Friday, July 29, 2011
Meet fashion stylist and lifestyle designer Andrea Fenise who joined me for a fabulous lunch meeting downtown at McEwen’s. When I say fabulous, I actually mean Andrea was fabulous from head to toe which explains the fashion and “product shots” in addition to the food photography. It was Andrea’s first taste of McEwen’s and my first time back in almost five years.
As a side note, I must admit it’s a bit deceiving that I only put in the effort to photograph and document visits to the newer buzz-worthy restaurants in Memphis while more than often than not I’m eating out at more established local restaurants. All with good intention though since the newer restaurants in my mind need the most press to help them survive that critical first year. I’ll respectably continue highlighting them but it does seem useful to view and write about the established ones with a focus on their successes and secrets to their longevity.
With that thought too late for this post, I wasn’t able to delve in the details to why McEwen’s is such a popular standard for many locals or why they are so packed in the middle of the week but I can say they did hit the major points that people expect – good food, good service, and good atmosphere.
From a design perspective, I always notice the “atmosphere” first trying to relate it to physical elements for personal future design reference. I’m more swayed by the space and lighting than by mere decor so I immediately was charmed and felt happier in their lower dining space. The taller ceilings and warm natural light created a comfortable southern dining room.
The inviting, comfortable space, in my mind, helped me enjoy my good company, and my conversation with Andrea as also a Memphian, young mom, and blogger really helped me understand that as busy as life gets it really is about making an impact. Not just passively meeting people but spending valuable time with people and helping each other grow. Although we were specifically trying to figure out how to motivate young ladies to an event for Dress for Success Memphis, we were discussing the puzzling task of motivating people. How do you motivate people? It was our shared mission for our blogs among other projects we had – inspire them.
After an unexpected tangent with an architect I truly admire and had the privilege of interviewing over the phone stating that blogs are evil, I immediately wanted to alert everyone that I am not a blogger just a designer and photographer who is too lazy to make a proper portfolio website. I promise I don’t use my blog to rant and rave about a topic beyond my expertise. Like Andrea, I truly want to use my blog to inspire people.
Well, back to McEwen’s and our food. I was so tempted to order the roasted chicken sandwich, a sandwich of which I had very, very fond memories, but noticed they offered meat and two sides specials that I didn’t remember before. Truly glad I opted for that since the tomato and cucumber salad was truly fantastic. Andrea’s grilled portabello and zucchini sandwich that she let me sample left a big impression on us. It does say a lot when a vegetarian sandwich is that cravable for non-vegetarians. I’ll never let five years pass again to visit McEwen’s or to give them a little shout-out on the blog. / Thanks again Andrea. We must do this again.
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McEwen's on Monroe
120 Monroe Ave.
Memphis, TN 38103
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Photos by Sophorn. Fashion by Style Junkie.