Germantown Commissary, Germantown, TN May 29, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Germantown Commissary. What a classic. This was our second trip to this landmark in historic Germantown, just across the railroad tracks on Germantown road. It's not far from Poplar if you haven't been.
We were famished when we arrived I will admit. Our super efficient waitress Erica got our drink order right away and we did go out on an unusual limb and order an appetizer, which is generally against my religion. She got our unsweet tea right over and our tamales dressed. Oh the tamale. When it's done this good, that's what I'm talking about. Three of the delicious boys were served covered in chili and cheese. But thankfully not too much of either overwhelmed the boys underneath. Jackie is a true blood tamale eater that started 20 years ago at Blues City Cafe on Beale street so no tamale can compete. Nonetheless, it hit the spot.
Sweet Erica was back and took our order. I got the traditional regular sandwich plate and Jackie got the jumbo sandwich plate. The plates came with homemade coleslaw, beans and a deviled egg, how unique. I have to say my regular sandwich was at least 3 inches high with barbecue pork. I had to slim that down and add the delicious coleslaw which is my own personal thing with a barbecue sandwich. Their coleslaw was crunchy and fresh and not sloppy with dressing. Now the beans, the were served warm, almost hot. These beans were tangy and had bits of pork in them and I loved them so warm. The deviled egg is a tradition of the commissary and was fantastic.
Our table was decorated with four different sauces. Tabasco, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Mild and Hot barbecue sauce. I tried the Hot, of course, and it was dark like molasses and somewhat hot. I will say it needed a little more kick to me but I did like its richness and color. Just needed a little more heat for these taste buds.
We were offered dessert but are you kidding me? I was at the perfect level when I left and I knew I wouldn't want to be wheeled out on a gurney.
I love the Germantown Commissary. It's a must when you're in this part of Memphis. You can also get carry out Party Packs which were being sold every minute while we were there!!
We paid $30 for lunch for two.
Germantown Commissary 901-754-5540 Germantown Road, Memphis, Tennessee

501, Edmond, OK

Sunday, May 10, 2009

High School Girls Reunion

April 25, 2009

I was in my hometown April 25 weekend for the OKC Memorial 1/2 marathon and met up with my high school classmates that I haven't seen in years. The 501, located just a block south of 2nd on Boulevard in Edmond, is one of my mother's favorite places to eat in her new hometown. We had cocktails in the Boulevard for a brief time in the Martini Lounge which is a cigar bar with nice flat screen TVs. It was the perfect place to meet and greet these girls, some of who I haven't seen in years!
The atmosphere of the 501 is very classy. We were sat at a long table in the back of the somewhat cramped dining room that was packed, by the way. Luckily my girlfriends and I hovered around the west side of the table for girl talk and the boys were stuck at the east end and no one really knew each other, which I loved watching them from time to time try and make talk, very amusing.
Over the talk of catching up, the girls ordered and every stinking one of them ordered an appetizer. That's fine but since I met Jackie, I have been banned from ordering appetizers. Yes, that's right. No appetizers. But it is inspirational if you think about it. You always have room to finish your food, usually that is. For dinner I ordered the Sea Bass on the recommendation of our waiter. I always veer toward the salmon but he quickly said it wasn't that outstanding. I always, always go with the recommendation of the waiter. He knows more than I do about that kitchen. I realized after we had all ordered that I was the only one without an appetizer coming so I, at the last minute, ordered a ceasar salad, which is so out of character of me.
When the appetizers came out, I was pleasantly surprised at the salad. The romaine was really fresh and the dressing was great. It reminded me of 20 years ago when a high school friend, Brett Gardner, showed me how to make homemade ceasar dressing with an anchovy. It was fantastic.
The seabass, the seabass. I absolutely loved it. Of course I did eat the green beans and wished there were potatoes or grits with it, I was needing to "carb up" for the 1/2 marathon the next day. And at 6:30 am no less. No bread at the 501. In the move for ladies to not eat carbs for weight loss, I was needing that bread no matter how much I weigh.
No dessert, but coffee for me. Our waiter was young and very attentive. The atmosphere of the 501 was great. I loved this eclectic "European" restaurant that did offer sandwiches and pizza on the dinner menu. I'll be back. My mother does.

Cafe 501, 501 S. Boulevard, Edmond, OK 73034 405-359-1501

Happy Mexican, Downtown Memphis

Happy Birthday to Me!

I just love truly casual, authentic mexian food. And why shouldn't I partake? It's my birthday! We discovered this fantastic restaurant from locals was opened in 2006 just a block from the Civil Rights Museum and a few blocks from the Orpheum. This fabulous kitchen is chefed by Javier Elizarra who hand prepares every dish. This was my second visit to Javier's restaurant, my first was after the 8 mile Hill and Dale race January 4, 2009. We stopped in on my friend Becca's recommendation after that run. We were famished but let me tell you that the dip they serve is the It's fresh and has a kick of jalopeno or something that lingers in your mouth and is delicious. Now back to my birthday which should be the subject of this blog... Staying in my mid-thirties again this year, I drug my entourage back to Happy Mexican for another fabulous night. Our party of 15 was seated next to another 15 who were loud using noise makers that really should be banned or only sold for events that are outside. My ears peeled off the ceiling everytime one of our next door neighbors blew their horns, yelled about how old and young they were and texted, called and squeeled to their friends about the parties they were headed to and by the time they left (and thank God) I was ready to be rid of them.
But thank God for birthdays right?
We had pitchers of margaritas and Coors Light, that Coors was ordered up by our local lumber yard man. Well, anyway, back to the food, we added cheese dip to the fabulous chips and salsa and it was great white cheese dip, the best in my opinion.
I had the vegetarian fajitas with a side of jalopenos that they remembered to bring. I've had trouble in the past with a side of japs that never gets delivered. My fajitas were great. Jackie ordered Enchiladas Mexicanos but was served beef fajita enchiladas without his rice and beans. Jackie has to have his rice and beans.
Everyone loved their dishes and I of course did not interview each and every 15 member of my entourage but all said it was great. One partaker had suggested one of my favorite downtown spots of felicia's but I can't go there when you're responsible for everyone's bill. Happy Mexican hit the spot again.
Nice job Joshual Lambert (manager) and Javier Elizarra (Chef). I love your restaurant. Love it. That's a 7 of 7. We'll be back.

Grill 83, Madison Hotel, Memphis

Happy Mother's Day 2009

Grill 83 was a refreshing experience today after our usual church routine. While I made the reservation nearly a month ago and really dreaded the hour trip to the restaurant, we were pleasantly thrilled with the food and service of Grill 83. I've stayed at the Madison Hotel, downtown Memphis, at least 4 times and have even seen Grant Hill, former Duke and current Suns basketball player, in the hotel. The Madison is the choice hotel for NBA teams as well as celebrities and bands for it's five star services and it's distance from the popular Peabody Hotel. Grill 83 beams in the Madison Hotel for it's superb chef Chris Windsor who "keeps it simple". The brunch buffet was set in the back of the restaurant near the "convention" style room that I'd been in once before for a Levee meeting. The buffet was a little cramed in the hall and started with deserts first, which was a thrill for me but still somewhat out of place. They had a very good omlete and pancake chef who was into details and produced the best everything omlete I've had. The next table featured salads, marinated cheese, fruits and muffins and at the end were the mashed potatoes, shrimp creole and a pasta chicken of some kind that I didn't partake. The last table featured ham and unfortunately well done prime rib. One comment at our table was "how did you get two pieces of the meat, she only offered me one...". Alrighty then. I did go back to this buffet twice which I never do in my home town due to gossip. The second time around I did add fresh blue cheese with my potatoes and had a wonderful serving of rasberries. Did I mention the biscuits and gravy that was featured on the omlete table. Wow, nice but needed to be warmer. My guests enjoyed Mimosas and Bloody Mary's and the unsweet tea I had was well done and you can't say that about all tea.
Grill 83, loved it. I was refreshed and thrilled I'd made the drive to downtown. Good Job Chris. We'll be back. Of the scale of 1 to my 7 year old, six. That's pretty darn good.