Some people might see how much BBQ we have eaten recently and think that we are going to burn out. I just don’t know if that is possible but to break things up we have some non-bbq places that were great too. When we are touring around we sometimes end up in area where we don’t have a restaurant on our list or, like in Nashville, we only have 2 places and over a week of food to eat so sometimes we have to find something not on our lists. One of the tools I love on my phone is Urbanspoon. What a wonderful little app. Urbanspoon (if you don’t already know) is made up of millions of foodies all over the country that love to review restaurants. When we arrived in Nashville it was close to rush hour and we don’t like going into any city at that time of day no matter how close. I popped open my app and looked for a restaurant closer to home. Up pops this little place called Painturo’s Pizza. It had great reviews and so off we went for pizza. When we got there I took a look at the menu and it looked amazing. All kinds of Italian dishes and it had been a while since we had good Italian (we do like non-bbq food really!). I ordered the Baked Ravioli and a salad with tomato vinaigrette. The dressing on the salad was fantastic. I wish they bottled it. The Baked Ravioli was to absolutely die for. Score!
Another day we had discussed hamburgers and when that happens we have to find one. We are Burger people as much as we are BBQ people. Nothing like a great burger. I looked on Urbanspoon again and found a restaurant with an odd name Pharmacy Burger Parlor. Anyone that knows me knows an odd name intrigues me. We walked into an old building that has changed it’s old pharmacy soda fountain into a full bar and tables all around. The atmosphere was fun and truly reminded me so much of Seattle I almost expected to step out the front door and see Mt Rainier in the distance. Honestly made me a little home sick. For those that know, it was similar in concept to the Lunchbox Laboratory but cleaner and more spacious (no not the new sterilized location). They have soda fountains with phosphates (which Bill loves). Their chocolate milkshake is made with local ice cream and was amazing. Bill and I couldn’t choose so we did halfsies on a 4-cheese burger and a stroganoff burger. They have tater tots which we both love and the mac n cheese was fabulous. The stroganoff burger was the burger to remember. The white sauce was perfect, the meat was just a little pink in the middle, and the mushrooms still had a little bite to them.
Moving on to Memphis, I love breakfast in the afternoon. On occasion I just need a nice late breakfast and so few place even have breakfast after 10:30. I went on the look out for breakfast late one morning. I found this little place in the middle of downtown Memphis called Cockadoos. We were seated in a quant little corner table and the waitress was a beautiful southern woman with sirs and madams and a beautiful smile. She brought me the best sweet tea I have ever had and a plate of heaven. I would have married her if I was a man…and not married. I ordered the breakfast casserole and Texas French toast and Bill got the most heavenly bbq pork omelet that has ever been made. We liked this place so much we went twice in the four days we spent in Memphis.
The loser that was Rendezvous came after the winner that is Double Js BBQ. Urbanspoon reviewers claimed this place was “better then Rendezvous” and so we knew we had to try it. We had plans to see the Addam’s Family at the Orpheum and this place was a mile away. We parked near the theater and walked over. While we were walking we turned a corner and there was this old motel with these turquoise doors and two old white cars sitting in front. I stopped in my tracks with that odd tingle of the “I have been here before” but I knew I had never been to Memphis to my knowledge. Bill stops and is trying to figure out the dumbfounded look on my face when suddenly the cars sitting there and the balcony just so… I was standing right where a photographer stood in 1968 and took a picture of the hotel at the exact angle from where I was standing of the motel that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot at. Right there on that balcony. Right there across the street. I wasn’t alive when this happened and yet I have seen that picture hundreds of times. I took a moment to remember the man and thanked his soul that I could be walking through Memphis headed to a restaurant where I saw at the bar blacks and whites eating together and all excited together about their local ball game.
Then I went to Double Js BBQ and had the best damn ribs I have ever eaten in my life. They also had some amazing buffalo wings that are smoked and then flash fried and smothered in buffalo sauce. The combination was fantastic. I may never return to Rendezvous but I will drive outta my way for some of them ribs at Double Js.
After moving on to St. Louis we needed somewhere for dinner when we arrived. I looked online again and found another burger place that looked promising. Dave and Tony’s Premium Burgers just the name sounds awesome but when the reviewer mentioned a burger on a pretzel roll Bill was all in. You can choose one of their burgers or you can take a piece of paper and make your own. It reminded us of a place near Orlando, FL that my brother and sister-in-law took us to called Metro Burger but sadly Metro Burger closed after we tried it and loved it. This place has awesome garlic French fries and good mac n cheese to go with the burgers. Bill made a concoction of Beef burger with smoked gouda, banana peppers, caramelized onions, grilled peppers, steak butter, lettuce and tomato, on a pretzel roll (of course). It turned out to be an amazing mix of sweet and smoky. I did a basic bleu and bacon burger but added slices of cucumber (I love cucumber on a sandwich and more places need to make this an option!). The cucumber was a perfect addition to the bleu cheese. Yum!
So no matter if it has been on the Best Things tv show or not there are amazing eats all over this fine country and I want to try them all.