Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

When You’re Tired But You Still Gotta Eat

I’ve been traveling often for recruiting trips and getting ready for Memphis Teacher Residency’s next selection weekend, so lately my go-to Friday night plan has consisted of binge watching my favorite shows on Netflix  instead of a night on the town.

And that is saying a lot for this extreme extrovert. Sometimes life can just wear you out. I guess since the latest episode of my favorite show, This Is Us, was in Memphis it could count as me taking a trip to Mud Island, Stax and the Soulsville neighborhood? (Kidding, I’ll definitely go in real life soon.)

So anyway, though I didn’t have much energy to get out and explore Memphis like I would have liked to, I did need to eat, which gave me several opportunities to visit some of Memphis’ best restaurants. On Friday night, my husband and some of his fellow MTR residents and past residents played in an intense battle of dodgeball at Streets Ministries. After 7 or 8 games of fierce competition we decided to take a trip to the World Famous Gus’s Fried Chicken. If you haven’t been, you need to make time to go. We went to the location on Mendenhall. It always hits the spot and if you leave room for after the chicken, walk it off and head across the street to Gibson’s Donuts. Hopefully they’ll still have some red velvet or maple bacon donuts for you to top off your night!

ava the arcade 1


On Saturday morning my husband and I decided to try The Arcade downtown because I heard they had beignets. My husband went to college in Louisiana and we have made several trips to New Orleans and Cafe du Monde. So if a place offers beignets then we usually try to find them and give them a chance. The Arcade is the oldest cafe in Memphis and it was a regular for many stars including Elvis, where he still has his very own booth dedicated to him. The beignets hit the spot and the food was just as incredible. After we finished we took the short walk to one of my favorite spot in Memphis, the I Am A Man mural just down the street from the National Civil Rights Museum. We got to see the mural and remember the history. When’s the last time you stopped to think about the rich history of our city? Taking a trip down South Main is one good way to reflect.

ava josh cafe ole patio

On the Cafe Ole patio

The next spot I want to tell you about is my go-to spot in Memphis. As a newbie and a tired adult, sometimes I just don’t want to search Yelp for 30 minutes to look for a new place to try. I love trying new places but I think most of us could say that there is always that one spot you go to because it’s consistently great. Well, that spot for me is Cafe Olé. Mexican food is certainly at the top of my favorite food categories. The chips and queso are incredible if you follow the proper way to eat them (the one that I made up): dunk, soak, eat. I love that you can build your own quesadilla, and as basic as a quesadilla sounds, it’s totally not at this place. On some nights you can catch live music and it seems like a great place to eat with a large group of people to celebrate a special occasion (the birthday party next to us was turnt most of the night). Plus, it’s in a great part of town and you and yours can take a walk to some of the other places in the Cooper Young area.

So I guess even in the midst of my busy-ness, I’m still finding time to create new memories and find my “go to favorite places” in my new home!

What else am I up to? Keep up with my Year One adventures here.

What is Year One? Go here to read more.

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