Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do this: Memphis visitor tour

As I mentioned before, two of my best friends Eric and Beth came in town over Winter Break. Eric and Beth are both 3Ls at UT Law School. We were all Orientation Leaders together at UT and grew close over the next few years at UT. Leaving Knoxville was hard because I left my two close friends but we've managed to see each other several times a year. 

They've both been to Memphis before, but I still wanted to share some of the treasures of Memphis with them during their 3 day stint in the River City. We had a great visit - ate great food, visited great places. Here's the run down of what we did:

Day One (Sunday): 
Beth and Eric arrived in Memphis around 4pm. I had a baked brie out and we sat around enjoying ourselves and catching up. We took a stroll through the new neighborhood with our dogs (Beth brought her baby basset, Toby) and enjoyed looking at the 1920's architecture of the houses. Jake made the Creamy Chicken Orzo for dinner - delicious. For dessert, we went to Paulette's and got crepes and coffee. It was delightful and sophisticated. 
Day Two (Monday): 
We bummed around all morning (mostly watching episodes of Dexter on Netflix instant streaming, a favorite of ours) and then went to the Midtown Central BBQ for lunch. Of all the BBQ spots in Memphis, this one is my favorite. Jake and I usually get a large order of the BBQ Nachos and split it. It is the perfect amount of food for lunch. Beth got some sauce while we were there. Full from lunch, we debated going home and napping but decided instead to take them on a driving tour of Downtown (it was 35 degrees outside). We drove over to Harbor Town and showed them our favorite parts of the island, including the playground by the river, the stream through the boulevard, and Miss Cordelia's. We then drove over to Front Street and South Main. We parked at the Civil Rights Museum with plans to go at 3pm when it was free. We had 2 hours to kill so we walked from there to the Peabody, had hot drinks and enjoyed the Christmas decor, and then walked over to A. Schwab's on Beale. We then walked back to the Civil Rights Museum right at 3pm to start our tour. 

The Civil Rights Museum is free from 3-5 on Mondays to TN residents (bring a TN ID). We walked through the exhibit, which  includes a lot of reading (I forgot my glasses..) but is impressive nonetheless. My favorite parts is seeing the motel room that MLK Jr. was in before he was shot and going across the street to see where the shots were fired from. Being from Memphis, civil rights and race relations are of interest to me and I was glad to share this slice of history with my friends (and especially for free). 

Photo source: AP file photo, google images

For dinner we went to Flying Saucer for Pint Night. Eric's girlfriend is German and Beth likes German food so we wanted to take them to the Saucer for brats. While Flying Saucer isn't specifically a Memphis thing, it has a great atmosphere and is a great price for food and beer on Monday nights. Brie and Travis met up with us for dinner and we enjoyed hanging out together. 

Day Three (Tuesday): 
Beth had been to Howard's Donuts with us when she was in town last time and had been talking about it ever since. I'm a Howard's fan but really think Gibson's Donuts are better. Because of this, I wanted to share Gibson's with Beth and Eric. We headed out to East Memphis for donuts (which were delicious as usual - and a steal at 5.45 for 6 donuts and three drinks) and then went out to Sheffield's Antique Mall for some antique-ing. You may remember from this post that Sheffields, which is in Collierville, is one of my favorite antique stores in town (the other? Bojo's on Summer). We had fun mulling around and Beth even found a cameo pin for a steal. 

After Sheffields, we went to Macys and hit up the 75% off racks. I got 7 items for under $100, including a Columbia fleece for Jake, my NYE dress, an INC knit summer dress, and several tops. Beth also fared well. Eric got to exchange some belts he got for Christmas since they don't have Macys in Knoxville. 

Post-Macys, we were famished and went to Huey's in Collierville. While I am a Midtown girl through and through, I didn't feel awful about eating at the Huey's in Collierville because we were hungry and all Huey's look exactly the same anyways. The food was exactly as always - perfect. Huey's is known for consistency and is a reliable place for good food. We got fried pickles as an appetizer (Beth and Eric share my love of fried pickles) and then each got a burger. They were very impressed. 

Full from lunch, we high tailed it from Collierville to Midtown to hit up the free admission at the Zoo. Jake and I are members but for non-members the one time price is a bit steep and we were glad to take advantage of Free Tuesday afternoons for TN residents. It was bitterly cold and some of the animals weren't out but we got to see the polar bears (who were enjoying the weather and very active), the sea lions, a sleepy grizzly cub, the wolves, elk, and pandas. Beth, being an AOPi, was especially excited about the pandas. I love showing off our wonderful zoo to visitors. I am very proud of it. 

Tuesday night we were exhausted. Lucky for us, dinner was taken care of. Jake had to stay home and work on a paper for school and decided to play with his new toy from Christmas, a smoker. He smoked a turkey and we had it for dinner. We ended the night by watching way too many episodes of Dexter. 

Day Four (Wednesday):
Wednesday brought the departure of my dear friends. I always try to get in a Bryant's visit when Beth and Eric come in town and so we headed out to Bryant's only to find out that it was (still) closed from Christmas. We had actually scouted this out earlier in the week and there was no closed sign showing their holiday closed dates so we thought we were safe but alas they were off enjoying a much deserved break. We decided on the second best option, Barksdale's and met up with Andrew, Dave, Rob, and Bonnie. Barksdale's was a solid good. I recommend their Greek omelette to anyone. 

After breakfast and showers, we said our goodbyes and my dear friends were on their way. It was a great visit and I can't wait to see them again. 

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