Tales of a 20-something running and eating through life

A Weekend in Memphis

By on June 11, 2014 in Travel with 2 Comments

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.

DSC_6693The 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.

DSC_6698If 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.

DSC_6697Allen wanted pizza, but we unfortunately arrived during the time in the afternoon when they don’t serve pizza, so he had cheesy bread that was quite delicious.

DSC_6695Friday 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!

imageAutozone was a pretty fun place. The music was particularly noteworthy, as they kept playing songs I enjoyed. We even heard a little Oops I Did it Again at one point!

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!

DSC_6704The zoo was fun, and we got to see a lot of the big cats out early in the morning. I got a great view of these tigers!

DSC_6712The zoo also has panda bears, which are my favorite animals! When we saw the pandas there was a keeper there talking all about their diets and care. She was clearly very passionate about the pandas.

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.

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I got a vegetable plate with an assortment of “vegetables” (which are non-meat items, although many of them are cooked with meat!):

DSC_6754I got stewed apples, mac and cheese, a baked sweet potato and coleslaw.

DSC_6761The mac and cheese was my favorite!

DSC_6760Allen had pancakes with strawberries that were incredible!

DSC_6755They were so fluffy and light. Incredible!

After lunch, we went to the National Civil Rights Museum, at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot.

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DSC_6771This 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.

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DSC_6773I’m really glad we decided to go to the museum, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Memphis!

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:

DSC_6776I ordered two tacos, one with mushrooms (on the left) and the other with fried avocado.

DSC_6785Oh boy the flavors were intense! Fried avocado was out of this world. It was rich and buttery and paired really well with the fresh tomato and cabbage on top.

DSC_6783But the real star of the show was the elote:

DSC_6778I 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.

image-1We spent our last morning in Memphis at Sun Studio, the birthplace of rock and roll.

DSC_6795We 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.

DSC_6799Allen got French toast with Nutella, peanut butter and banana, which also came out as a pretty small portion!

DSC_6797Everything tasted good, but the portions were small for the price I’d say.

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.

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  1. Judith Chabot says:

    Wow! Road trip! Fun times :) I love how focused you are on what fun things that you get to eat on a trip– foody !
    Elliot and his band had a big Memphis bus trip (hmm… wih fans along and everything!) the month before our wedding, and bought himself a black top hat to wear at our wedding, at a shop on Beale Street :) They also visited Sun Studio and I know that the Civil Rights Museum was on the schedule, as well as a tour of a guitar factory, I think?
    I’ve never been, though!

    • Elise says:

      It was the perfect weekend trip! Just the right amount of things to do without feeling bored or like you were going to miss out on something.

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