Sunday, 23 March 2014

Memphis - The Arcade Restaurant

So now we were finally in Memphis. I've wanted to visit Memphis since I was about 14 and I fell in love with Elvis, but never did I actually think I would ever make it. But here I was, making sure I looked the part with my victory rolls on point and heading out to explore.

OK, so newsflash, Memphis was cold. I don't know why, but I just didn't expect it. I'd heard it was going to be cold, but there was snow and layers of ice and icicles everywhere. But hey, I have Norwegian fish blood, I could deal with it...just. We were staying at the Crowne Plaza which was really nice and had a great shuttle service that would drop you off and pick you up generally anywhere in the downtown area, which is where everything is so that was great.

The first thing we had to do was, duh? Eat some pancakes. It was Shrove Tuesday and we couldn't let the side down. We headed straight down to The Arcade Restaurant, (540 S Main St, Memphis) the oldest diner in Memphis since 1919. Rumour has it that Elvis used to have his breakfast there - so this is where I'm going to have mine.

 ....look! I'm in a diner!

Walking in it was still fully kitted out like a diner from the 50s, but not in the fake 'newly decorated in old style' way, it looks like it had been like that since the 50s which was just what I wanted.  The booths had seats covered in blue and cream with old school and retro prints hanging from the walls and even a milkshake/drinks bar stretching across the other side of the room.

After watching countless episodes of Man vs Food I had a big list of food I wanted to try, the first of course being pancakes with bacon and maple syrup...oh and of course biscuits and gravy. I would be lying if half the trip wasn't based on the fact we all wanted to eat amazing food.

We had the loveliest waitress too called Victoria who was great especially when advising what we should have and what we shouldn't, like "no you couldn't eat both of those dishes, it's too much, trust me', so we had one dish each and split the other. I like things like that. One thing I forgot about my trip to America when I was 13 was that Coke refills are free, and you just try to finish your glass before it gets refilled...JUST.BLOODY.TRY IT! Basically you can't, so don't even bother - damn they're attentiveness right?

Anyway, the food - THE FOOD. So we had been traveling for a day and a half now on about 4 hours sleep so we were so happy when we were presented with the most amazing pancakes we had ever seen, or so it felt anyway. If it had been closed, there would have been blood. I'm joking...sort of. I'd never actually had American style pancakes with England favouring the crepe style, no lemon and sugar, whaaaaat? I also wasn't sure how I felt about maple sauce, but when in Memphis? And seriously, look at it - that is one handsome dish. My brother and I shared a plate of pancakes, smokey bacon that I can't even put into words how incredible it was - I just want their secrets. I also now feel like I should be in 'Elf', where maple syrup is a food group, I know we get it here but I miss it. We then also had the 'Eggs Redneck', which came with scrambled eggs and hashbrowns (but not as you know then, scary frozen bag of stuff from Tesco be gone!), biscuits and sausage smothered in country gravy. I've been looking forward to trying this gravy for so long and the closes thing I can compere it to only works if you're Norwegian called 'flesk og duppe', beautifully smokey, peppery and thick and just, ugh, incredible, I wish I could put it into words better but I just can't, sorry guys.

Anyway it was all amazing, and we'd hoped, nothing had disappointed. So we were off to our next venture which was a bit of exploring the town and looking for Beale Street for a drink and of course, lots more pictures.

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