I went to Memphis earlier this year for a conference, and I was instructed by my coworkers before I went: When you’re in Memphis, you gotta eat ribs.
Okay, then. Who am I to argue with my coworkers?
The first night, though, there was a reception on the hotel rooftop. We got to watch the sun set over the mighty Mississippi. Okay, technically, I guess it was setting over the mighty state of Arkansas, but the water was definitely part of the scenery. I’m a huge fan of Mark Twain and I get excited every time I get to see the river. I want to take a raft and drift down it.
Do you know how windy roofs are? Very. But it was a chance to meet some other people and get out in the fresh air. A line had formed for some food the hotel staff was frying up. The food was round and brown and looked like latkes. I thought it strange that the hotel would serve potato pancakes in the spring at a cocktail reception, but who am I to judge? I stood in line, only to see some green on the pancake. ???
Turns out, they were fried green tomatoes. Which made much more sense than latkes. I’ve never had one before, so I thought, what the hey? Unfortunately, it was too hot and I burned my tongue, so I didn’t get the full taste effect. But it was fried, so of course what I did taste was good. It was served with a variety of toppings, from sour cream to bacon to olives (yuck) and scallions. Oh, and later in the week I had a BLFGT, which was a bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato sandwich. Was yum.
Next came the cheese tray. You had your Gouda, your cheddar, your Havarti with dill, and some other cheese with what looked like chocolate. But remember my burned tongue from the tomato? I didn’t get the complete taste of the cheese. Anyone want to guess what it really is?
The next night we ventured down Beale Street (must refrain from singing Walking in Memphis – again) and ate at the Blues City Cafe. BBQ! Ribs! And… tamales? What else are you going to eat when you go to Memphis?
I’m going to venture to say these were the best ribs I’ve ever had. Now, ribs are not my go-to meal, so while that statement may sound grandiose, I don’t have much to compare. But these were sweet and tangy and fall-off-the-bone tender. Some of the sauce had caramelized on top. YUM. The potatoes were bland, but I didn’t order the meal for the potatoes.
I also had a tamale, which I never had before. And probably never will again, since I didn’t like it too much. It wasn’t awful, but … meh. I’d eat it if I were starving and it was the only thing available. Or if liver was also available. Because it definitely tasted better than liver. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who ordered tamales, because I got to see my dining companion unroll it from the husk before eating. I always thought the husk was part of the meal. Oops.
Guess where else I went?
I mean, COME ON. I was in MEMPHIS! How could I *NOT* go?
And that also leads me to the giveaway today. An Elvis hot mitt (the square kind) that includes a recipe for his infamous peanut butter and banana sandwiches. All you have to do is try to guess what was in that cheese. Or, you know, comment in any other way. Be creative!
Thank you. Thank you very much.