It's no secret that these days I take a camera wherever I go so I am sort of surprised that for the 10 years I lived in Memphis I took very few pictures outdoors--in fact I don't even have a picture of the new, white, 1970 Cadillac convertible that the business bought for me in 1969!
I've gone through google, bing and other search engines but I couldn't find pictures of what I wanted such as Pappy's Lobster Shack which was definitely a shack. Not only were all the rooms mismatched but each wall had many patterns of wallpaper and no two tiles on the floor matched. Pappy's was in Overton Square before it was renovated and was one of the first restaurants I went to after arriving in Memphis. Though it is over 30+ years I can still taste that Pompano en Pappolette that was so good I wanted to eat thye parchment paper it was baked in.
Memphis had many excellent restaurants including The Four Flames and Justine's, both antebellum homes, with the former serving prime ribs and the latter concentrating on old fashioned French food. Though it was 1969 and Martin Luther King had been shot to death in downtown Memphis the so called 'better' restaurants still hung onto Black servers. Justine's was a 5 star restaurant and as formal as a restaurant could get.
Being Memphis there were barbecue restaurants all over the city one being the world famous Rendezvous Room just a walk away from the Peabody Hotel. On the other hand the two or three what they called 'delis'--with New York always proceeding the phrase--were horrendous. There were many excellent restaurants including The Shelby Motel right out side of town where they had the most succulent fried catfish and, I forget the name, a restaurant right off the Memphis University campus where you could get the best Southern breakfasts, with grits, made as they should be.
It was on top of the Union Planters bank building on Poplar Avenue that I ate in my first revolving restaurant and it was there, having dinner with John, that we sat and watched Nixon resign. There were Italian restaurants like Grisanti's and---darn! Where did I keep the camera?!--one I loved that was just across the railroad tracks between Park and Poplar Avenues--maybe Chuck remembers the name--he is younger than me! LOL
I really didn't mean to make this whole blog about food but the great restaurants in Memphis only added to my joy of living there. Next time I'll talk about the ice skating rink, picking greens, seeing "The Boys In The Band", which was a shock at that time in the Bible Belt, Gig Young in "Long's Day Journey Into Night", Mudd Island and the pyramid, Overton Square and park, Our Weigh, Memphis In May carnival, my missing diaries from 1970-1976 and what I think happened to them, my last visit there and why I felt I had to leave in 1979.