I Finally Went To Hattie B’s

           So, I finally went Hattie B’s Nashville Hot Chicken. I put aside the Memphis/Nashville beef, which is totally a real thing, in the name of trying new food. See, that’s growth y’all. 

          I must say I was very impressed with the interior. It definitely vibes with the area it currently resides in. The patio is top notch and it’s covered!! It’s the perfect patio for brunching. I did notice Hattie B’s offers chicken and waffles on Sunday. I need to check to see what the mimosas situation is like. I pray they have mimosas. I need that patio in my life. 

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           So back to the chicken. I ordered the large white, which comes with 2 sides. It came with 2 huge breasts with the wings attached, which is way more than I was expecting. You can also choose the level of spiciness when ordering. There are levels to this mane. The chicken is pretty good, but I wasn’t overly impressed. I wasn’t disappointed either. Its kind of a toss up for me. Not great, but not bad either. If I could use an analogy it would be that Hattie B’s is kinda like the city of Nashville; very nice place but lacks soul. For the sides, I went with baked beans, southern style greens, and pimento Mac and cheese. Yes, my inner fat kid came out. Mac and cheese was kinda blah, but the baked beans were crazy good! Greens are one of those polarizing dishes. Everybody can’t make them and there are lots of variations. They were better than I expected. Someone knows what they’re doing. Did I mention the beans are amazing?

           Would I recommend Hattie B’s? I wouldn’t say don’t go. It’s pretty good chicken and the prices are very good. It lacks a little in the seasoning department outside of just being spicy. I would probably go back if I’m in the area. I will certainly see what’s up with the brunch situation. I still think Gus’, Uncle Lou’s and Jack Pirtles are better options. No, I’m not just saying that because they are local. They just have a bit more of that soul that Hattie B’s lacks.


Life is for Living,

Michael B.

More than Just a Game

So most people head to FedEx Forum to watch the hometown  Memphis Grizzlies take on the best of the best of the NBA, but I decided on this trip that I would check out a few of the food offerings. Of course I wanted to see the Grizzlies play the San Antonio Spurs, but food is my life! I think there's a few people that aren't as interested in the game, but are more interested in the food and bars. 

Please excuse the flash lol.

My first stop was to the Draft Room, which is located on the Club level.  What better way to start my adventure than to go to a bar for a quick cocktail? The bar area features ample seating and some of the better views of the arena. The server was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the local brews. I always test the servers! 

I ordered a whiskey and Sprite. Very original and not a drink that's hard to make. It came in a plastic cup, which was a bit disappointing since this was the Club Level, but I do understand it was more than likely for safety reasons. Can't have people dropping glasses all over the place. The drink was made with Sierra Mist instead of Sprite and was more Sierra Mist than whiskey. It was a different taste than I was used to. Not bad, just very different. 

My next stop was the 4/4 Grille, which is also on the Club Level.  I spoke with the manager and asked her what the specialty was. In unison, all the staff yelled out the Buffalo Chicken Fries. I must say this was very much worth it! It was a bed of waffle cut fries topped with buffalo chicken strips, cheese, onions, and bleu cheese crumbles! This is something you must get!! It's pretty spicy, so get something to cool your mouth off. It's enough for 2 people as well!

Buffalo Chicken Fries from 4/4 Grille

Buffalo Chicken Fries from 4/4 Grille

The next stop was to Memphis' own, Rendezvous. Come on people. There's no way you can go to any arena in Memphis' without getting some BBQ nachos! It's a rite of passage! You haven't experienced an event without them. It's pretty much a law. Don't break the law people!  

The BBQ from Rendezvous was good as always. As a true Memphian, I opted for the pork, but they also offer chicken as well. I also stuffed my face with a sausage and cheese plate. Something so simple, yet so fulfilling! 

At this point, I was completely stuffed, but I'm no quitter and I had to keep pushing! I ended up on the Event Level and stopped by the Horseshoe Club featuring Kelly English. Now this is the spot that amazed me the most! The atmosphere was incredible! I will let the pictures do the talking for this spot. One of the walls has windows that look out the the tunnel leading to the locker rooms! That was the most amazing part of it all! I was briefly here for a quick cocktail and a parfait! 

I found my second wind after I left the Horseshoe Club and ended up at Jet's Pizza! I'm not the biggest pizza fan, but the smells were intoxicating. Jet's is on the Plaza Level. The pizza was decent, but again I'm not the biggest fan of any pizza. Trust me, I get funny looks whenever I mention that I don't care for pizza! 

Next up was another quick cocktail! I probably didn't need it because the Uber driver got to hear my rendition of Prince's Purple Rain! Nevertheless, I had another! I stopped by the 901, which is also on the Plaza Level. 901! How fitting!!

At this point, I decided to call it a night, but I had one last stop to make! I had to go by The Creamery! You can't wrap up dinner without any dessert. I couldn't muster the energy to eat the ice cream, but there was a little kid that gladly took my ice cream off my hands for me. 

It was time to go home at this point. I didn't want to see another plate, cup, or even fork! It was time for some sleep! While I love sports and the FedEx Forum is an awesome place to watch them, there's a lot more going on than just the game. It's more than Just a Game! It's actually a really cool place to hang out with friends at a bar or for a different type of date night. I really enjoyed my experience and the opportunity to be able to try most of the spots out. Yes, I only tasted the tip of the iceberg! There are lots more places to eat and have a drink. 

I encourage you to go to the FedEx Forum and make it a day! Go cheer on the Memphis Grizzlies to victory and also enjoy some good food and drinks! Also, it's a great place for people watching! You're sure to see some of Memphis' finest!!

I want to give a special thanks to the Grizzlies PR department for helping make this story possible!! You guys are great!!! It was the opportunity of a lifetime!!

Life is for Living, 

Michael B. 

Testing My New Lens on Main St.

I recently purchased a new lens for my Sony mirrorless camera and wanted to test it out. I bought a Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. It wasn't as expensive as I thought it might have been and it's definitely an upgrade over the kit lens that came with my camera. 

Main Street  

Main Street  

So I decided that the best place to try this new glass out was on Main Street since there's always something and someone to see.  

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This is where the new lens really shined. I would have had to use flash before, but the 50mm kicked ass! There's also so many little fine details scattered around the bar that's technically a speakeasy. I was able to get some great shots with high shutter speeds that would have been impossible with my kit lens.  

So, of course I had to get something to eat and most bars aren't really known for having good food. It's the complete opposite at The Blind Bear. They actually have really good food. I normally go on Sunday to partake in their Hungover Like A Bear Brunch. I love the chicken and waffles, that can easily feed 2, and the $3 Mimosas. I usually go for the Man-mosas, which is a mimosa with splash of vodka. Plus i get to see one of my favorite bartenders, Brad Wilson! For this trip it was the crawfish mac & cheese and the grilled fish tacos...

I enjoyed my meal and it was back out to Main Street. But before a left, two things really caught my eye and I had to try to get a decent shot of each.

Headed back out and got a few more random shots. 

Her name was literally Bee like Beyonce...the whole name!

I'm really enjoying this Sony 50MM prime lens. It's definitely an upgrade over my kit lens but I will have to get used to being further away from my subjects. I will look into possibly getting a 35MM prime lens as well. I think that would be better for events and food photography. Either way, I'm now taking insanely better pictures! That's the biggest plus!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

Memphis Black Restaurant Week: Onix

The second stop of Memphis' Black Restaurant Week was Onix, which is located at 412 S Main Street in the heart of Downtown. It's in a perfect location! A nice stroll from both The Orpheum and Beale Street. I have been to Onix before, but only for the live music they feature Thursday through Saturday. 

 

The atmosphere of Onix is top-notch. the artwork and lighting is truly the highlight of the venue. It's as if you've walked into an art gallery that features the smooth melodic groove of neo-soul music. If I had to image Jill Scott's home, I would think it would be similar to this. There's also ample seating and a small stage upfront for the night's entertainment. 

For this trip I was accompanied by Justin Harrison of Dine01 and also the President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Mickell Lowery. We each tried to get something different to really experience what would be offered to the customers patronizing for the week. 

Appetizers

Main Course

Dessert

I have to be completely honest when it comes to my review....as much as I love to remain completely positive, I can't say that the experience was the best I've ever had. I will say that the atmosphere was the best part of the trip, though the appetizers were very decent. Contrary to the stigma, the service was actually pretty good. The server, Tara, was very nice and friendly and explained the menu perfectly. 

It was the little things that left much to be desired....like the white toast instead of having rolls or some other type of bread. Also, the garnish around my chicken was a bit over the top, but I saw that there was an effort put into making the dish look more visually appealing. The food was neither particularly good or bad...it was just food. It was easy to forget. I don't know if that is an accurate description, but when I left Onix I was still on the hunt for something more satisfying to eat. 

From speaking to others, I hear that the chicken and waffles is the best dish that they offer. I wish Onix featured that dish on the Black Restaurant Week menu. I'm plan to go back soon and try this dish out. I'm hopeful I will have a better experience on my next trip. 

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 



Memphis Black Restaurant Week: The HM Dessert Lounge

This week I will be covering Memphis Black Restaurant Week with another group of bloggers, Dine01901. You can check out their Youtube channel HERE. These guys do video reviews of restaurants around Memphis. I've dubbed this week as the Black Bloggers take on Memphis Black Restaurant Week. 

Our first stop for Black Restaurant Week was The HM Dessert Lounge. This is Memphis' first and only dessert lounge. This spot is located at Madison and Avalon St in Midtown near Overton Square. Ran by Chef Fran Mosley and has already established itself as a staple on the Memphis food scene. 

The first thing you'll notice when walking into HM is that there's a runway right in the middle of the place that also doubles as a dining table. It sets the place apart from any other place you'll find in the city. 

It's the small details that make HM Dessert Lounge unique. From the trendy living room setups complete with floor lamps to the local artwork on display throughout, The HM Dessert Lounge is one of a kind and also a very welcomed addition. 

 

Now for the moment you've been waiting for; the food!!!

Seared Salmon, Grilled Asparagus, & Orzo

Jerk Tilapia, Sautéed Cabbage, & Couscous 

Sweet Potato Brownie

Peach Cobbler

I truly enjoyed my experience at The HM Dessert Lounge. The food was amazing. It tasted so much better than it looked and it looked fantastic! The presentation of the food was impeccable! There's always been a thought that Black owned businesses didn't have good service, but I must admit that this visit totally disproved that. Every member of the staff greeted us and was very helpful and it was before we even pulled out any camera equipment. 

The Review

Dine01 and one901 team up to take on Memphis Black Restaurant week! Here's the first stop at The HM Dessert Lounge in Midtown!

I hope you get a chance to participate in Memphis Black Restaurant Week, but if not please make a trip out to HM Dessert Lounge. They also feature an outstanding brunch on Saturday. This is definitely a place that I would recommend to anyone wanting good food and an even better experience. 

All smiles after that incredible meal with Chef Fran!!!

All smiles after that incredible meal with Chef Fran!!!

Life is for Living, 

Michael B. 

Make sure to follow one901.com on IG (@_one901) and the Facebook page (one901) as well as the Dine01 Youtube page!! Also subsribe for more updates!!