Dec 4, 2011

A rainy November night in Memphis

An old adage says the only certainties in life are death and taxes.  I’d like to add to that copious amounts of rain whenever I visit Memphis, Tenn.  Such was the case for the first day and night of my birthday trip. 

After a six hour drive in consistent rainfall, we checked in to the Econo Lodge in downtown Memphis where I got a very good deal for a Saturday night.  Maybe it was because of Thanksgiving weekend and they expected slow tourist traffic, but for whatever reason I wasn’t complaining. They even left us a nice welcome on the bed.
OK, we put the guest directory there ...

As fate would have it, a mysterious and exotic Gypsy accompanied me to Memphis.  I think she’s starting to like it there.  After freshening up, we were ready to hit the town and ignore the ongoing rain.
Gypsy with her new French purse in tow
Our first stop was to take advantage of the discounted drinks at the cocktail lounge next door, Memphis Sounds.  I was poured an excellent Malibu Rum and Coke.  Gypsy opted for the house red wine.
Really, it was just one drink.  I was still recovering from the drive.
Then, it was off to Huey’s downtown Memphis location for dinner.  I fell in love with Huey’s and their burgers and wings the first time I went to Memphis roughly ten years ago, and it has never disappointed.  The food, atmosphere, drink prices and service are consistently excellent.  The waitress could tell right away we were northeners, so we were strongly encouraged to start with an appetizer of fried dill pickles to get a true taste of Memphis.  Of course, fried pickles were nothing new to me, but convincing an Irish Gypsy to try them took a little effort.  Fortunately, the review was quite positive.
They really are very tasty, particularly with the ranch dressing.
For dinner, Gypsy ordered a trio of mini burgers, and I went with their classic buffalo wings.  Huey’s doesn’t shortchange you with the wings, either.  Whole wings are fried and dipped in buffalo sauce and served with the standard ranch or bleu cheese dressing.  It’s definitely enough for a meal.  I washed them down with a couple of Yeungling drafts (you just can’t find that beer in Illinois), one of many choices from their extensive beer list, and we entertained ourselves reading the graffiti all along the wall by our booth.

With the rain barely subsiding, we moved on to Beale Street and Silky O’Sullivan’s to check out the dueling piano players.  Silky’s has long been a fixture on Beale, and it’s easy to lose an entire night there, especially when the dueling pianos are on their game, and that night they were.  I’m always impressed with how many songs they know and how well both players interact with and respond to each other.  If you’ve ever been to Silky’s, you may also recall their signature drink, the Diver, served in a bucket with about a half dozen straws begging for a group effort.  Or maybe you’ve seen the goats.  Come to think of it, I should probably devote a separate blog to Silky’s some time, maybe as part of next year’s Beale Street Music Festival trip.   
The dueling piano players entertaining the crowd at Silky O'Sullivans.
We stayed for an entire set of dueling pianos, then had a nightcap at the Beale Street Tap Room, a great dive bar with an equally great beer selection.  The walls are lined with old beer steins and an old-school beer can collection.  The bar itself is long and narrow, and a small stage toward the back barely fits a small band.  Gypsy was lured in by the blues music, and as bewitching as she can be, happened to strike up a conversation with the band’s lead singer.  I simply had to admire her magic over a Guiness and … something … they had a fun menu of Guiness-based drinks and I have to admit my memory became a little fuzzy after a while. 

A familiar pose ...
All in all, it was a rather mild Saturday night in Memphis.  I had another six hour drive waiting for me tomorrow, and we wanted to hit New Orleans running.

1 comment:

nichole said...

Loe your blog John! Keep up the good work!

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