Monday, January 31, 2011

To Crave ~ Miss Cordelia's Tuscan Sun Panini

I literally craved this sandwich all last week, and if you count the time I ate the leftovers today, that makes it three times I've delighted in the "Tuscan Sun" in one week. The Tuscan Sun sandwich from Miss Cordelia's is a panini with 5 layers of herb grilled chicken breast, melted provolone cheese, sweet and tangy roasted tomatoes, grilled portabella mushrooms, and tangy pesto mayo. The flavor combination will make your taste buds swoon.  Thanks so much Mylissa Horrocks for introducing this to me!

Miss Cordelia's Table and Grocery
737 Harbor Bend Road
Memphis, TN
ph +1.901.526.4772

Facebook / Twitter    

Photo by Sophorn at Court Square, my lunch today under the sun. (And the text is intentionally placed under the Tuscan Sun.) 
I put my hand to the screen. It's actual size.

Cordelia's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 29, 2011

TCBY Midtown~ Super Fro Yo

Although we've visited the brand new TCBY building in midtown several times per Atticus' requests, we have to admit we go to fill our cravings too. Especially since we learned on our recent visit that TCBY yogurts were officially defined as nutritional, we don't feel guilty for indulging.

We also learned that Memphis TCBY owners were a select few that were introducing a new classification of frozen yogurt - Super Fro-Yo, which elevates the levels of live active cultures, probiotics, and dietary fiber beyond what was normally offered in any other fro-yo product. Not specific to one flavor or form, the classification is applied to all their products. Although I can say that the frozen yogurt is also packed with vitamins, protein, and calcium, it's more enticing for us that they offer these elevated levels of nutrition in the form of soft-serve, hand-scooped, frappes, malts, shakes and cakes. In addition to the large selection of fresh fruit or candy toppings, the number of great yogurt flavors offered daily is impressive. 

Here's what we recommend in addition to getting a sample before you order.
~red ruby grapefruit sorbet {Christopher's "to crave"}
~wedding cake soft-serve {Sophorn's pick}
~rainbow cream, hand-dipped, kid's cup {Atticus' pick}
~mocha soft-serve

The new free-standing building, built to fit the uniquely narrow commercial lot, is quite distinctive in it's slenderness. This TCBY location, owned and operated by local Memphian Eric Tushek, is not built from a franchise prototype. Due to the site constraints, Eric actually hired his brother Michael , of the local architecture firm Bounds and Gillespie, to design a building that gave enough parking plus a drive-thru. Although the building footprint looks like the last spare inch was squeezed out, the storefront along the front and side seating helps keep a spacious feel inside.  It's probably a good marketing move knowing a building that holds that much sweet goodness is keeping such a cute, slender figure.

It's going to be a rare 65 degrees today, so we'll see you again soon TCBY.
{Side note: The photo of Atticus' fro-yo mustache/beard/fangs? was taken at his request. We decided we should start a series of Atticus' food/drink mustaches.}

TCBY Midtown
1708 Union Ave
Memphis, TN
ph +1.901.552.4727

Facebook ~ where you can see their latest flavors and specials.

Photos/graphics by Sophorn.

Friday, January 28, 2011

EqualGravity Branding / Custom Logo Update

Here's an update on one of the projects I've been focusing on lately. After going through several 19th century stock fonts that just didn't capture the chiseled and decorative look that was desired, I recreated the font based on an image of an actual font that EqualGravity founder Tyler gravitated to from the beginning.  The top detail image is the logo that is placed on the letterhead and over the poster illustrations I'm also working on.  The second image is the EG mark that I will show with the shadows soon but I just discovered beautiful carved stonework at the Lowenstein Building in downtown Memphis that I may try to place on the top of the shield instead.

Bottom image - camera phone photo by Sophorn

Architecture Remix No. 2 ~ Tabor Orthopedics

This Friday's Remix Features
{Name/Remix by/Original by/Info}

Tabor Orthopedics / archimania / unknown / The original building was built and occupied by an insurance company in the 1980's.  The photo below shows the original entrance design where the use of metal seems timid in contrast to the bold form in which archimania uses the metal, forming a new drop-off entry canopy.  The ulta-sleek interior gives remarkable attention to the ceiling and lighting design - something rarely seen in most interior spaces. The program now holds a medical clinic and offices as shown in the floor plan diagram. I'm proud to say that this award-winning renovation is a Memphis project designed by a Memphis firm. 

Roxanne / DiscoTech / The Police / The idea for the correlating remix was to find a song from the 1980's or by an '80's band remixed by a current musician. The folks at archimania, who are big music fans by the way, gave some great suggestions and helped vote for the remix for this project.  Tim, one of the architects, thought as I had initially that it should be a Milli Vanilli song remixed, "making something out of something it is not," but unfortunately the remix did not fit the more important criteria that it be a great song / "ear treasure."  Roxanne is probably the most enjoyable and dance-able remix we could find. Plus, Matt, another archimania architect, described the song lyrics as fitting since "Sting is asking her to rehab her life - like you would rehab a knee at an orthopedic place." Ok, I'll buy that. Other options with votes were "Close to Me (Closet Remix)" by The Cure, "Shake the Disease (Tiga Remix) and "Enjoy the Silence (Evan Pearson Remix) both by Depeche Mode.

Above images copyright Jeffrey Jacobs. All rights reserved. Signage design by Michael Carpenter of Switch Creative. Images below via archimania. Special thanks to Christopher.

I'll still say have a good weekend but I'll be posting more today and over the weekend. Visit again before Monday if you have time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tasted ~ Wiles-Smith Drugstore

Several locals recommended this eatery to us early in our move to Memphis. Christopher, who lived in a small southern town where a local drugstore held a similar restaurant gem, was pretty ecstatic that a city of Memphis' size supported such a rarity even down to its retro decor. After making a mental list of family and friends we would take on their next visit to Memphis, we realized we'd never once taken Atticus before.

Here's what we tasted this past weekend on Atticus' first visit.
{Atticus} PB&J
{Christopher} Chili and Egg Salad Sandwich
{Sophorn} Chicken Salad Plate and Beef Stew
{All of Us} One chocolate milkshake, widely regarded as the best milkshake in town {we concur}.

So although the food was good, it'll be the milkshake that will keep bringing us back.

Wiles-Smith Drugstore
1635 Union Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
ph +1.901.278.6416
Photos by Sophorn. First photo is a detail of the tabletop design.

Wiles-Smith Drug Store on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 24, 2011

Motivational Monday ~ Love to Your Valentine's Helps MDA

Never before have I given a thought that Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity to share love beyond those I knowingly love, but fellow Memphian Carol Neeley shared a story about a recent loss in her family that motivated her to give back through her business. As a chocolatier for Dove Chocolate, Carol is offering the following promotion below. So go ahead and flex that muscle, and they’ll do the delivery work for you.

Muscular Dystrophy Association and Dove Chocolate Discoveries have teamed up to help you flex the most important muscle of all this Valentine’s Day ~ your heart. Dove is offering their decadent assortment of beautifully boxed Chocolates that is sure to make your favorite chocolate lover swoon. Six fabulous dessert flavors, each surrounded by a luscious layer of dark, milk or white chocolate, are handmade with fresh ingredients on the day you order: Dark Chocolate Mousse, Tiramisu, Passion Fruit Sorbet, Cheesecake, Cinnamon Roll and Lemon Meringue Pie.

$5.00 from every box you purchase will go to MDA. These chocolates are a unique and exclusive item from Dove Chocolate Discoveries that cannot be bought in stores. Show your love this Valentine’s with Dove and support a good cause!! What a sweet way to flex your muscle for MDA and join in the fight against muscular dystrophy. What could be easier?

Orders must be placed by 1/31/11 to ensure Valentine’s delivery.

Contact Chocolatier: Carol Neeley at 901.217.7790 or to order.

Image via Carol with slight graphic modifications by Sophorn.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Five Guys Burgers and Fries { Little Rock, Arkansas }

The route to Austin from Memphis took us through Little Rock, Arkansas just 2-1/2 hours out, which was a lot less time than I mentally prepared myself for. We stopped in Five Guys for a quick dinner only because it was relatively close to the interstate but stepped inside to see major raving reviews and awards plaster the walls. I had never heard of the franchise before, missing the recent media tidbit that Obama ordered his White House staff lunch from there. The media reporting exactly where Obama ordered food had to mean Five Guys Burgers had to be of some significance.

Although the national top ratings and reviews were impressive, the menu itself made everyone else's apparent excitement much more believable. Sure, you had the choice of a burger or cheeseburger but offering grilled mushrooms, A-1 steak sauce or hot sauce as an option next to the typical ones automatically raised them above the typical fast food restaurant. As I waited for my cheeseburger with traditional dressing plus the grilled mushrooms and onions, I shoveled out a serving of the roasted peanuts. They were free which made the burger joint one other step from ordinary. Back to the burger. I've tasted a lot of great burgers, gourmet and greasy spoon versions, but my senses refused to make any comparisons after the first bite as to not interrupt its thorough enjoyment of the Five Guys burger combination I ordered. It probably helped that I didn't wait for the warm cheese, beef patty, and grilled toppings to lose its sizzle. This burger was just as good an any I've tasted, and the 2-1/2 hour drive just appeared even shorter.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
2923 Lakewood Village
North Little Rock, AR 72116
ph +1.501.246.5295

Film photo by Sophorn.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

More Design and Architecture { Austin / Part 5 }

In the previous Austin post, I was singularly noting the great design and architecture of the Hotel San Jose in the South Congress area, sometimes seen abbreviated to SoCo. The set of photos in this post will prove Austin's great design extends through the core of the city from the detailed to the grand scale. The facade of the South Congress Cafe had subtle yet intriguing design elements. Why and how did the glass storefront angle back as it disappeared above? How was the concrete awning formed and supported so gracefully? It truly made us marvel. I just regret not taking a look inside.

In the grand city design, Congress Avenue directs the view towards the city's centerpoint ~ the State Capitol Building, which is also in viewing line with the University of Texas Austin Hall tower, another significant vertical landmark downtown. As we made our way through the shaded promenades, past the richly ornate campus buildings, we met urban retail spaces along the campus edge where we did our best to support some local businesses by grabbing a few t-shirts from a local favorite Tyler's.

The slogan "Keep Austin Weird" is primarily used to promote the small business economy but the way I see it, it can only mean uniquely cool design and architecture.

Black & white Ilford film, Holga and Kodak color film, Nikon photos by Sophorn.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Currently Snacking ~ TCBY Super Fro-Yo {Sneak Peek}

I'm now finishing the leftovers of my mocha frozen yogurt from the midtown TCBY after our taste testing earlier today. Owner Eric Tushek explained the nutritional value offered in their immense selection of soft serves, hand served yogurt or smoothies. Atticus {peeking through the chair} came along to review the kids' flavors. We left very happy. {I'm also loving the new logo.} Stay tuned for full review.

Photos by Sophorn. Thanks Eric for the hospitality.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Architecture Remix No. 1 ~ Modern with a Side of Ranch

As every Friday I feature a great remix song to kick off the weekend party mood, I will now feature an exemplary architecture project that adds a new spin on the old design or existing structure. If possible, the musical remix and the architectural remix will relate in some way. Feel free to submit any remixes both architecture and music. Have a great Friday and weekend!

This Friday's Remix Features
{Name/Remix by/Original by/Info}

Modern with a Side of Ranch / Hufft Projects / Designer of the original mid-century ranch house unknown / This renovation project in Kansas is a great example of a successful modern addition. The key to the new addition and modifications of the existing residence was bringing in more natural light into the interior spaces. More photos here.
Lollipop / Squeak E. Clean and Desert Eagles / The Chordettes / Seamless remix to me. The original song is also "mid-century." You may also recognize it from the movie "Whip It." Listen to it on the first playlist on the side bar.

Images by Mike Sinclair via Contemporist. Remix selection approved by Hufft Projects. Graphics by Sophorn.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hotel San Jose { Austin / Part 4 }

There was really only one destination spot in Austin I knew of since hearing from my friend Juan about his visit a few years back ~ the Hotel San Jose. Architectural inspiration was its attraction for him, but not until we walked its grounds during our stay, did I understand that it wasn't the building itself where Juan saw inspiration but the realized idea of place making - thoughtful design of interstitial outdoor spaces and sequence of entries that was the real architecture. Details such as the vintage music posters as art, mid-century modern furniture, signage, and lighting were just icing on the cake.

Other details that won us over.
~An extremely comfortable bed
~A heated pool
~Affordable room options
~Locally supplied and unique mini bar options
~Toms shoes supporting a good cause
~Breakfast served in a bento box
~Literary excerpt pinned next to the mirror
~Jo's coffee and sandwich shop, hotel-owned, next door
~Pet friendly
~Hand selected music or DVD collection available for check-out
~Bike Rentals
~Typewriter available for check-out
~Polaroid camera available for check-out
~Located in the South Congress area, full of great local eateries and shops

Hotel San Jose
1316 South Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78704

Film photos by Sophorn except of course one of my feet by Christopher. Stay tuned for Part 5 ~ Around Austin.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tasted: Home Slice Pizza { Austin / Part 3 }

Our second night in Austin, we treated ourselves to a night's stay at the Hotel San Jose located in the very cool South Congress district. In our early afternoon walk through the area, we noticed Home Slice Pizza just a block from the hotel and giggled at the name of it's second location, for take-out only, right next door called More Home Slice. My cousin Valerie, who generously drove us down to and around Austin and joined us for the New Year's party, also gathered a few of her friends nearby for the night's dinner. Conveniently, her friends by chance suggested Home Slice, their favorite pizza place in Austin and, as we learned later, a true Austin favorite.

It was a quick 45-minute wait as we admired the back patio holding various levels of large group seating. The strung lights and vegetation created a great backyard party atmosphere. After being seated inside, I personally was entertained with the marketing phrases on the menu greeting us with "What's up Home Slice?" and "Congratulations! On your choice to enjoy Home Slice Pizza." Phrases that sound more like inside jokes were actually boldly displayed in printed form. They were notable examples of using the personality of the restaurant already evident in the overall mood to create its branding. That was probably my favorite thing about Austin as I saw other businesses branded with genuine personality.

For five of us, we ordered 2 large pizzas ~ the Margherita and the White Pie with Spinach. It was New York style thin crust pizza, no tomato sauce but topped with large clumps of cheese. The Margherita had delicious fresh tomatoes and basil. The white pie had 3 cheeses including my favorite addition ~ ricotta. As both were absent of any meat, we were able to appreciate the quality of these cheeses and pizza crust.

We also took a little slice of personality home with us. The "What's up Home Slice?" shirt that one of the managers Gabe wore that night was available for sale in all sizes including kid's sizes that we had to buy for Atticus. With their purely coincidental identical stance, it was like we shrunk Gabe and brought him home to Memphis.
Stay tuned for Part 4 ~ Hotel San Jose.

Home Slice Pizza
1415 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704
ph +1.512.444.PIES

Web / Twitter/ Facebook / Menu

Film and camera phone photos by Sophorn. Special thanks to Valerie, Linh, Alexander, Matt, and of course Gabe.

Home Slice Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 7, 2011

Unexpected Gourmet { Austin / Part 2 }

2 a.m. New Year's Day and James' after-party had no food and no James, so we went in search of a late night bite at the only place that would be open nearby. My friend S led us to a group of three food trailers where I didn't expect to find great atmosphere much less gourmet food, but "Along Came a Slider" ~ a delicious slider with sweet potato fries. Christopher had the traditional ground beef slider but after trying the "Oh My Squash" slider, I can attest to their gourmet claim. This veggie slider is a butternut squash fritter with house pickled butternut squash, pumpkin pie spiced yogurt sauce, and julienne dried apples. OMS!

Along Came a Slider, Old School BBQ & Grill, and a couple of other food trailers usually station together at this location 1102 East 6th St, one of the original groups launching the idea. We also noticed several other food trailers around downtown, such as in the South Congress area near Hotel San Jose shown in the last photo below.

As Christopher ran a hotdog cart, he took note of the food trailer as another category of mobile food he had yet to explore as a possibility in Memphis. With as much enthusiasm he received from customers while selling hotdogs and the current wishes we hear from Memphis locals for mobile food options, we're sure the food trailer idea would be well received if located well. Christopher's got the initial contact with the owner of Along Came a Slider and plans to research it's legality with the Memphis health department, so let us know if you have any feedback on any prior attempt or research.

Stay tuned for Austin / Part 3 ~ a neighborhood pizza joint and what I like about Austin. By the way, James got off on a slow start as our host but he made it up the second night by helping make a delicious dinner for us. Much thanks Harold, James, and S.

Fuji film photos by Sophorn.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's at The Scoot Inn { Austin / Part 1 }

We celebrated New Year's bigger than we've ever done before with energetic live funk music serving up it's own dance crew in Austin's east village dive bar the Scoot Inn. The 11-piece band known as the Sugarfoot Family All-Stars formed especially for the event included Memphis musician and native James Robinson, our host for the weekend. The outdoor venue seemed to gain its full capacity right near the beginning of the live music, a funk mash-up paying tribute to the known and unknown classics that all had beats you couldn't help dance to. Yeah, we got funky and had so much fun watching everyone else shake loose too. Filling in the entertainment were the Sugarfoot Hustlers on the main dance floor and DJ Greg Most on the turntable.

Inside the Scoot Inn, we got to play a few rounds of skee-ball on the same machines used by the skee-ball league in Austin. It's got Christopher on a hunt for skee-ball machines in Memphis so be on the look-out. We could see it catching on here in Memphis.

Just a few blocks away, we found a Mexican restaurant to get a quick bite before the Scoot Inn opened their doors. Las Cazuelas immediately looked like a gold mine of authentic food as we noticed only locals including Hispanic customers filled the space. I opted for the carne asada tacos which was as good as I would have hoped. The tortillas and the beef had enough flavor that I could enjoy it best with just a simple addition of fresh squeezed lime juice. After the New Year's party, we had another meal at a food trailer, something we wished could exist in Memphis. I'll talk more about that in Part 2. Stay tuned.

Fuji color film photos by Sophorn. Thanks James, S, and Valerie for ringing in the new year with us.
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