Friday, November 21, 2014

Mosa Asian Bistro

Mosa Asian Bistro
850 S. White Station Road
901-683-8889


Mosa has been on my list of places to go forever. The monkeys (Satchel, 12 and Jiro, 10) and I finally made it there last Saturday afternoon.

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Mosa was originally on Poplar near Kirby, and was opened by Mr. Eddie, who you may know from the old Formosa on Summer Avenue. (Sidenote: My sister, a few friends and I totally pretended we got lost on the way home from a field trip in high school so that we could go eat at Formosa. I have no idea why they let us drive ourselves. Do they still do that? Anyways, we all got suspended.)

When Mosa was on Poplar it was one of those order at the counter and sit down places. Now it's a sit down place. It's in the shopping center near Poplar & White Station behind Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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Once inside, we saw several of our Midtown friends. Definitely a good sign. My friend, Mairi, even gave me a few menu suggestions, including the Thai tea.

I was able to get Satchel excited about eating here with the promise of chicken wings. We did not see them on the menu, but thankfully I noticed we walked right past this sign on our way in.

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Both monkeys were hungry, so we ordered 4 wings of each flavor and an appetizer of dumplings. Jiro also ordered a kids' Teriyaki chicken and Satchel ordered the Niew Ro Mein, which is a soup. I ordered the Thai tea and the hot & sour soup as Mairi suggested.

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The tea was very yummy. The waiter said it was an orange spiced tea with half & half. No wonder! The dumplings were also a hit.

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We immediately had to decide how many everyone was getting. I agreed to only have one. After one bite Jiro said, "That's sooooooooo good." Satchel agreed that they were better than the ones at Fresh Market. (We get those to go and cook them at home sometimes.) After his final bite, Jiro said, "That was the most delicious thing ever."

Next up, some spiced peanuts and a cucumber/pickle salad that we were told was the appetizer for Satchel's soup. How awesome is that?

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Then came the chicken wings. OH MY GOODNESS.

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I am torn as to how I feel about the sauce being on the side for dipping. On the one hand it makes the wing eating experience a little neater. On the other, it really just made me want to slather MYSELF in the Rainbow Panang Curry sauce. IT'S SO GOOD. SO. SO. GOOD.

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It's sweet, spicy, tangy--it's just everything all at once. I want to marry it. The Sriracha style sauce was fine, but it paled in comparison.

The monkeys just ate the perfectly fried wings plain, which meant I got ALL of the sauce.

We were still working on the wings when everything else came out. Jiro's kids' meal had a lot of vegetables. When I noted it, he said, "Yeah, I guess I'll eat it anyway." Ha!

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Satchel's soup looked great, and contained stew meat, which he loved.

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Jiro also wanted some of it and Satchel agreed to share after I agreed to get six more chicken wings.

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My hot & sour soup was just ok. It was a little peppery and boring after what we'd already had. I passed it to Jiro, and he ate the tofu out of it.

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Our total bill was $43.15, which really isn't bad considering how much food we ordered. We are totally going back. And I will marry that sauce!

Mosa Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 10, 2014

Oshi Burger Bar

Oshi Burger Bar
94 S. Main
901-341-2091


Oshi opened up a few weeks ago right down from my office. My friend, Richard, and I tried it out for lunch one day. While he had plenty of jokes to make about the "furniture" the food was served on, and the fact that the cowhide booths are from milking cows, we both agreed the food was tasty.

Last week, the monkeys (Satchel, 12, and Jiro, 10) and I all had dental appointments across the street. It was a cold, rainy day and downtown was seemingly deserted. It seemed like the perfect time to try out the hippest burger joint in town.

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Warren also had a dental appointment, but had to get back to work since he's on West Coast time. He popped in just to take a look around and place his to go order. We couldn't pass up this photo op.

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We sat in a booth and perused the menu. Jiro immediately honed in on the milkshakes. They come standard with booze (which is gross, imo), but the waitress said they could all be made alcohol free.

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We decided to share the Malt Shoppe (Vanilla Ice Cream, Malted Milk, Malted Milk Balls, Bourbon) minus the bourbon. It was delish.

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File this under, "as long as you continue to pose like this I will continue to post it on the internet."

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After looking at the burger options, Jiro asked, "Can I just have a burger the way we like it?" Satchel chimed in with, "Yeah I want bacon but not if I have to have bleu cheese." I told them I thought this would be no problem, and I was right.

I ordered the seared tuna tataki salad because I am an idiot. No, because I was trying to be healthy. (On my first visit I had the tuna burger which was great and the kale salad which was even better, but garlicky.)

Before leaving, Warren had instructed me to bring him a Mr. Robato hot dog and kim chi fries. I asked the waitress to please time the to go order accordingly.

The milkshake was gone before our order was in, and it made the monkeys hungry for more. Satchel entertained himself (and the wait staff staring from the bar) by regurgitating his water. Gross.

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Satchel said, "I can see the chef eating in the kitchen." This cracked him up. Then he motioned to the exposed duct work and said, "See those pipes? Someday they are going to burst and rats will fall on the burgers like rain."

Have I mentioned how gross 12 year olds are?

It was about this time that the waitress came over with a to go bag with Warren's food. I looked at her, and took a deep breath. Satchel sunk down in his seat. I said in my nicest voice, "Uh...I thought I asked if you could time it so that the to go order would be ready at the end of our meal, not the beginning?"

She looked mortified and pointed to where Warren once sat and said, "Oh, I thought you wanted me to rush it so he could take it with him."

I could *maybe* see what she was talking about, even though Warren was gone when I placed the order, but come on. She said she'd put the food under the heat lamp until we were ready. I let it go.

I perused the beer menu, but held strong.

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Mmmmmm, beer.

Speaking of, the bartender is Gene, who I know from his brief stint at the Cove. He came over a few times to chat up and egg on the monkeys. He even tried to get us all to come sit at the bar. We were the only people there so clearly he was bored.

A short while later, the food came out and the monkeys were all smiles.

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(Observe the burger "futon" and French fry "chair" that Richard previously thought were so funny.)

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After a few bites, Jiro said, "Mmmmm this is the BEST BURGER EVER."

Satchel followed with, "Mom, this is one of the best burgers I have ever had. We need to come here more often." Then he added, "You can use that quote."

Satchel even liked the ketchup, which is spicy. I think they add the sweet and spicy sauce from the Asian market (usually next to the Sriracha), but he said it tasted like they added straight up Tabasco.

I'll admit, I wanted a burger. My salad was ok. Thankfully Jiro shared his fries.

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I'm pretty sure each monkey could have eaten a second burger, but I was able to dodge that bullet. I asked for the check and the waitress brought Warren's to go order back out.

Behold the Mr. Robato hot dog (Wagyu American Kobe All Beef Dog, Ginger Pickles, Umami Mayo, Sesame Seeds, Nori Flakes).

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And the kim chi fries (Kimchi, Bacon, Beer Cheese).

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He later reported that they were very good.

Our total bill was $58 plus tip.

The monkeys have already asked to go back.

Oshi Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Bounty on Broad

Bounty on Broad
2519 Broad Avenue
410-8131


I've tried to go to Bounty a few times, but the Wed-Sat schedule made it a bit challenging. When I heard they were doing brunch on Sundays, it was ON. Despite a two day Halloween hangover, I brought the monkeys (Satchel, 12, and Jiro, 10) and Warren along.

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Bounty is beautiful and a wonderful addition to my beloved Broad Avenue. I love the outside and the inside. We were seated downstairs near the kitchen. (I didn't make it upstairs!) At some point, in addition to the downstairs seating, there is going to be a butcher shop.

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Our waiter, Tom, was super nice and pleasantly hipsterish. He brought menus and got everyone drinks. Jiro wanted lemonade, but settled for iced tea. Satchel wanted coffee like Warren and I, but settled for decaf. I kind of love that he thinks he's mature enough to drink coffee.

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Since the bar was upstairs, Warren didn't realize he could have gotten a Bloody Mary until he saw the people next to us get one. Oh well.

The brunch food menu looked great.

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Tom explained that everything is served family style. Then we had to have a discussion about what that actually meant to each of us. I broke it down and said, "It's like when we go eat Chinese food and everything comes on a big plate and we share." The monkeys do not like to share.

Tom made a few suggestions, which we took, and everyone placed their order.

For an appetizer, we had the avocado deviled eggs with house smoked bacon. Tom told us it was a whimsical take on "Green Eggs & Ham." It was a hit. Well it was a hit with the three of us who tried them! Jiro abstained.

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We arrived right at 11am, when they opened, and by 11:30am, I'd say it was a full house. I saw children of all ages, and I have seen Bounty specifically say "children welcome" on their Facebook page. (The owners and the chef have young children!)

Soon the rest of the food arrived, and it all looked great. Jiro's choice was the cheese fries with country ham, scallion cream, and fried egg. (Somehow country ham is always involved in brunch!)

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When he tried to grab some of the egg, the yoke spilled out and he exclaimed, "Mom! They forgot to cook the egg!" I calmly explained that it was supposed to be like that and it was ok. I probably should have had them fry it over hard, but the runny yoke is probably the only reason Jiro agreed to share with anyone, so that was a win.

Satchel chose the grilled hangar steak with brussels sprouts, mushrooms and balsamic reduction.

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He really, really did not want to share, but was forced to. He could have easily eaten the whole thing.

I chose the catfish with arugula, artichokes and green tomato relish.

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Satchel swiftly relocated all of the artichoke to his plate.

Warren went with the vegetable strata, which Tom explained had an English muffin as the base.

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It was really yummy. Even Jiro had some of it.

But what really turned brunch into a party was dessert. Do not let Jiro's face fool you. He just wanted me to hurry up and take a picture so he could commence eating.

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We tried two of the three dessert options--chocolate nirvana and banana bread. YUMMMMMMMMM.

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On our way out, Jackson Kramer, the chef, poked his head out of the kitchen to say hello, which is always a nice touch.

Overall we were very impressed with Bounty. However, Bounty is not cheap. Our brunch rang in at $99 plus tip. (Credit cards only, in case any of you people still carry cash.) So, I will absolutely be back, but I will most likely leave the monkeys at home. Or maybe just bring one of them, as long as he promises to share.

Bounty on Broad on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Arcade

Arcade
540 S Main St.
901-526-5757


It's been about 8 years (!!) since the Arcade was reviewed here, so I thought I'd do a little refresh...

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We had some friends in town and we wanted to take them, specifically their 3 year old, to check out the playground at Beale Street Landing. My friend's husband had never been to Memphis, so we all agreed that the Arcade would be a fun place to eat breakfast. I know that Saturdays during the Memphis Farmer's Market hours can be a little crazy, but I hoped getting there before church let out on Sunday would be safe. The monkeys (Satchel, 12 and Jiro, 10) and I arrived around 10:00am and put in our name for a 7 top. They gave us a buzzer and told us it would be about 20 minutes. (Had we had a normal size group, I think the wait would have been about 5-10 minutes.)

It took awhile for our friends and Warren to join us, so when the buzzer went off and they weren't there, I was very apologetic. The waitress was totally cool and said she's always late to everything and always lies and says she's on her way. The monkeys and I had some coffee and patiently waited. I would describe Satchel's coffee as creamer with a splash of decaf.

Warren, Amy, John & Leo did eventually arrive.

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We wasted no time getting our order in and it was really a matter of minutes before everything came out. (I had breakfast with friends after a run a few months ago and experienced the same quick service.)

Most breakfast platters are in the $10 range and are very, very hearty. They include a choice of hashbrowns or grits & bacon or sausage and are automatically served with biscuits and gravy. There is also the option of getting whatever you want a la carte.

At 10 and 12, these boys can eat, so hearty is where it's at.

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Satchel has been on a country ham kick for whatever reason. I am continually blown away by the ways in which it is served and in what quantities!

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He only made a dent in it, but Jiro and Warren helped him finish. He finally admitted that he only ordered it because it came with grits. I told him that he should have looked closer at the menu because pretty much everything came with grits. Not only that, they were available as a side item. That is when he begged to have another order. I obliged because when he starts craving something, he won't stop until he gets it. In total, he had three orders of grits and would have had a fourth.

Jiro had the French toast; I had two eggs over hard; Warren had the country fried steak; Amy & Leo split hashbrowns and pancakes; and John had the "#4 - Eggs Redneck--Biscuits and Sausage smothered in Gravy with Eggs and Hash Browns." He couldn't resist the redneck moniker.

I was too busy eating to snap pictures of everything. There were smiles all around and everyone was happy with their food. There were no leftovers, which is amazing.

I don't remember seeing a changing table in the ladies' room, but I do remember seeing a built-in ashtray in the stall--obviously a relic from "the good old days" when ladies smoked on the john. Ha!

Overall it was a lovely breakfast and I definitely recommend braving the crowds.


Arcade on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 29, 2014

Stone Soup Cafe

Stone Soup Cafe
993 S. Cooper
901-922-5314


On Sunday, I took the monkeys (Satchel 12, and Jiro, 10) plus a friend to breakfast at Stone Soup Cafe. (It was technically breakfast, not brunch, in my book because there were no mimosas and it was 10am!)

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Jiro had never been, and Satchel hadn't been since they first opened. I've been a few times with my running buddy, Ashley, and wanted to give it another try with the kids, especially now that we are in walking distance. (We had a nice discussion in which I explained the difference between "We GET to walk" and "We HAVE to walk.")

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When we arrived the patio area was mostly full, so we requested a table by the window inside. Our waitress took drink orders and gave us menus. Satchel and Jiro went with water, and our friend, Pavel, tried to order lemonade but was denied by me. I went with ice coffee.

Jiro was starving and wanted everything on the menu. I convinced him to just order two things--French toast and an egg on the side. Pavel quickly decided on a bacon omelet. Satchel and I were torn. "I thought they would primarily have soup here," he complained. He LOVES soup, but crawfish bisque and lentil did not appeal to him whether or not he could actually order one or the other at 10am.

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He eventually decided on the Big Rex biscuit with ham and I got the Big Rex burrito with sausage. (I can't believe no one ordered crepes!) My ice coffee came and was delicious. Everyone wanted a taste and soon I had to order a second.

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Jiro, who was growing hungrier by the minute, repeatedly asked me, "When are they going to bring the food?" They weren't being slow, he was being hungry.

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The boys started playing chopsticks to pass the time. It involves math. I did not want to learn at 10am.

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The food soon arrived and everyone was happy. The French toast looked great.

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Pavel's omelet was as expected.

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I don't quite understand the choice of American cheese as the standard, but ok. (In my earlier review the cheese was clearly grated.)

My burrito was a little sad and lonely on the plate, but quite filling. It was grilled and had a Taco Bell-esque crunch. (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

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Satchel's biscuit was the show stopper. The Stone Soup Cafe is SERIOUS about ham. Oh my.

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I am so glad I didn't order that! Ha! Satchel had quite a time trying to eat it.

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He got through most of it and then traded with Jiro for a few bites of French toast. Jiro also finished off the last few bites of my burrito!

Our total was $34.88, which is pretty reasonable. I think the monkeys will want to go back.

Stone Soup Cafe on Urbanspoon
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