This past weekend Allen and I took a weekend road trip to Memphis, Ten. It’s less than 5 hours from St. Louis, and the St. Louis Cardinals’ AAA-affiliate Memphis Redbirds are there, so we thought it would be the perfect spot for a short vacation.
We headed out mid-Friday morning and got to Memphis without any trouble around 2 p.m. By the time we had checked into the hotel, I was starving, so we headed to a restaurant nearby that I’d found online.
The Trolley Stop Market was a pretty grim-looking place on the outside, but it’s actually a pretty funky place! Their menu hooked me before I even got there, and I knew I had to order the pimento cheese sandwich.
If you’re not familiar, pimento cheese is grated cheddar cheese (or Velveeta if you’re into that sort of thing), mayonnaise and pimentos all mixed together. It’s a Southern delicacy and I was so happy to see it on the menu.
Friday night we headed to Autozone Park to see the Memphis Redbirds take on the Nashville Sounds! When we arrived, it was raining and the tarp was on the field, but the delay was actually in our favor because we got to watch the Cardinals game on the big screen for a bit!
I also was able to get a veggie dog there, which was exciting! Busch Stadium needs to get with the times.
The Redbirds lost, but we still had a fun night.
Saturday morning I got up early and watched some of the women’s French Open finals before we headed out to the Memphis Zoo!
Our morning at the zoo was pretty hot and steamy thanks to Friday’s rain, and after two hours we were both so uncomfortable and ready to leave. We headed back downtown for lunch at the Blue Plate Cafe for some traditional Southern food. On our walk to the restaurant, we saw the trolley! I was very excited.
I got a vegetable plate with an assortment of “vegetables” (which are non-meat items, although many of them are cooked with meat!):
After lunch, we went to the National Civil Rights Museum, at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot.
This museum was the highlight of my trip to Memphis. It was a really comprehensive look at race relations in the United States, and there were audio, visual and text accounts of American human and civil rights history. I really enjoyed being able to hear the voices of important players from the Civil Rights Movement talking about their experiences, such as Ruby Bridges (I read her story in a children’s book when I was younger and was fascinated by it.)
At the end of the tour, you see the room where MLK Jr. stayed the night before he was assassinated. Seeing the balcony from inside the museum was powerful.
After the museum, we had some time to kill before we headed to another baseball game. Luckily I was hungry, so we drove to a Mexican restaurant I wanted to try: Chiwawa.
We started with some chips and salsa:
I had always heard about this Mexican street food, but I’d never eaten one. That was my mistake! This corn on the cob covered in queso fresco and chili lime salt was to die for. It was salty and creamy and sweet and crunchy and all of the things you want in a food.
My meal had me in high spirits for our second Redbirds game, which was also a loss but still pretty fun.
Sunday morning I ventured out for donuts from a place called Donald’s Donuts. Much like my favorite hometown donut shop, they had plenty of cake donuts to satisfy my cravings. I got one with strawberry icing.
We took a tour, which I wasn’t particularly excited about, but our tour guide was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable that he made it so interesting! He told the story of Sun Studio and its most famous recording artists. Even though I didn’t know a lot about its history, the tour taught me enough that I was enamored with the story.
After our tour, we went to brunch at Three Angels Diner. I ordered the potato pancakes, but was pretty disappointed with the portion size.
We headed home after brunch and got home around 6 p.m. All in all it was a great way to spend a weekend! Memphis is the perfect place for a quick trip.