Know Your Fried Chicken November 8, 2011Posted by Matt in food, Memphis.
Tags: Food and Wine, Fried Chicken, Gus's Fried Chicken, Memphis, Uncle Lou's
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Let it be known Food & Wine magazine just lost all authority for food recommendations.
I don’t care how long they’ve been writing about food or how experienced their reporters are, their latest issue proves that they have jumped the proverbial shark, they are no longer a viable source for your culinary needs, they’ve stumbled and fallen to a degree that cannot be recovered.
And they don’t know fried chicken.
Their latest list gives a long a detailed account of the best spots around the country to partake in this great Southern delicacy, this mainstay of Sunday dinners across Dixieland that burrows deep in the fiber of our being, affecting our very identity as Southerners. Though it’s obvious that they have sampled battered and fried birds across the land, there is a deliberate oversight contained therein which is so egregious that it defies explanation.
Nowhere is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken mentioned.
No joke. They include numerous restaurants from locales like New York, Chicago, and Las Angeles, but nothing, absolutely nothing from Memphis.
Yes, it is time we hold these food critics accountable for their obvious bias against the Bluff City. It defies explanation.
Then again, if they were really interested, they’d dig a little deeper into Memphis and visit one of my favorite spots, Uncle Lou’s. Walk in, meet the man Uncle Lou himself, and order some chicken with his special sweet and spicy love sauce. You won’t be disappointed.
Mmmm….barbecue… February 24, 2011Posted by Matt in food, friends.
Tags: barbecue, Episcopal priest, free stuff is awesome
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A Heretic and a Priest walk into a barbecue joint in North Mississippi…
Yeah, that might sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but it really was what I did for lunch today. We had great conversation – it’s so great to find someone else on the same theological page – and excellent food, which was then topped off by a free plate of rib tips.
I’m not sure if the free food was due to the fact that my friend was still wearing his collar and the owner wanted Patrick to put in a good word for him or if he really was concerned that the first batch didn’t turn out as good as he thought they should. Either way, I’m not complaining.
Now I just need to stay awake for the rest of the afternoon…and maybe get my friend to absolve me of the sin of gluttony…
McDon’ts February 1, 2011Posted by Matt in family, food.
Tags: advertisers are evil, McDonald's, scary clowns
What is the deal with kids and McDonald’s?
Come on, can’t they tell that their hamburgers consist of cardboard-grade beef? That their Mcnuggets are made from parts of chickens that you don’t even want to know about? That their fries are a nuclear bomb of sodium? Can’t they see the gastronomical disaster contained in each and every meal?
And what about the creepy clown, Ronald McDonald, always hanging around the kids? Not to mention his weird, acid-trip friends like Grimace (what the heck is that thing anyway?).
But, alas, despite my pleading for them to pick a second choice, when given the opportunity that is what they always choose. I mean, I don’t hate fast food. I’ve made it known that I have an affinity for Arby’s, I like Wendy’s fine, and I’ll even occasionally dine on the Taco Bell mystery “meat,” but McDonald’s? Yuck.
Today I ate lunch with Diana and our two kids that are sick. You can probably guess what they chose…
Oh well, at least it isn’t run by anti-gay evangelicals…
Anything But Arby’s! January 20, 2011Posted by Matt in food.
Tags: Arby's, for sale
When it comes to fast food, I’m a longtime fan of Arby’s, so I was a bit worried today when I read that the people at Wendy’s (the fast food giant that also owns Arby’s) is looking to sell my favorite chain.
Don’t do it! Where else will I get a large roast beef sandwich smothered with Arby’s sauce and an order of curly fries?
No More Groceries? January 12, 2011Posted by Matt in food, garden.
Tags: a year without groceries, gardening, sustainable agriculture
I like this idea, but I’m not exactly sure how we would make it work.
Those of you who have seen the documentary Food, Inc. or have read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, know that the food industry, with it’s factory farms and prepackaged meals, is a real mess in this country, but there are those who are taking another route. The blog listed above is about someone who has quit shopping at grocery stores for an entire year, choosing instead to garden, shop at farmers’ markets, and visit local farms to load the fridge.
I like the idea. Most of you know I’m a longtime gardener and this year I’m looking forward to building several raised beds around our backyard, but there is still a good way to go before I reach the level of this writer.
What do you think?
It’s Okay to be Jealous October 8, 2010Posted by Matt in food, Memphis.
Tags: good eatin', Memphis, Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken
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My friend James and I ate at Uncle Lou’s today for lunch. Yeah, that’s right, the Uncle Lou’s, a fried chicken treasure of Memphis. So, you ask, what did I have today?
The three piece spicy chicken platter, smothered in their special sweet and spicy sauce, along with corn nuggets, a biscuit, and a big cup of sweet tea.
Again, it’s okay to be jealous sometimes…
The Best in Fast Food August 18, 2010Posted by Matt in food.
Tags: Best Burger, Best Fries, fast food survey, Fried Chicken, top chains, Zagat
The 2010 Zagat Fast Food Survey has recently been released and I found the results to be interesting. I’m not a big fast food eater. It’s not that I don’t like a greasy burger and fries, I’m just not the kind of person that can afford a 1,000 calorie bomb for lunch. Anyway, I do have my favorites and I’m sure you do as well. So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the results.
1. Five Guys – never tried it
2. In-N-Out Burger – “They got good burgers there, Walter.”
3. Wendy’s – I love a Big Bacon Classic, but just thinking of it causes my arteries to tighten.
4. Burger King – eh, whatever
5. McDonald’s – See number 4
My favorite fast food burger is probably from Backyard Burgers, but I rarely eat there. What about you?
Best French Fries
2. Five Guys
3. In-N-Out Burger
5. Burger King
It’s not surprise that McD’s is at the top of the list, but I tend to prefer Arby’s curly fries or the spicier fries at Rally’s.
Best Fried Chicken
3. Church’s Chicken
4. Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits
Come on, Popeye’s spicy chicken is way better than KFC and they’ve got better biscuits, not to mention their red beans and rice.
Top Food – Large Chains (up to 5,000 US locations)
1. In-N-Out Burger
2. Papa Murphy’s
3. Chick-fil-A – Overrated, but my kids love it because of the cool playground.
4. Five Guys
Top Food – Mega Chains (more than 5,000 US locations)
4. Taco Bell
5. Burger King
I like Wendy’s and Subway, so it’s good to see both of them in the top five, but I have to ask the question burning in everyone’s mind: Where is Arby’s??? Come on, everybody knows that Arby’s has the best fast food around!
They also surveyed people about the best full service chain and it was here that I saw perhaps the most egregious mistake.
1. Cracker Barrel
3. Bob Evans
4. Waffle House
Ok, how do you put Waffle House all the way down at number four!? Come on, people! Can you get hash browns scattered, smothered, covered in a facility with brown, smoke-stained walls, and a waitress missing more teeth than she actually has, at any of these other places? I think not.
What do you think? Does the injustice accorded to Arby’s and Waffle House bother you as much as it does me?
Barbecue: A Memphis Tradition May 14, 2009Posted by Matt in food, Memphis.
Tags: barbecue, Central Barbecue, Corky's, Memphis, Memphis in May, Redezvous, ribs
You could easily fill out a long list of great things about our home city, Memphis. It has a remarkable history in the civil rights struggle, a music pedigree that no other city in America can match (because Elvis really is king, right?), great people, and, of course, there is the barbecue. Sure, I know that there are other regional delights around the nation involving pork products (beef barbecue is blasphemy), but in my biased opinion none can hold a candle to the dry-rubbed delicacies found here in the Bluff City.
Annually, as part of its Memphis in May celebration, the city hosts one of its biggest events of the year, the Memphis in May World Barbecue Cooking Contest, where teams from literally around the world converge in Tom Lee Park to have their wares tasted and judged by a panel of experts. It is a really big deal, believe me.
I thought about this today because our local paper, the Commerical Appeal, ran an article about one of our neighbors who competes in the event each year. Regrettably, I don’t know him that well outside of the occasional wave and “How’s it going?” so I can’t hope for a taste-testing spot in his tent or anything. Somehow, despite living in the area for five years now, I’ve never had the opportunity to visit the competition, so one of these days I hope to remedy that.
One thing you will quickly notice driving around Memphis is the vast number of barbecue restaurants adorning nearly every street corner, leaving the uninitiated visitor perplexed as to which eatery they should try. If that is the case, have no fear for your friends at Words of Wisdom are here to guide you.
When it comes to barbecue in Memphis, the first spot that everyone first points to is Rendezvous, the world-famous eatery tucked away in a downtown alley that can easily be overlooked. I’ll be the first to say that their ribs, which are regarded by many to be the quintessential Memphis barbecue staple, are excellent, but at the same time the restaurant is quite pricey and usually very crowded with tourists.
Corky’s is great as well, but its east Memphis location is a bit out of the way. Their award-winning ribs are affordable and it is usually not overcrowded, but the inconvenient location and lack of parking can put a damper on things.
My personal favorite place for pork barbecue is Central Barbecue in the midtown section of the city. Not only do I think they have some of the best ribs around, their prices are very affordable and their Central Avenue location is easily accessible. Given the choice, this is where I go for great Bluff City barbecue.
What about you? Where do you choose to go for barbecue?
A New Kind of Diet – pt.2 June 28, 2008Posted by Matt in food.
Tags: challenge, food stamp
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So, I didn’t do so well on the Food Stamp Challenge. The first few days were a piece of cake, but by this morning (the fifth day) I had run out of milk, so breakfast suddenly became a lot tougher. It was then that I decided to throw in the towel for this go-around, but I will be back again and next time I’ll be visiting the local Aldi.
And, given that we have guests coming over for Sunday lunch, it would have been really hard to feed on leftover beans and rice while they at a virtual feast.
A New Kind of Diet June 23, 2008Posted by Matt in food, poverty.
Tags: challenge, food stamp, poor
I love food – and all kinds of it – so, for that reason, I’ve never been big on dieting. I can do without Atkins and South Beach and all of those other programs. But, with our community garden project nearing its first harvest and the people around me feeling the pinch due to rising food costs, I decided to try something different, to step into the shoes of one of my fellow human beings and try to get an idea of what their plight consists of.
Starting tomorrow, I’m taking the food stamp challenge.
I first read about this sometime last year in our local free newspaper, The Memphis Flyer, and, though I was intrigued by it then, I did nothing about it. But now I feel it is time to act. I’ve never had to worry about where my next meal was coming from before and, besides some time on WIC when Rachel was a baby, we’ve never needed any type of assistance with feeding our family. I feel a certain affinity toward the needy, but despite that being the case, it is hard for me to understand to condition of poverty. So, for the next week (and, who knows, maybe even longer), I’m going to don the footwear of our city’s poor to gain just a glimpse of some of the difficulties they face.
According to this Memphis Flyer article from May 2007, the average allotment of food stamps for one person (I’m not forcing my pregnant wife or children to do this) in the city is $22.47. My challenge, then, is to buy a week’s worth of groceries for myself, spending around the average amount, and trying to keep it at least relatively healthy. So, this evening I went to our local Schnucks and set out on my quest for greater empathy.
The first thing you notice is just how hard it is to buy fresh fruits and vegetables on so little money. I had to give up my regular lunchtime apples (a bag of five of them would have cost $3.25), but I did hit the jackpot on cabbage (only $0.59/pound!). I picked up enough food to cook three meals, which, with leftovers, should carry me through the next seven days. My meals will look something like this:
Breakfast: Multigrain cereal and milk
Lunch: Tuna sandwiches and yogurt
Beans and Rice / Cabbage
Hamburger Helper with ground turkey / Green beans
Ramen with canned chicken / Mixed vegetables
My total came out to just slightly over the average amount at $24.08, but I thought it was close enough this time around. Maybe next time I’ll try to hit a discount grocery store instead and get more for my money.
So, what do you say? Who’s with me?