to go 40 mph at all. So I drove the entire mile behind this old ass, rinky dink car. Going 30 mph…..MAX. Sometimes the car would drop to 25 mph and my frustration would rise to 50 mph.
Strike 1 Memphis.
The night improved slightly from there. I arrived at my sister’s house to do our pre-party warm ups. (That was the best time of the night.) It is always a treat to be in the presence of my sisters!
Afterwards, we left to check out this new jazz spot. When I saw they had a $15 cover charge, I was a little hesitant. But one of my favorite chefs were cooking there so I thought I might give it a try anyhow. The atmosphere was set! It was relaxing, inviting and soft jazz music played in the background. Once we were seated, we took a look at the menus. The drink menu was extensive (good sign), but the food menu was limited (bad sign). I know the chef to be an amazing cook and I was hoping that Shrimp and Grits would be on the menu, but it wasn’t. Nevertheless, I carried on and ordered a sausage and cheese plate and the most tender smoked wings of my life. I would have loved to just sit and enjoy my delicious foods, but I kept having to ask for napkins and straws for the drinks. Seriously! Napkins should be automatic whenever you order finger food. To add wood to the fire, the band started late. Now I have to admit, once they started playing, it was amazing. We danced and swerved and swayed our hips. I really enjoyed myself. I sang out loud. I danced and I was the perfect wing-girl. While the food was good and reasonably priced, the drinks were not. A large cocktail cost $10-12. Now, I understand that most people might pay this much for a drink….NOT I. If I pay $10 for a drink, it better take me to Pleasantville, to Margaritaville, to Whoville and back!!!!!!!! These drinks took me straight to Thrist-ville. Besides that, I ordered a large and truly got the regular size for an American cocktail. It wasn’t anything “large” about it. And I know large things. After dancing to the bands’ first set, we were hungry and thirsty. We didn’t dare order more food or drinks, because $$.$$. So we asked our waitress for water, only to be told that we would have to pay for water!!!! Hell, I don’t even pay for water at Ruth Chris! What the hell do they look like charging for some damn H2O? Shortly afterwards we left.
Strike 2 Memphis.
In short, the experience at the jazz spot would have been so much better if there were some slight changes:
-If you are going to do a cover charge, also offer a time in which there is no cover charge. Many places in Memphis offer patrons who arrive between 8-10pm no charge, and after 10 pm, patrons would have to pay a cover charge.
-Advise the waitresses on giving out napkins and straws.
-If you are going to have live music, please make sure they arrive on time and that there are no HUGE GAPS between the sets. We were able to play on our phones, use the restroom, settle and close our tabs, look up other places to go and then leave BEFORE the next set started.
-When your food is THAT good, serve bigger portions! yum yum
We decided to go to Craft Republic to have good food, good drinks and play some pool. (It’s the old Fox and Hound spot.) Well…we had none of those. I was looking forward to getting a flight of local beers only to discover that they didn’t have Gotta Get Up To Get Down or Tiny Bomb. I couldn’t even settle for Michelob Ultra. Luckily, I was saved by a Memphis Made Fireside. We ordered our beers and food at the same time. Our beers took 20 mins to get to our table. It took the food over an hour!!!! My Bleu Burger, didn’t have any bleu. The fries, however, were really tasty. They were sprinkled with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. The fries couldn’t save the sub-par service. One of my sister NEVER GOT HER FOOD. However, after talking to the manager and getting our entire bill comped, she did leave with her pizza in a to-go box and a complimentary dessert.
Strike 3 Memphis.
So yea, Memphis was not good to me last night. I’m not sure what I did to deserve this kind of treatment, but the make-up sex better be FIRE!!!!!