All day long my mind is consumed with recurring thoughts of a couple of things--- food and fashion. I am indeed a foodie! Like it or not--- I love food. The past weekend, I was able to experience food in such an innovative way that I have to share my excitement with you guys. I signed up for a highly anticipated walking tour of a very well curated selection of local restaurants in Memphis called City Tasting Tours. Fairly new to the city, City Tasting Tours offers both locals and tourists to eat like the locals. Memphis has some of the best restaurants ever, the food like non other in any city and the City Tasting Tour was just another bit of confirmation.
Our meetup location was the first stop on the walking tour, Belle Bistro located in the heart of historic Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, is the city’s newest destination for classic southern cuisine with a Cajun flare. Led by well-known and respected chef David Johnson, the kitchen combines traditional Southern flavors with influences from the Bayou, Delta, and everything in-between.
Along the tour, we have the chance to satisfy our palette by eating dishes each restaurant prides itself on as the favorite of the restaurant. Belle---Southern Bistro served Farm Grit Bowl, a hot bowl of Applewood Smoked Bacon, Roasted Ham, Fried Egg & Smoked Cheddar Cheese
What was so cool was, we were able to take a peek into the Belle Tavern. Belle wanted to be a late night provider of quality Memphis food and libations in Barboro Alley near the Peabody Hotel. It was a cool off the record experience to go into the back of the restaurant and peek out into Barboro Alley to preview the tavern.
As we walked down Union Avenue heading east just one block, we made a quick left turn down historic Charles Vergos Alley directly across from the Peabody the South's Grand Hotel, we arrived at our second stop--- Rendezvous Restaurant. Everybody knows about Rendezvous!!!! The locals and the tourists alike.
As a local, I have visited Rendezvous a time or two especially since my Uncle is one of the head chefs well he runs the kitchen. Any time I have guests come in town, one of the restaurants they have to try is Rendezvous. I used to send Rendezvous BBQ popcorn to my ex fiance anywhere he played games in the NFL as a little "good luck" gift. There are so many cool things at the Rendezvous like the same servers have been there forever, I mean 30 plus years, the decor is the same and the food is always always good.
On the City Tasting Tour, we tried the infamous sausage and chesse plate seasoned with Rendezvous signature BBQ seasoning, beef brisket (yes lord) and BBQ ribs. I don't like ribs (yes I'm from Memphis) but from the sound of everyone else they thoroughly enjoyed them.
Next up, as we left Rendezvous to go to our next stop and stretch our tummies, was Maciel's Tortas and Tacos on the Main Street Trolley line just a couple of blocks back up west. Maciel's Tortas and Tacos is fairly new but you would not know that if you stopped by during lunch on weekdays. It is the only authentic Mexican Restaurant on this end of Downtown.
It is a local favorite and a destination restaurant for homemade guacamole and freshly made chips as Maciel the owner and head chef prepares it fresh upon order literally the avocado is not cut until you order. YUMMMM!
We had the pleasure of trying steak tacos with a sampling of sauces with a range of heat. It was absolutely divine. I love Mexican and furthermore fresh and authentic Mexican.
Walking is not so bad when you are full and need to make more room for more Memphis food. As we walked, Cristina our tour guide gave us background information on many of the restaurants, the owner's stories, and food specials as well.
We took a quick stroll down Main Street into Barboro Alley to be greeted by lovely decor and tower mimosa's in Automatic Slims Restaurant on Union Avenue.
The mix of savory and sweet was perfection in the Chicken and Waffle dish with potatoes. I loved the chicken as it was glazed with a little bit of honey. I couldn't take any more food and had to take a quick breather lol. It was ok because I had time to exchange numbers with one of the quests who was from Upstate New York traveling through Memphis on vacation. Food brings people together!
Lastly but definitely not least was the dessert leg of the tour. We stopped by Cupcake Cutie Boutique in the historical Court Square to build our own cupcakes. Cupcake Cutie has a variety of cake options like chocolate, lemon, vanilla, strawberry and more. You pick your toppings and icing ---everything from chocolate chips, caramel, edible glitter, to fruity peebles.
Saying I enjoyed the City Tasting Tour wasn't enough. We all departed ways-- It was kinda sad as we spent 3 hours with "new friends" eating, sharing restaurants we love, stories of how we all heard about City Tasting Tours. It was such a fun time getting to sample new restaurants and being a tourist in my own city for a few hours.
Be sure to book your next tour and get out and eat some great food in one of the greatest cities in the world---MEMPHIS!
Up next..... NOVEMBER FOOD STOPS* - Jerry Lawler's Bar and Grill, Cafe Pontotoc, Green Beetle, Earnestine and Hazel's & Makeda's Cookies