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

Monday, January 24, 2011

Broadway Pizza House

For Pizzas, Broad's the Way!

When it comes to pizzas, one of my favorite places to go to is Broadway Pizza House, a pizza parlor located in Memphis' Broad St. Arts District. The place has been around for 34 years, and despite the good and bad times, has been a destination for pizza lovers throughout Midtown Memphis.
My favorite pizza is the Meat Lovers, which is similar to Pizza Hut's version in that it has a combination of meats such as ground beef, pepperoni, sausage, ham (aka Canadian Bacon) and pepperoni. On a thin crust with little tomato sauce and topped with cheese, the meat combination meshes well nicely, producing a juicy and seasoned flavor. With the jalapeño peppers and green olives that accompanies every pizza order, the pizza is a real treat to eat.
The other pizzas that Broadway Pizza House serves are pretty good as well. In particular, the beef pizza is pretty much like eating a cheeseburger, except that everything is on a thin crust as opposed to being between two buns.

The ground beef, cooked "well done," is nicely seasoned (can't discern the seasoning; probably a combination of salt and pepper spices) and it is good enough to put in a cheeseburger (speaking of which, I have thoughts about Broadway's cheeseburger, which I'll mention later). Layered atop a light coating of tomato sauce and topped with Mozzarella cheese, this is a really good pizza.
For people who aren't into pork or "red meat," Broadway offers pizzas that they are sure to like. One example is the shrimp pizza, a tasty pie that is light on calories and cholesterol but satisfies the appetite. By the way, Hook & Ladder's Lighter light ale is a great beer that complements this pizza well.
As for other items on Broadway's menu, I haven't had much experience with other than the cheeseburger. Despite the good reviews that I read about it, I wasn't too impressed with it. It's nothing more than the typical burger with lettuce and tomato. The meat was average in terms of taste, indistinguishable from many other places that I've been to. In my opinion, the meat wasn't as good as the ground beef used in its beef pizza. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give the cheeseburger a 5. Not quite as good as the hype, but the cheeseburger is decent. I guess a person can't expect a great burger from a pizza parlor anymore than getting a good pizza from a burger joint (please read my review on the beef pizza I had from Big Burger).
The service at Broadway Pizza House is pretty good overall, although I have one minor gripe. Whenever I order a pizza from Broadway, the wait time is usually between 25 to 30 minutes. Compared to places like Papa John's and Pizza Hut, the wait time is a bit long, but the quality of pizzas make the wait worth it. As recommended by the pizza place itself, it's better to call ahead of time, although the restaurant has video game machines and TVs for anyone who wants to pass the time while waiting.
Overall, my experiences at Broadway Pizza House has been very positive, for its pizzas are some of the best in Memphis that offers something for everyone. While some of its non-pizza offerings may not be as good as its "pies" (and let me emphasize the phrase "may not," for I haven't had much of anything outside of its pizzas, although the Philly Cheesesteak is excellent; please read below), it is still is a great place to dine, especially for families. I also like the fact that it is locally owned and makes itself a part of the Broad St. neighborhood. As far as pizzas are concerned, Broadway is definitely among my favorites that I highly recommend.

The Best Philly in Memphis!

I recently had the Philly Cheesesteak at Broadway Pizza House and I was really impressed. After eating its cheeseburger several months ago, I wasn't expecting much, even though the photo posted by Urbanspoon blogger Dave L looked impressive. It was because of that photo that I decided to give it a try, and I'm glad I did.
As you can see from photos posted by Dave L and I, Broadway's Philly looks like the "real deal" with the cheeses (which I've determined to be American and Swiss) melted into the strips of steak. Topped with green peppers and mushrooms which I believe was sautéed in olive oil, the sandwich had a twinge of vegetable flavor intertwined into the cheesy and meaty sandwich (the sandwich also comes with onions, which I omitted, but will include the next time I order it).

Compared to the Philly that I had at Nashville's Sportman's Grille, Broadway's sandwich was just as high in the quality of it's ingredients and overall, tasted just as good. As it relates to Philly cheesesteaks that I've had at other Memphis restaurants, the Broadway sandwich is by far the best I've ever had and definitely the most authentic I've seen outside of the city that the sandwich originated from.
For anyone looking to find a true Philly cheesesteak sandwich, I recommend giving Broadway Pizza House a try. In my opinion, it's much better that Lenny's and most of the other delis in Memphis.



Broadway Pizza House on Urbanspoon

LabelsBeer, Midtown, Pizza, Sandwiches

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Arcade

Great Ham and Cheese Omelet

The ham and cheese omelet at The Arcade Restaurant is, in my opinion, the best in town. I like the omelet because of the country ham that it uses. The ham is tender with a mildly sweet taste, accentuated by the griddle frying technique that the Arcade uses. The cooking results in the ham being brown or slightly charred. I usually order this with hash browns and sausage patties that nicely complement the entrée.

As for the other items on the Arcade's menu that I've had, they're okay. Even the Travel Channel favorite "Eggs Redneck" was just average and not nearly as good as the ham and cheese omelet. The one item on the menu that I avoid is the "Famous" Arcade Cheeseburger, which was the worst burger I had ever tasted. I had the burger for lunch several years ago, and it was so bad that I remember it to this day. As far as I can recall, the meat had a sour taste that I just couldn't stomach. I eventually left the burger unfinished (at least the fries relieved some of my hunger). I hope the restaurant made improvements to the burger, but I advise caution to anyone thinking about ordering it.

UPDATE: I have recently (October 23, 2012) had the Arcade Cheeseburger for the second time that was a lot better. Either scroll down or click here to read my mini-review.

Although I go the Arcade most of the time for the ham and cheese omelet, sometimes I stop by just to get a cup of coffee. While the coffee is average, I enjoy the service provided by the friendly staff. They are very attentive, to the point that some of the servers remember my name and what I like to order. Even though I only visit occasionally, the servers never fail in taking care of me. The service, intertwined with Southern charm and the atmosphere of the classic diner, makes The Arcade a Memphis institution worthy of visiting.

Awesome Sweet Potato Pancakes!

Recently, I had the Sweet Potato Pancakes (aka "Sweet Cakes", as it said on my bill), which were divinely delicious. With syrup and butter, the fluffy four-stack more than satisfied my appetite. It was so huge I couldn't eat all of it (I'm glad that I didn't order sides). A Food Network favorite, this is an entrée that I highly recommend, especially if you don't have a lot of money to spend (it cost $4). After the ham and cheese omelet, this is my favorite menu item.


I recently had the Arcade Cheeseburger again with better results. This time, the diner prepared and cooked the burger (well done) correctly with proper seasoning. While it is not the best in Memphis or even G.E. Patterson Avenue (that title goes to Double J Smokehouse & Saloon), it is a decent burger. On my scale of five, the Arcade Cheeseburger gets a score of "3½" for being slightly above average. I hope The Arcade can stay consistent with it, because I want to get another one of its burgers soon.


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LabelsBreakfast, Burgers, Diner, Downtown, Pizza, Sandwiches

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Blue Monkey

Great both day and (late) night

The Blue Monkey has always been one of my favorite places to both party with friends and to dine at. As a restaurant/bar, it serves high quality food that is just below the standards of four and five star restaurants, offering menu items ranging from modest appetizers like its homemade Monkey Chips to sandwiches and entrées such as its hand cut beef filet. Of course, most of the Monkey's regulars go there for the alcohol, and it has a full service bar that more than adequately meets their needs. However, I'm more of a foodie, so whenever I go there, I definitely get my grub on.
The Blue Monkey has a lot of menu items that I can easily comment on, but I'll focus on three of my favorites: the Hot Wing Rolls, the Prime Rib and its "little brother," the Prime Rib Poboy sandwich. The Hot Wing Rolls are very unique in that it takes the best qualities of both the egg roll and hot wings, allowing a diner to get the taste of chicken and hot sauce without getting messy fingers. Whoever came up with this concept is a genius, for the Hot Wing Rolls, which come with celery and either Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing for dipping, work great as both an appetizer and a nice, light late night snack. As far as it being a late night snack, it is especially useful for those who are a little tried after being up most of the night, with the hot sauce providing the "jolt" needed reawaken the senses.
The Prime Rib entrée and its poboy brother primarily consists of slow roasted prime beef that is cooked to order. In all the times that I had either one, my experience has been of the meat being well tenderized and seasoned with a good amount of fat, which I sometimes indulge in against my doctor's wishes. Accompanied with Tiger (a mixture of horseradish and mayonnaise) and au jus dipping sauces, the Prime Rib is by far The Blue Monkey's best dish. Depending on which version is ordered, the prime rib comes with either one side for the poboy, or a side and a salad for the entrée. When I get the entrée, I usually disregard the salad and get two sides, which are the Twice Baked Potato and creamed spinach. As far as Prime Rib is concerned, The Blue Monkey can hold its own with some of the better steakhouses in Memphis, including Texas de Brazil. Although no one can go wrong in ordering any sandwich or entrée on the Monkey's menu, the Prime Rib definitely stands out as its best item, in my opinion.
In summary, The Blue Monkey serves some of finest food that a person can find in a restaurant/bar in Memphis. The "Monkey" has two locations, with one in Midtown serving more of a working-class clientele and a Downtown restaurant that caters to the upper-class residents who live nearby. By the way, on Sundays both locations serve brunch, which is also great. In all, The Blue Monkey is fine dining establishment that I highly recommend.

Twitter: @BlueMonkeyMphs


The Blue Monkey (downtown) on Urbanspoon

LabelsBrunch, Downtown, Hot Dogs, Midtown, Pizza, Sandwiches, Steaks

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Revive Energy Bar

A Cool Place for Breakfast (or a late night snack)

Today, I stopped by Revive Energy Bar, located inside Minglewood Plaza, home of the music hall of the same name. I heard about this place through blogs such as iLoveMemphis and Hungry Memphis and decided to try it out for myself. The first thing that stuck me when I went inside was the decor of the place. In describing it, I'll use a a quote from iLoveMemphis: "The space is bright, clean and modern. There are a handful of tables, clusters of couches and several bar seats near the windows." I found the atmosphere to be very relaxing, especially given that I was the only person dining there. With the many events that Minglewood Hall hosts, I'm sure that Revive has bigger crowds at night.
As for the food, I limited myself to the "endless" cereal bar that offers a variety of cereals ranging from Corn Flakes to sugary cereals like Fruit Loops and Frosted Mini Wheat. All of the cereals offered are stored in jars mounted on a wall, with dispensers attached at the bottom. Mixing of different cereals is encouraged, and candy and fruit toppings are available if a diner wants to sweeten it up a bit. As for the cereal bar being "endless," that is not quite true. Although the cereal bar is "all you can eat," getting the milk to go with it is not. After the initial cost ($4) for the cereal buffet that includes milk, getting additional bottles of milk cost two dollars each. So unless Revive assumes that most people eat their cereal dry, the "endless" tag is a little misleading. Still, I enjoyed it (along with a bottle of chocolate milk) and I was able to work on a few things with my laptop using Revive's free WiFi.
Revive also offers a nice selection of coffees and juices, but other than the chocolate milk that I had, I can't comment on the quality of their beverages. However, I can say that for my first experience of the place, I was impressed and I intend to visit it again soon (hopefully after a concert).


Revive Energy Bar on Urbanspoon

LabelsBreakfast, Coffee Shop, Midtown

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