Oh my GOSH ! There are sooooo many fantastic restaurants in Memphis - For BARBEQUE,I would say don't miss Corky's on Poplar Avenue - For GRILLED STEAKS, it would have to be The Butcher Shop right in downtown Memphis. If you want ITALIAN, I love the Macaroni Grill on the corner of Kirby and Poplar. On Beale St. I like the Rum Boogie Cafe serving TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN FARE, ie: hushpuppies & fried catfish, greens, red beans and rice, ribs etc. as well as hamburgers for the less southern palate.Also on Beale is the Kings Palace which has really fantastic Etouffee and ribs.
If you wish to go to Corky's, esp. on a Friday or Saturday night - you will need to get there early - say 4:30 -5:00 in order to avoid the waiting lines of 40 min. + (Reservations are not accepted except for large parties )
Of course, while you are waiting, the bar can provide libation! Hint: The people at Corky's have built a second location out in the Cordova area of Memphis at Dexter and Germantown Pkwy.- it is slightly larger than the original on Poplar and not QUITE as crowded.
Favorite Dish: From Corkys I love the pulled pork with coleslaw and BBQ beans. My Dad and husband love the ribs.
In Memphis, if you order ribs, they will ask you if you want them 'wet' or 'dry'. Wet means the ribs have been basted with BBQ sauce as they slowly cook so they are sticky and lovely with the delightful sauce. Dry means the ribs have slowly cooked the same as the wet, but rather than being basted with sauce, they are literally rubbed with spicy, dry powdered seasonings, and are served just as they come out of the ovens. This is why the tables have squeeze bottles of BBQ sauce on them. You then apply sauce to your taste. ( We didnt know that when we moved here from the north and had dry without any sauce. WE were not happy campers that night...thankfully we have since been educated!)
If you want good down home cooking, visit the Cupboard on Union, or Barksdales on Cooper. Reasonable prices, clean, and friendly.
Favorite Dish: The Eggplant Casserole at the Cupboard. Country Fried Steak at Barksdales. Fresh Veggies at both places.
My favorites are Automatic Slims (downtown area), Marinas (in Overton Park area), Tsunami (Cooper Young area) and, of course, Corky's for BBQ.
Automatic Slims has really unique Caribbean food. Lunch here is fantastic. Marinas is formal dining with the menu rotating so call to get reservations and the country they are featuring. Bring your own wine. Visit Joe's in Midtown for the best selection of wines. Tsunami has a cool atmosphere and great food. Corky's - be prepared to wait but you will not regret it. Make sure you get the onion loaf.
Breadbaskets, Coxymels, Macaroni Grill
Favorite Dish: Breadbaskets has the most amazing bread/rolls. You have never tasted something so wonderful before. They have great desserts too.
Cozymels is Mexican food with great Margaritas.