Second Street Shoppers

Side Note on Roids

For those who follow this blog on a regular basis, you know that I occasionally go off-topic while writing reviews. Whenever I do this, I put it in a separate paragraph (or two) and designate it as a “Side Note.” About 95% of the time, the commentary is at least somewhat related to the subject I’m reviewing. The topics are wide-ranging, yet all having the common thread of being my personal thoughts. For example, for the occasional comparison of other food that either rivals or is in some way related to the subject:

Slider Inn’s Lobster Roll tasted different than I expected. I assumed the Maine lobster meat would be laden with lots of mayo. To the contrary, it only had a little of it and a lot of lemon flavor. Personally, I thought the lemon took a bit from the lobster’s taste. Despite that, the Lobster Roll was enjoyable and a pleasure to eat. When I order it again, I’ll have the bar go light on the lemon while adding malt vinegar to it. As it is, the Lobster Roll is a good sandwich.

If I’m hanging out at the Flying Saucer with one of my favorite Beer Goddesses prior to dining elsewhere, I might say:

Tiffany is one of the happiest people I know. Her cheerful smile always lights up a room and it rubs off on others. So, I hope she’s available to serve my next Plate Party at the Saucer (a reward for drinking 200 different beers). With her charming personality, she will (if she hasn’t done it already) win over all of my friends attending it.

UPDATE (August 11, 2013) : Since writing this, Tiffany no longer works at the Saucer. She was one of my all-time favorite servers/bartenders who I will sorely miss. I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. By the way, Tiff: keep smiling. :)

Because this is a food blog, I sometimes use “Side Notes” to review non-food items that was at least somewhat related to the dining experience:

Taxi Magic is a great smartphone app to have if you ever need a cab in Memphis (especially if you're a black guy on New Year's Eve). If you don’t mind having a $30 “hold” on your credit/debit card and waiting little over an hour, the app is a nice alternative to dealing directly with the cab companies. The “hold” on your credit/debit account drops within two business days if you pay with cash. For me, this works out fine, for it allows me to travel to more places and keeps my spending in check. The “hold” is no concern to me because it's close to the equivalent of outstanding tips that I give at various bars and restaurants during a two-day span (I guess some black people actually tip). This is definitely an app that I can give a stamp of approval to.

Sometimes, when a certain “fan” reacts whenever I’m out, I might respond with something like this:

It’s ironic that someone who accuses me of conjuring up a “fantasy girlfriend” has creepy photos of the aforementioned woman. It seems that he’s doing his own “fantasizing,” if you know what I mean.

SIDE NOTE: During the time that wrote this review, “Mr. Fantasy” has had a lot to say about me on his blog. Instead of responding to it here, which will distract from this review, I’ve chosen to put my remarks here (the link has since been removed). By the way, my response and what I’ve said here will be the last time that I will talk about this guy on my blog. Unless he cooked a crappy cheeseburger or messed up a rack of ribs, nothing more needs to be said about him (well, I kind of reneged on that promise).

As you can see, I have opinions about a lot of stuff. Although I have thought about starting a personal blog, I've shied away from it because of the amount of time it would take to maintain it. So for now, I'm sticking strictly to food because that's my favorite topic. I might reconsider my stance about personal blogging in the future, depending on my needs and wants.
Getting back to Second Street Shoppers, my original intention was to highlight its delicious chicken tenders in a "Side Note" of my review of City Market. But as I was writing it, the mini-review led to mentioning things like the store's small dining area. Before I knew it, I had written a complete review. It was surprising to me that a smoothie run for a friend would lead to two reviews.
While Second Street Shoppers doesn't make smoothies (it sells them in bottles), it offers decent food for a convenience store. The one item that stands out is the chicken tenders, which are some of the best that I've found outside of a restaurant. They can be ordered either as a three-piece or six-piece, depending on your appetite. Given the size of the huge pieces, the three-piece is good enough for me. Although not quite as good as its neighbor Kooky Canuck (but better than the Flying Saucer and next door neighbor Flying Fish that charges seven dollars more), Second Street Shoppers' tenders consist of chicken breast strips that are lightly breaded and seasoned with spices akin to fried chicken served at places like KFC. Most importantly, the chicken tenders are, well, tender. The tenderness is perfect, for the chewy meat seemingly melts in my mouth. Compared to other nearby places, the chicken tenders at Second Street Shoppers can hold its own.

Since writng this, I've discovered that my friend (who has a lot of restaurant experience) likes Second Street Shoppers' tenders. Also, this (including a bag of Brim's wavy potato chips ($1) costs $4.68. For quality in relation to price, you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal in Downtown Memphis.

So far, I haven't had anything else (other than potato skins that are better than T.G.I. Friday's) that Second Street Shoppers serves like sandwiches and pizza slices. But even if the rest of the convenience store's food offerings aren't as good the chicken tenders, its prices are low enough for poor guys like me to afford. For example, three chicken tenders cost $3.54. If you add to it a small bag of chips and a soda, entire meal will cost less than six dollars. Granted, one can't expect too much, but it works out well for those on a budget. However, I won't use cost as the sole criteria for determining were to eat. But on days when I'm short on cash, Second Street is not a bad option. And if chicken tenders are on the menu, I know that I'm about to have a good day.

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