Friday, April 6, 2012

Eating in Memphis

  Our tour just recently went through Memphis.  We loved the city!  Live music everywhere you go, a beautiful theatre (we played The Orpheum) and, of course, the FOOD!  There are so many entries I could make for Memphis, that I decided to combine them all into one love letter entry to the great city of Memphis and their incredible food.  

1. Gus's Fried Chicken

    The only thing on their menu is fried chicken, cole slaw and beans.  And let me tell you, this place needs nothing more.  Hands down, the best fried chicken I have ever had.  I don't know what magical ingredients they put into their breading, but it has an amazing taste with a slight kick to it.  The chicken is so tender and juicy it could bring a tear to your eye.  Not to mention their cole slaw and beans are great too.

2. Peanut Butter Cookie Skillet from Kooky Canucks

  It's a warm, gooey peanut butter cookie in a skillet with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  Need I say more?  So peanut buttery and, while soft in the middle, slightly crispy on the outside edges so you get the best of both worlds.  So, so delicious.

3. Fried Catfish at Blues City Cafe

   Huge pieces of catfish fried perfectly served with horseradish sauce, cole slaw, green beans and texas toast.  I love fried catfish and this certainly did not disappoint. The catfish was nice and flaky and moist, not over cooked at all.  Some bites were super crunchy while others had just a hint of that great fried taste.  We ate quite a few meals at Blues City Cafe and this was hands down my favorite meal there.  Just awesome. 

4. Smoked Crab Deviled Eggs at Local

  After many days of fried goodness, our stomachs needed a little break.  So we headed over to Local on Main Street to have some salads, which are very good there by the way.  But one thing we couldn't resist on their menu were the smoked crab deviled eggs.  They were fantastic!  The smoked crab is a genius addition to this southern favorite.  It tasted wonderfully and was not over powering in the slightest.  The caviar on top was a lovely finish for the taste buds, too. 

5. Fried Strawberries on Beale Street

   Served with the entire bucket of cool whip (well... pretty close too it) and chocolate sauce drizzled on top, these bad boys are pretty freakin delicious.  The strawberries get fairly soft on the inside and the outside tastes similar to funnel cakes at county fairs.  They are served warm, and with a little cool whip and chocolate sauce, they taste like little bites of Heaven.

6. Pulled Pork and Dry Rub Ribs at Corky's BBQ

   You didn't think I would leave Memphis without trying the BBQ, did I?!  Of course not!  I asked as many Memphis locals as I could where the best BBQ was, and their overwhelming answer was Corky's BBQ.  It's a little bit of a drive from down town, but oh so worth it.  Their dry rub ribs are out of this world.  When I say they fall of the bone, I mean you pick up the end of one of the ribs and the meat just slips right off onto your plate.  It was unbelievably tender and smoky and the seasonings for their dry rub are ridiculously good.  This was my first dry rub experience and I am officially a fan.  Their pulled pork was also delicious.  I put a little of their apple BBQ sauce on it and couldn't have asked for more.  Corky's is definitely the place to go for BBQ in Memphis.  I was blown away and left very, very full and happy.

    Memphis, you have forever left your mark on my heart and stomach.  You are a great city filled with amazing music, people and food.  I can't wait to come back for more some day. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Almost Famous in Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh is home to a crazy sandwich shop called Primanti Brothers.  It claims to be "almost famous" in it's slogan, but I have seen this place on Food Network more times than I can count and have heard about it from every person who has been through Pittsburgh.  I think they have officially crossed into famous territory and for good reason.  They have just about every type of meat you could ever ask for on a sandwich for you to choose from, ranging from fish to pastrami to kielbasa.  Their catch is that every sandwich, no matter what meat you choose, is served on their signature white bread and topped with french fries, coleslaw and tomato.  I decided to stick with simplicity and ordered mine with a fried egg, cheese and bacon.

   As you can see, these sandwiches are not for the faint of heart.  They come out on a piece of wax paper and kind of explode once placed on the table in front of you.  The challenge once there is to figure out how to tackle this giant pile of delicious food...

    Once you get the whole thing in your hands and good bite full, your hard work is greatly rewarded.  These sandwiches are awesome!  The coleslaw is crunchy, not overly creamy and peppery.  The french fries are salty, greasy and taste like real potatoes freshly cut and fried, and the bread soaks up all the grease and cream from the fries and coleslaw and really just becomes a way to hold it all together.  My fried eggs were great and the bacon was fried nice and crispy and there was plenty of it.  I loved every bite of it, despite my spot looking like a war zone afterwards.

   Primanti Brothers is an experience not to be missed if you are ever in the Pittsburgh area.  Go hungry and ready to get messy.