Friday, December 17, 2010

Alex's Tavern Review and Photo Recap

I must admit, Sophorn and I arrived at Alex's just at 7 p.m., almost breaking group rule #4 (We start promptly at 7, so be on time.)  Upon walking in, I was comforted by the great music on the juke box, seeing people playing shuffleboard on the free table, and noticing everyone talking, drinking, and just having a good time. I never would have guessed that most of the people in the room had never met before. But then again, that is what I love about Alex's Tavern, it's just a fun place to hang out, and the food is pretty darn good as well.

Did I mention the food? Rocky, the owner of Alex's started serving the food a little after 7. He set up a little buffet which included, wings(hot and Greek styles), ribs, Greek bread, gumbo, shrimp, cole slaw, and baked beans. The Greek burgers were being made fresh, so they were served after everyone had had a chance to visit the buffet at least once (Evan and Kerry).

As the group tables were full, Sophorn and I sat at the bar with Evan and Kerry. We enjoyed listening to their stories from "late night" Alex's Tavern.

After announcing that we were gathering at Alex's, I heard more than a few jokes about not getting to Alex's before 2 a.m., or not having been since their time at Rhodes. I hope people will remember that it is a pretty good food option as well as late night beer option.

Our meal was absolutely amazing! Look at those ribs. The meat just fell off the bone. The wings were tasty. I prefer the greek wings, but if you like your wings hot, they have you covered. The shrimp and the gumbo were also really good. And then there was the Greek Burger...

I am not bashful about saying that Alex's Greek Burger is my favorite in town. The group responses after the meal confirmed my suspicions. It is a DARN GOOD burger. Most everyone included the burger in their favorites from the dinner. I don't think anything on our menu went without at least one vote, maybe the celery, but was it really on the menu? The ribs, gumbo and wings were also top vote getters. The PBR even got a vote or two. Most everyone wrote that "all the food was good", so that speaks well for the quality of the food at Alex's.

The music in jukebox, the free shuffleboard, and the general mood of the place received many mentions in the dinner surveyas well:

What would you order again?
"The BURGER!!!"
"Hamburger w/ the gumbo as an app."
"hamburger, wings, gumbo, PBR"

What was your  favorite thing about the gathering?
"The ambiance of the restaurant"
"(Alex's) Just plain fun"
"Awsome place"

Restaurant Suggestions?
"for this one(Alex's)? none, it was great, fun, and convenient"

Rocky, aka "fearless" serving up a beer
Interesting Alex's Trivia:
1. Rocky's father opened the tavern next door, in 1953,  in what is now the liquer store.
2. The neon sign in the front window of Alex's is the original neon sign from 1953.
3.  Alex's is the oldest family owned tavern in Memphis.

If you haven't been to Alex's before, or since your days at Rhodes, or even before 2 a.m. Run by and have a great meal. Their hours are 12 noon to 3 a.m. When you go, be sure to tell Rocky hello for us.

Alex's Tavern 
1445 Jackson Avenue
Memphis, TN 38107-4470
(901) 278-9086

all photos courtesy sophorn mcrae aka norococo-thanks
Alex's Tavern on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lavoros Italian Trattoria Review and Photo Recap

One of my favorite Italian restaurants is out in East Memphis, in what appears to be an old KFC located at the corner of Sycamore View and Summer Avenues. What they lack in atmosphere, they more than make up for in incredible food and customer service.

The restaurant is run by folks I am happy to call friends. Coach Mike, Michael, and Amy Working are some of the nicest restaurateurs in the industry. They pride themselves on fresh ingredients and simple homemade food. Next to the patio by the front door, growing the herb garden, are the flavors for the incredible food inside.

I was especially excited about having our October gathering at Lavoro’s Italian Trattoria. I knew they would take care of our group. They exceeded all my expectations.

Our menu included:
Fresh Stone Bread with Calbrian Chili Paste and Brushcetta topping
Lavoro's Homemade Chips
Our Soon to be World Famous Mozzarella Sticks
Plates of our Spicy Meatballs


Thick Sliced Eggplant Parmesean
Stuffed Red Peppers filled with our homemade bolognese and rice
*so tasty, that I had to make it my profile picture
Portobello Mushroom Ravioli in Brodo
Chicken Marsala and a side of Italian Spinach


White Chocolate Bread Pudding (with our homemade bread)

As I was a little occupied with Atticus, I missed out on an entree or two, but I know everyone left stuffed and happy. I heard nothing but rave reviews from everyone in the group. Some of the menu items creating the most buzz:

Spicy meatballs,
Portobello Mushroom Ravioli in Brodo,
Fresh Stone Bread (baked in house daily)
Stuffed Red Pepper
and the White Chocolate Bread Pudding.

I don’t normally do stuffed Peppers, but Lavoro's has me rethinking my "no stuffed pepper" rule. I will probably order it when we go back to Lavoro's again.   

Our sampling menu didn't even begin to touch their extensive menu which includes panninis, rolled sandwiches,  pizzas and soups.

5849 Summer Ave.
hours: .

Photos courtesy of Sophorn McRae aka norococo

Lavoro's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fuel Cafe Review and Photo Recap

Our gathering at Fuel Cafe was a great success. Carrie set up a wonderful menu for us. I know everyone was amazed at the quality and the quantity of food.

Our tasting menu included:

Salmon Dip with crostini and crudite
Cafe Salad
House Cut Fries served w/ trio of dipping sauces
Veggie Nacho's
Meditterranean tuna melt
House made veggie burger on white/wheat buns
Vegan Thai curry tofu with basmati rice
Pasta w/ Springer Mountain Farm Chicken Breast
Chicken Fried Bison Steak

We couldn't have asked for a nicer evening to sit outside on the patio. It was a beautiful cool September evening under my favorite mood lighting in Memphis.

The food came out quickly and frequently. I have to admit, even though I was getting more and more full, the food seemed to get better with each course. I am an admitted 12-step chocoholic, so the brownie was a wonderful end to a great meal.
Thanks to Carrie and the whole staff at Fuel Cafe. They did an amazing job. If you are ever in the mood for vegan fare, or if you are just looking for something healthy, please stop by and have dinner or lunch with them.

Their hours are:
Tuesday - Friday:
Lunch 11:00am - 3:00pm  / Dinner 5 pm -9:30pm   
Saturday :
Brunch 11:00am- 3:00pm / Dinner 5pm - 10:00pm  Sunday, Monday:

Fuel Cafe is Project Greenfork  which means they are  contributing to a sustainable Mid-South by helping reduce environmental impact of restaurants.  

1761 Madison
Memphis, TN 38104

So stop by tell Carrie hello, and don't forget to try a brownie!
Fuel Cafe on Urbanspoon