Chef Ray Gage stands behind his restaurant’s white-tiled counter, clutching his CB radio microphone like some barbecue chefs might clutch their tongs. The radio is just as crucial to his roadside barbecue business as the slabs of meat roasting in the smoker out back. That’s because Ray advertises to passing truckers via CB channel 16, jotting down orders and delivering them to surrounding truck stops or demolition derbies.
Rays knows his meals must be hearty enough to fuel the bellies of truckers barreling down I-55. To that end, he smokes thick slabs of beef and pork on beds of hickory in the small shack behind his restaurant, and slathers them in sweet, tangy sauce. He then serves hunks of meat with dollops of traditional southern sides, such as baked beans and potato salad.
Back Yard Burgers serves up North American Black Angus burgers hash-marked to order on genuine flame-licked grills. Third-pound patties dress for dinner with lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, dill pickles, and a condimental trio of ketchup, mustard, and mayo ($3.59). Or gussy up for patty prom with premium add-ons such as coleslaw, chili, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and more ($0.35–$0.60 per topping). The grill masters also flip the first white meat, prepping Hawaiian chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple, mustard, mayo, and lettuce ($4.09). Away from the flames, feel free to enjoy a loaded baked potato ($2.79) and a wide range of pairable plates such as chili cheese fries ($2.59 for regular size), garden salads ($2.19), and sweetly baked fruit cobblers ($1.99).
Nestled amid the hallowed tomes and thrilling new works at Booksellers at Laurelwood, the team of Booksellers Bistro feeds stomachs alongside the aisles where they feed minds. Diners can try a variety of light, healthy meals including homemade quiche, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, or the braised rib sliders, while early-risers treat themselves to spinach, tomato, and feta omelettes, including a variety of gluten-free options. The Project Green Fork-certified kitchen also follows sustainable and environmentally conscientious practices to keep waste down and conserve energy.
Grawemeyer's in downtown Memphis offers an authentic taste of Germany by way of its loaded menu, lined with traditional favorites. Start off with a giant bavarian pretzel before choosing between the sauerbraten sandwich, made with pot roast and mashed potatoes on toasted german rye, or the gruy?re spaetzle casserole. There?s also a deli counter in the back for fresh cuts of meats and cheeses. The restaurant?s custom-built bar has an extensive collection of wines and imported German beers to complement the menu. And on select evenings, piano music and trivia night spice up meals.
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.