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Home (to Memphis) for the Holidays-a roundup

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Restaurants & Bars

Home (to Memphis) for the Holidays-a roundup

CatherineC in NYC | Dec 28, 2005 10:29 AM

I just returned from a wonderful week in Memphis, in which the scale tells me I gained 5 pounds! Ah, the holidays! Here were some highlights:

Not for the first time (or the second, or even, embarrassingly enough, the third) I went straight from the airport to Taqueria la Guadelupana on Summer. I keep worrying that this place will go downhill, but this latest visit was the best yet. I love their tripe tacos, and these were particularly good: the tripe was nice and crispy. I also ordered a chorizo sopa, and the corncake base was lighter and tastier than it has been on previous visits. Somehow I remember their guacamole as being zippier—it seemed a bit bland this time around.

We went to Bosco’s in Overton Square, and I have to say that while the pizza wasn’t as wonderful as I remembered (I prefer a thinner crust and less cheese), their beers are still right on. I had their Winter Warmer Ale and thoroughly enjoyed it.

And, of course, since I now live in the barbecue desert, I had to hit a few places. My friend and I originally planned to go to one place a day, but we had to give up after 4 days because it was just too much (and there was Christmas turkey to attend to). First stop was Central Barbecue, which I was glad to see is as good as ever, though I will admit I wish I had gotten their ribs (perhaps the best I’ve ever had) instead of a sandwich (perfectly fine, but not as wonderful as their ribs). Their slaw just doesn’t do it for me—it’s so bland. Oh well, this goes in the mental file for the next visit.

I went to A&R for the first time and had a sandwich and a peach fried pie. The sandwich was really good, with good slaw and spicy sauce. I was really looking forward to the fried pie, because I haven’t had one since my grandmother passed away. So I suppose nothing could compare to hers for me. If this one had been warm, it would have been better, but it was tasty nonetheless. I had a bite of my friend’s sweet potato fried pie, and it was good, too.

We paid the obligatory visit to the Rendezvous with an out-of-town guest in tow. I know this place is considered overrated, and it is true that their ribs as ribs are not as good as Central’s—certainly they’re not as meaty and juicy. But I think their dry rub is delicious, and if I ever do anything awful and end up on death row, Rendezvous slaw will play a role in my last meal. I love love love it.

We went to the Barbecue Shop on Madison, and it was also as good as I remembered. My poor Yankee friend was initiated into the wonders of barbecued baloney, of which he had been blissfully unaware. He did manage to eat quite a lot of it—it is oddly tasty, isn’t it? I had the sandwich, which was good. Their slaw is much better than Central’s in my opinion, which makes such a difference on a sandwich. My friend had the barbecue spaghetti and pulled pork plate. He wasn’t too impressed with the spaghetti (though my brother and cousin swear by it), but the pulled pork was really good—smoky and moist.

I was disappointed not to hit some other favorites or to try some new places I’ve read good things about on the board. But I’m glad Memphis is still such a good eating town (and I can’t wait for the next visit!)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Catherine

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