Offering diners a varying selection of Southern classics and 14 protein-and fruit-packed smoothies, the chefs at Scales Café whip up healthy snacks and filling dishes anchored around farm-raised catfish. A dusting of seasoned cornmeal prepares their signature catfish fillets to swim laps in the deep fryer before emerging triumphantly with either a crispy golden coat or a gold medal. Cajun or ranch spice blends can flavor the fresh fish, or diners can forgo the crispy crust in favor of a grilled or skillet-blackened fillet. Although house-made hush puppies, french fries, and coleslaw accompany most entrees to the table, eight other side options, including velvety mac 'n' cheese and sweet-potato fries, can smother hunger like a mother who cleans her son’s dorm room. Straws plumb the creamy depths of Scales Café's smoothies, which are made from fresh fruits, crushed fruit concentrates, and protein boosts. Each sippable meal is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but steers clear of fat, lactose, and artificial flavors.
El Porton Mexican Restaurant has sated cravings for fresh, healthy ingredients for more than two decades, serving up authentic Mexican lunches and dinners that complement the bar’s array of 85 tequilas. Amid golden walls that evoke a warm afternoon in a tropical cantina, guests kick-start stomachs by watching chefs craft lime-infused guacamole tableside. From the kitchen, beef and shrimp fajitas sizzle, wafting aromas of onion and bell pepper that transform into cartoon hands to lure in noses. Warm days open El Porton's patio, where sunshine heightens the flavors of make-your-own combo platters spread with chile rellenos, tostadas, and burritos, as well as USDA steaks aged a minimum of 21 days. Tequila shots arrive in flights or individually, and customizable margaritas in flavors such as mango and classic lime pour forth from salt-rimmed glasses to accentuate entrees and fuel conversations about Mexico's hidden agave rivers.
In an attempt to combat his food allergies and hypoglycemia, Steve Kuhnau began to concoct drinks in his home blender in the late '60s, tossing in various combinations of fruit, supplements, and proteins. Quickly discovering that the right fusions drastically improved his health, he worked to refine his revolutionary nutritional smoothie, and he opened a health-food store in 1973. He and his staff started slinging vitamins alongside the blended drinks, and the word quickly spread about the healthful beverages—Smoothie King was born. Since its noble birth, Kuhnau's smoothie empire grew to more than 600 franchised locations around the world, and there are more than 600 locations on this planet, too. Today, each location serves a long list of drinks to trim down, shape up, stay healthy, and occasionally indulge. Each of these verb-named mixes is made fresh to order.
The chefs at Cajun Catfish Company's two locations scoop bowls of gumbo for their diners and fry USDA-certified farm-raised catfish fillets. Their Cajun-style catfish can be grilled with lemon pepper or Cajun garlic seasonings. Catfish is also served blackened or BBQ style. They keep their focus on Cajun classics, such as poboys and red beans and rice, but also include American mainstays, such as sirloin steaks and juicy burgers with grilled onions and jack cheese.
The oldest operating tavern in Memphis, The Green Beetle urges visitors to have a beer there?because their grandfathers probably did. Described by I Love Memphis as "packed with food that goes well with drinking," the menu is home to big burgers, decked-out sandwiches, and a huge variety of appetizers that pair well with a beer from one of the taps.
Chef David Johnson and his culinary team create southern comfort fare with a Cajun zing. The menu rotates daily, offering special items such as beef tips with garlic mashed potatoes on Tuesdays and bourbon-glazed peach pork loin paired with mississippi grits on Thursdays. Along with preparing food for dine in, take out, or delivery, the staff also caters corporate events such as employee-appreciation lunches and executive-level food fights.