The Cupboard – Lunch

The Cupboard is a Memphis tradition since 1943 and has been at its current location since 2000.  It features fresh vegetables, prepared “Down Home” style, but now make their vegetables without the animal fats, as they were usually prepared in the good old days on the farm.  The family used to be in the Produce business and their knowledge of fresh vegetables shows in the daily variety of sides they offer.

The offer 8 to 10 entrees every day with about 20 sides to choose from.  You can get a 4 veggie plate for $8.49, or Meat and 2 for $9.87 or Meat and 3 for $10.49.  They all come with your choice of fresh breads: Corn bread mini muffins or Homemade pan rolls.  There is always at least 6 desserts on the menu and a Dessert of the day that is usually Cobbler or Banana Pudding.  Banana Pudding may be the best around.

My personal favorite is the 4 Veggie plate and generally put together 4 of my favorites, including:  Eggplant casserole, Fresh Turnip Greens, Italian Spinach, Carrot Souffle, Butter Beans, Lima Beans, Field Peas with snaps, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Okra, Buttered Squash, Crowder Peas, etc..   If I get a meat they have some of the best Grilled Catfish around, and of course if you prefer it Fried that is excellent as well, served with Hush Puppies and homemade Tartar sauce (with Red Onions which gives it a pink tint).

Can’t really go wrong here, the menu varies daily, even on the weekends, they close at 8pm and I recommend that you eat there from 11am to 3pm, but dinner is certainly a value as the prices stay the same all day.  Link:

The Cupboard – Breakfast

I really think the Meat and 3 lunches are what put them on the map in Midtown Memphis, but they have a good breakfast going too, so check it out some time.  It isn’t cutting edge, just great value that’s fresh and prepared to order.

Just an old fashioned ‘Blue Plate’ style breakfast.  Eggs how you like it, with Homemade Biscuits or toast, bacon, sausage or ham, Hash browns, grits, or Home fries.   They also have simple Omeletes (their spelling!), Pancakes, French Toast, Steak & Eggs, Biscuits with white gravy, or Country Fried Steak.

The prices are reasonable $5 to $12 depending on how big a breakfast you want, and the staff is usually experienced and fast.  They will keep the coffee flowing, butter and jelly is already on the table as well as a couple types of hot sauce.  Also the Breakfast special from 7am to 11am as of this writing was 2 eggs, biscuits or toast with sausage or bacon for $4.99!

El Mezcal – Midtown Memphis, TN

El Mezcal Website and Menu

1492 Union Ave. – Memphis, TN 38104

After living in Arizona for 30 years and dozens of trips down to Mexico while living there, it has become apparent that “Mexican Food” takes on influences where ever you go throughout the USA.  I mention that because to me it is only authentic when you are in Mexico or near the border, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.  El Mezcal is family owned and operated, but has 8 or more locations, I prefer the Union Ave. location.  They definitely have their own brand of “Mexican Food” and some is definitely unique to Memphis, TN., and perhaps USA.

They have pretty good salsa that is almost pureed but has cilantro and other proper ingredients and the fresh made chips are crispy and thin.

My favorite is the Pescado y Camarones al Ajillo – Grilled fish and shrimp in garlic butter sauce.Topped with sautéed mushrooms and guajillo peppers. The Guajillo  pepper is usually used in making different sauce and tamales, in fact I have used them in tamale making myself.  It gives this dish a nice balanced flavor that allows the garlic to come through.

Chile Colorado – This has a good spicy red sauce and chopped steak and is consistently a satisfying dish.

Empanadas El Mezcal – These aren’t exactly “Central American” style, larger, but pretty tasty.  They are pretty good on their own, which is good because the ‘green sauce’ is not a consistent item in my experience.  The green sauce can be really spicy and not like the tomatillo or cilantro/pepper sauces I have had in Costa Rican or Panamanian restaurants, but the Empanadas are usually pretty good and can be filled several different ways, I prefer the shredded beef or spinach.

The Beauty Shop for Lunch

The Beauty Shop Web site might be here

 966 Cooper St. Memphis, TN 38104

Located in the Cooper Young District in Midtown Memphis, the motto here is              “Look Good. Eat Good”

A one of a kind atmosphere self described as ‘Jetsons-era Vitrolite’ with seating offered beneath Belvedere hair dryers among Box Glass cubby hole booths.  Brunch is a standing room only affair on the weekends, but I prefer Lunch at this time travel gastro-boundary bending eatery.

My favorite is the Fish Club (sandwich) with avocado, fried green tomatoes, and marmalade in addition to Tilapia, Bacon, greens, and lemon zest.  Fries or Onion Curls are both presented in unique fashion.   Oh and Beverages here can double as dessert with such must haves such as Lorina French Lemonade, Ice Cream Float, or a Fancy Milk Shake.

It’s not a real macho hang out, but the ladies will love it and Foodies of all persuasions can’t help but enjoy the dining offered here.



Welcome! I want to share my enthusiasm For The Food Life: The who, what, where, and how we celebrate the eating and drinking experience. My mission is to share it with you. In doing so I will learn from you: What you like.  What you want.  How to make it happen. And Where to find it.

It’s an exciting and challenging era, with the many ways we connect and comment about our experience regarding what we consume for nourishment and pleasure.  There is ever expanding numbers of us working in the industry, at various stages of our lives and careers.  Sometimes by choice, sometimes from the dissatisfaction of the other options, and certainly for some of us it’s just part of a journey. There are limitless types of venues and work environments, and the experience can be fondly remembered for some, or never ending destiny for others.

Amazingly, there are some experts in the business world now bold enough to actually consider our work  “A Real Job!”

Regardless of the type of attention, it is still a life where success requires a unique, relentless spirit, unstoppable energy, constant attention to detail, ability to change while learning every day, and finding Joy in the process.

So when you find an experience worth having again; if it’s memorable enough to recommend to those of us that share your passion for “Good Eats on the Go”, then express yourself in celebration – “For the Food Life!”

This is what I love, why I love it, and what I do.  Join Me!