I know that every major city believes that they are a big food town, but Memphis really is a HUGE food town. After all, it wasn’t even two years ago that Food Network star Alton Brown stated Memphis is the best food town in America.
In the nine months that I’ve been here, I’ve tried nearly all of the spots recommended to me—from hyped-up Gus’ Fried Chicken and the oft-visited Beauty Shop to the new Izakaya and slice of heaven Aldo’s Pizza—and have an ever-expanding list of favorites…not to mention waistline!
But I’m a simple guy with simple tastes. While I consider myself pretty adventurous with food—I’ve eaten bull testicles in San Francisco and alligator in New Orleans—just give me a simple, good meal and I’m happy. No foodie here!
For the life of me, I cannot remember who told me about it and recommended that I go, but I decided that with the incredibly beautiful weather this weekend, I’d venture out and check out the storied Jerry’s Sno Cones and Burger Shack. Nestled in a residential neighborhood in the Wells part of the city, the actual building was a gas station in the 20’s and 30’s. The story goes that the owner of the gas station would make snow cones for the children of folks who were having their car repaired, something that continued when the station closed in the 60’s and an official car wash and snow cone place opened it back up. It was even in a scene in the movie “Great Balls of Fire!” about the life of Jerry Lee Lewis.
But that’s not what has the line wrapped around the building. (In truth, the line wasn’t wrapped around the building when I went, but there was a legit 10-15 wait, not because the service was slow; it was just that many folks getting a snow cone!). Here’s what you should know:
- Jerry’s only accepts cash! Don’t bring that new-fangled plastic or even an old school paper check! They only want the green stuff and the coins. Speaking of which, I won’t call it cheap eats, but your meal will not break the bank at all. I got a BLT combo with a pear snow cone, and I think it was little over $8. Good deal, right?
- You can get a snow cone with ice cream! They call this a supreme. Because of my lactose intolerance, I dare not tempt it, but it sounded like heaven in a cup!
- There are probably fifty or more different types of snow cone flavors and you’ll want to try them all. Just make sure you return and try them over time. Otherwise, you’ll have a terrible case of brain freeze.
- They serve burgers! I wasn’t in the mood for beef that day, but all of them are served medium and they have more than a dozen or so choices with all the fixings. They also serve hot dogs.
- They are open year round! This is new to me because back home in DC, places like Jerry’s are seasonal. That means you can get your favorite snow cone in the dead of winter…which here in Memphis might mean a balmy 27 degrees or so at the coldest.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my snow cone. So many times, snow cones have this artificial, super-sugary taste, and that was not the case at all with mine. Delicious and consistent from beginning to end. The BLT was also pretty good with its Texas Toast and copious amounts of my favorite food group—bacon.
I’ll have to return to try the Toxic flavor of snow cones, especially as the impending summer makes it feel like I’ve stepped into the Devil’s mouth (the heat and humidity are not my favorite). But I know one thing that’ll help, and that’s Jerry’s Sno Cones. Go and get yourself one!