The interactive exhibits and programs compiled by the Pink Palace Family of Museums reinforce a mission that has stayed constant for 80 years: to "inspire people to learn how history, science, technology, and nature shape the Mid-South." Attached to Clarence Saunders' mansion built in the 1920s, the museum's permanent exhibits take an eclectic approach to chronicling the past, revealing everything from ancient fossils to contemporary southern history. Inside, visitors can chart the history of Memphis from the early Spanish explorers through the Civil War or walk through a replica of Saunders' original Piggly Wiggly—the country’s first self-service grocery store, and even see a shrunken head. Global adventures are chronicled on a four-story screen at the CTI-IMAX theater, and the Sharpe Planetarium explores the cosmos from the comfort of a 130-seat theater.
Traveling to east Memphis, one can discern the natural side of the Pink Palace Family of Museums. Lichterman Nature Center encompasses 65 acres of lush gardens filled with native wildflowers, trees, and wildlife. The center combines self-guided nature walks with plant sales and educational activities to expose visitors to the natural world.
Rumba Room infuses downtown Memphis with a dose of Latin culture through fusion food, tropical mixed drinks, and monthly live music and dance events. Guests can shake along to Latin rhythms at regular reggaeton, swing, and salsa events, or hone their skills in salsa lessons and dance competitions.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has been breaking strings and the hearts of screaming fans since its inception in 1952. Three of the four scheduled performances will resonate throughout the elegantly crafted Cannon Center. The architecturally stunning venue will host Mozart's Requiem in a performance guest-conducted by Ward Stare and dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Requiem, a piece written in Mozart's last days, will run on April 10 at 8 p.m. at the Cannon Center. On April 11, the intimate 900-seat Germantown Performing Arts Centre will host a matinee encore of Mozart's Requiem at 2:30 p.m.
The Silly Goose's laid-back atmosphere of candlelight, antique books, vibrant artwork, and non-flammable coat hangers provides an environment for the cerebral tête-à-têtes and swordfighting that'll ensue over your meals. Prime your palate with chicken quesadillas ($7.29) or the melted sausage cheese plate ($7) before moving on to one of the menu's main dishes. The panini selection includes the flavorful pesto parmesan chicken ($7.50) along with the turkey and swiss ($7), or for a sandwich with less panini qualities, try one of the flatbreads ($6.50¬–$7.50). The Silly Goose entree selection features a spicy smoked sausage on baguette with fries ($7) and smoked beef brisket sided with Gouda mashed potatoes ($8).
Since the original P & H opened in 1961, the meaning of the restaurant's signature letters has shifted from "Pearl and Harrison" to "Poor and Hungry," a term of endearment well understood by college kids. Hop a squat atop a bar stool and enjoy a foamy brew from the tap ($2.50–$4.75) as you peruse P & H's tempting menu of classic pub grub. Appetizers perk pep-deprived palates with chili-and-cheese tamales ($7.25), seasoned french fries ($3–$4), or fried pickle spears ($5–$6), giving you enough energy to finally write that great novel or to eat your main course. In addition to a wide variety of traditional sandwich options ($3.50–$7.50) including the meat-free veggie melt, P & H boasts succulently stuffed burgers ($7.50) including the El Espanol with cheddar and jalapenos and a feta- and caper-clad Greek that will have you gabbing about epistemology and metaphysics till bedtime.
Providing a stage for bands of roaming musicians to ply their melodic wares, Hi-Tone Café also feeds hordes of Memphis's hungry with its wide-ranging menu. Start things off with a Middle Eastern staple, hummus and a handmade pita ($4), or go for the gustatory gold of upstate New York with nine hot wings plus celery and carrots ($7). Six-ounce burgers ($6) use beef from local Neola Farms, except for the handmade veggie burger, which eschews meats both domestic and foreign for oats, veggies, soy, and sesame. The New York–style cheese pizza (slice $2.50/small $9.50/large $12.50) pays homage to sewer-dwelling, martial-arts-competent teenage reptiles whose genetic mutations make pizza their only digestible option, while eclectic topping posses grace the varied house specialty pizzas (slice $4/small $13/large $16). The barbecue pizza puts grilled chicken or pulled pork in barbecue sauce instead of marinara, and the Greek pie is comprised of eggplant, artichoke, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese. Toppings ($.50 per topping for a slice/$1 per topping for a small/ $2 per topping for a large) such as bacon and Roma tomato can be annexed and terminated at will, unlike tenancy on Russia's first mandatory moon colony.