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Three days in Memphis; great eating except Restaurant Iris

mckenna4 | Mar 27, 201502:45 PM

I wanted to post this because I rely so much on this site when I go to new places. I visited Memphis for the first time a couple of weeks ago. My lunches were at the cafeteria at Graceland (surprisingly good and reasonably priced southern food, given that it's a major tourist attraction), The Little Tea Room (fantastic southern food and great hospitality. I just wish I had known to order the catfish that they only serve on Friday.), and Miss Polly's Soul City (OMG, fabulous). I guess I should say I love soul/southern food, but I live in a suburb of NYC and there's not much of that cuisine. For dinners, I went to Gus's (loved it; a little spicy but so perfectly cooked. The sides were disappointing.),Rendezvous for ribs (great, although I discovered I prefer wet to dry), and Restaurant Iris. While all the food at Iris was excellent, I did not like the server. She acted friendly, but spoke the same script to all the tables (the rooms are small enough that everything can be overheard) and was rather full of herself. It was as if she, not the chef, was responsible for the great food. And I was really perplexed by the experience of ordering the tasting menu. While the menu states "Put yourself in our hands or tell us about your likes, aversions, allergies, and how adventurous you would like your meal to be", she said that the choices were all from the regular menu and if I didn't pick them she would. In addition, there were no little extras. Each choice would be a half-portion. Not in any way my experience of tasting menus, especially as described. Now 1/2 portions of 5 courses was more than enough, but the price was almost the same as if I had ordered 5 full courses. I left full and happy with the food, but not happy with the experience. I wish I had gone someplace else and I cannot recommend this place.

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