Hit Parade

illustration by Martha Kelly / Memphis Urban Sketchers

(page 1 of 2)

My initial list for favorite dishes of the past year was two-dozen strong and a bit far-flung, moving from appetizers with French names to oversized sandwiches from local food trucks. But despite the list’s diversity, my favorites confirmed a surprising (to me) turnaround: After 22 years of living in Memphis, my palate has turned decidedly Southern. Barbecue, for instance, peppered my list, and sweet dishes frequently trumped savory.

Even more startling, coconut enchanted me in three different ways: as a perfect macaroon, as a coconut cake with ambrosia, and as a creamy yellow coconut pie. In the end, like many Southerners on a languid summer day, I sided with the pie as one of my top-10 choices.

– photographs by Justin Fox Burks


Company Iz Coming Coconut Pie

at the Pie Folks

It is easy to understand why Audrey Anderson’s coconut pie won a blue ribbon this year at the National Pie Championships. Made with love and fresh ingredients, the pie melts seamlessly together from the crust, to the custard, to the shredded coconut that lingers at the end of every bite. Equally alluring is the pie’s snow-white cap of whipped cream and the piping nestled perfectly against its fluted edges.

7781 Farmington in Germantown (901-752-5454)


John T. Edge Burger

at Hog & Hominy

Hog & Hominy serves Edge burgers Thursday through Saturday after 9 p.m. at the restaurant’s back porch bar, so plan weekends accordingly. A riff on Depression-era burgers popularized in El Reno, Oklahoma, Hog & Hominy builds a messy and delicious signature spin with mustard, caramelized onions, Claybrook Farms beef ground in-house, and iceberg lettuce soaked in pickle juice.

707 W. Brookhaven Circle (901-207-7396)


Godiva Cream Cioccolato

at twilight sky terrace

After a memorable taste of Chef Andrianna Shea’s hand-crafted chocolate at a special event, I was thrilled to discover the candy on the menu of the Madison Hotel’s rooftop terrace. Using Italian chocolate and Godiva liqueur, Shea makes a type of crème brulee, cooks it in a water bath, then molds it, freezes it, and dips it in chocolate. Simply put, her bite-size beauties redefine the perfect candy kiss.

79 Madison (901-333-1243)



Shrimp Mozambique

at Bleu

Locally brewed Ghost River Lager, pancetta, and saffron build the broth for Shrimp Mozambique at Bleu, a gorgeous example of the restaurant’s signature fusion cooking. At first, four colossal head-on shrimp command the plate, but flavorful companion players soon take over, including squid ink pasta, roasted garlic and tomato confit, and a scattering of red grapes and almonds.

221 S. Third (901-334-5950)



Curried Cauliflower Soup

at Ink

Served piping hot, Chef Nate Oliva’s curried cauliflower soup is a satisfying stand-alone dish to pair with cocktails or a prelude to dinner hearty enough to share with a friend. Fragrant and delicious, the soup marries flavor and plating with a beautiful garnish of brown butter almonds, golden raisins, and a zigzag of parsley pesto spiked with lemon juice, garlic, and jalapeño.

948 S. Cooper (901-729-0101)


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