Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Downtown Lunching

Greetings, blogisphere! And allow me to introduce myself. I am the most recent heir of the Orpheum's blog and one of the newer members of the Orpheum team. I was born and raised in Memphis, left to attend Auburn University, spent 2 years working in New York City, and have returned to my hometown where I belong. I couldn't have survived another New York winter - my body was just not built to trudge through the snow.

Memphis is my home and my comfort zone, but downtown is still fairly unmapped territory for me. So my current mission is to check out all of the lovely places to eat lunch. These are my recent discoveries.

Alcenia's was introduced to me by a friend and is perfect for when you need comfort food. The atmosphere is bright and intimate and you can bet on being treated like you're one of the family. I highly recommend the catfish and the spicy corn. There's something about being close to the Mississippi River and eating catfish that just makes me happy. The Little Tea Shop is actually closer to me and has a similar atmosphere. I've been going here for years so I can't call it a new discovery, but it will always be a favorite. Sometimes I just crave that Lacy special, and they have my favorite chicken salad so far. This is where I almost always take old high school friends. Going a little higher up on the price range, Flight is a new favorite. It's also around the corner from the theater and has a crab cake sandwich that I could probably eat every day for the rest of my life. The Majestic Grille is another great restaurant of similar caliber and has been my go-to more than once a week because it's so close and they're all so friendly there. I love the atmosphere of the old movie palace. And while they have a whole menu filled with delicious options, I can't seem to get away from that grilled cheese. The Flying Saucer is also just a block away and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they have a great lunch menu! I had only ever been for the plethora of amazing beer options. And if I'm up for a drive, the Trolley Stop Market is pretty unbeatable. I am not an eat-your-veggies kind of girl (it took me until last year to eat a whole salad), but I went there today and ordered a veggie plate because they have the ability to get me to eat those greens with all of their amazing options. If they ever have the spinach pastry, drop what you are doing and go order one. The pizzas are also delicious and creative if you aren't into the vegetables.

That's what I've discovered so far and I'm pretty happy with what I've found. But here's the thing - I can't have a fancy lunch where I meet my lovely friends every day. My goal is to find a few quiet and cheap places with tables where I can sit down and read during my break. Lenny's right across Beale is actually excellent for this, but I think they're getting sick of me over there. They already know my order. So, Memphis, my question to you is, where can I find such a place? I would like for it to be within walking distance (but as a New York veteran my walking range is fairly broad), to be reasonably priced, and to be a place I could go by myself without making a waitress sad that she's only getting a tip from one person. Where do y'all go?


  1. for Lunch, my preference is Flying Fish or Cockadoos.

  2. My suggestions for affordable lunch within walking distance would be Frank's Market & Deli. It's a little tight inside but when the weather is nice you can sit outside to eat and read a book. They have great falafel, a smoked turkey sandwich to die for, hummus and tomato basil soup. You might also want to try Hari's. I was dubious about this place at first but the curries are great. Great job so far with the blog!