When we first got to Memphis I was on a feeding frenzy as I attempted to eat my way through my Food Bucket List.
It wasn’t very healthy to keep up the pace I had set so I slowed down considerably and started making healthier choices.
But when I had the opportunity to be part of the most recent offering by Dishcrawl Memphis, I couldn’t refuse.
For those that don’t know, a Dishcrawl is pretty much the same as a Bar Crawl, except you are going to different restaurants for food instead of booze. The events are themed and feature restaurants within walking distance of each other.
Tammy and I have been wanting to try a Dishcrawl since we participated in Battledish: Memphis back in October, but the events always end up selling out before we get tickets.
Fortunately, I was able to score a couple of tickets for their A Night on the Square offering at Overton Square in midtown Memphis.
All we were told was to be at the Bar Louie at 7 p.m., so we weren’t sure what to expect.
Bar Louie had sectioned off a group of tables for the “crawlers” so we grabbed our name tags and found a seat. The host, Hollye, thanked us for coming and gave us a rundown of the first dish of the evening.
Since Tuesday is half-priced burgers, Bar Louie’s taste of the evening was two sliders and a side of loaded tots.
The Southwest Slider (right) had pepperjack cheese, fresh guacamole and was topped with a jalapeño. The Blue Louie Slider (left) was topped with blue cheese, home-made buffalo sauce and a thick slice of bacon. The side of loaded tots had queso, spicy Giardiniera pepper salad, bacon and green onions.
In my older age I’ve learned to stay away from spicier things, but since I wanted to get a true taste of this I ate everything and it was delicious. The jalapeño tasted very fresh, had just the right amount of heat and was perfectly complimented with the guacamole.
I devoured everything while Tammy picked around the spicy elements. We sat and chatted with some Crawlers sitting next to us and that’s when I learned that no one knew where else we were going.
Unlike Battledish: Memphis, where we got a map to all of the stops, the Dishcrawl stops are kept a secret. The participants are only notified about the first stop 24-48 hours before the event.
Hollye gave the 10-minute wrap-up warning, so everyone could pay their tabs (alcohol is not included in the ticket price) and all we knew is that we were leaving Bar Louie.
Hollye led us down the sidewalk and past a few restaurants that we thought would be included. It wasn’t until we started headed down a slight incline that we realized Chiwawa was the next stop.
Tammy and I grabbed a table with only two-seats. Looking back I would have sat at a bigger table so other people could sit with us. As we learned later meeting and talking with your fellow Crawlers is part of the experience.
The Chef at Chiwawa introduced himself to everyone and told us what he had prepared for us.
I had already knocked the Chiwawa Juanton on Pablano Cream and Rojo Sauce off my Food Bucket List so I knew what to expect.
The Mini Chicago Dog, with spicy mustard, onion, tomato, pickle relish, sport peppers, pickle spear, celery salt, pepperoni, on a poppy-seed bun, made me miss Chicagoland, where I spent 13+ years.
Of the three tastes at Chiwawa, the pork, black bean and jalapeno taquito on top of a guacamole salad was the most disappointing. The mixture inside the taquito was really bland, almost to the point that I felt like it was missing something.
Having said that, it didn’t stop me from eating everything on my plate.
Hollye once again rounded up the Crawlers and took us on an odd route to our next stop. Hollye’s choice of directions should have been a clue to where we were going, Side Street Grill.
I had never heard of Side Street Grill, but not long after we sat down I knew Tammy will be wanting to make it a semi-regular stop.
Not only does Tammy love a good margarita, but she’s also been known to knock back a few martinis as well and Side Street Grill has about 40 options. Needless to say she was in Heaven.
She got even more excited when she met Nathan, who was seated next to her, because he said he’d tried just about every martini on the list. I didn’t get to talk much to Tammy during our time at Side Street.
I turned my attention toward the people sitting across from me and at one point almost overturned the three glasses of water on everyone. Talk about an ice breaker!!
We quickly bonded over the near-drenching experience and ordered martinis to calm our nerves. I went with the Red Headed Bitch while Tammy got the Wedding Cake, with Nathan’s approval of course.
As everyone sipped martinis, the owner of Side Street told us about the history of the place, their weekly specials and her Dishcrawl offerings, Beef Tenderloin, Chicken Cordon Blue and Shrimp ’n Grits.
My plate was the last one to come out, but I wasn’t too upset because the Chef said she slipped me an extra piece of meat for my patience.
This was by far the best dish of the night. Had I known how good this was going to be I wouldn’t have cleaned my plate at Chiwawa.
The tenderloin was seared to perfection and had incredible flavor. The bacon-wrapped Cordon Blue was so tender I could cut it with a fork. Not only were they delicious, but they also fit into the whole Paleo way Tammy and I have been eating in 2014.
Everything was so good that I seriously wanted to ask for To Go containers and take every available piece of meat home.
The last stop on A Night on the Square Dishcrawl threw everyone for a loop.
Hollye had intentionally walked us by our final stop earlier in the night and everyone saw it was closed. But now Sweet Noshings was open, just for us Crawlers.
Sweet Noshings was filled with jars of chocolate, candy and countless other sugary creations. The smell of coffee filled the air as everyone ooh’d and aaah’d when they walked in the door.
There were pieces of Elvis cake (cake base with peanut butter banana filling topped with chocolate) scattered around the counters for everyone. The cake combined with a choice of rich hot chocolate or coffee made Sweet Noshings the perfect ending for A Night on the Square.
I could have eaten 4 more pieces of Elvis cake, but I didn’t want to wreck all the healthy eating progress we’ve made. We bought some coffee beans, thanked everyone and headed off to our car.
For anyone looking to get to see and taste different parts of Memphis, Dishcrawl is perfect. Not only do you get to eat at multiple places in one night, you get meet and interact with people you may never know otherwise.
At the end of the night I gave Nathan our email addresses and a link to my blog. Turns out we were already following each other on Twitter and had even retweeted a couple of posts.
Even though this was our first Dishcrawl, I know it will not be our last.
The see more photos from A Night On the Square, click here.
2125 Madison Ave
2059 Madison Ave.
Side Street Grill
35 S. Florence
2113 Madison Ave
Upcoming Dishcrawl Events
7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 19: Savory Chocolate Crawl (SOLD OUT)
1 p.m., Saturday, March 8: Brunch by Trolley Crawl (Tickets: $50, includes All Day Trolley Pass)