This blog is devoted to highlighting restaurants of Memphis, Tennessee.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Delicious Salads

As some of you who follow me on Twitter know, I'm a regular at the Flying Saucer in Downtown Memphis. I go there mostly for the variety of beer that the bar offers. I rarely go to the Saucer for either lunch or dinner because the food is average, for the most part. However, there is one exception to that, and that is the Saucer's salad menu. After hearing about the salads from friends, I decided to try them to see if they lived up to the hype and I wasn't disappointed.

The first salad I had was the Grilled Chicken Breast, which has Kalamata olives, avocado, cucumbers, and Applewood smoked bacon, along with the typical mixed greens and Roma tomatoes. I ate the salad with balsamic vinaigrette as a dressing, and the combination blended nicely. The taste was sweet, hearty and meaty, which made for a satisfying meal. After eating it, I was anxious to try another.

UPDATE (May 12, 2013): I had the salad again with the jalapeño vinaigrette. With this, the salad is outstanding in terms of taste. The flavor of the dressing is a perfect match with the applewood-smoked bacon, combining for a savory salad that even veggie-haters can appreciate. Other elements such as avocado, cucumbers and dices of tomato add additional zest to one of the best salads in Downtown Memphis. Compared to the rest of the Flying Saucer's menu, the Grilled Chicken Breast Salad stands heads and shoulders above everything else.

The other salad (other than a side item) on the menu is Lauren's Goat Cheese, a meatless salad that vegetarian wannabes can appreciate. The salad comes with goat cheese, cranberries, walnuts, Roma tomatoes, red onions, balsamic vinaigrette and a spring mix of lettuce. For a meatless meal, I found the salad to be very satisfying, especially with a wheat beer like Blue Moon. Overall, I found both salads to be very delicious.
In addition the salads, the Flying Saucer also offers pita wraps for those who want their veggie fix wrapped in something neat. Among the wraps, my favorite is the smoked salmon that comes with jalapeño-pesto cream cheese, capers, cucumbers, field greens (or as some people call them, "lettuce"), tomatoes and red onions (which I omit). The salmon wrap is really good when it is dipped in the Saucer's jalapeño cream sauce that is normally served with the bar's Rocket Tots. For vegetarians, the Hippie Hollow wrap is pretty good as well.

NOTE: Since posting this, The Flying Saucer changed it's menu. With the change, pita wraps (with the exception of the Hippie Hollow) are off the menu. Both I and many others hated the change. However, at least a few good items replaced it, such as the Pork Belly sandwich. Still, I hope the Saucer brings the pita wraps back.

UPDATE (September 21, 2014): A few months back, the Flying Saucer put pita wraps (along with new items) back on the menu. Although I thought about reviewing something new, I went the nostalgia route with the Hippie Hollow. The "wrap" is basically a salad in a taco-like shell of pita bread that is sorta easy to consume while on the go. To make this a vegetarian experience (not counting the fries I had with it), I ate it with the Saucer's jalapeño vinaigrette. The spicy salad dressing, along with the hummus, avocado and the other veggies in the wrap, made for a decent vegetarian experience that rates a "7" on my ten-point scale. Overall, the Hippie Hollow is a alternative for those who yearn for something other than bar food.

The Flying Saucer also offers snack plates featuring various cheeses and deli meats. I tried one of snack plates, which was the Sopressata Salami. I liked it and look forward to trying some of the other plates. To get the best experience, it is a good idea to try a combination of ingredients.
Overall, the Flying Saucer offers a variety of menu items for those who are health-conscious. Even though the Saucer also offers typical bar food such as pizza, nachos, buffalo wings and hot sandwiches like the Big Dipper, the Saucer's menu is not indistinguishable from many other bars that I've been to. However, because of the variety of beer, salads and snack plates (along with hot waitresses (aka "Beer Goddesses") in short skirts), the bar has become one of my favorite spots to hang out at, which is why I'm a "regular."

NOTE: Pictures (with the exception of the Hippie Hollow) were taken by Joe Hyde, a good friend and drinking companion. Thank you.

UPDATE: Recently, I attended my first beer and food pairing at the Flying Saucer. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I hope to attend more events in the future.

UPDATE (April 30, 2015): Since posting this review, the Saucer has updated its menu with a lot of new items such as a tasty Mac & Cheese plate (more like a tapa). Check out my review to learn more about it.

UPDATE (August 7, 2017): The Saucer recently changed its menu again, emphasizing hamburgers. The bar itself also got a makeover, re-positioning as a sports bar. I talk more about it on my "mini-blog" on Tumblr.


Flying Saucer Draught Emporium on Urbanspoon

LabelsAppetizers/Bar Food, Beer, Burgers,Chain Restaurants, Downtown, Pita Wraps, Pizza, Salads, Sandwiches, Vegetarian/Vegan, Wings

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Texas de Brazil

Overwhelmingly Good!

In celebrating my birthday last night at Texas de Brazil, I had a smorgasbord of meats and vegetables that more than satisfied my appetite. The dining experience is unique, for it's set up like a buffet but instead of serving yourself, it's a hybrid of self-service and table service.
When the diner is seated at a table, he/she gets the typical complimentary bread and water along with a chit that indicates when the patron is ready for the main course (the meats). The green side of the chit indicates that the diner is ready to be served and the red side means that the diner doesn't desire meat. Usually when I dine there, I start off with a plate of vegetables and hors d'œuvres that is served at the salad buffet counter in the middle of the restaurant (this is the only self-service component that the churrascaria engages in). It has items like goat cheese, prosciutto, sautéed squash and other delicacies not typically found in salads. Everything on the buffet is fresh, for quality is premium. The buffet counter alone can provide a better meal than many restaurants that I know of.
After I finish my plate of vegetables and hors d'œuvres, flip my chit over so I can dig in to the main course. The steaks and sides are brought to the table by a team of servers carrying skewers of meat such as sausages, lamb (rack and leg), flank steaks and filet mignon wrapped in bacon. In addition, mash potatoes and cinnamon-flavored bananas are served by the staff attending the customers. I must say, the amount of meat that is served can be overwhelming, but it's so good that I find hard to resist. Overall, the meats are well seasoned and tender, and with quality just below some of my other favorite restaurants (The Majestic Grille, Kooky Canuck). It's really good for a buffet and places like Piccadilly can't get close to the churrascaria's quality. The effort to churn out as much as it does and maintain good quality has to be commended. On a scale of 1 to 10, I will give the various steaks and other meats an eight and will rate the service a ten because of its attentiveness. For my birthday dinner, I give special kudos to the bartender who brought me my Guinness after I left the bar without finishing it. Overall, I really enjoyed my dinner and I plan to dine there often.
Although I enjoyed my dining experience, next year I will celebrate my birthday at a restaurant that isn't a buffet. (NOTE: since posting this, I dined there again the day after my next birthday, courtesy of a good friend). Although I really like Texas de Brazil, the only celebrating that I did after my over indulgence involved a bottle of Kaopectate. However, I don't regret dining there, and it is a restaurant that I highly recommend.


Texas de Brazil on Urbanspoon

LabelsBrunch, Buffet, Chain Restaurants, Downtown, Salads, Steaks, Upscale

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